PORTUGAL

PORTUGAL

PORTUGAL

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Name: Belém Tower
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Belém Tower is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. It is a 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 commissioned by King John II to be part of a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.

It was built by the military architect Francisco de Arruda, who had already supervised the construction of several fortresses in Portuguese territories in Morocco.

The tower was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from Lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30-metre (98.4 ft), four-storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near the Lisbon shore.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belém_Tower
Name: Pena Palace
Location: Sintra, Portugal
The Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle in São Pedro de Penaferrim, in the municipality of Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera. The castle stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.

The castle's history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary. In 1493, King John II, accompanied by his wife Queen Leonor, made a pilgrimage to the site to fulfill a vow. His successor, King Manuel I, was also very fond of this sanctuary, and ordered the construction of a monastery on this site which was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. For centuries Pena was a small, quiet place for meditation, housing a maximum of eighteen monks.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pena_Palace
Name: Jerónimos Monastery
Location: Lisbon Municipality, Portugal
The Jerónimos Monastery is a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome near the Tagus river in the parish of Belém, in the Lisbon Municipality, Portugal; it was secularised on 28 December 1833 by state decree.

The monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

The Jerónimos Monastery replaced the church formerly existing in the same place, which was dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém and where the monks of the military-religious Order of Christ provided assistance to seafarers in transit. The harbour of Praia do Restelo was an advantageous spot for mariners, with a safe anchorage and protection from the winds, sought after by ships entering the mouth of the Tagus. The existing structure was inaugurated on the orders of Manuel I (1469–1521) at the courts of Montemor o Velho in 1495, as a final resting-place for members of the House of Aviz, in his belief that an Iberian dynastic kingdom would rule after his death. In 1496, King Manuel petitioned the Holy See for permission to construct a monastery at the site.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerónimos_Monastery
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO PORTUGAL.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Portuguese
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Time zone: WET (UTC) / WEST (UTC+1)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +351
Local / up-to-date weather in Lisbon (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Portugal travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Portugal, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO PORTUGAL.

Portugal uses the euro, like several other European countries. One euro is divided into 100 cents. The official symbol for the euro is €, and its ISO code is EUR. There is no official symbol for the cent.

All banknotes and coins of this common currency are legal tender within all the countries, except that low-denomination coins (one and two cent) are phased out in some of them. The banknotes look the same across countries, while coins have a standard common design on one side and a national country-specific design on the other. The latter side is also used for different designs of commemorative coins. The design on the national side does not affect the use of the coin.

ATMs accepting international cards can be found everywhere, and currency conversion booths spring up wherever there is a steady flow of tourists (although typically, the closer they are to tourist attractions, the worse the rates they offer).

BY TRAIN:

Rail travel in Portugal is usually slightly faster than travel by bus, but services are less frequent and cost more. The immediate areas surrounding Lisbon and Porto are reasonably well-served by suburban rail services.

The rail connections between the main regions of Portugal, i.e. between Braga and Faro are good. As a rule of thumb, if one is traveling by rail within Portugal or internationally, the main railway junction is in Entroncamento, from here all lines branch out and all trains make a stop. The Alfa-Pendular (fast) trains are comfortable, first class is excellent. The Alfa-Pendular train stops only at main city stations like; Braga, Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Aveiro, Coimbra, (Entroncamento), Lisbon and Faro. If possible, it’s recommended to do advanced ticket purchase, due to high demand and also, if booked at least five days in advance one gets a very generous 40% discount.

Intercity (Intercidades) trains will take you to further destinations, specially in the interior, such as Évora, Beja and Guarda.

Timetables can be found and tickets can be purchased online at Comboios de Portugal (Trains of Portugal).

You also get 40% off the regular ticket price on the Intercidades trains if you book between 5 and 60 days in advance. advance tickets per train.

If you book a long distance ticket to or from Porto-Campanhã, you can travel for free on urban or Intercidades trains between that station and Oporto city centre railway station of São Bento.

BY BUS:

Unfortunately the rail network is limited, so you may find yourself busing about to get anywhere off the beaten path. Rede Expressos is one of the largest inter-city bus companies.

Lisbon and Porto, the two largest urban cities, have clean modern and air-conditioned Metro systems (underground/subway and light railway).

