10 Best Books About Portugal For Travelers

Portugal is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a fascinating destination for travelers. If you’re planning a trip to Portugal or simply want to learn more about this captivating country, here are ten best books to enhance your understanding and appreciation:

1. “The Book of Disquiet” (Fernando Pessoa) – A masterpiece of Portuguese literature, this book is a collection of thoughts and reflections by one of Portugal’s most celebrated poets, Fernando Pessoa. It offers insights into the soul of Lisbon and the Portuguese people.


2. “The High Mountains of Portugal” (Yann Martel) – Written by the author of “Life of Pi,” this novel weaves together three interrelated stories set in different time periods, exploring themes of love, loss, and spirituality in Portugal.


3. “Night Train to Lisbon” (Pascal Mercier) – A captivating novel that follows a Swiss professor’s journey to Lisbon after discovering the writings of a Portuguese author. It delves into the country’s history and philosophical musings.


4. “A Small Death in Lisbon” (Robert Wilson) – This gripping thriller intertwines a modern-day murder investigation with the dark secrets of Portugal’s involvement in World War II. It offers a unique blend of history and mystery.


5. “The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon” (Richard Zimler) – Set in 16th-century Lisbon during the Inquisition, this historical novel follows a young Jewish boy’s quest to find his missing father and uncovers a hidden world of Kabbalistic teachings.


6. “Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945” (Neill Lochery) – For history enthusiasts, this book provides an in-depth account of Portugal’s role during World War II and how Lisbon became a hotbed of espionage and diplomacy.


7. “The History of Portugal” (Roger Crowley) – A comprehensive and accessible history of Portugal, from its early beginnings as a seafaring nation to its present-day culture and society.


8. “Portuguese Irregular Verbs” (Alexander McCall Smith) – A delightful and humorous novel that follows the eccentric Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld, a German philologist, and his misadventures in Portugal.


9. “The Algarve: A Cultural History” (Barry Hatton) – For those interested in the Algarve region, this book delves into its history, customs, and traditions, shedding light on the distinct cultural aspects of southern Portugal.


10. “The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis” (José Saramago) – Written by Nobel laureate José Saramago, this novel imagines the return of one of Fernando Pessoa’s heteronyms to Lisbon, exploring themes of identity and mortality.

These books offer a mix of historical insights, contemporary fiction, and cultural exploration, providing travelers with a deeper appreciation and understanding of Portugal’s past and present. Whether you’re sitting at home or wandering the charming streets of Lisbon, these literary works will enrich your experience of this beautiful country.

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