Lonely Planet Guide to Portugal

By Lonely Planet -

Touring & travel

 16 January 2008 11:32

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Portugal has a rich seafaring past, superb beach resorts, wistful towns and a landscape wreathed in olive groves, vineyards and wheat fields. Littered with UNESCO World Heritage sites and graced by one of Europe's most relaxed and attractive capitals, it also remains refreshingly affordable.

Savouring life slowly is a Portuguese passion, and much of the best is humble - traditional folk festivals; simple, honest food drowning in olive oil; music that pulls at the heart strings, recalling past love and glories; and markets overflowing with fish, fruit and flowers.

When to go
Peak tourist season is roughly from mid-June to September, except in the Algarve where it really only quietens down in the dead of winter. Carnaval and Easter are two holidays celebrated with gusto all over the country and are worth going out of your way for.

Fast Facts
Country Full Name: Portugal

Population: 10,400,000

Currency: Name: Euro Code: EUR Symbol: €

Electrical Plugs: 220V 50Hz

Languages Spoken Official: Portuguese

Time Zones: GMT/UTC 0

Country Dialing Code: +351

Weights & Measures: Metric