Portugal is located at the western end of the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain and the Atlantic Ocean, with over 1 000 Kilometers of seacoast. The country joined the European Union in 1986, the Eurozone in 2001 adopting the Euro as its currency and it has been a member of the Schengen Area since 1995.
Portugal was recently through an economic crisis and it received economic aid from the European Union and the IMF (International Monetary Fund). It is important to consider the opportunities brought up by an economic crisis, especially regarding real state investments. Portugal has made some impressive progress, it registered deficit reductions and trade balance improvements. These improvements have been obtained through the detriment of employment and domestic consumption; nevertheless, Portugal is the world’s 43th economic power.
Portugal is geo- strategically located liking Europe, America and Africa through enforced airline transit and outstanding transport infrastructure (roads and ports).
Portugal is certainly an Atlantic country having a 1000km coastline offering amazing and unique beach landscape. You will find small sheltering creeks with wide sandy extensions. White sand, transparent and tepid water give the sea its emerald color making you want to dive in. The Algarve beach was awarded the “Best beach” prize by Travel Choice in 2013. Only a few miles from Lisbon, you will also find a row of beaches that offer excellent conditions for a relaxing stay, walk by the sea and for practicing many water sports. Beaches facing west have a special additional charm: Atlantic sea sunsets.
The Mediterranean climate is among the mildest in Europe and offers pleasant days all year long. Average temperatures range from 13°C in winter and 24°C in summer. 300 sunny days provide beautiful sunlight everywhere.
The population is estimated nowadays of 10,5million. The Portuguese tend to be kind, polite, welcoming and reserved. Foreigners will feel very welcome but not harassed.
Criminal record statistics in Portugal is one of the lowest in Europe and the country was classified as the 17th most peaceful country among the 153 countries participating in the Global Peace Index 2011.
Portugal’s heritage comes from a long history; today Portugal is one of the oldest nations in Europe. Its past brought a rich heritage across the whole territory, which includes roman ruins, medieval cathedrals, monasteries, churches and much more.
The country is home to an incredible and abundant biodiversity, counting 15 Natural Parks and the sea includes its far-reaching continental platform over the Atlantic Ocean. Its landscape is protected by environmental laws and so is its urban heritage, preserving not only paradisiac refuges in the mountain, in the countryside and by the sea, but also the Portuguese architecture that shows diversified and distinctive traits from north to south. The historical and natural context materialise countless cultural expressions that include popular and religious events and festivities, expressed through music, literature and artistic traditions, either in its most genuine original versions or in contemporary reinterpretations that will pleasantly surprise you.
Portuguese gastronomy shows an enormous diversity, it is rich in flavour and it promotes togetherness. You will be able to taste the freshest fish captured along the Portuguese coastline, stuffed and smoked meat, cheeses and dishes made with fresh meat and vegetables, in simple recipes seasoned with herbs and spices, combining embodies flavours from other lands and other seas, as a result of a maritime past discovering new worlds and new eating habits. In the main cities, you can find, not only traditional dishes but also a vast choice of international and multicultural fusion alternatives. Portuguese wines are produced in 14 certified regions, from 285 different grape varieties, and are highly appreciated in the country and abroad, with very competitive price.
Local Time: Greenwich Mean Time
International dialling code: +351