The untamed, west coast of Portugal is literally, a surfer’s paradise. Portugal is one of the most charming destinations in Europe. From the cosmopolitan cities of Lisbon and Porto to welcoming beaches of the Algarve the best known Portuguese region to most European tourists. The Algarve offers a variety of holiday resorts, beautiful beaches with over 69 blue flag beaches and year round sunshine. Since Portugal is so compact, it’s easy to explore the more remote beauty spots by car. Goeasy Travel has arranged the best value Car Rentals in Portugal, pick any location, Portugal is a land of infinite options and astonishing beauty.
Lying immediately west of Spain, Portugal is one of Europe’s smallest countries measuring a mere 560 km in length and 220 km wide. Home to 10.5-million people the country is blessed with beautiful weather. The natural advantages of a sunny country with such diverse geographic features have turned Portugal into a chosen destination for many holidaymakers. The stunning golden beaches of the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost province, with its white-sand beaches and distinctive architecture. check out the wonderful silver coast and the choices of river cruises on the River Douro offering a wonderful chance to experience the towns that make the famous ports and wines of that area. Discover the area of Alentejo with new direct flights from London Heathrow into Beja Airport allowing you to explore this unspoilt area of Portugal and gives you the ability to take trips in to the neighbouring spanish Towns. Other towns to consider in Alentejo are Redonodo (renowned for it’s pottery), Vila Vicosa, Estremoz, Monsaraz and the carpet making town of Arraiolos.
Restaurants & Food
Portuguese food is excellent, cheap and served in quantity. Virtually all cafés, whatever their appearance, will serve you a basic meal, or at least a snack. Regional differences aren’t as great as in Spain, but it’s always worth going for fish, especially in Lisbon, but can be expensive. Table service is normal. If you’re not unhappy with the service, a reasonable restaurant tip is about 10%. For a snack, a bit of loose change is enough.
Accomodation throughout Portugal and the Algarve
There is a wide range of accommodation available all over Portugal, ranging from self catering accommodation, bed and breakfast hotels, luxury Hotels, Pensions, Boarding Houses and Inns to simple Guesthouses, Manor Houses, Campsites and Youth Hostels.
Classification of Hotels is according to the international 1- to 5-star system and their prices are officially approved. Apartment hotels are classified from 2- to 4-star, Motels from 2- to 3-star and Boarding Houses from 1- to 4-star.
The government-run pousadas offer very good value and are often situated in places of scenic beauty in converted castles, palaces or old inns offering modern tourism facilities, and quaint and personalized means of accommodation.
Weather in Portugal
Mild year round. Summers are dry and clear, with warm sunshine extending long into Autumn. Winters are moderately cool and are the rainiest time of year, except in subtropical Madeira, where there is little rain. Mid-Summer temperatures range in the 70 F, while Winter temperatures range from the low to mid-50s.
Family Holidays in Portugal
Portugal is the perfect choice for a family holiday due to the rang of accommodation available as well as the lovely Blue flag beaches and the variety of activities on offer. From horse riding, tennis, golf, wind surfing, sailing and many more. There are many tour operators that specialise in Family holidays such as ClubMed and Mark Warner which goeasy travel offer excellent deals throughout the year.
Honeymoons in Portugal
Whether it’s a short romatic break of a week or two of luxury, Portugal offers an excellent choice for any honeymoon. why not combine the two with a city break in Lisbon and then a week at the coast in Algarve in one of the many 5 star boutique luxury hotels or if on a budget a one of the many self catering options available in the Algarve.
Weddings in Portugal
Getting married in Portugal is not as easy as some other countries in europe. There is the small detail of a minimum residency requirement of 30 days. On top of this the bride and groom will need 4 witnesses, a certificate of no impediment and certified translations of all required documents above issued within the last 6 months with apostille stamps.
As always with a marriage in europe the bride and groom will require the following documents
“Full birth certificates showing both parents’ names
“If divorced, you will need to provide your original final divorce papers
“If widowed, you will need to provide the death certificate of your former spouse
“If either the bride or groom have changed their name then legal proof of the name change will be required.
Lastly the Bride and groom cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption
If you would like more information or a quotation on a wedding in Portugal please complete our Wedding Planner
Golf in Portugal
If golf is your game then Portugal is the place to go. There are so many excellent championship courses to choose from the hardest part is deciding where to go and which golf courses to play. If you decide on the Algarve you can’t go wrong by staying in one of the many hotels in Villamoura and using the free golf shuttle bus to get from your accommodation to the golf course.
For more information on Portugal Golf Courses
Portugal Banks and Currency
The Euro banknotes and coins are used in Portugal. Traveler’s checks and Eurocheques are widely accepted, as are most credit cards, including American Express, Diner’s Club, Eurocard, MasterCard and Visa. Many automated teller machines are tied to international networks, such as Cirrus and Plus.
Banks: From 8:30 am to 3 pm from Monday to Friday; closed on official holidays.
Visa Requirements for Portugal
Portugal, along with Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain , forms part of the border-free travel zone subject to the Schengen Agreement. No visas are required for EU nationals. Nationals of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA can stay for 90 days visa-free. Everyone else needs a visa.
Calling Home from Portugal
International phone calls can be made direct from almost any telephone booth in the country, but in smaller rural towns you’ll need a good deal of patience to get a line – making calls at a post office phone section is easier. Phone cards are available from post offices and newsagents. There is no cheap-rate period for international calls.
The domestic operator number is 118;
For international assistance – and collect calls – 098.
Incase of an Emergency – Portugal is a remarkable crime-free country, though there’s the usual petty theft in Lisbon and the larger tourist resorts. Rented cars are always prey to thieves – leave them looking as empty as possible.
Dial 112 for all emergencies.
Events in Portugal
The large towns offer a huge variety of entertainment. There are many nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, stage shows, folk dancing and music performances. The traditional Fado can be heard in many restaurants and performances usually begin at about 10.00 in the evening. The theatre season runs from October to May, or you can visit one of Portugals casinos in Estoril, Figueira DA Foz, Espinho, Alvor, Vilamoura or Monte Gordo.
Driving & car hire in Portugal
In Portugal all road traffic drives on the right. You will need legal ID; valid national or international driving license, both with photographs, car registration documents or equivalent, proof of ownership of the vehicle or equivalent and insurance certificate. In the case of a hire car, the driver should also bear the hire contract. In addition to any speed limits indicated by the signs, drivers of cars and motorcycles are subject to the following speed limits: 50 km/hour (31 mph) on towns and villages, and 90 km/hour (55 mph) and/or 120 km/hour (75 mph) on main roads or motorways.
On the spot fines are applied for speeding and other traffic fines. Seat belts are compulsory in front and rear of vehicles at all times. The alcohol limit in Portugal is 0.05%. A alcohol reading of more than 0.12% will result in imprisonment.
Goeasy Travel has arranged the best value Car Rentals in Portugal for you. If you are thinking of renting a holiday car hire in Portugal then call 0844 811 2550 for a personal quotation. If you prefer a more personalised car hire experience then rent with First Car Rentals or Zitauto, they only accept cash and don’t have a desk in the terminal but they have a booth in the car park so no need to take a shuttle bus from the airport to the hire a car and they have great cars.
Essential Information about Portugal
Capital City – Lisbon
Language – Portuguese
Currency – Euro
Electricity – 220V
Flight Time – Average 2 to 4 hours from London
Time Difference – Mainland and Madeira GMT other than 27 March to 11 October GMT +1 hour
For more information see the Portugal Tourist Board