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Portugal - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events

Facts for the traveller for Portugal

Bridging the Tejo, Lisbon Visas: None required for EU nationals. Nationals of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA can stay for 90 days visa-free. Everyone else needs a visa.
Health risks: Sunburn
Time: GMT/UTC GMT/UTC ((+1 in summer))
Dialling Code: 351
Electricity: 220V ,50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

When to Go to Portugal

Peak tourist season is roughly from mid-June to September, except in the Algarve where it really only quiets down in the dead of winter. Carnaval and Easter are two holidays celebrated with gusto all over the country and are worth going out of your way for.

Portugal Events

Portugal abounds with romarias (religious pilgrimages), festas (festivals) and feiras (fairs) which bring whole towns to a standstill. At the core of many are religious processions. The further north you go, the more traditional and less touristy these celebrations get. Carnaval is one of the biggest events, featuring partying, parading and painted faces about six weeks before Easter. There are vast and colourful processions during Braga's Easter or Holy Week Festival. The Festa de São João in June is biggest in Porto where everyone dances through the streets, amicably hitting each other over the head with leeks. The Feira de São Martinho (Golegã, November) showcases all manner of horses, riding contests and bullfights.

Public Holidays

New Years Day - 1st January
Carnaval Tuesday - February/March - day before Ash Wednesday
Good Friday - March/April
Liberty Day - 25 April - celebrating 1974 revolution
Labour Day - 1 May
Corpus Christi May/June - ninth Thursday after Easter
Portugal Day 10 June - also known as Camões & the Communities Day
Feast of the Assumption - 15 August
Republic Day - 5 October - commemorating 1910 declaration of Portuguese Republic
All Saints' Day - 1 November
Independence Day - 1 December - commemorating 1640 restoration of independence from Spain
Feast of the Immaculate Conception - 8 December
Christmas Day 25 December

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