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Talk:Portugal

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ToDo[edit]

  • GetAround:ByCar: does the diesel called petrol on some of gas stations (which have a small-texted 'diesel' next to it) really fits well any diesel-engine car? Is it purely a marketing trick to force buying their premium brand of diesel fuel? --DenisYurkin 18:08, 10 October 2009 (EDT)
There are mostly two types of car fuel. Either petrol, which is called 'gasolina' or diesel which is called, either 'gasóleo' or 'diesel'. Diesel cars will, obviously take all forms of diesel, including the premium varieties. Note that in Portugal, diesel has historically been cheaper than petrol due to state subsidies. 203.125.122.2 03:50, 26 October 2009 (EDT)

Get Around[edit]

"Thanks to generous government susidies, rail travel in Portugal is often cheaper and faster than travel by bus."

I am portuguese and do believe that claim to only be true when not travelling by rail out of suburban areas. I.e., if you want to go from Lisbon to Coimbra, it'd be cheaper by bus than by train.

cael 15:24, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

Along the line between Braga and Faro, passing through Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon and Setubal, the trains are excellent but the fares are slightly more expensive than the bus fares.

I agree this is definitely not true--at least for the major routes from Lisboa to Faro, Coimbra, Porto, etc. the bus is always cheaper. I think three people is enough to change this.

Update: I wrote the first line (along the line between Braga...). Usually when trains are good, the train is a bit more expensive than the bus. This is what it was happening. However, given the recent records in oil prices, the train between Lisbon-Algarve is again a bit cheaper than the bus (even the excellent Alfa-Pendular train).

I concur to that. Trains are somewhat more expensive, take longer (like 1h50 vs 1h20) and have less destinations than buses, but are slightly more comfortable and less tiresome.

Vinho Verde[edit]

The "Vinho Verde" is not made from grapes that aren't mature. That is a myth. I live in the region (Guimarães) and have participated in some harvests and I can assure that the grapes are fully developed and matured as with any other wine. The name "Vinho Verde" comes from the sparkling, fresh nature of the wine.

Azores and Madeira?[edit]

What about the Azores and Madeira archipelagos? Not only are they beautyfull destinations but they are also regions of Portugal. Why aren't they mentioned in the article or displayed in the map?

Because they're waiting for you to add them :P -- I've just seen they're here Azores Madeira -- Simone 08:29, 21 Jan 2006 (EST)

Also, both Madeira and the Azores are quite humid and green. Only the island of Porto Santo is dry.

Regions[edit]

Portugal's regions seems to be in a bit of a mess. There are regions articles for Central Portugal, Northern Portugal and others that are not linked from Portugal and those contain some of the same links that appear under Portugal#Regions.

I'm going to attempt a bit of a cleanup on those and propose the following:


Having done some reading on where the EU is heading I think it might be wise if we restructure the above to conform to the NUTS II devisions. --NJR_ZA 02:54, 24 October 2007 (EDT)
Where are we on this? Does our current regions scheme match this map? If so, we should add it to the article. --Peter Talk 02:35, 24 January 2008 (EST)
I've seen no feedback, so I'll go ahead and implement this. That map is almost a match, just seem to be missing Estremadura, I'll use it as a template to create a WT map --Nick 06:06, 14 April 2008 (EDT)
I regret to tell you that Bairrada is not in the Lisbon Region, but a few km from Coimbra. And that San Rafael with a Spanish spelling seems to be near San Francisco, USA; I don't know of any São Rafael in the Algarve which might be more noticeable and well known than, say, Sagres. I also would have strong doubts to file the Alentejo as Central Portugal, but the classification, NUTS or not, seems to be a mixup of traditional divisions (those people know) and artificial ones.
I love how this stuff happens. I once was commissioned to get photos for a brochure; we went around all the publications for a given region, and all of them mentioned the important Pelourinho in a certain town. We went to that town looking for the Pelourinho and it had been taken down and removed about 45-50 years ago, but none of the travel writers had checked it in reality, they just copied each other's. But the Pelourinho was certainly well referenced, eh eh.
That's actually precisely why Wikitravel is useful. If any traveler, or even any resident of any city sees something that is incorrect, they can simply log on and change it. --Peter Talk 03:59, 24 March 2009 (EDT)
draft regions map
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the boundaries for the current regions. Cobbling together information from wikipedia:Political_divisions_of_Portugal#NUTS_II_and_III:_regions_and_subregions, I've put together a draft map, but I don't think it really matches our current regions scheme (no Central Portugal region!). We'll need input from someone who knows the country better than I do before we can finish this map. --Peter Talk 15:13, 19 November 2009 (EST)
Since we have a house in Algarve I'm pretty well viced with that area, but I'm afraid anything North of Lisbon remains a big gray hole. I can try asking my parents tomorrow since they spend alot of time down there. But this and especially this is much closer to my (possible flawed) mental map of Portugal. The national tourism organisation have moved away from that definition, and now uses something closer to yours now, I'm not entirely convinced by the way we usually do regions that the former is not the right one for us, and maybe a bit more fine grained national hierarchy, we can do away with the provinces for the foreseeable future. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 15:37, 19 November 2009 (EST)
The NUTS division [1] of Portugal seems a good way to divide the country. The Tourist Agency of Portugal [2] uses a slightly different approach as it also boasts a separate Lisbon region. --globe-trotter 18:42, 10 May 2010 (EDT)

