Traveling Luck for Portugal
Portugal is located in Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain.
Portugal has borders with Spain for 1214km.
Land in Portugal is mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south.
Portuguese land covers an area of 92391 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Indiana
As for the Portuguese climate; maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south.
Portuguese (singular and plural) speak Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official - but locally used).
Places of note in Portugal
- Vila Nova de Gaia
- Rio de Mouro
- Rio Tinto
- São Domingos de Rana
- Castelo Branco
- Câmara de Lobos
Portuguese National Map
Regions of Portugal
Following its heyday as a world power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence in 1822 of Brazil as a colony. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.
Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community in 1986. Over the past decade, successive governments have privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country qualified for the European Monetary Union (EMU) in 1998 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU member economies. Economic growth had been above the EU average for much of the past decade, but fell back in 2001-05. GDP per capita stands at two-thirds that of the Big Four EU economies. A poor educational system, in particular, has been an obstacle to greater productivity and growth. Portugal has been increasingly overshadowed by lower-cost producers in Central Europe and Asia as a target for foreign direct investment. The government faces tough choices in its attempts to boost Portugal's economic competitiveness while keeping the budget deficit within the eurozone's 3%-of-GDP ceiling.
Portuguese natural resources include fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower
Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar
Portuguese religion is Roman Catholic 94%, Protestant (1995).
Natural hazards in Portugal include Azores subject to severe earthquakes.
- Portugal shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.
- Around three million British tourists visit Portugal every. Most visits are trouble-free. The main incidents for which British nationals require consular assistance are hospitalisation, especially relating to road traffic accidents, death, mainly from natural causes, and the replacement of their passport due to theft or loss. You should be alert to the risk of petty theft.
- We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake. Please see: Travel Insurance.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Portugal shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.
Please read Security and General Tips, and Risk of Terrorism when Travelling Overseas pages on the FCO website.
Crime remains comparatively low in Portugal but pickpocketing, handbag snatching and theft from cars are increasingly common in major tourist areas. Passports, credit cards, travel tickets and money should not be carried together in handbags or pockets. Leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. Do not leave any valuables in an unattended car.
Portuguese police recommend car windows and doors are closed and locked while driving at night in urban centres. Pedestrians are advised not to wear valuable jewellery or watches in public areas.
If hiring a car, you should ensure that the vehicle insurance is fully comprehensive and covers you and your passengers for all eventualities.
As a holidaymaker, you can bring your own vehicle to Portugal for a maximum of 180 days in any 12-month period. You must not use your vehicle for any other purpose or loan it to anyone else during that time. If you intend to stay longer, you must apply to the Portuguese Customs authority to have the car legally imported. You will be fined if you leave the country without your car.
The minimum age for driving is 18. You must possess a UK driving licence or an International Driving Permit. In addition to your licence, you must also carry your vehicle logbook or rental contract, proof of insurance and MOT certificate (if appropriate) together with all other relevant documentation. There are heavy on-the-spot fines for those who fail to do so.
You must carry a red warning triangle to place behind the vehicle in case of accident or breakdown and a reflective vest for use if you have to get out of your car. The wearing of seatbelts is compulsory in the front and rear of vehicles. Children under 12 must not travel in the front passenger seat. You must not carry spare petrol cans in the vehicle.
Fines for traffic offences are substantial in Portugal. Such infringements as speeding, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, the use of mobile phones whilst driving and illegal parking are heavily penalised. Special emphasis is also placed on the use of child safety seats and seat belts in the rear of the vehicle. The police have the authority to fine on-the-spot and most of their vehicles are now equipped with portable ATM machines to facilitate immediate payment. The Portuguese Highway Code can be found (in Portuguese) at: http://www.dgv.pt
Driving regulations and customs are different from those in the UK and the accident rate is higher. Visitors are advised to take extra care when crossing busy roads, especially late at night. This includes crossing at zebra crossings which are often badly lit and poorly marked. UK organisations such as the AA or RAC should be able to provide detailed advice.
LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS
- be accompanied by a parent or guardian,
- be met at the airport or point of entry by a parent or guardian, or
- carry a letter of authorisation to travel from a parent or guardian. The letter should name the adult responsible for the minor during his/her stay.