Forest Soul Gathering 2019 ❂ 2nd Edition

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Portugal WikiTravel 2017-12-26T23:20:23+00:00

Portugal shares the Iberian peninsula at the south-western tip of Europe with Spain. Geographically and culturally somewhat isolated from its neighbour, Portugal has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Although it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, the end of dictatorship and introduction of Democracy in 1974, as well as its incorporation into the European Union in 1986, has meant significantly increased prosperity. It may now be one of the best value destinations on the Continent. This is because the country offers outstanding landscape diversity, due to its North-South disposition along the western shore of the Iberian peninsula. You can travel in a single day from green mountains in the North, covered with vines and all varieties of trees to rocky mountains, with spectacular slopes and falls in the Centre, to a near-desert landscape in the Alentejo region and finally to the glamorous beach holidays destination Algarve. The climate, combined with investments in the golfing infrastructure in recent years, has also turned the country into a golfing haven. Portugal was recently named “Best Golf Destination 2008” by readers of Golfers Today, a British publication. Fourteen of Portugal’s courses are rated in the top 100 best in Europe. If you want a condensed view of European landscapes, culture and way of life, Portugal might very well fit the bill. As well as sedate golfing, Portugal is THE epicentre of the finest surfing in Europe, it’s pristine beaches during autumn/winter time attracting surfers with the massive waves rolling off the mighty Atlantic.

Portugal is 900 years old, and even though it has a relatively small area, it played a crucial role in world history. As of today, it is the oldest country in Europe with the same borders. During the 15th and 16th centuries Portugal started a major chapter in world history with the New World Discoveries (“Descobrimentos”). It established a sea route to India, and colonized areas in Africa (Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde…), South America (Brazil), Asia (Macau,…), and Oceania (East-Timor,…) creating an empire. The Portuguese language continues to be the biggest connection between these countries.

In 1910, the Republic was established, abolishing the monarchy. However, this Republic was fragile and a military dictatorship was implemented, which lasted for 46 years, plunging the country into a marked stagnation. In 1974, Portugal became a free democracy, and in 1986 it joined the current European Union, quickly approaching European standards of development.

Portugal is one of the warmest European countries. In mainland Portugal, yearly temperature averages are about 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south. Madeira and Azores have a narrower temperature range as expected given their insularity, with the former having low precipitation in most of the archipelago and the latter being wet and rainy. Spring and Summer months are usually sunny and temperature maximum are very high during July and August, with maximums averaging between 35°C and 40°C (86°F – 95°F) in the interior of the country, 30°C and 35°C in the north. Autumn and Winter are typically rainy and windy, yet sunny days are not rare either. Temperatures rarely fall below 5°C (41°F) nearer to the sea, averaging 10°C (50°F), but can reach several degrees below 0°C (32°F) further inland. Snow is common in winter in the mountainous areas of the north, especially in Serra da Estrela but melts quickly once the season is over. Portugal’s climate can be classified as Mediterranean (particularly the southern parts of the Algarve and Alentejo, though technically on Atlantic shore).


Regions of Portugal

Northern Portugal
A historic region that is considered the birthplace of the nation. Includes the second largest city, Porto.
North Central Portugal
South Central Portugal
The capital, Lisbon, Estremadura and the Upper Alentejo.
Southern Portugal
The beaches and sun of the Algarve and the laid-back pace of the Lower Alentejo.
  • Albufeira – Main tourist destination in the Algarve.
  • Aveiro – the “Venice” of Portugal.
  • Braga – city of Archbishops.
  • Coimbra – home of the ninth oldest university in the world.
  • Évora – “Museum City”, Alentejo regional capital.
  • Faro – The administrative centre of the Algarve.
  • Fátima – Pilgrimage destination.
  • Funchal – the capital of Madeira.
  • Guimarães – the founding place of the nation.
  • Lisbon – national capital, city of the seven hills.
  • Porto – “Unvanquished City”, along the river Douro and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Viana do Castelo – Famous for the Nossa Senhora da Agonia Festival.
Portugal Transportation, Visa and More 2017-12-26T23:21:11+00:00

Portugal is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty – the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union. This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country).

Please see the article Travel in the Schengen Zone for more information about how the scheme works and what entry requirements are.

Almost all major airlines fly to Portugal (British Airways, Air France/KLM, Lufthansa, United, American, Turkish, Emirates, Air Canada, Iberia …), besides the country’s own TAP Portugal and SATA/Azores Airlines. In addition, there are some cheap fares to be had from no-frills airlines, like Aer Lingus, Monarch, easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling who are flying to Lisbon (LIS), Porto (OPO) and Faro (FAO) at good prices. There are three international airports in the mainland: Lisbon/Portela/Humberto Delgado (in the north of the city, and not far from the centre), near Loures; Porto/Pedras Rubras/Sá Carneiro (also north of the city and relatively close to it), in Maia; and Faro, in the Algarve.

The Madeira and Azores Islands also have international airports, Madeira/Funchal(FNC); Ponta Delgada (PDL)(São Miguel island); Terceira/Lajes (TER). You may also find occasional international flights into other airports, such as Porto Santo (PXO) or Pico (PIX).

From the United States, American Airlines offers flights to Lisbon via Philadelphia (seasonally), SATA International/Azores Airlines from BostonOakland and Providence(seasonally) to the Azores continuing on the the mainland, TAP Portugal from NewarkMiamiNew York and Boston, and United from Newark and Washington(seasonally).

Trains reach most larger cities from Lisbon to Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Coimbra, Evora, Faro. Lisbon is connected to MadridSpain; Porto to VigoSpain; Vilar Formoso to Spain, France and the rest of Europe. In the South it is not possible to enter Portugal from Spain. There are no train connections from i.e. Sevilla to Faro. The only option is to use buses, there are many. For more information, contact: CP [1], Portuguese Railways. is a taxi cab central with national coverage working 24 hours a day You check correct taxi fares here at this taxi fare calculator to have an idea of hotel/airport transfers or any other tour you want to make. There’s an app for Android to ask a taxi “just in time” or book to a later date or you can book it. National/International customer support phone numbers are available on the website.

  • The country is served by numerous sea ports that receive a lot of foreign traffic, mostly merchant but also passengers boats (mainly cruisers).
More about Portugal ( Wikitravel )
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