A country of intrepid explorers and a fascinating history, supreme seafood, picturesque and at times quite dramatic scenery, and blessed with a Mediterranean climate, it’s no wonder that Portugal is an enticing country. Its Algarve beach resorts have long been popular, and Lisbon’s cosmopolitan ambiance makes it an ideal city break, but there really is so much to do see and do in Portugal, from river cruising along the unforgettable Douro and touring port cellars in Oporto, exploring Portugal’s islands in the Azores and Madeira, and admiring the Roman ruins and Baroque churches of the spiritual city of Braga, to joining in the revelry of a Portuguese festival, golfing, or the thrill of watersports along Portugal’s Atlantic coast.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Lisbon
- Currency: Euro
- Time Difference: Portugal is in the same time zone as the UK, so there is no time difference. It also currently observes Daylight Saving Time at the same time as the UK (from the last Sunday of March to the last Sunday of October). Madeira also follows the same time, however the Azores is an exception in that it is set at GMT during Daylight Saving (so it is 1 hour BEHIND BST), and is 1 hour BEHIND GMT during Winter.
- Flight time: You can fly direct to Porto in 2 hours and a quarter, Lisbon in just over 2.5 hours, and Faro in 2 hours and 50 minutes. Madeira flights are from 3 hours and 45 minutes direct, while direct flights to the Azores take just over 4 hours.
- Official language: Portuguese
- Entry requirements: Visas are not required. As part of Europe and the Schengen area, in the event of Brexit, please read here for information on changes to travel. Currently, no additional validity is required on your passport, but please also read our further information for changes following Brexit.
- Vaccinations and Health: You should always ensure that you travel with adequate travel health insurance. For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/181/portugal#Vaccine_recommendations, or for specific information on Azores or Madeira.
If vaccinations are required, it is generally advisable to arrange an appointment with a health professional four to six weeks before departure.
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal
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