About Portugal

Portugal is a country on the Iberian Peninsula in Southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe. To the west and south it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east and north by Spain. The Portugal–Spain border is 1,214 kilometres (754 miles) long and considered the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. The republic also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments. The territory of modern Portugal has been continuously settled, invaded and fought over since prehistoric times. The Pre-Celts, Celts, Carthaginians and the Romans were followed by the invasions of the Visigothic and the Suebi Germanic peoples. In 711 the Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the Moors, making Portugal part of Muslim Al Andalus. Portugal was born as result of the Christian Reconquista, and in 1139, Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King of Portugal, thus firmly establishing Portuguese independence.
Capital Lisbon
Government Type Unitary semi-presidential Constitutional Republic
Official Languages Portuguese
Total Area
• Total
    92,212 km2(35,603 sq mi) (111th)
• Water (%)
    0.5
Population 2015 estimate - 10,341,330 (83rd)

Portugal is a developed country with a high-income advanced economy and a high living standard. It is the 5th most peaceful country in the world, maintaining a unitary semi-presidential republican form of government. It has the 18th highest Social Progress in the world, putting it ahead of other Western European countries like France, Spain and Italy. A founding member of NATO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is also a member of numerous other international organizations, including the United Nations, the European Union, the eurozone, and OECD.

Climate

Portugal is mainly characterized by a warm temperate, mediterranean climate with a distinct wet season in winter. During winter, Portugal experiences a similar temperature pattern to the Spanish coastal towns, i.e. average daytime maxima of about 16°C (61°F). However, the Portuguese resorts are much wetter, with only about 14 dry days on average. On average 5-6 hours of sunshine can be expected per day. A gradual warming-up process takes place during the spring months, daytime average maximum temperatures reaching up to 22°C (72°F) by May. The Atlantic-facing coast remains wetter than the Mediterranean-facing Spanish coast, with about 18 dry days per month. Daily sunshine hours number about 10 on average.
During summer months, Portugal receives refreshing sea breezes, making for very pleasant conditions. Daytime maximum temperatures reach 25°C (78°F), 11 or 12 hours of sunshine can be expected, and there are as many as 29 dry days per month on average. The northern region benefits from the Atlantic cyclones southern and eastern areas are dominated by the subtropical anticyclone that allows temperatures to rise up to 40°C during summer. As in other regions, September and the first part of October form an extension of summer. Daytime average maximum temperatures can still be as high as 26 °C (79 °F), but will have fallen back to about 17 °C (63 °F) by November. Daily sunshine hours fall back from about 9 hours in September to about 5 or 6 hours in November. The end of the autumn has reverted to being a wet period, with about 12-17 dry days on average per month.