Portugal

At the western edge of Europe, Portugal’s character and history have been shaped by the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Once a seafaring superpower vying for control of the world’s seas, Portugal today is a much more tranquil place.While masses of tourists descend on neighbouring Spain every year, Portugal receives relatively few visitors. You can enjoy remarkable scenery and unique cultural experiences without the crowds, and it’s also one of the more affordable European destinations.The Portuguese themselves are one of the best reasons to visit Portugal. While embracing modernity, they remain proud of their country’s heritage and traditions, and barely a day passes by without a feast or festival of some kind. Don’t be surprised if you come around a corner and bump into a procession of people in colourful traditional clothing, bearing flowers, fruit or statues of saints. The warm, friendly welcome you’ll receive everywhere you go means that you’ll more than likely be swept up and carried along by the festivities.For a relatively small country, Portugal has a remarkable range of landscapes – perfect beaches, rugged hills and mountains and even therapeutic hot springs. It also boasts remarkable caves, including several that you can even row into.If you have a taste for life, you’ll love Portugal – superb seafood, famous wines and delicate little custard tarts known as pastel de nata.Factor in some of the best surfing for miles, and volcanic islands out in the Atlantic, and you’ll begin to see how it is that Portugal has always punched above its weight in so many ways, and continues to do so as a destination.Portugal’s consistently excellent weather might lead you to expect people here to be of a sunny disposition, and indeed they are. In contrast, the most distinctive sounds are the melancholy notes of traditional fado songs – soulful tales of love and loss set to guitar.Even without understanding a word, you can’t fail to be touched by the emotions you’ll encounter during an evening in a fado bar. But however introspective the night’s music, the following day will doubtless bring sunshine, and new opportunities to explore the rolling green landscapes of Portugal. It’s a country that very few people visit only once, and it’s impossible to be unmoved by the warmth and sincerity of its people, and the natural and manmade beauty of their homeland.

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Fast Facts

Travel Information

Electricity

Electrical sockets in Portugal are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The "Type C" Europlug and the "Type E"…

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Banking

Currency – Portugal uses the European monetary unit, the euro (€). – Euro bills come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200,…

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Cuisine

Tap water is almost always safe to drink in major cities and towns, although you should be cautious in small villages. Bottled water is widely available….

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Climate

Portugal is mainly characterized by a warm temperate, mediterranean climate with a distinct wet season in winter. During winter, Portugal experiences a…

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Transport

Driving in Portugal is on the right hand side of the road. – Speed Limits – The standard speeds are as follows: – • 50kph…

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Dress

Lightweight cottons and linens are recommended during summer months. Whenever and wherever you go, take a sweater for cool evenings. If you’re visiting…

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Health

Please consult your health-care provider 4-6 weeks prior to travel to ensure you are receiving all required vaccinations, and that the medication has enough…

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Safety

Portugal is safe in general. We recommend normal precautions be taken as you would for any city in the world. Be aware of your surroundings and stay in…

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Visa

Make copies of all your important documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards, etc. Keep copies with you and back at home. If anything…

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General

Language – European Portuguese is spoken in Portugal with different dialects throughout the country. Açoriano, Alentejano, Algarvio,…

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