The portuguese article seems to have a good division of Portugal. Basically, this is how they divide the country:

  • North
    • Minho
    • Douro Litoral (Coastal Douro)
    • Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Trás-os-Montes and Upper Douro)
  • North-Center/Beiras
    • Beira Alta (Upper Beira)
    • Beira Litoral (Coastal Beira)
    • Beira Baixa (Lower Beira)
  • South-Center
    • Estremadura
    • Ribatejo
    • Alto Alentejo (Upper Alentejo)
  • South
    • Baixo Alentejo (Lower Alentejo)
    • Algarve
  • Regiões Autónomas (Autonomous Regions)
    • Madeira
    • Açores

And besides that, they already have a map. --188.81.96.113 09:17, 11 September 2010 (EDT)

Cool, I'll get around to fixing up the boundaries on the one I made above (which has a bit more detail than the pt version's one), and we can call this a wrap. --Peter Talk 18:07, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Cities[edit]

This cities list should be reduced to 9, per The 7±2 rule. Would someone who knows the country please trim the list. --Peter Talk 02:37, 24 January 2008 (EST)

I would propose Braga and Guimarães for removal, eventually also Aveiro and Viseu. They are certainly important historically, but aren't worth a detour, as reading about them is certainly enough. I mean by that that what's there is also almost anywhere else, if by another, less magnificent designation, well maybe the Sameiro near Braga if you want. The possible exceptions are the Aveiro region (the museum and the Costa Nova typical architectura are cute) or the Grão Vasco Museum at Viseu if you like ancient art enough.
Faro is now missing, I think it should definitely be included. It is the center of tourism in the south. But which city should go? --globe-trotter 09:07, 24 February 2011 (EST)

Southeast Portugal international train[edit]

"Southeast Portugal is connected by international train (linha do Leste and linha de Caceres) [Elvas/Caia,Portugal & Bagajoz,Spain] or [Marvao-Beira, Portugal & Valencia de Alcantara, Spain.]"

Simply not true. The track is there but passenger trains stop at Évora or Beja. That's what you get by reading "references" from armchair tourists instead of going there.

Style & Copyleft[edit]

An anonymous user has been adding a lot of good info to this article, but that info appears to be copied from another web site and does not follow the Wikitravel:Country article template. To the user: if you are the original author of information please create an account and then add a statement to this talk page saying who you are and that you wrote the info, otherwise we have to assume that it is a copyright violation. Second, please break up that info and include it under the standard section headings of this article - see the previously mentioned country article template for details. In the interim the contribution will need to be reverted as we can't risk having content on Wikitravel that is not licensed under the CC-SA license. -- Ryan • (talk) • 08:35, 6 September 2008 (EDT)

Smoking in public places is not allowed.[edit]

This is incorrect. It is forbidden, and subject to a fine, to smoke in public enclosed spaces. By closed, according to the law, it is meant anything with a cover and two or more walls (a rudimentary shelter). It doesn't apply, say, to a train station platform with a cover and a single wall.

In restauration and hotelry it is allowed to have smokers' bedrooms and smokers' designated areas. These depend on details such as minimum and maximum surface, ventilation and clear separation, which are sometimes difficult to implement by the owners. Small surfaces can opt for smokers or non smokers on all the surface provided ventilation is adequate.

The presence of "No Smokers" and "Smokers" sign is mandatory and its absence is subject to a fine. Almost all fines regarding the application of the law have resulted from the absence of "No Smokers" signs.

The law is being very well adhered to.

Pastéis de Belém[edit]

I somewhat disagree that the pastéis de Belém are just as good there as anywhere else, but the rest about it is correct. Anyway, it's a matter of personal preference - I like them fresh, not made two days ago and straight from the refrigerator. --Xyzt1234 18:22, 15 September 2008 (EDT)

Xenophobia?[edit]

I find it odd that in the Stay Safe section two references popped up picturing gipsies and only gipsies as evildoers. Further ahead the maximum ATM withdrawal is referred to as being 500 euros, which is untrue -- it's 2x200 euros (400 euros). Some ill informed person(s) are going about the page.

I have not been deleting ill-informed opinions, even when my contrary opinion was deleted in the first place, due to the policy of adding, not deleting; but there's no point in cooperating if someone systematically destroys what your enter. --Xyzt1234 04:23, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

I didn't do those edits, but I've spend a lot of time in Portugal since my parent's have a house there, and gypsies are a problem - period (I've had troubles myself). While I agree that we should not be xenophobic around here, I don't think it's good dancing around the issue either, in the name of political correctness - the mission here should be to keep the traveler safe. Of course we shouldn't leave the impression that all gypsies are criminals, or they are the only ones doing crime in Portugal - but reading the paragraph, i don't think it leaves that impression - as the examples are pretty specific. Regarding the ATM withdrawals, any nonfactual information should naturally be corrected. Sertmann 05:19, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
You're right, many gipsies are a problem, in more than one way; but as you mention, they aren't the only ones; plain whites do it, blacks do it, indians do it, chinese do it (as you mention).
I really don't care about political correcteness (duh) and I still like to call things by their names (reason why I titled this "Xenophobia?", question mark); but being unfair/partial/erroneous is another stuff, I think. It would be terrible to make people think that they're safe provided there are no gipsies around or something. Personally I get much more nervous when I see a gang of youngsters of any ethnic group, for instance, and maybe anyone in Lisbon and around it has been harassed or robbed by second grade young people and developed strategies to cope with it, and they usually work fine.
If you feel that the text as it is doesn't leave the impression that gipsies and only them are the evildoers around here I rest my case, as my understanding of English language connotations is certainly not as good.--Xyzt1234 08:05, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

Driving[edit]

"Portugal is generally a safe country to travel, except when driving or crossing the streets. Driving is reckless. Do not rent a car or take coaches as sadly, road accidents are an integral part of daily life on Portuguese roads."

Really? Crossing the streets in the cities is easier than in many European countries (drivers seemed quicker to stop for pedestrians than I've experienced elsewhere), and driving, especially on the nice new toll highways, is very easy. And advising the traveler to not take a coach? Ridiculous! I don't know if this was written as a prank or by someone with a phobia of cars, but it gives the reader entirely the wrong impression.

(Admittedly, Portugal has the highest rate of accident fatalities of similar car-friendly countries--http://www.factbook.net/EGRF_Regional_analyses_HMCs.htm--but the odds of an accident are still quite low enough that the traveler should not have unreasonable fear.) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 131.107.0.104 (talkcontribs)

I second your opinion: after 2 weeks of driving around the country (outside major cities) and after several days of walking in Lisbon, I can't say it's anything more risky in Portugal: walking than elsewhere in Europe, or driving than in Spain or Greece. --DenisYurkin 07:20, 22 September 2009 (EDT)
I've just removed this piece as it's too controversial. We need to rewrite it to better reflect the reality, if we decide to keep something like that at all. --DenisYurkin 17:58, 10 October 2009 (EDT)

I am also removing this piece from GetAround:ByCar, as it's equally controversial:

[Other Portuguese cities often have] insane round-abouts which requires confident driving to get through and out safely. In most cities, the lack of indication signals makes it an adventure strictly for locals. You can see your destination and still be unable to get there. Parking legally is very difficult if not impossible.

