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Country Facts

A land of discoverers in the 16th century, Portugal is today a country of sleepy villages, historic cities, an impressive coastline and rolling hillsides covered with olive groves, vineyards and plantations. Simple, traditional food, soulful music, and plebeian joys such as sipping a glass of port, watching the sunset, walking down medieval alleyways and sunbathing on a sandy beach, are what touch the Portuguese soul.

Get under their skin by reading 'The Return of the Caravels' by Antonio Lobo Antunes, listen to Amalia Roderigues as she does the traditional fado in 'O Melhor' and watch Wim Wenders' 'A Lisbon Story'.

  • Capital: Lisbon
  • Official Languages: Portugese
  • Government: Republic
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Zone: +0:00 GMT (5 ½ hrs behind India)
  • Telephone Calling Code: 00351

When To Go

Best time to visit: Mid-June to September (summer). In summer temperatures across the country average around 27°C. In July and August it gets hot and can go over 45°C. Spring and autumn are but warm with fewer crowds. It rains during winter from November to March and the average temperature is 11°C.

What To Do

Portugal is a seafood lover's paradise. Fresh fish, prawns and octopus, hold pride of place, while cod is most common. The cuisine is rich and flavoured with piri piri, black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, saffron, garlic, parsley and coriander. Portugese influences can be seen in Goan food, as well as tempura which they introduced to Japan.

What to eat and drink
  • Sardinhas asadas: Sardines grilled on charcoal
  • Arroz de Tamboril: Monkfish rice
  • Caldeirada: A bouillabaisse or stew with fish, shellfish, potatoes, tomato and onion
  • Alcatra: Beef marinated in red wine and garlic and then roasted
  • Carne de porco à alentejana: Fried pork with clams
  • Pasteis de nata: Custard Tarts
  • Caramel custard
  • Vinho: Tawny port
  • Green wine: Refers to the age, not colour of the drink

A fado music CD, football memorabilia, vintage port, handcrafted ceramics, tiles and lace, cork products, beach clothes and shoes.


Cosmos Globus

Escorted Tours

The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.

Unmatched selection, more included features, quality first class hotels, and vast experience make Globus the obvious choice for travelers who want more. The world leader in quality escorted travel, Globus delivers memorable vacation experiences with knowledgeable Tour Directors and local guides.


Travel Tips



By Air

Portugal is very well connected to the rest of the world. Some of the best connections from India are offered by Emirates Airline, Lufthansa, Air France, and KLM.

By Train

If you are visiting Portugal as part of a longer trip around Europe, a European Rail Pass may be more economical. There number of rail passes available covering certain regions as well as individual countries. There are reductions for passengers under 26.

For further information please contact us.


Taxis are plentiful in large towns and cities throughout Portugal. Taxis can be found at taxi ranks at railway stations in Portugal such as Gare do Oriente and Cais do Sodre in Lisbon, large city squares (Rossio in Lisbon), the airports in Porto, Lisbon and Faro or hailed on the street.

Most licensed taxis in Portugal will have a taxi sign on the roof and the driver's identity will be displayed inside the cab. Taxis throughout Portugal may well be beige-colored Mercedes, though other vehicles and colors are increasingly common.

Taxis in Portugal have meters so make sure the driver is using it. There is an initial flag-fall or bandeirada charge and then a charge for the distance covered.

Car Rental

To rent a car in Portugal, drivers must be over 25 and have held a licence for over 12 months. A minimum of Third Party insurance is obligatory within the EU. Lisbon, Faro and Porto airports offer a wide choice of car hire companies - which offer good car hire packages in Portugal and Spain.

Take extra care of your valuables and do not leave them in your car unattended.

Car rental is available throughout Portugal and usually it is not a problem to leave a rental car in a different place from where it was originally rented.

  • Wear Comfortable shoes. The cobblestone streets can also create unstable footing, and sometimes the roads are slippery. Also, many coastal towns can be very windy, blowing sand onto the walkways and streets.
  • Theft isn't a major problem in Portugal, but it's also not immune to it, and some tourists have complained about pickpockets in the downtown area.
  • Don't hop on public transportation without paying. Not only is this unethical but it can result in a hefty fine if caught. And the police do make random checks, even stopping buses at night to ensure that everyone on board has a valid ticket.

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