Officially known as the Portuguese Republic, Portugal is a country in southwestern Europe. It has an area of about 35,603 sq mi (92,212 km2) and a total population of just over 10 million people. The capital and largest city of Portugal is Lisbon, which is located on the Atlantic coast and is mainland Europe’s westernmost capital city.
Portugal is not only a country, but it is actually one of the oldest countries in Europe. The territory around Portugal has been settled since prehistoric times and has a long history of being invaded and fought over. The Celts, Carthaginians, Romans, and Visigoths all have staked claim to the land at one point or another.
Today, Portugal is a much more stable nation. The country is a member of the United Nations and the European Union. It is a founding member of NATO and the eurozone, and is consistently ranked as an advanced economy with high living standards. The country also ranks high in democracy, prosperity, freedom, and peace.
Portugal also has territories in the Atlantic Ocean, two archipelagos of islands known as the Azores and Madeira. Both share a large degree of autonomy.
Portugal’s mainland is split by the Tagus River, which flows from Spain and enters the Atlantic near Lisbon. To the north of the river is a mountainous interior dotted with plateaus and river valleys. Southern Portugal is known more for its rolling plains.
Portugal has been described as having a Mediterranean climate. While named for the Mediterranean Basin, this sort of climate is found in many western coasts of continents and is characterized by rainy winters and dry summers.