Portugal is a charming country which can be called a quiet European province with untouched nature where serene neighborhoods coexistwith developed tourist infrastructure, and respect for national customs peacefully intertwines with established European traditions. Hospitality is one of the features of the Portuguese people. When you arrive to Portugal, you immediately feel that you are welcome here. Tourists will be pleasantly surprised by willingness of locals to help in any situation, combined with calm dignity, politeness and restraint inherent in the style of communication of the Portuguese. Extensive sandy beaches and stern coastal rocks washed by the Atlantic Ocean, gentle hills, covered with greenery, and mountain peaks, abundance of flowers and red earth ...
Portugal is a place where everyone can find something for themselves: untouched landscapes that amaze you with its diversity, so not typical for a country with a small territory, and majestic monuments of the past - witnesses of eight centuries of history of the country.
State in the southwest of Europe, located in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula. In the north and east it borders Spain. In the west and south it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The islands of Madeira and the Azores are autonomous regions of Portugal. The total territory of Portugal, including the Azores (2335 sq. km.) and Madeira Islands (794 sq. km.) is 92082 sq. km. Portugal also owns the territory overseas - Macau in East Asia, located near Hong Kong. Most of the country's territory is mountainous, in the west and south transform into a vast coastal plain. The highest mountain chain in Portugal, Serra da Estrela, reaches the height of 2000 m. The country is crossed by three large rivers originating in Spain and flowing into the Atlantic Ocean: the Tagus, at the mouth of which is Lisbon; Douro (Duero) and Guardian, which forms a part of the eastern border of the country. The capital of the country is Lisbon.
3 hours behind Moscow time.
Portugal belongs to the subtropical climatic zone. The nature of the weather is determined by the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which keeps the temperature in the country lower than that of the same latitude in the Mediterranean. The cold Canaries current also has a cooling effect. The weather conditions are determined by the relief. On the territory you can distinguish several climatic regions: northwest with abundant rains, mild winters and short summers; northeast with longer, cold, snowy winters and hot summers, and southern - with a deficit of rainfall, prolonged hot, dry summers and mild winters. Annually snow may fall in all parts of Portugal, but it doesn’t cover the ground permanently.
The coldest month is January. Its average temperature varies from +3 C in the northeast of the country to +11.9 C in the south. The characteristic temperatures for night and day are +0.5 C and +8 C for northern regions and +8 C and +16 C for the southernmost.
The average monthly temperature of the hottest months, July and August changes from north to south from +19 C to +23.4 C. In these months, daytime temperatures in all regions exceed +24 degrees C, reaching +28.8 C in the south. At night, the thermometer drops to +10 C in the north and + 16. +18 C in the south.
Most of the precipitation falls during the cold season. In the mountains in the north, there is more than 1,000 mm of rainfall per year almost everywhere. The largest number of precipitation is recorded on the slopes of the Serra da Estrela, the peak of which in November-May is covered with snow. On the plains of Central and Southern Portugal the annual precipitation reaches 400-800 mm, and along the southern coast in some places it drops to 300 mm. The driest months are July and August. Portugal is the country with the largest number of sunny days in Europe. In the southern regions the number of sunny hours per year reaches 3000.
Bathing season on the west coast lasts only three months - the water temperature is about +18 C. Water gets warmer on the southern coast (up to +21 C) where the majority of the resort towns are concentrated. The best time for a beach holiday on the mainland of Portugal is from July to September, when the water temperature reaches +19 C ... 21 C. In general, the climate of Portugal is very favorable, and you can come here any time. It is interesting to visit the country in February, when the Carnival takes place.
The official language is Portuguese; Spanish and English are also used.
Majority of the population of Portugal (94%) practices Catholicism, as well as Protestantism. In Lisbon and Porto there are Jewish communities (200 thousand people). About 5% of the country's inhabitants consider themselves atheists.
The population of the country, including the Azores and the island of Madeira, is 10.56 million people. About 70% of the country's population is concentrated in the coastal zone. The urban population prevails. Portugal has plenty of small towns with a population of no more than 10 thousand people. In the national context, the population of Portugal is homogeneous. 99% of the Portuguese are Portuguese; the language belongs to the Romance group of languages. The backbone of the Portuguese ethnos is Lusitans – one of the ancient Iberian tribes.
220 V, 50 Hz.
In case of emergency - 115 (from anywhere in the country, at any time of the day). In case of an accident, use the nearest (orange) phone 308, ambulance, police, fire rescue - 112, information service - 118.
For automated telephone communication with Portugal dial the country code (351), then the city code (area) and the number you are trying to reach. When calling from Portugal to the island, you add “0" to the code. There are quite a lot of Wi-Fi access points on the territory of the country. GPRS-roaming is offered by the main Russian operators. Regular access is available in Internet cafes in major cities. Some post offices also provide access. The easiest way to call is from a payphone working on "CREDITOFONE" cards; a call from a bar, restaurant or hotel will cost 3-4 times more expensive. Rates are lower after 22:00, and for international calls - after 20:00.