Road traffic in Lisbon and Porto is pretty congested all day round and gets completely stuck in the rush hours, at least in the main roads to exit or enter the city. Car travel is the most convenient or only method to reach areas outside the main cities, however (car rental is not too expensive, but the associated insurance is – unless you book the total package abroad). An important aspect when renting a vehicle; do not accept a dirty vehicle under the pretext there was no time to make it ready from the last customer before you. Whatever happens insist you have time to wait until it is given to you in proper order. Once that is done, conduct the inspection with the agent and make sure that every little defect and damage is noted down thoroughly from the interior to the exterior, engine bay and trunk, when your copy of the report is handed over for signing, first insist on comparing it with the agents copy in case the carbon transfer didn’t match the two copies exactly. It’s been known for unscrupulous agents to try hide previous damage and let you drive off and upon returning the vehicle claiming the insurance excess payment by swearing the car was perfect when you got it. Also, many major freeways are tolled and fuel/gasoline prices are above average, therefore if you are traveling on a budget, hire smaller and economical motorcars and avoid tolled freeways whenever possible. Heed the advice about the quality of some people’s driving skills and road manners mentioned below. Avoid at all costs driving during peak traffic hours within major urban centers, try to enquire about this if possible. On open roads keep your eyes peeled for speed limits and abrupt changes of speed signage. Rather be driving conservatively and admiring the scenery. Traffic officers tend to speed trap with radar in unusual places like entering or exiting a freeway, down hills and curves.

Generally speaking, Portugal is not a good country for hitchhiking. In the deserted country roads in the South, you might wait for many hours before you are offered a ride. Try to speak with people on gas stations or parking lots. Drivers tend to be suspicious, but when you show them that they should not be afraid, they will probably accept you and mostly also show their generosity. Try to look neat and clean. The hippy style will get you nowhere. As with everywhere in the world, two males hitchhiking together will not get a ride from anyone.

BY CAR:

You can reach almost all major cities in Portugal with ease, either by motorway or by good, modern roads. The biggest cities are well served by modern highways (most have tolls), and you can travel the full North-South length of the country without ever leaving the highway, if you choose to.

However, some secondary roads are poorly maintained and care is required. Also, Portuguese driving can seem erratic and, frankly, scary to the uninitiated. The country shares with most southern European countries something that the successive Portuguese governments have been trying to fight: terrible road behaviour from some drivers. In order to fight this, road laws punish with great severity speeding, driving without a licence, driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

The motorways with the most reckless driving are those surrounding Lisbon and Porto, the A1 and A2 and the Algarve. You can be on a 2-lane toll highway and be unable to see any other traffic except the car you’re overtaking at 30 km/h over the speed limit and the car about 2 meters (6 feet) from your back end flashing its headlights to get past you. Merging manners when slip roads come on to fast roads are also pretty poor. On other roads, you’ll get used to some classic Portuguese experiences: being stuck driving at a very slow speed behind a siesta induced driver on a very narrow road, suicidal overtaking attempts and the resultant absurdly overdone signs indicating when you can and can’t overtake – sometimes all of 5 yards apart (mostly set up as a traffic fine trapping spot to generate revenue) and the “penalty stop” traffic light as you enter the 50 km/h zone in each small town, with camera to decide whether you’re over the speed limit. Rather absurdly, once you’re through this, your speed isn’t checked again.

In the country side and interior regions, road signage pertaining to location names and road numbers can be confusing to follow in certain areas due to overlapping municipal and national entities. For example, at a crossroads a sign without an arrow shows a name straight ahead but the place is either to left or right, thus, a good road map is an essential tool to have.

It is probably unwise for those unfamiliar with Portuguese driving to try to drive in Lisbon or Porto – be aware if you do that city drivers give no quarter and have limited respect for lane markings (where lane markings exists!) If you do want to try, choose a weekend or an hour outside the rush hour periods. These are early mornings (08:00 – 09:30) and late afternoons (17:00 – 19:30). Other Portuguese cities are much better, but often have very narrow roads.

EAT:

This is potentially the most varied experience to have in the country and is clearly a favourite local hobby.

