The Age of Exploration, also known as the Age of Discovery, was a period of time in the 15th and 16th centuries when European explorers began to actively explore and map the world. Portugal played a significant role in the Age of Exploration and was one of the first countries to establish a global empire.
The Portuguese began exploring the coast of Africa in the early 15th century and established a number of trading posts along the coast. In 1488, Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias became the first European to round the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa. This opened up a direct trade route to the East and laid the foundations for further Portuguese exploration.
Other Portuguese explorers who played a significant role in the Age of Exploration include Vasco da Gama, who became the first European to reach India by sea in 1498, and Ferdinand Magellan, who led the first voyage to circumnavigate the world in 1519-1522. These and other Portuguese explorers made significant contributions to the field of cartography and opened up new trade routes, leading to the expansion of the Portuguese empire.