Portugal, Europe - JiveHippo.travel

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Welcome to Portugal

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

The Iberian nation of Portugal is a treasure trove for eager families of holidaymakers and budding adventurers, as well as for those who enjoy a relaxed vacation rich with history, culture and delicious cuisine. This small country, physically dwarfed by neighbouring Spain but with its own proud culture, Romance language and spectacular scenery, boasts a long and tumultuous history. It bears the marks left by Celts, Visigoths and Romans, as well as Moorish and Christian influences. Crumbling mist-shrouded palaces and ancient ruins still stand to bear witness to the wars and victories of the past, and the country is home to a number of fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as those at Tomar and Batalha.
This tiny nation is also famous for its spectacular countryside, which varies widely depending on where in the country you visit. There is over 800km of coastline to explore, some of it windswept and craggy and some of it blessed with secluded coves and stretches of pristine golden sand beaches such as those of the Algarve on Portugal’s southern coast. If you consider yourself a wine aficionado, head to the Douro valley, which is known for its fertile vineyards and the rich, velvety wine produced in them. But if you are a keen hiker, venture into the majestic rocky peaks of the Parque National da Peneda-Geres and lose yourself among the towering spires of granite.
Wherever you look, you are sure to be delighted by the picture-postcard beauty of Portugal’s landscape, and the food and local culture are just as rich and varied. The Portuguese feast on a typically Mediterranean diet of fresh seafood, olives, bread, cheeses and red wines. Don't miss the delectable custard tarts, known in Portuguese as pastel de nata. Portuguese cuisine benefits from the historic influence of Eastern spices but arose from wholesome peasant beginnings and differs from place to place, as many regions have their own local specialties. The Portuguese are also famously proud of their strong black espresso coffee, and during the winter months roasted chestnuts are considered a real treat.
 
There is plenty to see and do in Portugal, whatever your individual tastes or reasons for visiting. If history and culture are particular sources of fascination, then include on your itinerary visits to the beautiful ancient monuments in Lisbon, Porto and Sintra, and don’t miss out on a trip to the majestic Mafra Palace. Other historic gems well worth a visit are Viana do Castelo, Coimbra, Amarante, Viseu and Lagos, to name but a few. Wherever you travel in the country, you are sure to stumble upon a graceful old church or a time-ravaged monument.
If you prefer the bounties of nature to man-made treasures, delve into the ravines and climb the mountainous peaks of the Parque National da Serra da Estrela. Meanwhile, keen cyclists will jump at the opportunity to do the Algarve Cycle Tour, which involves riding along the mesmerising south-western coastline, exploring historic towns and villages and sampling delicious local seafood dishes.
Back in Lisbon, young travellers are sure to enjoy making the rounds of this vibrant city’s many sophisticated bars, cafes, clubs and casinos. Try your luck at the super-slick Casino Lisboa and finish the night at trendy club Lux, part-owned by John Malkovich, where you can listen to some of the top DJs in the world and watch the sun rise from the perfect vantage point of the nightclub’s spacious rooftop terrace. 
By choosing JiveHippo.travel for your holiday in Portugal, you guarantee yourself a fun-filled vacation in a land of stunning beauty, rich culture and delicious food. What more could you ask for?
There is plenty to see and do in Portugal, whatever your individual tastes or reasons for visiting. If history and culture are particular sources of fascination, then include on your itinerary visits to the beautiful ancient monuments in Lisbon, Porto and Sintra, and don’t miss out on a trip to the majestic Mafra Palace. Other historic gems well worth a visit are Viana do Castelo, Coimbra, Amarante, Viseu and Lagos, to name but a few. Wherever you travel in the country, you are sure to stumble upon a graceful old church or a time-ravaged monument.
If you prefer the bounties of nature to man-made treasures, delve into the ravines and climb the mountainous peaks of the Parque National da Serra da Estrela. Meanwhile, keen cyclists will jump at the opportunity to do the Algarve Cycle Tour, which involves riding along the mesmerising south-western coastline, exploring historic towns and villages and sampling delicious local seafood dishes.
Back in Lisbon, young travellers are sure to enjoy making the rounds of this vibrant city’s many sophisticated bars, cafes, clubs and casinos. Try your luck at the super-slick Casino Lisboa and finish the night at trendy club Lux, part-owned by John Malkovich, where you can listen to some of the top DJs in the world and watch the sun rise from the perfect vantage point of the nightclub’s spacious rooftop terrace. 

Climate

The climate in Portugal is very warm compared to other European countries, so much so that this Iberian nation can be classified as Mediterranean, despite the fact that a large portion of its coastline borders the Atlantic. Spring and summer are particularly sunny and hot, with temperatures often reaching as high as 35-40 degrees C, while the autumn and winter months can be rainy and windy, though not without a healthy amount of sunshine. 

Getting Around

There are many means of public transport in Portugal, one of them being the extensive railroad network. You will be able to get daily, weekly and monthly pases for the train services.

The tram service is Lisbon and Porto are efficient and charming.

You the public bus services, you will be able to get around Portugal cheaply and easily. Don´t always rely on the tourism timetable information, when you get to the bus station and buy a ticket they will give you a print out of fares and services.

Taxis are plentiful in the large towns and cities. Always use taxi drivers with meters, to avoid being overcharged.

Health

If you are visiting Portugal then you should get your European Health Insurance Card, (EHIC). This card entitles you to be able to get state provided medical care if needed.

If you are not able to get your EHIC and you need medical attention, you will need to show your travel insurance and have accessible funds to cover any costs.

Language

The Portuguese language is one of this small nation’s proudest possessions. While it sounds similar to Spanish, Portuguese is different — a fact which the Portuguese wish every tourist understood. Though it is widely spoken in Brazil, the pronunciation varies between the two countries. This Romance language is ranked sixth among the world’s major languages. English is also relatively widely spoken in Portugal, primarily in tourist areas, but you are not likely to be understood everywhere you go. In a north-eastern town called Miranda Do Douro people speak their own regional language known as Mirandese.

 
The Portuguese language is one of this small nation’s proudest possessions. While it sounds similar to Spanish, Portuguese is different — a fact which the Portuguese wish every tourist understood. Though it is widely spoken in Brazil, the pronunciation varies between the two countries. This Romance language is ranked sixth among the world’s major languages. English is also relatively widely spoken in Portugal, primarily in tourist areas, but you are not likely to be understood everywhere you go. In a north-eastern town called Miranda Do Douro people speak their own regional language known as Mirandese.

Money

The currency of Portugal is the euro. ATMS which accept international cards can be found across the country, and there are a plethora of money-changing booths available. 

Safety

Portugals has a low crime rate however pickpocketing, bag snatching and theft from cars is common, mainly in the tourist areas.

You should be especially vigilant on public transport and always have your belongings safeguarded.

Report any loss of theft to a local police station.

Time

The time zone in Ponta Delgada is under the Azores Time Zone (UTC-01:00).

The time zone in Lisbon is under the Western European Time Zone (UTC+0:00).

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