Portuguese cuisine evolved from hearty peasant food drawn from the land and abundant seafood found in the country’s lengthy coast with the cows, pigs and goats raised on the limited grazing land of its interior. From these humble origins, spices and condiments brought back to the country during the exploration and colonisation of South America, Africa, the East Indies and the Far East, contributed to the development of what become regarded as ‘typical’ Portuguese cuisine which inherently, also helped shape the cuisine in the regions under Portuguese influence, from Brazil and Cape Verde to Thailand and Japan. Today, traditional Portuguese cuisine is served alongside the latest trendy and fusion cuisine styles. Several establishments have been awarded Michelin stars.

Soup is an essential first course of a Portuguese meal. The most popular is the Minho speciality, caldo verde, made from kale, potatoes and spiced smoked sausage. In places, especially near the coast, you can enjoy delightful and varied fish soups, sometimes so thick it needs to be eaten with the help of a fork. Other popular choices are Sopa de legumes, a vegetable based soup often featured as “Sopa do dia” (Soup of day) in restaurants and Canja de galinha, a rich chicken broth.

You will see another Portuguese staple bacalhau (salt cod) everywhere. Locals will tell you that there are as many ways to cook this revered dish as there are days in the year, or even more.

The most common of Portugal’s delicious fish (peixe) dishes revolve around sole (linguado) and sardines (sardinha) although salmon (salmão) and trout (truta) are also featured heavily, not mentioning the more traditional mackerel (carapau), whiting (pescada), rock bass (robalo), tuna (atum), frog fish (tamboril) and a variety of turbot (cherne). These are boiled, fried, grilled or baked and served in a variety of ways. Of late, there’s a growing trend to serve ensopados de peixe, as the name suggests, an almost soup like fish stew to be eaten with bread as the catalyst to soak up the juices.

A peculiarity of Portuguese cuisine is the love of rice and rice-based dishes and desserts, a fondness perhaps grown from the Portuguese travels to the East. Among the most popular rice dishes are “Arroz à Bulhão Pato”, essentially a juicy rice and clam dish. Another famous rice dish, “Arroz de Cabidela” consisting of a saucy dish made with rice, chicken and its blood. Besides those already mentioned, there are many varieties of rice-based specialities, such as frog fish rice, octopus rice, duck rice and seafood rice.

In most places you will easily find fresh seafood: lobster (lagosta), crab (caranguejo), lavagante, mussels (mexilhões), cockles (vieiras), oysters (ostras), clam (amêijoas), goose barnacles (perceves).

Depending on how touristic the area you are in, you’ll see grills, thick with the smoke of charring meat, in front of many restaurants during your stay. Other than traditional sardines, Portuguese grilled chicken — marinated in chilli, garlic and olive oil — is world famous, although people tired of tasteless industrial poultry farm produce might opt for a tasty veal cutlet (costeleta de novilho) instead, or simply grilled pork.

In the North, there are many ways to cook kid, and in the Alentejo, lamb ensopado and several varieties of pork meat, including the tastier black pork; the most acclaimed portions of the pork being the secretos and the plumas. In the Alentejo, you are likely to be served pork instead of veal if you ask for the ubiquitous bitoque (small fried beef served with fried potato chips and a fried egg). A popular traditional dish is pork and clam, Carne de Porco à Alentejana, as well as fried, bread-covered cuttlefish slices (tiras de choco frito). Sometimes you can also find wild boar dishes.

Definitely a major speciality is Mealhada’s (near Coimbra) suckling pig roast (leitão) served with orange slices, traditional bread and washed down with the local sparkling wine. Much like the pastel de nata, you shouldn’t miss it.

Vegetarians may have a tough time of it in Portugal, at least in traditional Portuguese restaurants. In most restaurants, vegetables (usually boiled or fried potatoes) are simply a garnish to the main meat dish. Even ‘vegetarian’ salads and dishes may just substitute tuna (which locals don’t seem to regard as a ‘meat’) for ham or sausage. Usually, a salad is just lettuce and tomato with salt, vinegar and olive oil. However, the Portuguese really like their choose-5-items salad bars, and restaurants serving Indian, Chinese, Mexican, or Italian fare can be found in most cities. At any rate, just mention you’re vegetarian, and something can be found that meets your preference although in the long run you might be unable to thrive on it. That being said, proper vegetarian tastes are becoming more popular and in bigger cities, organic, vegetarian and vegan options can be found these days in dedicated establishments or places like El Corte Inglês for example.

