Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Portugal Flag

Why visit Portugal?
Travelers seeking to enjoy archaeology, art, beaches, castles, churches, culture, golf, deep sea fishing, festivals, fishing villages, hiking, historical sites, history, horseback riding, kayaking, medieval villages, monasteries, mountain biking, remote mountains, nightlife, scenery, street cafes, surfing, trekking, vineyards, water sports, and windsurfing.  

Grotte de Benagil, Lagoa, Portugal. Photo Credit: Julius Silver/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Ceramic tiles, copper pans, cork items, embroidery, guitars, honey, leather goods, needlepoint carpets, olive oil, porcelain, Rooster of Barcelos, and wine.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Alheira (sausage), Bacalhau (codfish). Bolo de Arroz (rice muffin). Caldeirada (fish stew). Caldo Verde (soup). Carne de Porco à Alentejana (pork dish). Cataplana (seafood stew). Chouriço (pork sausage). Cozido à Portuguesa (stew). Dobrada (tripe). Farinheira (smoked sausage). Feijoada (stew). Gueijo Serra (cheese). Francesinha (sandwich). Leitao da Bairrada (roast pork). Pastéis de Belém (tart pastry). Presunto (cured ham). Rabanadas (dessert).
  • Local Drink to Try: Alentejo (wine). Douro (wine). Ginjinha (liquor). Licor Beirão (liquor). Medronho (spirit)Vinho da Madeira (wine). 

Porto, Portugal. Photo Credit: Nuno Lopes/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Sportsmanship dates back to 104 - 146AD. 
  • Between 726 - 1249 was part of al-Andalus. 
  • Name derives from the Roman-Celtic (Portus Cale);  present city of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.
  • Birthplace of António Egas Moniz (1874-1955), Neurologist who invented Cerebral Angiography and Leucotomy.
  • First country in the world to abolish life imprisonment (1884).
  • First country in the world to decriminalize use of common drugs (2001).
  • Minimum regulated wage by law (2022) is 705EUR monthly.
  • Home of Azores and Madeira Islands.
  • Oldest continuous nation state on the Iberian Peninsula.
  • Home to 6 terrestrial ecoregions.
  • Maximum prison sentences are limited to 25 years.
  • Top producer of cork. 
  • Douro Valley wine region was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for its dramatic culture and scenery.
  • Lisbon Oceanarium (Lisbon) is the largest amongst European countries.
  • Third largest exporter of chestnuts. 
  • Approximately 5–6 million people visit the Sanctuary of Fátima annually.
  • One of the founding members of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • Amongst the Top 10 largest olive oil producers in the world.
  • Soccer is their national sport.
  • One of the warmest countries in Europe.
  • Mount Pico (Pico Island) is the highest point. 
  • President is elected to a 5 year term.
  • Red flowers symbolize the revolution and white lilies are a symbol of death amongst locals.
  • Rooster of Barcelos is folklore of a dead rooster's intervention to the innocence of a man falsely accused and sentenced to death. 
  • Presides over 23 islands.
  • Vasco da Gama Bridge is the second largest in Europe.
  • Ramirez & Cia, is the oldest canned fish producer.
  • Military consists of Air Force, Army and Navy. 
  • Forest areas largely consist of Cork Oak, Eucalyptus, Holm Oak, and Stone Pine.
  • Northern Region has their own martial art (Jogo do Pau),
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima (Fatima) is one of the largest Roman Catholic shrines in the world.
  • Ranks amongst the most Top 20 visited countries in the world.

Photo Credit: Bernardo Ferreria/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Festa das Fogaceiras, (February) Carnival, International Chocolate Festival, (March) International Sand Sculpture Festival (FIESA), Porto Interceltic Festival, (May) Cantarinhas Fair, Fatima Pilgrimage, Festival of the Crosses, Lisbon Book Fair, Lisbon Parque Nações, Somersby Out Jazz, (June) Agricultura National Fair, Arraial Pride, Fado Fest, Festa de Sao Joao, Feast of Saint Anthony Festival, International Garden Festival, National Agricultural Fair, Rock in Rio-Lisboa, San Antonio Festival, Sintra Festival, (July) Boom Festival, Festa dos Tabuleiros, Festival of the Red Waistcoat, Medieval Market, NOS Alive, Paratissima, Rallye Biker, Sumol Summer Fest, (August) Cascais Festival of the Sea, EDP Vilar de Mouros Festival, Feira de São Mateus, Madeira Wine Rally, Neopop Festival, Ocean FestivalRio Formosa Festival, São Mateus Fair, Sea Festival, Silves Medieval Fair, (September) Avante, Festival de Gastronomia, Vinho Verde Wine Fest, (October) Baja Portalegre 500, Lisbon Marathon, (November) Feira Nacional do Cavalo Golegã, Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival, National Horse Fair, Porto Marathon, Sudoeste Festival, TransAlentejo Walking Festival, (December) Adiafas Festival & National Light Wine Festival, Festival of the Boys, and Pine Nuts Fair.   
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Liberty Day, May Day, Portugal Day, Corpus Christi, Assumption of Mary, Republic Day, All Saints' Day, Restoration of Independence, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and Christmas Day.

Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal. Photo Credit: jganzarain/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Adhere to local Tide Charts as beaches tend to disappear during high tide.
  • A developed country with high living standards.
  • Dinner hours tends to start between 8PM - 9PM.
  • Seacoast (Atlantic Ocean) is along the west side.
  • Majority of red wines are from Alentejo, Dao, and Douro.
  • Smoking is not prohibited in public places.
  • Speeding is unlawful.
  • Avoid public demonstrations.
  • Considered one of the world's best golf destinations.
  • Luxury travelers retreat along the Comporta Coast and Portuguese Riviera.
  • Towns still have cobblestoned streets.
  • It is illegal to photograph government buildings, military, and/or police.
  • Easily seen by bus, car rental, escorted tours, and/or rail.
  • Taxis rates increase after 9PM and during holidays.
  • Pepper Spray is illegal.
  • Most popular tourist areas are AlgarveCascaisCoimbra, Fatima, Lisbon, Madeira, and Porto.
  • Unlicensed Metal Detectors are illegal.

Douro Valley, Portugal. Photo Credit: Ramiro/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with three months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamp. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000EUR.

Belém Tower, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo Credit: Pedro Grão/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: May - June & September - October
  • Coldest Months: November - March
  • Hottest Months: June - September
  • Peak Season: June - September

Photo Credit: René Priebe/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Alcobaça Monastery, Angra do Heroísmo, Batalha Monastery, Belém Tower, Convent of Christ, Evora, Guimarães, Jerónimos Monastery, Pico Island, Porto, and Sintra.

Terreiro Do Paco, Lisbon, Portugal. Photo Credit: Pedro Grão/Pixabay 

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                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice.  

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