Portugal is the westernmost state in continental Europe. Located in the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula. In the north and east it borders with Spain, in the south and west it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean. The area of the territory is 92,090 km².
The northern part of the country is occupied by the low mountains of Serra da Estrela (altitude up to 1991 m.), The southern and central parts – the Portuguese lowlands, hills and low mountains.
The composition of Portugal includes the autonomous regions:
Azores – are a small (area of about 2.3 thousand square kilometers) archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. This autonomous region of Portugal consists of 9 large islands and many small islands and reefs.
Madeira is an island and archipelago located in the northern Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1000 km south of Portugal.
Subtropical Mediterranean, soft, without sharp temperature fluctuations. In the north, the marine climate is dominated by the Gulf Stream. Summer is dry and sunny, but not hot (average temperature is about 20 ° C, in the mountains – about 18 ° C), winters are cool (from + 4 ° C to + 10 ° C) and rainy.
In the south, the climate is warm and dry. Average January temperatures are from + 5 ° C to + 10 ° C, July – from + 20 ° C to + 27 ° C.
The climate of the Azores is subtropical, marine. The islands are in the zone of formation of the Azores anticyclone and have a fairly even temperature background – the average January temperature is about + 14 ° C, July – about + 22 ° C, while the maximum temperature on the mountain slopes can rise to + 24 ° C in winter and +34 ° C in the summer. Precipitation is 700-800 mm per year, in some places up to 1500 mm, with the western and north-western slopes receiving a significantly larger amount of rain. Maximum precipitation occurs in the winter period (from September to April). The water temperature during the year ranges from + 16 ° C to + 24 ° C.
The climate of Madeira is subtropical oceanic, soft and warm. The average temperature on the coast in the summer is about + 23 ° С, in the winter – about + 20 ° С. Precipitation in the form of thunderstorms and heavy rains falls mainly in the winter, and summers are relatively dry. The swimming season lasts almost all year round.
Shops are open on weekdays from 9.00 to 19.00, a break – from 13.00 to 15.00. On Saturdays, stores close at 13.00 (in December – at 19.00). Some shopping centers in resort areas are open from 10.00 to 24.00.
In Portugal, you can buy high-quality and fashionable shoes and clothes, gold products, ceramics, original white or red port wine (from 3-6 USD for a bottle of regular port to 10-30 USD for a bottle of ten to twenty-year aging, then the price increases depending on from aging), the world famous Portuguese wine Madeira (prices range from 16 EUR for a ten-year Madeira to 500 EUR for a two-hundred-year-old).
The traditional Portuguese souvenir is “azulejos”, the tiles adorning the walls, known since the days of Arab rule. Also interesting are handmade embroideries and lace, leather and wickerwork, and, of course, a variety of ceramics (made in the style of “cabbage leaf” typical of Portugal). Plus, of course, the most delicious and healthy (if in moderation, of course) souvenirs are the famous Portuguese port wine and Madeira.
You will not find here markets with bargain prices where you can bargain, either in Turkey or in Asia. But you are protected from low-quality goods, because stores give you a guarantee and all the necessary documents for the goods.
In Portugal, sales can be held from January 7 to February 28 (winter sale) and from August 7 to September 30 (summer sale).
VAT and tax-free
Citizens of countries outside the EU are entitled to demand a refund of 14-20% (depending on the region) value added tax on condition of a one-time purchase worth an amount equal to or exceeding 60,00 €, including VAT. Learn about all the conditions before making a purchase.
Most stores give a Tax Free check, according to which you can get back the VAT on the purchased goods. To do this, you need to have a passport with you when buying, your purchase in one store on one day should be approximately 60 euros (this amount may vary slightly). Ask for a Tax Free check, paying at the box office your goods. Having received such a check, you need to fill it in your free time before departure, indicate all the necessary data. When departing from Portugal before passport control, you need to present at the customs the purchased goods and the completed check (look for the counter TEX FEE), get the customs stamp on the check. This can be done before and after you check in your luggage. The main thing is that the goods should not be printed.
SEA AND BEACHES
In Portugal, all beaches are municipal. For a sunbed and an umbrella you will have to pay 8-10 euros per day.
On the Lisbon Riviera and the Algarve – fine white sand, on Madeira, pebble or artificial beaches.
Flags on the beach warn about the state of the ocean: red – the sea is rough and swimming is strictly forbidden, yellow – you need to be very careful, green – swimming is safe.