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2 Safaris & Tours
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1 Partners
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Overview

Portugal is a coastal country of remarkable natural beauty, from idyllic beaches, breathtaking mountain peaks and scenic valleys, to thundering waterfalls and glistening lakes. A country steeped in ancient history, the Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and Christians all left their mark on Portugal’s lands, making it a fascinating spot for history buffs. Think medieval castles, cobble-street villages, 20,000-year-old carvings and eerie megaliths. In cities like Porto, Lisbon and Sintra, enjoy gastronomic food and wine tours, marvel at art and architecture through the ages, and be transported through time at vibrant cultural festivals.

Ria Formosa Natural Park is located in the Algarve, and was recently named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Portugal. The park is known for its beautiful beaches and pleasant, warm weather. For those not fond of sun-bathing, there are lagoons, wetlands and endless sands to explore. The area is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with over 20,000 birds settling here during the winter months. The park is also home to endangered chameleons, various seahorse species, and water dogs. Visitors to the park can take part in boat and kayaking safaris along the waters, or exciting biking tours of the landscape.

Peneda-Gerês National Park is Portugal’s only national park, with a wide variety of stunning landscapes, including the high peaks of Geres and Altar doe Cabroes, both of which offer incredible panoramic views. The best way to explore this park is along its various snaking trails, so pack your walking shoes when visiting the area! The park boasts pristine nature, interesting rock formations, bubbling waterfalls, and the fascinating ruins of Vilarinho das Furnas. Wildlife in Peneda-Gerês includes wolves, foxes, wild boars, ibex, and deer, as well as 147 different bird species, and 15 bat species.

One of the most popular travel destinations in Portugal is Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and for good reason. The park contains the spectacular Serra de Sintra Mountain Range, as well as a variety of breathtaking view points, including Cabo da Roca and the cliffs of Azenhas do Mar. For history-lovers, the Castle of the Moors, which dates back to the 8th century, as well as the fairy-like Pena Palace are must-visits. Wildlife of the area includes wild rabbit, fox, badger, weasel and peregrine falcon. The park offers many fun activities including walking tours, climbing adventures, hiking and surfing lessons.

Travel Seasons

  • Jul–Aug – High Season. Very hot temperatures, crowds in coastal resorts and the Algarve, warm sea. Accommodation prices increase.
  • Apr–Jun & Sep–Nov – Shoulder Season. Days milder, wildflowers in bloom, perfect time for outdoor activities and hiking. Crowds and prices reduce, sea temperature is colder. Festivals in June.
  • Dec–Mar – Low Season. Days are shorter and rainier; at higher altitudes freezing temperatures. Beach accommodation may close for winter, attractions have shorter hours. Lower prices, less crowds. Sea temperatures very cold.

General Information

  • Capital – Lisbon
  • Currency – Euro
  • Language – Portuguese
  • Size – 92,226 km2 (35,609 sq mi)
  • Population – 10.28 million (2019)

Travel Insurance

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel.

Travel Health

  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Portugal: hepatitis A and B. Check with your doctor that all your routine vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Tap water is safe to drink in Portugal.

Pros

  • Rich bird life including endangered species
  • Historical castles, villages & cities
  • Beautiful scenery and beaches
  • Culinary delights, wine & port
  • Wide range of activities

 

Cons

  • Coastal resorts can get very busy in high season
  • Not a traditional safari destination

Arriving in Portugal

  • With its excellent geographical position Portugal is a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports throughout the country.
  • Lisbon’s airport is Aeroporto de Lisboa, connected to the city by metro trains, buses and taxes.

Getting Around

  • Travelling around Portugal is reasonably priced and efficient: there’s a good train network between major towns while hiring a car is a great way to get to small villages and national parks.
  • Internal flights are available but expensive.

Visas

  • Citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal.
  • Other nationalities require a valid passport for at least three months after the end of their stay for visits of less than 90 days.
  • Some other nationalities need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested at the of their country for stays of up to 90 days.
  • For full details check with your Portuguese Embassy or Consulate.
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The Portugese islands of the Azores, an archipelago of nine volcanic islands, rise majestically from the immense Atlantic Ocean, 1,360km (860 mi) west of continental Portugal. The scenic islands encompass beauty and adventure, with white sandy beaches, ancient vineyards, towns steeped in history, lush meadows and volcanic landscapes including geysers, hot thermal water and crater lakes.

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