Located at the south-west point of Europe, Portugal is a country of possibilities. From the north to the islands you can explore the vast plain of Alentejo, the golden beaches in the Algarve, city breaks in Lisbon and Porto, taste the best Porto Wine in Douro Valley or discover the magnificent Islands of Madeira and Azores.
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.
UTC/GMT +1 hour
Portuguese, but English, French and Spanish are usually spoken.
Portugal enjoys plenty of sunshine and the climate varies considerably from one region to another and is influenced by the relief, latitude and proximity to the sea, which offers mild winters, especially in the Algarve.
Portugal’s currency is the Euro (€).
The electric current in Portugal is 230/400 volts at a frequency of 50 hertz. Plugs are the standard European two round pin (adaptors are sold at airports and supermarkets).
National Emergency Number: 112 (it’s a free number and allows you to contact police and emergency medical services).
Service is included in the bill in restaurants, though it is customary to leave an additional tip of about 5-10% of the total.
Since 1 January 2008, smoking has been prohibited in enclosed public spaces in Portugal.
Vehicles drive on the right in Portugal. All occupants must wear seat belts. It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre or more. The Portuguese Highway Code forbids the use of mobile phones while driving, unless you’re using hands-free equipment or an earphone.
There are some highways in Portugal on which the tolls are electronic only. It means that there are no cabins and the passing of vehicles is detected by devices placed at the beginning of those highways. The highways are identified at the beginning with: "Electronic toll only". For information about the roads covered by this system and the respective forms of payment for foreign vehicles please consult http://www.portugaltolls.com. In what concerns Portuguese vehicles, when hiring a car, please ask the hire company how payment is to be made regarding electronic tolls. For their customers convenience, some car hiring companies have installed devices on their vehicles and the costs of using the tolls are added at the client’s bill. If the vehicles are not equipped with electronic devices, the payment of electronic tolls is normally done by the customers at Post Offices (CTT) or at one of the shops signalized as “Payshop”. The payment can be made at the second day after having circulated at the roads mentioned above and for a period of five weekdays. When a payment term has passed, the driver is in violation of the rules, and fines will be added to the administrative costs.