Travel Guide Portugal
Historic cities with medieval buildings, lovely fishing towns, a rough-romantic coastline, several thousand hours of sunshine per year and some of the most stunning beaches you will ever get to see – Portugal is the perfect travel destination all year round.
Travellers from all over the world are amazed by Portugal’s exceptional range of different landscapes and its unique cultural heritage, where modernity and tradition blend together in perfect harmony. The following overview reveals more about the southwestern European country.
Highlights in Portugal
Geography of Portugal
Portugal is situated in the southwest of Europe at the western end of the Iberian Peninsula, bordering Spain. Portugal’s territory also includes the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean. Continental Portugal covers an area of around 90,000 km².
The Azores are an archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America. They have an area of approx. 2,400 km² and consist of nine volcanic islands: Flores and Corvo in the western island group, Terceira, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico and Faial in the central group and São Miguel and Santa Maria in the eastern group.
The Madeira Archipelago covers an area of more than 740 km² and lies in the North Atlantic Ocean almost 1,000 km southwest of the Portuguese coast. It includes the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo as well as the uninhabited Desertas and Savage Islands which serve as nature reserves.
Travel Tips and Trivia
Climate in Portugal
The climate in Portugal varies considerably from one region to another and is influenced by the relief, latitude and proximity to the sea, which offers mild winters, especially in the Algarve.
In the mainland of Portugal, particularly in the inland, winters are colder but still quite mild when compared to the rest of Europe. Snowfall may occur, mostly in the Serra da Estrela mountains. Summers are hot and dry, especially in the inland areas. There are often warm, sunny days in autumn.
The Azores’ latitude and the Gulf Stream influence the region’s climate. Temperatures are basically mild all year round.
In the Madeira Archipelago a subtropical climate is present. It is exceptionally mild, with average temperatures around 25°C in summer and 20°C in winter.
Flora and Fauna in Portugal
Portugal’s vegetation is a mixture of European (including Atlantic and Mediterranean) and some African species, just like the country’s fauna.
Wild goat, boar and deer can be found in the Portuguese countryside, lynx in the Alentejo region. Wolves are still living in the remote parts of Serra da Estrela. Fox, rabbit and Iberian hare are spread across the entire country. As Portugal is situated on the winter migration route of western and central European species, bird life is quite rich.