Local currency is escudo. 1 escudo = 100 centavo. In the course of coins of denomination from 1 (there is even 2.50) centavo to 200. Banknotes - 500 to 10000. The exchange rate is about 1 $ = 188 PTE.
It is more convenient to exchange money at the airport of Lisbon, where there is always a higher rate. In banks and hotels, the rate is lower, and there are fees for exchange services. Selling dollars on the streets is not something they practice in Portugal. In many shops they accept dollars for payments. You can pay by credit card almost everywhere. There are ATMs everywhere, however, as a rule, bills of $ 50 and $ 100 are not exchanged, and the rate is pretty low. Banks are open on weekdays until 15:00-17:00.
To enter Portugal, you need a Schengen visa. Usually visa processing takes up to 2 weeks.
There is no limit on the amount of foreign and national currency in cash and traveler's checks when imported into the country. However, if the amount of imported foreign currency exceeds 4987.98 euro, it is necessary to declare it. The export of national currency from the country is limited - the total amount should not exceed 498.80 euro. There are no restrictions on the export of foreign currency, but if the amount exceeds 4987.98 euro, you may need a certificate from the exchange office. In Portugal, duty-free importation of personal belongings and food is permitted, but only only for personal consumption; Cigarettes - 200 pcs, spirits - 1 liter, wine - 2 liters, dry wine- 2 liters. It is prohibited to import drugs, gold in the form of bullions, coins, plates without permission of the country's bank, as well as illegally published printed materials. When importing weapons, antiques and art, items made of precious metals, a mandatory customs inspection is required.
New Year - January 1
Carnival Tuesday - February / March - the day before the ashen environment, the first day of the Great Fasting
Great Friday - March / April - Friday of Holy Week
Freedom Day - April 25 - the anniversary of the 1974 revolution
Labor Day - May 1
Celebration of the body of Christ - May / June - the ninth Thursday after Easter
Day of Portugal - June 10
Celebration of Assumption of the Virgin - August 15
Republic Day - October 5 - anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Portugal in 1910
All Saints' Day - November 1
Independence Day - December 1 - the anniversary of the proclamation of independence from Spain in 1640
Celebration of Immaculate Conception - December 8
Christmas Day - December 25
The most popular means of transportation are a bus and a tram; in Lisbon and Porto there is a metro, and in the capital there are several lifts. The fare in the bus and tram depends on the distance. You can buy a ticket in advance at the kiosk, or with a bus driver (which is more expensive). The ticket for the city bus is valid for two trips and costs about 50 cents. Travel in the metro will cost 45 cents if you buy a ticket from the cashier and 40 cents if you take a ticket at the kiosk. In Portugal there is a system of tourist passes for public transportation (bus, tram and metro, also valid for funiculars), which you can buy at many train stations and metro stations. When traveling by taxi in the city, the fee is charged by the meter and outside the city - by kilometers, including the return trip to the point of departure. Good bus services between cities (comfortable and inexpensive). You can also travel by plane from one of the domestic airlines - TAP Air Portugal or Portugalia. There is also an airline of the Azores - SATA.
Portugal is one of the few countries that don’t have a tradition of giving or receiving tips.
Shops in Portugal are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 19:00, on Saturday most of them close at 13:00. In supermarkets there is no lunch break. Shopping centers of large cities work on weekends and holidays from 10:00 to 22:00-23:00. In the shops of Portugal there is a TAX FREE system. If you take a check for goods, the airport will refundyou the value added tax. You can obtain the refund, if your stay in the country does not exceed 3 months.
The monastery of Hieronymites (Mosteiro Jeronimos) is located in Belem district in Lisbon, Portugal. This magnificent monastery is considered one of the most important monuments of Lisbon and is, of course, one of the best achievements of the architectural style of Manueline (Portugal). In 1983, the monastery with the nearby Belem Tower (Torre de Belem) was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The National Palace of Queluz (Portuguese: Nacional de Queluz Palacio), the Portuguese palace of the 18th century, located in Queluz, in the modern municipality of Sintra, in the Lisbon area. It is one of the last large buildings in Rococo style. The palace was conceived as a summer residence for Don Pedro Braganza (Dom Pedro Braganza). One wing of the palace, the Dona Maria Pavilion, built between 1785 and 1792 by the architect Manuel Caetano de Sousa, is now a small hotel housing foreign heads of state that visit Portugal.
Monastery of Alcobaça (Portuguese: Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaca) is a medieval monastery located in the city of Alkobas, in central Portugal. The monastery was founded by the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques in 1153, and supported a close association with the Kings of Portugal throughout the country's history. The church and the monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal, and, together with the Santa Cruz Monastery in Coimbra it was one of the most important medieval monasteries in Portugal. Due to its artistic and historical importance, the monastery was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989.
