The mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine a year and 850 km of splendid beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean make Portugal a perfect destination for all seasons, just a few hours from any European capital.
In this country, which has the oldest borders in Europe, there is a great diversity of landscapes within walking distance, many leisure activities and a unique cultural heritage, where tradition and contemporaneity come together in harmony. The gastronomy, the good wines and the friendliness of the Portuguese people complete a range of quality tourist services, whether for a weekend or for a longer holiday.
Portugal is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the archipelagos of Madeira and Azores in the Atlantic Ocean.
On the European continent, the Portuguese territory occupies an area of 88.889 km2 (218 km wide, 561 km long, 832 km of Atlantic coast and 1.215 km of land border with Spain).
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, between the European and North American continents, the Azores archipelago has an area of 2.355 km2 and consists of nine islands – São Miguel and Santa Maria in the Eastern Group, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial in the Central Group, and Flores and Corvo in the Western Group. Connections with mainland Portugal are ensured by air, in about 2 hours of flight.
The Madeira Archipelago, with an area of 741 km2, is located in the Atlantic Ocean about 500 km from the African coast and 1000 km from the European continent (1h30 flight to Lisbon). It consists of the Islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, and the uninhabited islands of Desertas and Selvagens (which are Nature Reserve Areas).
The climate in mainland Portugal varies significantly from region to region and is influenced by the relief, latitude and proximity to the sea, which provides mild winters, especially in the Algarve. In the areas of Porto and North and Center, especially in areas closer to Spain, winters are colder, although temperatures are moderate when compared to the rest of Europe.
There is some snowfall, which is more frequent in Serra da Estrela, where the highest point of mainland Portugal is located (1991 m) and conditions for skiing can be found.
Summers are hot and dry, especially in the interior regions and on the coast, the heat is moderated by the maritime influence. During autumn there are often sunny days with mild temperatures.
Islands – Azores
Influenced by latitude and the regulatory action of the Gulf Stream, the climate of Azores is characterized by mild temperatures throughout the year. These influences also affect the temperature of the sea water, which remains very pleasant both in winter and in summer, enabling the practice of various sea sports.
Islands – Madeira
With subtropical characteristics due to its geographical position and mountainous relief, the climate in the archipelago of Madeira is exceptionally mild, with average air temperatures ranging between 24oC in summer and 19oC in winter. The sea water also maintains a very pleasant temperature throughout the year due to the influence of the hot Gulf current, oscillating between 18oC (winter) and 22oC (summer).
Portugal has a population of 10.562.178 habitants (according to the Census conducted in 2011). The highest indices of population density are registered in Lisbon, the capital of the country, and in its surroundings, where approximately 1.9 million people live. The second largest city in Portugal is Porto, located in the north of the country. In general, the coastal areas have a higher human occupation than the interior of the country.
Portuguese is spoken by around 250 million people on all continents and it’s the fifth most spoken language in the world and the third if we consider only European languages.
Portuguese-speaking countries are spread across the world. Portuguese is spoken in Africa (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe) in South America (in Brazil), and in Asia, in East Timor, the youngest country in the world, it is also an official language in Macao.
In Portugal a big part of the citizens has easy communication in English, French and Castilian.
The Portuguese people are mostly Catholic, but the Portuguese Constitution guarantees religious freedom, which translates into the presence in Portugal of various cults.
More information at: https://www.visitportugal.com/