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The natural advantages of a sunny country with diverse geographic features, the genuine hospitality of the Portuguese people and the nation's vast monumental, artistic and archaeological heritage have turned Portugal into the chosen destination for international holidaymakers.

Portugal's strength as a holiday destination is its diversity - mountains, vast arid plains, sub-tropical volcanic islands and lush meadows, as well as hundreds of kilometres of gleaming white beaches offering the opportunity for a rejuvenating yet restful break at any time of the year.

For a relatively small nation, Portugal has surprising gastronomic variety featuring homemade bread, meat and shellfish.

Portuguese food is inexpensive, delicious and served in generous portions.

Meals may be complemented with Portugal's good quality wines (vinhos) or port - the drink synonymous with Portugal.

The nation's best-known musical form is the melancholic fado (songs believed to have originated from the pinings of 16th-century sailors), while traditional folk dancing remains popular in rural towns.

Portugal's rich literary tradition also has its origins in the 16th century, with the publication of works by the dramatist Gil Vicente and the poet Luís de Camões.

The most striking craft is the making of decorative tiles known as azulejos, a technique the Portuguese learnt from the Moors.

Portugal remains one of the most affordable and fascinating destinations in the world.




Name: Republic of Portugal

Independence: 1143 (Kingdom of Portugal recognized); 5 October 1910 (independent republic proclaimed)

Government: Unitary Semi-Presidential Constitutional Republic

Anthem: "A Portuguesa"

Area: 92,391 sq km

Population: 10.7 million

Capital City: Lisbon

Language: Portuguese. Spanish, French, and English are the most common second languages

Religion: 89% Roman Catholic, 4% Protestant, 7% other

Driving: On the Right

Dialing Code: +351

Internet Country Code: .pt

Time: UTC +1 (+2 from last Sun in Mar. to Sat before last Sun in Oct.)

Flag Description: Two vertical bands of green (hoist side, 2/5) and red (3/5) with the Portuguese coat of arms centered on the dividing line

Natural Resources: fish, forests (cork), tungsten, iron ore, uranium ore, marble, arable land

Major Industries: Textiles, footwear, wood products, metalworking, oil refining, chemicals, fish canning, wine, tourism and agriculture

Major Trading Partners: EU (mainly Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the UK)

Constitution: 25 April 1976, revised 30 Oct 1982, 1 Jun 1989, 5 Nov 1992, 3 Sep 1997, 12 Dec 2001, 24 Jul 2004 and 12 Aug 2005

Legal System: Civil law system

National Holiday: Portugal Day, 10 June (1580); (also called Camões Day, the day that national poet Luís de Camões (1524-80) died)

Inflation Rate: 1.3% (February 2017)

Currency: Euro (EUR) €

Voltage: The voltage is 220 volts AC 50Hz,
with a continental round pin plug

Painel de azulejos no interior da ESTAÇÃO DE SÃO BENTO, PORTO



An independent kingdom since 1143, Portugal established its continental frontiers in 1297 and is one of the oldest nations in Europe.

Situated on the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, its geographic location along the Atlantic coast determined its vocation to the sea

The vast monumental, artistic and archaeological heritage does witness not only the 850 years of history of encounters with distant cultures, but also the presence in the territory of more ancient peoples (Celts, Suevians, Visigoths, Romans and Arabs).

In 1415, the Portuguese set sail on an epic voyage that would make them the first to discover the ocean routes to India, Brazil, China and Japan, and also founded settlements on the east and west coasts of Africa.

Traces of this worldwide historic presence may be seen as trademarks of the Portuguese genius.

The Portuguese language became one of the most widely spoken in the world, and the Portuguese people were privileged for being exposed to so many different civilizations.

The 19th century saw an expansionist period, when the Empire took over African colonies such as Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde.

In more recent times history was dominated by the dictatorial regime of Salazar, with opinion polarised about the pros and cons of his rule.

The "'Carnation Revolution" of 1974, an effectively bloodless left-wing military coup, resulted in broad democratic reforms being implemented.

Portugal is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It entered the European Community in 1986.