Flying time: London to Lisbon takes two hours, 30 minutes.
Airlines: Direct flights are offered by easyJet, TAP Portugal, Monarch, Lufthansa, Air France, Iberia, KLM, British Airways and Alitalia.
Tour operators: Airtours, Algarve Select, Barwell Leisure, Thomas Cook, Caravela Tours, Classic Collection, Club Med, Cosmos, Destination Portugal, Cadogan, XL Holidays, Falcon, First Choice, Kosmar, Mark Warner, Mundi Color, Palmair, Sovereign, Style, Thomson, Vintage, Whitehall Leisure.
Visa requirements: None
Pitfalls: Don’t swim in the sea if a red flag is out. Green flags mean it is safe to swim.
Weather: Summers are warm and dry, particularly in the south where temperatures can soar to 28C. Winters are mild on the coast, but can be cold and rainy in the centre and north.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice: The FCO warns tourists to be aware of pickpockets and bag snatchers in tourist areas. (See the latest advice.)
Portugal has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, offering a range of guest houses, five-star hotels, boutique properties and restored manor houses known as quintas. If you want a cosy crashpad that’s rich in history, stay in a pousada.
For A-list luxury, head to Lisbon’s iconic Lapa Palace, which dates back to the 1800s. Perched on a hilltop in the Embassy District of the city, the hotel offers fabulous views of the River Tagus and the cobbled streets of the Portuguese capital.
In central Portugal, stay at the four-star Hotel Palacio da Lousa, an 18th-century former palace with views of Serra de Lousa natural park.
Sunvil offers seven nights’ bed and breakfast at Pousada Sao Francisco, in Beja in April 2008 for £638, including flights and car hire.
Cosmos Tourama offers an eight-day tour of northern Portugal for £589 per person in October 2008 including flights, accommodation and transfers.
Kuoni offers three nights’ bed and breakfast at the Lapa Palace Lisbon in December 2007 for £463 per person, including flights and transfers.
For further information, call the Portuguese National Tourist Office on 0845 355 1212 (local call) or visit visitportugal.com
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