Portugal is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. It’s total area is 35,645 square miles, with Lisbon the capital and largest city. The mainland Portugal is divided in 18 districts. Each district is named after their capital. The main river Tagus runs through the mainland Portugal.
Portugal is a democratic republic, whit the President as head of the state. The current President of Portugal is Aníbal Cavaco Silva. The government is headed by the prime minister, which currently is José Sócrates.
The history of the country and the various peoples who live there have an impact on the Portuguese architecture and culture. The earliest examples of architectural activity in Portugal date from the New Stone Age and consist of structures associated with Megalith culture. A megalith is a large stone monument built alone or with other stones. Traditional Portuguese late Gothic architecture is the sumptuous, composite architectural style of the decoration, also called the Manueline Style. The Cloisters of Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon, built in the 1520s, is a perfect example.
There are also beautiful remains from the Roman period, such as Roman Temple of Évora and bridge of Aquae Flaviae, today’s Chaves.
Portugal has some beautiful areas that are protected. As the National Park, several natural parks and natural reserves, 5 natural monuments, and some protected landscapes, ranging from the Parque Nacional da Peneda – Gerês, the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela to the Paul Arzila. Portugal has a very varied fauna, you will find there: the fox, badger, hare, Iberian lynx, Iberian wolf, wild goat, wild cat, weasel, polecat, chameleons, mongoose, civet, brown bear and many others.
Portuguese wines are very well known, especially outside of Portugal are the port, vinho verde and madeira very popular. In Portugal many fish and rice is eaten, but pork is regularly on the menu. Portugal is the only European country where cilantro is traditionally part of the kitchen.
Portugal tourism is incredibly diverse and there is much beauty, the people are very friendly. Common sights that you find during a holiday in Portugal, the pretty whitewashed houses decorated with red tiled roofs, golden, sandy beaches, wide strip of rugged coastline and traditional fishing villages. There are many activities for a holiday in Portugal. Horse riding and diving are favorite sports or deep sea fishing. You can learn how to surf and there are beautiful championship golf courses. Holiday in Portugal can include a Douro River cruise where visitors opt for a half day to one weeks cruise and more to the river and the valley and into the ancient ruins to explore.
Nationals of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Korea, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela do not require a visa when entering as a tourist, for a stay less than 3 months. Visitors from other countries can request a visa at the Portuguese Embassy.