Portugal

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About

Portugal Beach

  • Portugal is located in southwestern Europe and spreads over an area of approximately 92,391 sq km.
  • Portugal occupies the western part of the Iberian Peninsula
  • The official language of Portugal is Portuguese
  • Lisbon, the largest city in Portugal, and is also the country’s capital city.
  • Parliamentary democracy is followed in Portugal.
  • Majority of the Portuguese are Roman Catholic, with a very small proportion making up Protestants and other.
  • Portugal became a member of the European Union in the year 1986.
  • The country is crossed by three large rivers that rise in Spain, flow into the Atlantic, and divide the country into three geographic areas – Minho River, Douro River, and Tejo River

HISTORY

  • During the 15th and 16th centuries Portugal started a major chapter in world history with the New World Discoveries.
  • It established a sea route to India, and colonized areas in Africa, South America, Asia, and Oceania, creating an empire. The Portuguese language continues to be the biggest connection between these countries.
  • In 1910, the Republic was established, abolishing the Monarchy.
  • However, this Republic was fragile and a military dictatorship was implemented, which lasted for 40 years, plunging the country into a marked stagnation.
  • In 1974, Portugal became a free democracy, and in 1986 it joined the current European Union, quickly approaching European standards of development.

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FACTS

    • The University of Coimbra, established in 1290, is one of the oldest universities in Europe.
    • During the Roman times, Portugal was called Luisitania.
    • Portugal was founded by Alfonso Henriques, in 1152.
    • Vasco da Gama, the man who discovered the sea route to India, was Portuguese.
    • Bartholomew Diaz, a Portuguese explorer, was the first person to sail round the southern tip of Africa, which he named the Cape of Good Hope.
    • Pedro Alvarez Cabral, another Portuguese, discovered Brazil.
    • Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer who was financed by Spain, was the first to complete a circumnavigation of the world. He set the record in the year 1522.
    • The people of Madeira were given a special right to sell wine to Britain and all her colonies, by Charles II.
    • It is illegal to kill a bull in Portuguese bullfighting.
    • The last king of Portugal, King Manuel II, was deposed in 1910 and spent his life in exile in Twickenham, on the outskirts of London.
    • Portugal was an ally of Britain in the First Word War.
    • Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries.
    • The Kingdom of Portugal lasted from 1139 to 1910. The country has been a republic since 1910.
    • The oldest alliance in the world, still in force, is the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance, signed in 1373.
    • Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros and Parque Natural da Arrabida house well-preserved dinosaur tracks.
    • The modern Portuguese legal system has been influenced primarily by German law.
    • Abortion was legalized in Portugal, through a referendum, only in 2007.
    • The Vasco da Gama Bridge of Lisbon is the longest bridge in Europe.
    • Portugal set up the world’s first commercial wave farm to produce electricity, in the year 2006.
    • Estoril Casino, situated on the outskirts of Lisbon, is the largest gambling outlet in Europe.

Avg. Costs

Azores Island

  • In most places you can get a double room for € 25 – € 35. Be sure, however, of the quality of the rooms.
  • To open a bank account, there must be a minimum € 250 deposit.
  • Coffee/Tea € 0.70-1.50
  • Meal in a Snack Bar € 8-11
  • Meal in a Restaurant € 13-20
  • Meal in a First Class Restaurant € 30-50
  • Museum € 2-5
  • Movie Ticket € 5.50
  • Bull Fight € 15-75
  • Entrance to Belem Tower €4
  • Big Mac € 2.50, Happy Meal € 2.75, Big Tasty  €3.20, Greek Mac € 4.10
  • Salads € 2.40-3.70
  • Soft drink +sandwich/baguette + muffin € 3.30-4.50
  • Big soup and sandwich € 3.35-5.00
  • Cheapest coffee is € 0.50 per cup – from automatic machines in garages, some shops and service stations.