In many Portuguese restaurants, if you order a salad it will come sprinkled with salt – if you are watching your salt intake, or just do not like this idea, you can ask for it “sem sal” (without salt) or more radically “sem tempero” (no seasoning).

A few restaurants, particularly in non-tourist areas, do not have a menu; you have to go in and ask what’s available for you to choose from. It is wise to get the price written down when you do this so as to avoid any nasty surprises when the bill comes. However, in this type of restaurants, the price for each one of the options is very similar, varying from about €5 to €10 per person.

Most restaurants bring you a selection of snacks at the start of your meal aptly called covert – bread, butter, cheese, olives and other small bites – often there is a cover charge for these items, around €5, but invariably waiters do not inform clients of the charge and one may think it to be a free appetiser. Do not be afraid to ask how much the cost is and get them to take the items away if expensive or if you are not planning to eat as much. However, it can be quite reasonable, but occasionally you can get ripped off. If you send it away, you should still check your bill at the end. Better restaurants can bring you more surprising and nicely prepared delicious starters consisting of small dishes and bites costing more than a few €’s each. You can usually choose those you want and return the ones you don’t want, in these cases the list is longer and if the total price works out high enough, you may opt for not ordering a main course and instead, enjoy a varied meal of several smaller portions.

If you have kitchen facilities, Portuguese grocery stores are surprisingly well-stocked with items such as lentils, veggie burgers, couscous, and inexpensive fruits, vegetables, and cheeses. If you like a ‘softish’ rich goat milk cheese try “Queijo da Serra”, if you prefer spreadable cheese, try “Requeijão”. Unfortunately, the success of the “Queijo da Serra” also led to the proliferation of industrial and taste-devoid imitations of the real thing. In speciality shops mostly found in larger cities, many unusual items such as exotic fruits or drinks can be found.

In some grocery stores and most supermarkets the scales are in the produce section, not at the checkout. If you don’t weigh your produce and go to the checkout, you will probably be told Tem que os pesar or Tem que pesar, tem que ser pesado (“You have to weigh them”/items must be weighed).

Portugal is famous for its wide variety of amazing pastries, or pastéis (singular: pastel). The best-loved pastry are the pastéis de nata (called just natas further north), a flaky pastry cup filled with a “secret recipe” egg yolk rich custard-like filling, best eaten still warm and sprinkled to taste with icing sugar (açúcar) and/or cinnamon (canela), you can try them in any “pastelaria”. A popular place is still the old Confeitaria dos Pastéis de Belém in Belém, Lisbon, although most “pastelarias” make it a point of pride excelling at their “pastéis” – here they’re called pastéis de Belém, elsewhere as pasteis de nata. For once, all the guide books are right, you may have to queue for a short time, but it’ll be worth it. Some people like them piping hot and some don’t.

Also nice, if a bit dry, are the bolo de arroz (literally, “rice cake”) and the orange or carrot cakes.

From the more egg-oriented North to almond-ruled South, Portuguese pastry and sweet desserts are excellent and often surprising, even after many years.

On October/November, roasted chestnuts (castanhas) are sold on the streets of cities from vendors sporting fingerless gloves tending their motorcycle driven stoves: a treat!

Café:

Portugal is by and large a coffee society and everywhere you go there’s sidewalk Cafés. Salões de chá (tea rooms) also exist but the Portuguese love their thick black espresso coffee (bica, in Lisbon) and tend to drink it several times daily. People go to the Café to see and be seen, while friends gather to talk and socialize over a café e nata, in cold evenings, some enjoy café e bagaço (espresso chased with a firewater tot). If you have a prolonged stay and speak Portuguese, Cafés are an ideal place to go to and make new friends. Regulars use Cafés as a ponto de encontro (meeting place) to gather and make plans, while families after a meal at home, prefer to go out and enjoy their coffee in public. Revolutions and uprisings where planed and deep political or football discussions continue to be held in coffee shops. Costing €0.50-0.60 in most places, any occasion becomes an excuse to meet at the local favourite esplanada and drink an espresso. Most Portuguese sorely miss the Café lifestyle when abroad.

