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Portugal sits on the western portion of the Iberian Peninsula. Three large rivers of the country divide it into three geographic areas with distinct climates. The north has rainy winters with occasional snow and cool summers. The central region is characterized by hot summers and rainy fairly cool winters. The south has a very dry climate with temperatures averaging 24°c (75°f) in summers and 4°c (39°f) in winters.

The types of vegetation in Portugal can also be divided into three main categories. First there are the eucalyptus, pine and chestnut forests in the northern part of the country. The central part has dry grasslands combined with a variety of evergreen oak and cork and the south has steppe like grasslands with brush evergreens. Portugal’s waters have ample supplies of sardines and tuna along with other varieties of fish.

Lisbon is a vibrant city as well as the cultural and commercial hub of the country. It is also one of Europe’s most affordable cities. Some of its attractions include the oceanarium at Parque das Nacoes, St. George’s Castle and Lisbon Botanical Gardens. Porto is the second largest city and is situated to the north of Lisbon on the banks of River Douro. An area closely associated with wine-making, all of the country’s exported wine has to pass through this city. The city of Aveiro provides visitors with a Venice-like atmosphere as parts of it are accessed by canals and bridges. The coast has some great beaches.

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Fast Facts:

Capital:  Lisbon

Government:    Parliamentary Republic

Language:    Portuguese

Currency:   Euro

Area:   92,391 Sq. km

Religion:   Roman Catholic, Protestant

Dialling Code:   +351

 

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