Portugal is a southern European country on the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean has influenced many aspects of Portugal's culture. The Algarve's beaches are famous the world over, and much of the nation’s architecture dates to the 1500s–1800s – when Portugal was a maritime superpower. Salt cod and grilled sardines are national dishes.
Portugal’s history is thought to extend as far back as 1000 BCE to the seafaring Phoenicians, who settled in the southern coast. The reality is that human habitation dates back much earlier. Megalithic ruins of stone circles, dolmens and menhirs have been dated to 4000-2000 BCE and cave paintings to 18000-13000 BCE (found near Evora in the Alentejo region). Over time, Portugal has been colonised by Celtic tribes, Romans (found in Evora in the Alentejo region and near Coimbra in the Beiras region), Vandals, Visigoths and Arabs (Moors). The Moors ruled Christian Portugal from 711 until they were overthrown in the 12th and 13th centuries. Moorish influence is felt in the Algarve and Lisbon coast regions. In the 15th century, Portugal pioneered the world in exploration seeking a sea route to India which monopolised the lucrative spice trade. Portugal went on to establish many colonies and create its own monopolies, discovering Brazil in 1500, which became it’s richest colony.
Its fascinating and rich history offers the intrepid traveller an unforgettable trip.
UK: Not required for a stay of up to 90 days in duration.
USA: Not required for a stay of up to 90 days in duration.
How to dress:
Clothes are generally of the western fashion, jeans and a t-shirt would fit in casually. Smart casual is generally worn for an evening out. Covering of shoulders, and a longer skirt or shorts are also recommended for women visiting religious sites.
Portugal is a predominantly Roman Catholic country with a close-knit family ethic. From early in the morning until the dead of night, the Portuguese can be found enjoying coffee at their local cafés. They meet to chat, read the paper, communally watch television, and visit neighbours at all hours. These establishments are magnets for communal watching of important sporting matches and are very much the hub of Portuguese communities.
Portugal doesn't have a tipping culture but usually between 5-10% is considered acceptable. Andante Travels will take care of tipping in restaurants.
Andante Travels will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers.