Portugal Car Hire information resources for Portugal. Lisbon, Algarve. Car Hire, beaches, tourist attractions, pictures

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Portugal Car Hire - Portugal Overview:


Fine beaches, a temperate year-round climate, mouth-watering gastronomy and friendly people are just a few of the ingredients that spice up the experience of visiting Europe's south-westernmost country called the Algarve.

Portugal is roughly a rectangle in shape; 561 km (350 miles) long and an average of 188 km (117 miles) wide. Its 88,550 sq. km (34,200 sq. miles) cover almost one seventh of the Iberian Peninsular. In reality, its Atlantic position provides a much cooler climate, particularly in the north where a refreshing amount of rain falls during winter. Influenced by the Gulf Stream and the isobars circulating around North Africa, the climate in Portugal is simultaneously Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Portugal's strength as a holiday destination is its diversity, a something-for-everyone kind of place with mountains, vast arid plains, sub-tropical volcanic islands and lush-green meadows, not forgetting 528 miles of sandy beaches. Rich in cultural traditions and history it is one of the oldest nations in Europe, an ideal country with lovely beach resorts offering the opportunity for a pleasant and restful break at any time of the year.
Portugal is a fast-growing destination for golfers who can now choose from more than forty top-class courses including San Lorenzo, in the Algarve, officially recognised as one of Europe's best championship courses. Most other sporting activities are freely available in Portugal, such as, surfing, windsurfing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, fishing, sailing, swimming, mountain biking, rambling, horse-riding, hunting, bird-watching, skiing, tennis, cycling, etc..

Portugal - the last real old place in Europe - is a country of outstanding natural beauty, scattered with medieval towns and historic castles and palaces.

Portugal Car Hire Infographic


Portuguese food is distinctive and varied, featuring many regional specialities that have evolved from local traditions and ingredients.

Much of Portuguese cooking is spice based, thanks largely to Vasco da Gama and the other navigators of his time. He and his seafaring countrymen traversed the globe collecting pepper, cloves, curry, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a range of savoury foods which serve as the base of many dishes today. Fish is a mainstay of Portuguese cuisine, particularly sardines and the ever-present dried codfish. Portuguese meat is both tasty and safe to eat, particularly pork which for centuries has been an important livestock in the country's rural economy. The annual slaughter between December and Easter is still a major event in the winter calendar of most farms and villages. In the Bairrada region north of Coimbra, many restaurants specialise in roast sucking pig. Some parts of the pig in feijoada, a bean stew made with black pudding and pork knuckle.


Despite its size, Portugal offers a great variety of terrain, with a wide range of sports and leisure activities to match. Golf and tennis facilities have been well established for many years, and in the south the mild climate means that both sports can be enjoyed all year round. In the Algarve, most of the courts in tourist complexes are hard-surfaced, although elsewhere many are clay. The larger resorts in the Algarve, Madeira and the Estoril Coast & Sintra region offer tennis coaching holidays.

Portugal’s resorts are also famous for their golf courses, which include some of Europe’s finest. The majority offer coaching for golfers of all abilities and specialist holidays are now easy to arrange. Surfing, windsurfing and sailing are extremely popular along Portugal’s 800 kilometres of coastline and around the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores. The best beach for surfing is the world-famous Guincho, just outside Cascais in the Estoril Coast, where international championships are often held. Also in the Algarve, the modern marinas at Lagos, Albufeira and Vilamoura are important yachting centres.


Portugal currency is the euro. You can exchange money at banks, which are open from 8.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. five working days a week; at bureaux de change; and at automatic currency exchange machines (these are for currency sale transactions only).
In Portugal, the most commonly used credit cards are: Visa, Visa Electron, American Express, Diners Club, Europay / MasterCard, JCB and Maestro.


Vehicles drive on the right in Portugal. Unless otherwise indicated, vehicles coming from the right have priority in squares and at intersections.
At junctions with roundabouts, vehicles already on the roundabout have right of way.
Road signs comply with international rules.
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 grams per litre or more.
All occupants must wear seat belts.


In public telephone booths, coins and special cards can be used. They are sold in Portugal Telecom shops, post offices and some kiosks and news-stands (with a sign indicating this).

All telephone numbers in Portugal are composed of nine digits. To call from abroad to Portugal, it is necessary to dial the international access code 00 and the country code 351. To call abroad from Portugal, dial 00, the country code, the area code and then the number wanted. The dialling codes of the various countries are affixed in public telephone booths.


SOS - National Emergency Number


Lisbon International Airport

218 413 500

Oporto International Airport

229 432 400

Faro International Airport

289 800 800


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