An Overview of Portugal
Talking about my homeland, Portugal
Portugal is my homeland, so I’ll have a lot to write about it, not only in this hub, but also in the future. I’ve visited almost all Portuguese territory (I’m missing the Azores Islands). Portugal is a very beautiful and diverse country. In Portugal you can find great beaches for the summer and snow-covered mountains for the winter. You have a great diversity of accents and customs.
Portuguese people are, generally speaking, very nice and welcoming, from north to south, but especially in the northern area. If you only go to Algarve, you will have good beach holidays, but I tend to say that you never know the real Portugal. Portuguese small towns and villages, from north to south, are one of the best things the country has to offer.
If you don’t speak Portuguese, don't worry! Most people have enough English knowledge to talk to you. If you also can't speak English, don't worry, just make gestures and point, most people will be glad to help, and if you are able to say obrigado (thank you) in the end of the "conversation", people will be delighted because you tried to speak their language!
Driving in Portugal
The Portuguese are, in general, aggressive drivers. Of course this depends from region to region but, especially if you are British, you will find them mad. They are not as fast as the French, but generally they don’t respect the speed limits and often make some dangerous manoeuvres. On another hand, you have a lot of highways (all paid) where you have little traffic (and also where you will lose most of the beauty of trip).
Eating in Portugal
Well, I am Portuguese so I think I can't be impartial when analysing this aspect, but I find the food really good. You can find great and affordable meals all over the country. My favourite cuisine is from Alentejo (the southern region between Lisbon and Algarve), but the best region to eat "good and cheap" food is in the North. There you can eat well, and a lot, in almost every small “tavern", paying very little for the full meal. Portugal also has good wine, good cheeses, and great coffee.
Cleaning and care in Portugal
It is generally a clean country. I think the Portuguese miss a bit of pride in their country, so things aren’t as good as they could be. There are a lot of modern buildings in historical areas and that shouldn’t happen, and wouldn’t happen if people were a little prouder of their little typical things. Besides that, it’s a safe country to be in. It’s clean, nice and pleasant.
General cost in Portugal
Supermarkets are not very expensive. Petrol is at an average price for European standards. Eating, as I mentioned, is very cheap. Hotels are more affordable than in most Western Europe. It's a great country to spend some affordable and nice holidays.
Attractiveness and interest of Portugal
Portugal has amazing typical small villages and towns. There are a lot of wonderful monuments from the monarchy time (Portugal is a republic now). Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are in Portugal. In the winter you have snow in Serra da Estrela and in the northern region. The North is absolutely fascinating, with a lot of history and culture from the formation of the Portuguese Kingdom. And in Alentejo you can find the most typical countryside. The capital, Lisbon, is very beautiful, and some of its surroundings (like Sintra or Mafra) are absolutely "must see" points.
Besides all this, Portugal has three archipelagos: the Azores, Madeira and the very little, and forgotten, Berlengas. All them filled with astonishing beauty.