Location / Language of Portugal
Portugal is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. With a land area of around 92,000 sq kms, it is home to 10.6 million people and has Lisbon as its capital city.
The official language is Portuguese and is spoken by almost the entire population. There are a few Portuguese speaking in Goa, Daman and Diu in India as well.
Visa Requirements / Currency (please note these procedures / exchange rates can changed from time to time…please get an update from the embassy prior to travel)
As India is not part of the Schengen Area, if one is an Indian passport holder you will need to apply for the appropriate type of Schengen Portuguese Visa for travelling to the country. To be eligible for a Schengen Visa for Portugal one will mainly need their current passport, along with certain documents, to be submitted with the Visa application form.
Currency : Euro (EUR)
Conversion: Rs.1 INR = 0.013 EUR
1 EUR = Rs. 78.04 INR
Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Portugal
- Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon – The church and monastery embody the spirit of the age, and feature some of the finest examples of Manueline architecture found anywhere in Portugal; the beautifully embellished decoration found on the South Portal is breath-taking. Inside, the beautiful cloister is equally exuberant. Appropriately, the church houses the tomb of Vasco da Gama and other national figureheads, including Luís de Camões, Portugal's greatest poet and chronicler of the discoveries.
- Oceanário de Lisboa - Lisbon's oceanarium is one of Europe's best and largest oceanariums, containing a vast array of fish and marine animals. Four separate sea- and landscapes recreate the ecosystems of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Antarctic oceans. A huge central tank, visible from different levels, teems with shark, ray, and many other finned wonders and denizens of the deep. Complementing this amazing spectacle are the open-air landscapes where penguins, sea otters, and other cute and cuddly birds and mammals co-exist in carefree harmony.
- Palácio Nacional de Sintra – Easily recognized by its huge conical chimneys, Sintra's National Palace dates from the late 14th century and is the oldest surviving palace in Portugal. Regally furnished, the building is set over several floors, has glittering domed hall embellished with the coats of arms of 72 noble Portuguese families. The old town is a maze of cobbled lanes lined with handsome town houses painted in pastel hues of pink, mustard, and lilac and this is a Unesco Heritage Site.
- Torre de Belém - Completed in 1521 as a fortress to defend the approaches to the River Tagus, the tower is regarded as a masterpiece of military architecture. Designed in the Manueline style by Francisco de Arruda, the façade is a confection of beautifully carved stone, typified by maritime motifs such as twisted rope and the armillary sphere. An impressive Renaissance loggia heightens the decoration. The tower's cultural significance is such that UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage Site.
- Convento do Cristo, Tomar – Founded in 1160 as the headquarters of the Order of the Knights Templar, the Convent of Christ is as awe-inspiring as it is mysterious, and at its centre is the medieval Charola, the original Templar church, richly decorated and exuding all the strange symbolism associated with the Order of Christ. The 16th-century cloisters bewitch with Manueline flourishes and tease visitors with their concealed spiral staircases. And the convent's magnificent Manueline window.
- Bom Jesus do Monte – Portugal's grandest religious sanctuary, is located on a wooded slope six kms east of Braga and comprises a monumental Baroque Escadaria (stairway) and the church of Bom Jesus, this spectacular complex also features several chapels adorned with sculptured scenes from the Passion of Christ, fountains positioned at various points on the long ascent, and statues of biblical, mythological, and symbolic figures.
- Universidade de Coimbra – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic buildings of Coimbra University, surround a beautiful colonnaded central square, the Paço das Escolas. The Alta and Sofia wings of the university - a former royal residence - has the astonishing Biblioteca Joanina, a decorated library installed in 1717 by King João apart from the dazzlingly ornate 16th-century Capela de São Miguel, not missing the landmark 18th-century clock tower.
- Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – The museum's collection numbers of 6,000 pieces, all of which belonged to just one man - Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a wealthy Armenian oil magnate who bequeathed his priceless hoard to the Portuguese nation upon his death in 1955. Quite simply, this is one of the finest collections of art in Europe. The exhibits span more than 4,000 years from classical and oriental Antiquity to European art of the early 20th century – from 11 Roman medallions found in Egypt; 16th-century illustrated manuscripts; masterpieces by Rubens, Rembrandt, and Turner; Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture; and Art Nouveau jewelry made by Rene Lalique.
- Castelo de Guimarães – A UNESCO World Heritage site, it was built in the 10th century, but substantially extended by Henry of Burgundy two centuries later, the stronghold, on an elevated outcrop of granite, comprises a central keep - the Torre de Menagem ¬- surrounded by massive battlements and fortified towers. Dom Afonso was baptized in the tiny Romanesque chapel of São Miguel, located just outside the castle walls, and visitors can peek inside the diminutive space to see the font.
