• Portugal flag
  • Sintra-azulejos
  • Sardines

Portugal: more than sun, sea and sand

Portugal, discover the versatility of this beautiful country

Portugal is much more than just sun, sea and sand! After so many years in this beautiful country, we can wholeheartedly agree. How about the beautiful natural parks, including the Serra da Estrela, lakes and rivers, the many delicious wines, the surprising cuisine, fascinating cities with historic buildings (many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites) and the history around them, azulejos and ... and ... and ...

Discover it all with Jinah Trans Portugal!

  

Portugal: elongated western part of the Iberian Peninsula

Portugal is part of the Iberian Peninsula, located in southwestern Europe. The islands of the Azores and Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean also belong to Portugal.

The Portuguese territory, including the islands that belong to Portugal, has an area of 92,212 km2, which is three times the size of Belgium or twice the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Lisbon, which is also the country’s largest city.

The Portuguese coastline is no less than 832 km long and captivates with its beautiful sandy beaches. Since these are on the Atlantic Ocean, not all beaches are safe for swimming.

The official language in Portugal is Portuguese. In addition, Mirandese is also spoken in a certain region.

The different regions of Portugal

Portugal is divided into different regions, each with its own character:

  • Algarve: in the south and best known among beach tourists and golfers. Famous cities include Faro, Tavira, Albufeira
  • Alentejo: the southern interior, also called "the granary" of Portugal. Well-known cities include: Évora, Beja, Portalegre
  • Centro: (which also includes the Silver Coast and where Jinah Trans has its home base): the central part of Portugal with Tomar, Fátima, Nazaré, São Martinho do Porto as well-known places
  • Lisboa: the region with and around the capital Lisbon
  • Norte: the north of Portugal with, among others, the cities of Porto, Braga, Guimarães and Aveiro
  • Azoren: archipelago about half the route to America in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Madeira: island in the Atlantic Ocean about 700 km west of Africa. The Madeira region also includes Porto Santo, the Ilhas Desertas and the Ilhas Selvagens.

Portugal has just under 11 million inhabitants ( in 2020) and its people are known to be very hospitable (which we can undoubtedly confirm).

Portugal and its climate

The climate in Portugal is different from that in Spain and varies from region to region. Due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean, it is generally a bit cooler in Portugal than in Spain and the coastal weather can often be windy.

In summer, it can be particularly hot inland and in the eastern part of the Algarve, but on the coast the heat is tolerable all over the country. Winters in the south are mild. In the interior, on the other hand, a lot of rain can fall and in the higher regions even snow.

So, you can enjoy some Portuguese region all year round! In our opinion, can enjoy this country the most from April to October, although you can certainly enjoy a city trip to Lisbon or Porto during the other months, for example.

Portugal also amazes with its numerous natural parks, lakes and rivers

Because of Portugal's large coastal strip, you simply cannot miss the many beautiful beaches. There are also protected areas with a great variety of fauna and flora to discover. For example, Peneda-Gerês, the Serra da Estrela, Serra de Aire with its famous caves, and many others.

The largest lake in Portugal is the Barragem de Alqueva reservoir. In this area, you can still enjoy a pristine view of part of the Milky Way at night.

The two best-known rivers that flow through Portugal are the Tagus and the Douro. The Tagus has its source in Spain (and is called Tajo there, but Tejo in Portugal) and flows into the Atlantic Ocean beyond Lisbon. The Douro also has its source in Spain but flows past the city of Porto into the Atlantic Ocean. The Minho marks the border between Spain and Portugal and the Sado River at Sétubal is famous for dolphin spotting. There are, of course, more rivers. In fact, too many to mention here.

Portuguese history and culture in a (very small) nutshell

As an ancient European country, Portugal has such a rich history and culture that libraries of books have been written about it. Of course, that is not the intention here, so we will limit ourselves to an enumeration of the most important points from the rule of the Moors in 711 AD.

With every short trip, day tour and/or multiple-day tour, your private guide will tell you everything you want to know!

  • 711 – 1249: The Iberian Peninsula is ruled by the Moors. In 1249, they are driven out of the Algarve, the last stronghold (the Reconquista).
  • 1143: Portugal is officially recognised at the Zamora Conference.
  • 1179: Afonso I becomes the first king and Guimarães the first capital.
  • 1255: Lisbon becomes the capital
  • 15th and 16th centuries: voyages of discovery
  • 1755: Portugal suffers a severe earthquake on 1 November (9 on the Richter scale)
  • 1807 – 1926: tumultuous political period including Napoleonic Wars and exile of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil, succession crisis, the first republic
  • 1926: military dictatorship with Salazar as prime minister
  • WOII: Portugal retained its neutrality and became (along with Spain) a refuge for the Jews of Western Europe.
  • 1974: Carnation Revolution (non-violent coup) and foundation of the Third Republic.

Due to all the different cultural influences over the centuries, many cultural-historical finds, sights, architectural styles… can be discovered in Portugal. Your English-speaking private guide will tell you everything you want to know!

Portugal is also culture and folklore

The typical and traditional Portuguese music is Fado, which you can discover during our Fado & Flamenco tour.

The Portuguese also love festivals and take (almost) every opportunity to celebrate: Saint Anthony, Saint John and Saint Peter (in the month of June) and other religious festivals such as carnival, village festivals, the Virgin Mary, associations, the Festa dos Tabuleiros (Tomar), Queima da Fitas (Coimbra), feira de São Mateus (annual fair in Viseu) and many others.

Culinary Portugal: food, drink and prices

The Portuguese love sweets, snacks, fish and meat dishes accompanied by a beer or wine. Vegetables are not eaten very much but can be ordered as a side dish in most restaurants. You will find more information about food and drink in our blogs.

You can enjoy all the Portuguese goodness too! We can safely say that you can enjoy them to the full, because the consumer prices here in Portugal are a lot lower than in Northern Europe. If you want to get away from it all, enjoy a carefree (thanks to our good services) and cheap holiday in Portugal!

Practical information about Portugal

  • Time zone: Portugal is located in the Greenwich Meantime time zone, just like the United Kingdom. This means that it is 1 hour earlier here than in Belgium, the Netherlands or neighbouring Spain.
  • Traffic: in Portugal people drive on the right side of the road.
  • Toll roads: in Portugal you pay toll on most motorways. On some highways you can take a ticket to pay, on others only a digital system is available. Good to know if you are traveling to Portugal by car or camper.
  • Electricity: the same plugs, sockets and the same voltage as in the Netherlands and Belgium, but different from those in the UK and the USA, for example
  • Emergency services: you can reach the police, fire brigade and ambulance via the emergency number 112

Interested in discovering this beautiful country together with Jinah Trans Portugal?

Jinah Trans Portugal has an extensive range of services and ideas to make your holiday a lasting memory. Discover what we have in store for you, together with your partner, friends and/or family:

  • Airport transfers from Lisbon to the Silver Coast and back
  • Guided day tours in the Silver Coast region and central Portugal
  • Short trips: 3 to 5 days Portugal & Spain with English-speaking private guide
  • Special multiple-day tours: longer tours with different contents, always accompanied by our English-speaking private driver & guide