WITH ITS MILD CLIMATE, 3000 HOURS OF SUNSHINE PER YEAR AND 850 KMS OF SPLENDID BEACHES BATHED BY THE ATLANTIC OCEAN, PORTUGAL IS THE PERFECT HOLIDAY DESTINATION ALL YEAR ROUND.
This is a country that has the oldest borders in Europe, with an exceptional range of different landscapes just a short distance away, lots of leisure activities and a unique cultural heritage, where tradition and modernity blend together in perfect harmony. Its superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make this a tourist paradise of the highest quality.
Situated in the extreme south-west of Europe, just a few hours from any of the other European capitals, Portugal attracts visitors from all over the world.
Come and discover the charms of this country too!
The temperatures are still mild when compared to the rest of Europe. There are often warm, sunny days in autumn and nice weather at the beginning of November.
Portuguese is the official language, but English, French and Spanish are widely spoken and understood.
From a Latin root, Portuguese is spoken by about 250 million people in every continent, and is the 5th most spoken language in the world and the 3rd, if we only consider the European languages.
The Portuguese-speaking countries are scattered all over the world. Portuguese is spoken in Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Príncipe), in South America (Brazil) and in Asia, (East Timor, the youngest nation in the world), and it is also the official language in Macao Special Administrative Region of China.
Generally, safety is not a problem for travel in Portugal. It remains largely free of terrorist incidents and is considered the 7th most peaceful nation in the world according to the Global Peace Index, making its many marvelous sights safe to explore and conquer.
There are no health risks attached to travel to Portugal.
If you require medical assistance contact the local Health Centre.
Hospital emergency services should be used only in serious situations (serious injury, poisoning, burns, infarction, thromboses, breathing difficulties, etc.).
In case of illness or accident while visiting Portugal, Nationals from the 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland are entitled to free or reduced-cost healthcare (the same benefits as Portuguese citizens). In order to have access to health services, citizens from the above-mentioned countries, who are not resident in Portugal, must produce their European Health Insurance Cards (issued by the origin country) together with passports or identity cards.
From the North to the South, the country is wealthy in good wines and, apart from the unique Port and Madeira, there are more than one hundred different varieties of wines, ranging from table wines to special ones, all of them reflecting the individual character of their respective soil. The Portuguese production places it as the seventh greatest producer of wine in the world.
Portugal is a country with a rich and diverse history. Throughout the centuries, many civilizations left a mark in the territory; from the Greeks and the Celts to the Romans and the Moors, this rich heritage is evident in the wealth of historical monuments throughout our country. Portugal boasts of loads of heritage sites selected by UNESCO. There is countless number of Portuguese treasures scattered throughout the country and for the history buff, none can be more majestic than the numerous monuments and castles that tell the tale of this country’s extensive history. It is Portugal’s rich history that makes it such a unique country, and there is nowhere better to soak this up than in the old cities of the interior.
Portuguese food is one of the most pleasant surprises for tourists visiting our country. Due to our vast coastline, seafood plays a major part in Portuguese cuisine and the quality of our seafood and freshly caught grilled fish is beyond compare. Portuguese love meat and they cook it according to the most varied and flavorful recipes. Pork meat is also very popular. Cheeses of Portugal – The most popular Portuguese cheese, the “Queijo da Serra”, is a sheep cheese, made in the Serra da Estrela region, where the highest peak of Portugal is located. Its smooth consistency and delicate flavor are very much comparable to the best Bries. The Desserts – Portuguese people are sweet toothed! Our specialties include at least two hundred different types of pastries. Our national taste to sweets seems to come from the Moorish occupation; and in the 15th century there was the sugar cane planted in Madeira. Later on, in the 17th and 18th century, the convents became famous for their pastries, as can be told by the allusive names of their specialties: “toucinho do céu” – heaven’s lard, or “barriga de freiras” – nun’s belly.
Portugal has a population of about 10 million.
The population density is at its greatest in Lisbon, the capital and its suburbs, where about 1.9 million people live. The second largest city in Portugal is Oporto in the north.
Generally speaking, there are more people living in the country’s coastal regions than in the inland areas.
The majority of Portuguese are Catholics, but the Portuguese Constitution guarantees religious freedom and there are a number of different religions in Portugal.