- Evora's Roman Temple – Évora's impressive cathedral was consecrated in 1204 and this celebrated religious building melds the Romanesque with the Gothic and the Baroque. Nearby is Évora's most iconic monument, the Roman Temple. Erected in the 2nd or 3rd century AD, this is the most impressive Roman building in the country. In fact, Évora's historic legacy is such that UNESCO has declared the destination a World Heritage Site.
Things You Must Do in Portugal
- Kayaking off Ribeira do Cavalo Beach - Taking to the sea by kayak to explore the Lisbon coast makes for a rewarding maritime excursion. Besides offering an extra dimension to the sightseeing experience, paddling the coastline provides an excellent excuse to exercise in a salt-laced, pristine environment.
- Hiking the Gerês Mountain Range - Gerês Mountains draw walkers, hikers, and lovers of the outdoors to one of Europe's last great wildernesses, a stark and rugged landscape noted for its lush valleys dotted with shimmering lakes, a scattering of traditional villages, rare flora and fauna, and a way of life that has all but disappeared from the rest of the country's mountain regions. The area is crisscrossed by ancient granite trails, which are waymarked for hikers to follow, either as a short stroll or a challenging day trek.
- Alentejo by Horseback - Whether following a narrow, gurgling stream; traversing a flower-flecked meadow; or plodding over a soft, sandy track, one of the great things to do in the Alentejo is to explore the region on horseback. The province is known for its love affair with horses; the beautiful and mild-mannered Lusitano breed.
- Cross-Border Zipline, Alcoutim - Spanning Spain and Portugal and currently the world's only cross-border zipline, this is one of the most daring and radical things to do as an adventure lover. Connecting Sanlúcar de Guadiana in Spain's Huelva province with Alcoutim in the far north of the Algarve, the line measures 720 meters and joins the two countries across the wide and meandering River Guadiana. Crossing the river at speeds of between 70 and 80 kms one can boast of traveling from one country to another in under one minute!
- Go Canoeing at Furnas Lake - One of the top spots in Azores is Furnas Lake which is a Crater Lake known for its blue waters tinged with green that sits of hills covered in mud volcanoes and hot springs. If one likes brooding volcanic landscapes then this is not to be missed and one can go hiking past the calderas or take to the waters and go canoeing which allows you to get up close to the amazing multi-hued waters.
Food on the Plate
Portuguese cuisine has many Mediterranean influences and is famous for seafood. The influence of Portugal's former colonial possessions is also notable, especially in the wide variety of spices used. These spices include piri piri and black pepper, as well as cinnamon, vanilla and saffron. Olive oil is one of the bases of Portuguese cuisine, which is used both for cooking and flavouring meals. Garlic is widely used, as are herbs, such as bay leaf and parsley.
Portugese food one must try includes:
- Sardinhas assadas – A platter of freshly grilled sardines, is comfort food in Portugal. A perfectly grilled sardine has flavourful flaky white meat and smoky, crispy skin.
- Açorda - a dish made with day-old bread and poached eggs served in a herbed broth, is a typical peasant food.
- Peixinhos da Horta – A vegetarian dish of breaded green beans fried to a golden crisp and is eaten as a starter or snack with a drizzle of lemon juice on top.
- Bacalhau à brás – It is one of the best fish dishes; a combination of onions, chips, olives, parsley, egg and, of course, cod.
- Pastel De Nata - World’s famous egg custard tart in filo dough that is best served warm, fresh out of the oven and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar.
Overseas Travel Medical Insurance Portugal
Since Portugal is a country which is part of the Schengen countries in Europe, the Schengen consulate has made it mandatory for Indian travellers visiting Portugal to have good travel medical insurance satisfying the Schengen visa requirements.
India Travel insurance for Poland is relatively cheaper when compared to destinations in Americas, and most insurance companies offer a specific Schengen Insurance Plan
. One must ensure that the minimum Accident & Sickness (A&S) sum insured for a Schengen plan must be €30,000 (around $50,000), and a visa to visit any Schengen country will not be provided without this minimum coverage.
The insured must purchase an “Excluding Americas” Plan, if they are travelling to other destinations that don’t include only Schengen countries.
Illustration for 15 days travel health insurance for Indians visiting Portugal.
|Sum Insured($USD or €Euro) / Premium in Rs. INR
||Insured Age 34
||Insured Age 64
|Schengen - €30,000
|Schengen - €50,000
|Excluding - $50,000
These premiums are across different plans and different benefits.. please log in to www.eindiainsurance.com
to compare and buy the best Schengen visa travel insurance for travelling to Portugal.