Specialities found in individual regions:

Portuguese people tend to have a sweet tooth. Among the many national favourites perhaps ” Pudin Flan”, a caramel type pudding and “Arroz Doce” or “Aletria” should be mentioned. Both Arroz Doce (Rice Pudding) or Aletria (fine spaghettini) are made by simmering with milk, sugar, some cinnamon and lemon rind either the rice or fine pasta. Some regions specialise in one or the other while adding something special to make it identify with the area.

  • Aveiro: special cake from the town: “Pão de Ló”. Desert: “Ovos Moles”
  • Fátima: Pastéis de Fátima, are custard tarts in the shape of heart, dedicated to the so-called Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Porto: “Francesinha”, a special grilled cheese sandwich; “Tripas” or tripe stew and “Papas de Sarrabulho”, ask the locals what it is made from…
  • Sintra: queijadas de Sintra or the travesseiros
  • Mafra: specialty bread, Pão de Mafra; special cake from the town: “Fradinhos”
  • Serra da Estrela: “Queijo da Serra” a soft goat cheese, “Requeijão” a fresh spreadable cheese and “Broa de milho” a tasty round shape corn bread
  • Alentejo: “Açorda com coentros”, a delicious stale bread soup and Caracois or broiled snails
  • Algarve: the Morgadinhos, the almond cakes of Doce Fino and the Dom Rodrigo
  • Madeira: “Bolo de Mel” or honey cake

DRINK:

When travelling in Portugal, the drink of choice is wine. Red wine is the favourite amongst the locals, but white wine is also popular. Northern Portugal has a white wine cultivar variation with a greenish tint known as vinho verde. This wine has a very crisp acidic-sweet flavour and is better served cold, it goes best with seafood or fish dishes and Alvarinho is one of the more famous brands. Drinking wine during a meal or socially is very common in Portugal, after a meal is finished, people will tend to talk and sip wine while the food digests. Port wine (vinho do Porto) can be an apéritif or a dessert. Alentejo wine may not be yet known worldwide like Port, but within Portugal just as famous, Esporão is one of the best brands from the Alentejo region. Portugal has other official demarcated wine regions (regiões vinhateiras) which produce some of the best wines such as, Madeira, Dão, Sado and Douro. The Bairrada region produces some delightful sparkling wines, Raposeira being a well known brand.

Beer (cerveja) is also an option and the production of beer in Portugal can be traced back to Lusitanian times. Apart from some imports, the best known national brands are the lager type Super Bock, Sagres and Coral. On a smaller scale, Tagus is sold in the Greater Lisbon area and Cristal, a Pilsner type beer is available mostly in the Porto region. The only drawbacks are the small bottles and caneca(jug) sizes at tap beer selling establishments, snack-bars and cervejarias. Of late, some craft beer producers have begun to emerge around the country.

Be careful of spirits such as 1920 and Aguardente (burning water), both pack a mighty punch. Macieira brandy offers a more palatable kick for those who prefer a slower acting effect.

People might find it a bit difficult to refrain from drinking, even if there are very good reasons to do so. Nowadays the “I have to drive” excuse works OK. The easiest way is to explain that one can’t for health reasons. The Portuguese aren’t as easily insulted as others when it comes to refusing the obvious hospitality of a drink, but a lie such as “I’m allergic” might make clear a situation where one would have to otherwise repeatedly explain a preference in some regions of Portugal; but it won’t work in other regions where obviously made-up excuses will tag you as unreliable (“I don’t want to, thanks” might then work). Drinking is considered almost socially intimate.

The legal drinking age in Portugal is 16. For nightlife Lisbon, Porto and Albufeira, Algarve are the best choices as they have major places of entertainment.

Port Wine:

Porto is famous for the eponymous port wine, a fortified wine (20%) made by adding brandy to the wine before fermentation is complete. According to EU laws, port wine can only be named as such if the grapes are grown in the Douro valley, and the wine is brewed in Porto. The end product is strong, sweet, complex in taste and if properly stored will last 40 years or more.

There are many, many grades of port, but the basic varieties are:

  • Vintage, the real deal, kept in the bottle for 5-15 years, can be very expensive for good years. It is, nevertheless, worth it.
  • Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV), simulated vintage kept in barrel longer, ready to drink. Nice if you are on a budget.
  • Tawny, aged for 10-40 years before bottling, which distinguishes itself by a more brownish red color and a slightly smoother bouquet and flavor. As with any wine, the older it gets, the more rounded and refined it will be.
  • Ruby, the youngest and cheapest, with a deep red “ruby” colour.
  • White port is a not-so-well-known variety, and it is a shame. You will find a sweet and a dry varietal, the latter of which mixes well with tonic water and should be served chilled (if drunk alone) or with lots of ice (with tonic), commonly used as an aperitif.