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Belem Tower

  • Portugal is most likely one of the safest countries to visit, and some basic common sense will go a long way.
  • There are some areas of Lisbon and Porto that you might want to avoid, like in any big city, especially at night.
  • Also, you might want to have in mind that pickpockets do tend to target tourists and tourist-frequented areas more frequently.
  • Wear a money belt or keep your documents and money in an inside pocket.
  • Metro and large rail stations, shopping areas, queues and crowded buses are the most usual places for pickpockets.
  • On the subway or on trains try to sit with other people and avoid empty carriages.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Lisbon

  • Portugal’s climate can be classified as Mediterranean
  • Portugal is one of the warmest European countries.
  • In mainland Portugal, yearly temperature averages are about 15°C (55°F) in the north and 18°C (64°F) in the south.
  • Spring and Summer months are usually sunny and temperature maximum are very high during July and August, with maximums averaging between 35°C and 40°C (86°F – 95°F) in the interior of the country, 30°C and 35°C in the north
  • Autumn and Winter are typically rainy and windy, yet sunny days are not rare either. Temperatures rarely fall below 5°C (41°F) nearer to the sea, averaging 10°C (50°F), but can reach several degrees below 0°C (32°F) further inland
  • Snow is common in winter in the mountainous areas of the north

Places to See

Sintra

Belem Tower

  • A fortified tower located in the Belém district of Lisbon, Portugal
  • It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries.
  • The tower was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style

View Map

 

 

 

Cabo de Sao Vincente

  • This cape with the southwestern most point in Portugal
  • It forms the southwestern end of the E9 European Coastal Path
  • The cape is a landmark for a ship traveling to or from the Mediterranean
  • The cliffs rise nearly vertically from the Atlantic to a height of 75 meters
  • The cape is a site has plenty of marine life and a high concentration of birds nesting on the cliffs, such as the rare Bonelli’s eagle, peregrine falcons, kites, rock thrushes, rock pigeons, storks and herons

View Map

 

 

 

Peneda-Gerês

  • The only national park in Portugal
  • It is located in the Norte region, in the northwest of Portugal
  • The park was created on May 8, 1971 due to its national and international scientific interest, with the aim to protect the soil, water, flora, fauna, and landscape, while preserving its value to the existent of human and natural resources

View Map

 

 

 

Oceanarium

  • Located in Lisbon, Portugal
  • The Lisbon Oceanarium has a large collection of marine species — birds, mammals, fish, cnidaria, and other marine organisms totaling about 16,000 individuals of 450 species

View Map

 

 

 

Jeronimos Monastery

  • Located in the Belém district of Lisbon, Portugal
  • This magnificent monastery can be considered one of the most prominent monuments in Lisbon and is certainly one of the most successful achievements of the Manueline style (Portuguese late-Gothic)
  • In 1983, it was classified by the UNESCO, with nearby Belém Tower, as a World Heritage Site

View Map

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Initial greetings are very polite and reserved
– Handshake
– Direct eye contact
– Appropriate greeting for the time of day
• Once a relationship builds greetings become more warm
– Men – Hug and handshake
– Women – kiss each other twice on the cheek starting with the right
• Address with proper titles
– Men – “Senhor”
– Women – “Senhora”
– With the surname
– Anyone who is a doctor is referred to as “Doutour and Doutoura”
– Wait to be invited to move to a first name basis
– Use formal rather than informal unless otherwise said

Business Etiquette:
• Appointments are mandatory and should be made well in advance
– It is always safe to reconfirm a few days before
– Initial correspondence should be in Portuguese
– August is a bad time of year to do any meeting
– Always arrive on time for meetings
– Sometimes 5 minutes late is considered on time
– Relationships are built with the people involved instead of the company
– Changing representatives will set you back
– They do not appreciate direct criticism
– Portugal’s business culture is a hierarchal system
– Treat all business colleagues with respect
– There is a more relaxed view on time
– Deadlines are not seen as crucial as other cultures
– Do not remove your jacket unless you associates do
– Maintain eye contact when speaking
– Decisions will not be made at meetings
• During negotiations there is a great importance on getting to know you
– Wait until they bring up the subject of business

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