Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is located in South-Western Europe, on the Iberian Peninsula, and it is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, being bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. Aside from continental Portugal, the Portuguese Republic holds sovereignty over the Atlantic archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, which are autonomous regions of Portugal. The country is named after its second largest city, Porto, whose Latin name was Portus Cale.
Tourist hotspots in Portugal are Lisbon, Algarve and Madeira, but the Portuguese government continues to promote and develop new tourist destinations, such as the Douro Valley, the island of Porto Santo, and Alentejo. Lisbon is, after Barcelona, the European city which attracts the most tourists.
When to go:
Portugal has a typically Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers, and cool, wet winters. The southern coastal region of the Algarve is more temperate than inland regions. The best time to visit Portugal is during spring and autumn, when the weather is warm and fine, and there arent too many tourists around. However, summer is the high season, and is probably when the ocean is at its most appealing.
Average monthly temperature (°C)
+0hrs (GMT +1 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).
Portuguese and English.
Passport holders endorsed British Citizen, British National (Overseas), British Overseas Territories Citizen and British Subject, all with the right of abode in the UK, do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. In all other cases a visa is required.
Portugal is a popular flight destination from the UK and is subsequently busier and more expensive during summer and holiday months.
For the latest update-to-date Portugal travel advice, click here.