Vinho Verde:

  • Another good choice is the ubiquitous vinho verde (green wine), which is made mostly in the region to the north of Porto (the Minho.) It’s a light, dry and refreshing wine (9-9.5% in volume), made from region specific grapes with relatively low sugar content. Mostly white, and sometimes slightly sparkling. Very nice, and very affordable.

Moscatel:

  • The Setúbal Peninsula, is home to some of the best national cultivars but the Moscatel sweet wines are World class. Information on the variety and brands available can be sourced from the national or local wine producer lists.

Licores:

  • From north to south and east to west, Portugal seems to have a liqueur maker in every corner of the country. Licor Beirão enjoys some prominence but by asking around wherever you go, you will find good quality liqueurs made from local fruits, herbs and/or nuts, some secret ingredients and a good splashing of aguardente (firewater).
  • In Lisbon and further south, make sure to sample Ginjinha, or simply Ginja, a liqueur made by infusing ginja berries (Prunus creases austera, the Morello cherry) in aguardente with sugar and other ingredients. Ginjinha can be served in a shot form with a piece of the fruit in the bottom of the cup, sometimes on a cup made of chocolate. It’s very popular, and a typical drink in Lisbon, Alcobaça and Óbidos.
  • In Coimbra, for example, a certain gentleman produces over 90 varieties of liqueurs including one named Licor da Merda (shit liqueur!). However, it is widely believed, the name has more of a humorous effect than offensive substance.

The youth hostel network has a great number of hostels around the country. There are also many camping places. ‘Wild camping’ (camping outside camping parks) is not allowed, unless you have the land owner’s agreement. Holiday Villas and apartments are another option to investigate.

There’s a wide and abundant hotel offering all through Portugal.

If budget is a concern and you want a ‘typically Portuguese’ experience, don’t be shy and try a residencial or pensão, the home-like inn’s ubiquitous in cities and most towns. In many places you can get a double or triple room with private bathroom for €25-35 off season or €35-40 in season (2017). Be sure, however, of the quality of the rooms. In smaller cities, “pensões” tend to be near transportation hubs like railway stations and bus terminals. If travelling with friends, haggling in a nice way can yield discounts even during high season.

On the luxury side, you may want to try the Pousadas de Portugal, a network of hotels managed by the Pestana Group remarkable for using very beautiful ancient buildings like Palaces and Castles and also for having consistent excellent service all over the country. You will do well eating out, as the cuisine of Pousadas can be both expensive and boring, although it appears the trend is changing for the better (mid-2008).

The “Casas de Campo” (Turismo de Habitação, Turismo Rural, Agro-Turismo), when travelling through the countryside, are also an affordable, picturesque and comfortable B&B option. Don’t expect them to be open all year round and try to book a reservation beforehand if your itinerary depends on it.

There is an amazing number of other things you can buy, either at sophisticated commercial facilities or at fairs and more popular places.

