The Most Famous Portuguese Explorer: Ranking their Legendary Legacy

Choose the explorer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 14, 2024 07:17
Embark on a thrilling journey through time as we uncover the legendary tales of the most famous Portuguese explorers in history! StrawPoll presents a captivating ranking that dives into the courageous lives of these intrepid navigators who dared to sail into the unknown. Join us in honoring these trailblazers who mapped the world and expanded the horizons of humanity, all while marveling at their remarkable achievements. Cast your vote for your favorite Portuguese explorer or suggest an unsung hero that deserves recognition. Set sail with us as we navigate the high seas of history and discover who truly reigns supreme in the world of Portuguese exploration!

Who Is the Most Famous Portuguese Explorer?

  1. 1
    He is considered the most famous Portuguese explorer, as he was the first to reach India by sea in 1498, establishing a direct trade route between Europe and Asia.
    Vasco da Gama is one of the most popular soccer teams in Brazil. Founded on August 21, 1898 by a group of Portuguese immigrants, the team is based in Rio de Janeiro. Vasco da Gama has a rich history and has achieved numerous successes throughout the years.
    • Club colors: Black and white
    • Home stadium: São Januário
    • Nicknames: Gigante da Colina (Giant of the Hill), Bacalhau (Codfish)
    • Crest: A black shield with a white diagonal stripe, a golden star, and the initials CRVG
    • National titles: 4 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, 1 Copa do Brasil
    Vasco da Gama in other rankings
  2. 2
    Although he was born in Portugal, Magellan is more commonly known as a Spanish explorer. He led the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe and is credited with discovering the Strait of Magellan.
    Ferdinand Magellan in other rankings
  3. 3
    He was the first European to sail around the southern tip of Africa, opening up a new sea route to India.
  4. 4
    Pedro Álvares Cabral
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He is credited with discovering Brazil in 1500 while on a voyage to India.
    Pedro Álvares Cabral in other rankings
  5. 5
    He is believed to have been the first European to explore Labrador and Newfoundland, Canada.
  6. 6
    Diogo Cão
    Portuguese National Mint · Public domain
    He explored the coast of Africa south of the equator, discovering the Congo River and reaching as far as Cape Cross in modern-day Namibia.
  7. 7
    Gil Eanes
    Lacobrigo · CC BY-SA 3.0
    He was the first European to successfully navigate around Cape Bojador in present-day Western Sahara, paving the way for future exploration of West Africa.
  8. 8
    He explored the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and is believed to have been the first European to reach Greenland.
  9. 9
    Afonso de Albuquerque
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He was a Portuguese general and governor of Portuguese India who established Portuguese control over the Indian Ocean trade routes.
  10. 10
    Francisco de Almeida
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    He was the first viceroy of Portuguese India, responsible for the establishment of Portuguese control in the region and the expansion of Portuguese influence in the Indian Ocean.

Missing your favorite explorer?


Ranking factors for famous explorer

  1. Historical importance
    Consider the explorer's impact on world history, such as their discoveries, expeditions, and contributions to geographical knowledge.
  2. Exploration achievements
    Assess the explorer's significant voyages and expeditions, including the regions they explored and mapped.
  3. Cultural significance
    Evaluate the explorer's impact on the cultural exchange between Portugal and other civilizations, as well as their influence on literature, art, and popular culture.
  4. Legacy and recognition
    Consider the explorer's enduring reputation, recognition, and honors received both during their lifetime and posthumously.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Portuguese explorer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Explorer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 210 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Explorer once every 24 hours. The rank of each Explorer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous portuguese explorer

Portugal has a rich history of exploration and discovery, with many famous explorers paving the way for future generations. Among these explorers, one stands out as perhaps the most famous of all: Vasco da Gama. Born in Sines, Portugal, in the late 15th century, da Gama is best known for his pioneering voyages to India, which helped to establish Portugal as a major colonial power. Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks along the way, da Gama persevered and became a symbol of Portuguese exploration and discovery. Today, his legacy lives on in the many landmarks and monuments dedicated to his memory throughout Portugal and beyond.

Share this article