I question this:

  • what's insane about round-abouts, and how it affects safety?
  • what indication signals are meant here?
  • what exactly does 'makes it an adventure strictly for locals' imply?
  • what prevents from getting to destination one can see?
  • what's wrong with parking; what cities/towns does it really apply to? (clearly not all, even not to most of them)

--DenisYurkin 18:03, 10 October 2009 (EDT)

RESPECT[edit]

I have to say that after reading the topic "Respect" in the main article i was wowed. Im portuguese myself and i may say that that section of the article is disgustful. It cames across as portuguese are violent people that fell offended easily and that cant't discuss political or ideological issues, like, bullfight, galician status, past slave trade, abortion, etc ... The topic even suggests "keep the opinion to yourself or to be cautious when sharing it" or "bullfight supporters tend to have a violent character" or even "Portuguese will find them far-fetched, adequate to fringe activists, shrug them off and suggest you to pick an interesting conversation subject instead." Im amazed that someone can say that about portuguese people. I actually think that speaking about this issues is a great way to have an interesting conversation. Those are not sensitive issues at all and you should not avoid them fearing that you will get negative reactions. Thats simply silly. The person that wrote this topic surely doesn't know portuguese culture at all and writes in basis of his/hers misconception of the portuguese people. 85.138.122.94 14:55, 26 June 2010 (EDT)

Well, plunge forward and make the necessary changes. Unfortunately, the Respect section generally attracts a lot of sillyness. --globe-trotter 15:32, 26 June 2010 (EDT)
Just did it. Fell free to help specially with the English =) There is much to be improved in the article and in this topic. I will try to help improving the article in the near future. Tacv 00:00, 27 June 2010 (EDT)
I'll help where I can :) --globe-trotter 06:38, 28 June 2010 (EDT)

Minimum passport validity[edit]

Source of my edit about minimum passport validity:

Article 9 of Act 23/2007 (4 July 2007) of the Portuguese Republic says that the travel document of non-Portuguese citizens "must bear a validity date which supersedes the duration of the stay".

However, foreign citizens who are required to apply for a visa in order to enter the Schengen Area need to submit a passport with a validity of at least three months beyond their period of stay at the time of making their visa application (in practice this restriction means that visa nationals must have a passport valid for 3 months beyond their departure date). Jakeseems 09:08, 23 July 2011 (EDT)

10 day itenary north to south from own experience[edit]

Hi, for those who are limited on time but want to see as much of portugal, this is what i did (i arrive in porto and leave via faro - ryanair)

Day 1 - Arrive Porto - Recommend Dixo's hostel. Walk along riviera towards Taylors Port Wine Cellar for a free tasting + visit Walk back via the upper tier of the bridge and stopover at the top of the cable car building or monument for a nice panoramic view of the city (nice at sunsets but bring a jacket) Food - try vinho verde, port vine, francesinha, pork tripe, fried sardines

Day 2 - Day trip to Braga & Guimaraes. Train to Braga and bus to see Bom - Jesus Bus to Guimaraes next to see the castle and old town. If you have a car, sunset at mount penya would be nice I imagine.

Day 3 - Cruise to alta douro. cruises were not running when i was there, but if pressed for time, you can do a train trip to Pinhao or Regua. (approx 2h each way). There are also afternoon cruises between Pinhao and Regua. Thus you can combine it with a train trip to Regua, then a cruise to Pinhao, which is the nice part in my opinion.

Day 4 - Leave for Obidos/Fatima as stopover Obidos only needs 2-3hours of exploring if pressed for time. Arrive in Sintra at evening. recommend Almaa hostel for a different feel (converted mansion with a old-modern feel and a gigantic garden!)

Day 5 - Sintra Walk to quinta de la reguilera, hike up to pena palace, then down to moorish castle. If time available, montserrate gardens and capo da roca is possible. Leave for lisbon at night

Day 6 - Lisbon, recommend travellers house. Time your visit in lisbon for the weekend is ideal for the nightlife. Otherwise, visit the castle, alfema area, belem and possibly one of the many museums/parks.

Day 7 - Day trip to Evora Chapel of bones, walled village. Roasted black pork cheeks are superb.

Day 8 - Finish lisbon and head to lagos

Day 9 - Lagos - weekend here apparently great as well... i can only guess. it was quiet on the tuesday. March is best to go in my opinion. The beach is almost deserted. The hidden coves are completely yours. Its not too hot, but the water was coldish. Then again, no rowdy tourists. Hike along the beach/cliffs to find the hidden coves. Leave for Faro by night

Day 10 - Faro - Depending on flight time. Extra time while waiting for the flight can be spent at the Faro beach which is few minutes only by bus that conveniently passes the airport.

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