Area: 92,142 sq km (35,655 sq
Population: 10,084,245 (July
Population Growth Rate: 0.18% (2002 est.)
Population Density: 112.0 per sq km.
Ethnicity / Race: homogeneous
Mediterranean stock; citizens of black African
descent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization
number less than 100,000; since 1990 East Europeans
have entered Portugal
Language: Portuguese. English
is widely spoken within the business community
Currency: The Euro is now the
official currency of 12 EU member states (including
Portugal). The first Euro coins and notes were
introduced in January 2002; the Portuguese Escudo
was still in circulation until 28 February 2002,
when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro
(€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations
of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins
are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50,
20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
Religion: Roman Catholic.
Time: GMT (GMT + 1 from last
Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
110 volts in some areas and 220 DC in parts of
the south. Continental two-pin plugs are in use.
Health: A yellow fever vaccination
certificate is required from travellers over 1
year of age arriving in (or going to as a destination)
the Azores or Madeira, if coming from infected
areas. However, no certificate is required from
passengers transiting through Funchal, Porto Santo
and Santa Maria.
Customs: Portugal is a country
of astonishing beauty and diversity, not to mention
clear blue skies and friendly, courteous people.
Pick any destination and the view from your window
might be a rugged stretch of windswept coastline
(Cabo do São Vicente, Castelejo, Cabo Espichel),
a pristine beach where fishermen mend their nets
beside brightly painted sardine boats (Albufeira,
Bordeira, Praia do Camilo) or a cobbled street
overlooked by dazzling whitewashed houses with
wooden balconies and red-tiled roofs.
Portugal is a land of infinite options. You can
mingle with the crowds in one of the more sophisticated
beach resorts or wander through the medieval quarters
of historic cities like Lisbon, Porto, Braga or
Coimbra. To explore the more remote beauty spots
(car hire is relatively cheap, driving a delight)
stay overnight in a romantic pousada – a
converted farm, monastery or manor house enjoying
a wonderful setting – an amazing bargain.
If it’s an activity holiday you’re
looking for, Portugal is one of Europe’s
premier golfing destinations while the tennis
schools are second-to-none. You could try your
hand at big game fishing or horseriding, learn
how to windsurf or water ski. Other unmissable
experiences include Fado (Portugal’s answer
to soul music), country fairs where centuries
old folk traditions are lovingly reenacted, Port
wine tastings and mouthwatering fish suppers.
Portugal is a country ripe for discovery.
Communications: Country code:
351. Outgoing international code: 00