Year of EU entry: 1986 / Capital city: Lisbon / Population: 10.6 million
Portugal has a rich history of seafaring and discovery, looks out from the Iberian Peninsula onto the Atlantic Ocean. Portugal's history has had a lasting impact on the culture of the country. During the past 3,000 years, Portugal has witnessed a constant ebb and flow of civilisations. Phoenician, Greek, Celt, Carthaginian, Roman and Arabic cultures have all left their imprint, while Moorish and Oriental influences in architecture and the arts are prominent.
In the month of June, festivities dedicated to three saints known as Santos Populares (Popular saints) take place all over Portugal. Folk dance and music, particularly the melancholy fado, remain vibrant. Each region of Portugal has its traditional dishes featuring various kinds of meat and seafood, including over one hundred ways of cooking cod, the national dish.