Fact file: Portugal

Did you know?
You can adopt a wild Iberian wolf on your visit and help to stop this species becoming extinct, through Grupo Lobo or at the Centro de Recuperacao do Lobo outside Lisbon.
Language
Portuguese
Visas
None required for EU citizens.
Getting there
Direct flights to the capital Lisbon, Porto and Faro from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Stansted and Teeside.
Flying time from London
Two hours 45 minutes
Getting around
Buses are the quickest way to get around, although trains are cheaper. Car hire is readily available but fuel is expensive. Local transport includes trams, buses and cheap taxis. Lisbon has a metro system. There are ferries and boats between some coastal towns.
Currency
Euro
Costs
As a rough guide: pint of beer £1.50, average meal £8-10, litre of petrol 60p.
Weather
The popular Algarve is pleasant in the temperate winters (average 16C/65F in Faro) as well as the scorching summers (28C/90F in July-August). Portugal-wide the weather is good between April to October. The wettest season is November-March; the soggiest regions are in the extreme north and the central mountains. The ski season runs from January-March.
Time difference
None, it's on GMT
International dialling code from the UK
00 351
Voltage
220V, 50Hz
Opening hours
Shops open 9/9.30am-1pm and from 3-7pm, as there is a long lunch. Most closed Saturday afternoons and Sunday. Office hours are weekdays 9am-1pm, then 3-5pm. Banks open weekdays 8.30am-2.30/3pm. Museums open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-12.30pm, then 2-5pm.
Health - Before you go
You do not need any vaccinations to visit Portugal and none are recommended.
Health - When you are there
Portugal has reciprocal health arrangements with the UK. You'll need to take an EHIC form (from post offices) to claim any medical expenses.
Warnings
Be careful driving or walking near traffic as Portugal has one of the highest per capita road accident rates in Europe. Atlantic currents in some coastal areas are dangerous, so be careful on beaches not identified as safe. Don't risk sea swimming if unsure.
Emergency
National emergency for police, fire, ambulance, dial 112. British Embassy, Rua de Sao Bernardo 33, 1200 Lisbon, Tel. 1 392 4000.
Customs
Bargaining is acceptable in markets but be prepared, as the Portuguese are very good at it. In churches and small villages away from resorts, dress conservatively. In religious festivals remember that the procession is solemn and the party starts afterwards - don't confuse the two.
Pets
Portugal is part of the Pet Travel Scheme, which requires stringent health checks by vets and the correct paperwork.
Tipping
Tip around 10% in restaurants; loose change is enough for a snack. Taxis appreciate about 10%.
Tourist office
Portuguese Tourist Office, 22-25A Sackville Street, London, W1X 2LY. Tel. 09063 640 610. (60p a minute)


Telephone

+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

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