  • Claus Porto – High quality “Made in Portugal” perfumes, soaps and beauty products, going back a hundred years. Lately, the brand has been re-enforcing its market presence with new shops being opened in cities throughout Portugal and worldwide. Surprisingly affordable prices on entry level products.
  • Cork Products – Portuguese produced, researched, designed and manufactured eco-friendly cork products have been developed over many years. Today the wide range of applications covers almost anything one can think of, from household goodies and thermal insulation to fashion and jewellery. A quick Portuguese cork products web search, may awaken your curiosity.
  • Designer clothes and accessories – Although not widely known internationally, Portugal has a very well established high quality leather goods industry producing belts, shoes, hand bags, luggage and jackets, fashion accessories etc as well as several independent fashion designers. The list includes Fátima Lopes and Maria Gambina. Some of them have dedicated shops in Lisbon, Porto and other major regional cities.
  • Luxury goods – Other areas of high quality products made in Portugal are Marinha Grande for decorative glass pieces, Vila do Conde for furniture, Ílhavo for traditional porcelain tableware, Guimarães cutlery, Viana do Castelo and Gondomar silver and gold smithery, São João da Madeira for pure wool felt hats, Arraiolos rugs and tapestry, and Madeira’s linen embroidery and wicker crafts. Almost all major brands and luxury articles can be bought in major cities, but there is not a clear advantage in doing so as prices are equivalent to all other places.
  • Handmade regional products – There’s a popular tradition of regional handmade clothes, toys, home utensils, glass items and decoration. You can find them at popular tourist places or at better prices in fairs and cheap shops in small towns.
  • Art and craft – Portugal is home to a few well acclaimed artists, that create paintings and sculptures with high demand both in the national and international art markets. The famous 19th-century artist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro glazed clay works, continue to be reproduced in Caldas da Rainha. Regional souvenirs are found in shops everywhere and include dolls from Nazaré and the Galo de Barcelos.
  • Wines and Fortified beverages – The wide variety of good quality wines, fortified beverages and liquors with the seal of quality afforded by the “DOC” mark, dispense the need for introduction. All top producers are well represented in the marketplace. Famous and obscure brands alike can be found nationwide in speciality Armazéns de Bebidas or well known chains of supermarkets’ liquor sections.
  • Arcadia – Founded in 1933, this high quality chocolatier and confectionary house from Oporto has seen a resurgence in their wide range of well priced products. Besides Oporto, these days Arcadia has over twenty shops and kiosks in Lisbon, Coimbra, Aveiro and Braga. The ideal place to indulge the sweet tooth and buy that little special gift for someone.
  • Canned fish – Portuguese canned fish (sardines, tuna, cod, eels, etc) is arguably the best worldwide. Besides the Portela Airport Duty Free shop, a wide variety of Portuguese canned fish products in various types of sauces can be bought nationwide in food shops and supermarkets.
**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Portugal
TOP ATTRACTIONS
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Name: Belém Tower
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Belém Tower is a fortified tower located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém in the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. It is a 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 commissioned by King John II to be part of a defence system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.

It was built by the military architect Francisco de Arruda, who had already supervised the construction of several fortresses in Portuguese territories in Morocco.

The tower was built in the early 16th century and is a prominent example of the Portuguese Manueline style, but it also incorporates hints of other architectural styles. The structure was built from Lioz limestone and is composed of a bastion and a 30-metre (98.4 ft), four-storey tower. It has incorrectly been stated that the tower was built in the middle of the Tagus and now sits near the shore because the river was redirected after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. In fact, the tower was built on a small island in the Tagus River near the Lisbon shore.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belém_Tower
Name: Pena Palace
Location: Sintra, Portugal
The Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle in São Pedro de Penaferrim, in the municipality of Sintra, on the Portuguese Riviera. The castle stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains above the town of Sintra, and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon and much of its metropolitan area. It is a national monument and constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in the world. The palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials.

The castle's history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary. In 1493, King John II, accompanied by his wife Queen Leonor, made a pilgrimage to the site to fulfill a vow. His successor, King Manuel I, was also very fond of this sanctuary, and ordered the construction of a monastery on this site which was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. For centuries Pena was a small, quiet place for meditation, housing a maximum of eighteen monks.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pena_Palace
Name: Jerónimos Monastery
Location: Lisbon Municipality, Portugal
The Jerónimos Monastery is a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome near the Tagus river in the parish of Belém, in the Lisbon Municipality, Portugal; it was secularised on 28 December 1833 by state decree.

The monastery is one of the most prominent examples of the Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture in Lisbon. It was classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

The Jerónimos Monastery replaced the church formerly existing in the same place, which was dedicated to Santa Maria de Belém and where the monks of the military-religious Order of Christ provided assistance to seafarers in transit. The harbour of Praia do Restelo was an advantageous spot for mariners, with a safe anchorage and protection from the winds, sought after by ships entering the mouth of the Tagus. The existing structure was inaugurated on the orders of Manuel I (1469–1521) at the courts of Montemor o Velho in 1495, as a final resting-place for members of the House of Aviz, in his belief that an Iberian dynastic kingdom would rule after his death. In 1496, King Manuel petitioned the Holy See for permission to construct a monastery at the site.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerónimos_Monastery
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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