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Travel Destinations Arrow Just the Facts on Portugal
Just the Facts on Portugal
Welcome to Portugal, One and All
Welcome to Portugal one and all....

Portugal offers the diversity of a continent in a compact, easy-to-navigate country. Whether you are looking for hilltop castles, beachfront villages, ancient Roman Ruins, cosmopolitan cities- or anything and everything in between- Portugal delivers.


Geography:
Portugal measures 350 miles from North to South and 138 miles at its widest point- making it one of Europe's smallest countries- just slightly larger than the state of Indiana. Two Island groups, the Azores and Madeira, are included in its borders.

Population:
10 million warm and friendly people.

Climate:
Mild year-round. Summers are dry and clear, with warm sunshine extending long into autumn; winters are moderately cook and the rainiest time of year.

Tipping:
- 10 percent tip is sufficient for taxi rides, for restaurants, a ten percent tip is customary.

Passport & Visa:
U.S. citizens need only a valid passport to enter Portugal.

Time Zone:
Continental Portugal and Madeira are on Greenwich time-five hours ahead of Eastern Time, eight ahead of Pacific. The Azores are one hour behind the Portuguese mainland. Daylight savings time begins the last Sunday in March.

Business & Banking Hours:
Banks are open weekdays from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Shops are open weekdays from 9:00am until 1:00pm and from 3:00pm until 7:00pm; Saturday hours are 9:00am to 1:00pm. Museums are not open on Mondays in Portugal.

Shopping:
Lovely hand painted pottery, glazed tiles and porcelain are among the country's most treasured offerings, and can usually be shipped home by freight. Filigree jewelry, beautifully embroidered table linens and silk bedspreads, and fine woven baskets are other Portugal specialties.

Regional Best Buys Include:
Lisbon:- Handmade leather goods, basketwork and ceramics.
Castel Branco:- hand stitched bedspreads, black pottery, copper and wrought iron
Algarve:- Almond specialties, liqueurs, marzipan, ceramics, jewelry
Madeira:- Embroidered cloth goods, wicker and tapestries.
Azores:- Embroidery and lace, wicker.

Market Days:
Portugal's markets present great opportunities to mingle with the locals and catch a glimpse of Portuguese rural life.

ALBUFEIRA: Second Saturday of the month
BARCELOS: Every Thursday
CARCAVELOS: Every Wednesday
COIMBRA: Last Saturday of the Month
ESTREMOZ: Every Saturday
LAGOS: First Saturday of the month
LISBON: Feira da Ladra, Tuesdays and Saturdays
PORTIMAO: Every Sunday
PORTO: Antique Fair, every second and fourth Saturday of the month
SINTRA: Feira de Sao Pedro, second and fourth Sunday of every month

Holidays:
January 1- New years Day
March 4- Mardi Gras
April 18- Good Friday
April 20- Easter Sunday
April 25- Liberty Day
May1- Labor Day
June 10- Portugal's and Camoes Day
June 19- Corpus Christi
August 15- Assumption
October 5- Republic Day
November 1- All Saints Day
December 1- Independence day
December 8- Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 24- Christmas Eave
December 25- Christmas Day


Pousadas and Manor Houses:
Portugal's preservation efforts have transformed over 44 castles, convents, monasteries and other monuments into comfortably appointed pousada accommodations that combine Old World elegance and modern amenities.

Target market at a glance:
Culture & History:- Evora, Lisbon, Sintra, Coimbra, Guimaraes, Porto, Beiras

Golf :- The Algarve, Lisbon Coast,, Oeste

Cruise :- Lisbon, Porto, Funchal (Madeira), Ponta Delgada, the Azores.

Sun & Fun: - The Algarve, Lisbon Coast, the Alentejo Coast, Madeira

Pilgrimages :- Fatima, Braga, Tomar, Evora, Faro, Castelo de Vide

Eco- Tourism :- The Alentejo, the Algarve, the Azores, Madeira, Lisbon Coast, Beiras