Portugal was a world power in 15th and 16th century but was reduced to rubbles during an earthquake in 1755, Napoleon’s Invasion and Brazil’s Independence. Sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Spain and bordering Atlantic Ocean by both west and south coast it is popular for its long and varied coastline, sunny climate and the charming towns makes it a traveler’s paradise. Lisbon is the capital of Portugal.

The best thing about Portugal is that despite being a part of modern Europe one can still find the rural dwellings which has stood by time and has preserved its traditions. While modern architectural marvels like high-rise resorts dot the coast in the Southern province of the Algarve, Lisbon on the west coast on the other hand is a crowded city home to many fine tourist resorts. If you want to go back in time you have to just travel few miles north or east where you will see scenic countryside still resemble medieval villages and towns of earlier centuries.

Population & Languages

The population of Portugal is roughly 10.6 million and the official language being spoken is Portuguese. Mirandese is also second officially language spoken in some parts of Portugal.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It shares the Iberian Peninsula with Spain in north and east and borders Atlantic Ocean by both west and south coast.

Climate

The climate of Portugal can be classified into two. It is oceanic in the north and Mediterranean in the south. It is also one of the warmest countries of Europe. The average temperatures in the mainland are 13°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south. Summers are hot and dry. Winters are cold and wet. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Portugal.

Local Customs

Casual dressing is acceptable. But keep in mind not to wear beachwear in towns. Smoking is allowed after meals in Restaurants. Smoking is prohibited in theatres, cinemas and buses. Tipping is 10 to 15 percent in restaurant and hotels and 10 percent to taxis.

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Portugal is TAP Air Portugal (TP). The airlines operates direct flights to many destinations like Faro, Lisbon and Porto from a number of countries, including Canada, France, Spain, the UK and USA. Portugalia Airlines (NI) operates flights from Europe. Many popular airlines that fly to Poland from UK are British Airways, GB Airways and Monarch Airlines, Easyjet, bmibaby, Jet 2, MyTravelLite, Flybe, Flyglobespan and SATA.The biggest airport is Lisbon International Airport which is located like 4.5 miles north of the city.

By Sea – The main ports for international passengers are Lisbon, Leixes (Oporto), Funchal (Madeira) and Portimão (Algarve), served by Cunard, Italia, Linea C, Olympia, P&O and Union Cas

By Rail – If coming from UK, the fastest way is to get on Eurostar train to Paris and from Paris to Portugal by Sud-Express.

Road – Spain is the only country sharing border with Portugal. The major border posts are open most of the time now.