Portugal, or officially the Portuguese Republic, is a small country on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It faces the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south, and is bordered by Spain to the north and east. The country also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and madeira. The entire area of Portugal measures 92,090 sq km (35,645 sq mi).
Guide to Portugal Hotels
Here's a list of hotels in Portugal that you can book online, listed by city, with full description, star rating, address, location map, evaluation, and prices as offered by different booking sites.
Portugal today is a parliamentary republic. The country is a member of the European Union and the United nations. It is also part of the Eurozone and a member of the Schengen Agreement.
The county has a population of 11.3 million people (2010 estimate). Its biggest city and capital is Lisbon, also written Lisboa in Portuguese. It is a city with a metropolitan population of 2.8 million people, accounting for a quarter of the population of the country. The country is relatively homogeneous. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic.
Historical evidence suggests that Portugal has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was settled by Gallaeci tribe of Celts and the Lusitanians, an Indo-European tribe in 29 BC, when it was made part of the Roman Empire. The Roman influence on Portugal greatly affected its culture and language, which is derived from Latin.
Portugal comprises 308 municipalities, which are subdivided into 4,260 parishes. The municipalities are however grouped into districts, of which on continental Portugal there are 18.
Portugal is a developed country which, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit, has the 19th highest quality of life in the world.
The currency used in Portugal is the Euro (EUR). The following are the latest rates for Euro in the last 24-hours.
Planning your visit to Portugal
Portugal is often regarded as a less expensive destination compared to many other countries in Europe. Once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, it has since increased prosperity since joining the European Union in 1986. The country is blessed with outstanding sceneries that range from arid, near-desert landscape in the Alentejo region to the beaches of Algarve.
Being a member of the Schengen Agreement, Portugal only require citizens of the EU and EFTA countries to bring along an ID card to gain entry. Nationals of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Portugal, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela do not need a visa if visiting Portugal (and any of the Schengen members) for not more than three months in half a year.
The main international gateway to Portugal is the Lisbon Portela International Airport, which is located between Loures and Lisbon. The airport is the hub for the national flag carrier, TAP Portugal. It receives flights from major airlines as well as budget airlines such as EasyJet.
The best way to explore Portugal is by taking the train or the bus. Of these two options, the train is faster but more expensive. The best rail connections are between the cities of Braga and Faro. The fastest trains are the Alfa-Pendular, which only stop at main cities.
My favorite travel guidebook for further reading in preparation of your trip is the Portugal Eyewitness Guide, because it follows a format that I find useful to users, not to mention I have also contributed to some of the titles in the Eyewitness series of guidebooks.