Tourists do not miss a chance: they stop at the Bethlehem Tower of St. Vincent - an original fortress recognized from a distance.. Named after the saint, who is considered the patron saint of Lisbon, the tower has long become a symbol of the city. Like a mighty galleon, it stands in the waters of the River Tejo facing the Atlantic Ocean.
National Palace Mafra - monumental palace - a monastery in the style of Baroque and Italian Neoclassicism, located in the suburbs of Lisbon, Mafra, Portugal. Its dimensions are so huge that it eclipses the city. The palace-monastery is said to be built as an attempt by Portugal to compete with the Spanish palace of Escorial, located in the suburbs of Madrid, in Spain. The palace, which also served as a Franciscan monastery, was built during the reign of King Juan V (1707-1750). This extensive complex is one of the most striking examples of luxury buildings in the Baroque style in Portugal. The palace was built symmetrically by the central axis occupied by the basilica, and extends longitudinally through the main facade to the two main towers. The buildings of the nunnery are located behind the main facade. The building also includes a main library with about 40,000 rare books. The basilica is decorated with several Italian statues and includes six historical organs and two sets of bells made up of 92 bells.
The magnificent castle of St. George is one of the symbols of Portugal. The castle is over a thousand years old, and many historical events are associated with it. The castle is very ancient and has a centuries-old history. It had witnessed many historical events. The castle played the role of not only an important fortress, but also a port due to its convenient location.
Lisbon Riviera Costa dos Sol ("sunny beach") is a whole strip of resorts stretching from the mouth of the Tagus River to the north along the Atlantic coast. Beginning from Carcavelos sandy beaches in the Cascais area transform into steep rocky coasts, surrounded by pine groves. It is an aristocratic area with numerous rolling green villas, hotels and well-maintained golf courses, small secluded beaches and many small picturesque villages.
The world-famous Cascais is the largest center of tourism and shopping on the entire coast. Here are the most attractive sites: the "old town" with a busy pedestrian zone, numerous cafes and restaurants, an autodrome, a beautiful city park and the Aristocrat Castle, the Condes de Castro Gimarais Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Assumption Church and the Nossa Senhora dojo-Naveganteş (XVIII c. ), the chapels of Nossa Senhora da Guia (15th century) and San Sebastian (XVI-XVII centuries), a fortress of the XVII century, as well as the area of sand dunes of Ginsha with the beach of Praia do Guinshu - it is a real paradise for windsurfing lovers.
The main resort area of Portugal is the Algarve. This is an almost continuous strip of beaches stretching from east to west from Monte Gordo to Lagos (about 150 km.) and protected from the northern winds by mountain ranges. The western part of the coast is famous for its amazingly beautiful rocky beaches, while the eastern part is flat enough and has an excellent sandy coast. The Algarve is an ideal place for active recreation and beach relaxation, and sports all year round. The most popular sports are golf, tennis and all water sports, as well as horse riding and track and field.
Madeira ("forest", port.) is an archipelago of volcanic origin. Mountain terraces ("balconies") rise from the coast to the central peak of Santana (1861 m.), which creates a unique landscape of the island. Sheer ocean cliffs, rocky pools, "Levada" irrigation canals, tiny beaches and eucalyptus groves, almost untouched flora and fauna, craters of dead volcanoes and lava fields, abundance of waterfalls, mountain streams make the landscape of Madeira even more picturesque. It is a paradise for lovers of fishing and hunting (from September to December), golf and trekking, windsurfing and diving. Very popular is "hunting" for tuna and dwarf shark, tennis and horse riding, the famous "madera" for the whole world and excellent cuisine. But the most important thing on Madeira is nature, beaches and unusually clean air.
In the Azores, the tourist infrastructure is poorly developed, but every year more and more tourists visit these rocky islands in search of peace and solitude.
Portimão, the second largest city in the province, prides itself on its famous beaches Alvor, Tres-Irmaus and Praia da Rocha with the fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar, as well as the cathedral (XIV century), the church of Colegio, the Roman ruins of Villa Abikada IV century), numerous fish restaurants and the Algarve casino. The ruins of the ancient necropolis of Alcalar (1600 BC) and the ruins of Roman settlements lie 66 km from Faro. The delightful scenery of the resort of Carvoeiro (60 km from Faro) with bizarre cliffs, grottoes and caves can be seen on many promotional brochures of the country.
Founded by the Romans, Estoril has always been a place of exile for crowned people, and now it is a fashionable resort with many beaches, ancient churches, plenty of of restaurants, shops and one of the largest casinos in Europe. Estoril is famous for its ancient fortresses on the rocks washed by the waters of the Atlantic - the Citadel and Boca de Inferno (Devil's Fortress) are considered the landmark of Costa do Sol. Halfway from Cascais to Sintra there is the westernmost point of Europe - Cape Roca (Cabo da Roca), and you can get a certificate of visiting the westernmost point of the mainland and see the famous stella at an altitude of 140 m above the sea level. In the storm, huge waves soar above the rocks, scattering hundreds of rainbows and creating an unforgettable picture of these gorgeous places.