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Preface Last Updated: 9/6/2005 2:15 PM

Portugal is one of the most fascinating destinations in Europe. It has a rich seafaring past, wistful towns and cities, and a landscape wreathed in olive groves, vineyards, and wheat fields.

Its architecture is renowned for its Moorish and surrealist flourishes and it is characterized by the extravagant use of twists, turns, spirals, and nautical themes for decoration. The nation’s best-known musical form is the melancholic fado (songs believed to have originated from the pinings of 16th-century sailors). The most striking craft is the making of decorative tiles known as azulejos, a technique the Portuguese learned from the Moors.

Portugal’s history can be traced to the Celts, who settled the Iberian Peninsula around 700 BC. The region soon attracted a succession of peoples and was colonized by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Visigoths. In the 8th century, the Moors crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and began a long occupation that introduced their culture, architecture, and agricultural techniques to Portugal. But resistance to the Moors grew, and they were finally ejected in the 13th century.

In the 15th century, Portugal entered a phase of overseas expansion due to the efforts of Prince Henry the Navigator. Mariners set off to discover new trade routes and helped create an enormous empire that, at its peak, extended to India, the Far East, Brazil, and Africa. This period marked the apogee of Portuguese power and wealth, but it faded towards the end of the 16th century, when Spain’s Felipe II claimed the throne. Although Spanish rule lasted only a few decades, the momentum of the empire declined over the following centuries.

During the 19th century, the economy faltered and republicanism took hold. National turmoil led to the abolition of the monarchy in 1910 and the founding of a democratic republic.

Portugal’s democratic phase lasted until 1926, when a military coup ushered in a long period of dictatorship under António de Oliveira Salazar.

During the 1970s and early 1980s, Portugal underwent some painful adjustments: the political climate vacillated between right and left, and the economy suffered from wrangles between government and private ownership. The granting of independence to Portugal’s African colonies in 1974–75 resulted in a flood of over 500,000 refugees into the country. Portugal’s last overseas territory, Macau, was handed over to the Chinese in 1999.

Four decades of dictatorship sidelined the country from modern progress and Europe’s power centers, but like its neighbor, Spain, it has spent much of the last 20 years trying to move in from the periphery, forging new ties with the rest of Europe, restructuring its economy, and struggling to maintain what is best in its national culture.

The struggle between the traditional and the modern continues, and as Portugal flows towards the economic mainstream of the European Union, it still seems to gaze nostalgically over its shoulder and out to sea.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Portugal, in Europe’s southwest corner, is part of the Iberian Peninsula. With an area of 36,390 sq. miles, it is approximately the size of Indiana. The country is made up of the mainland and the Azores and Madeira Islands. On the north and east, Portugal is bordered by Spain; on the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean.

The Tagus River, flowing west into the Atlantic at Lisbon divides mainland Portugal into two distinct topographical and climatic regions. The northern part of the country is mountainous. Its climate is relatively cool and rainy. In the south there are low, rolling plains. The climate is drier and warmer, particularly in the interior.

Lying about 800 miles west of Lisbon in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are a chain of nine mountainous islands of volcanic origin. Their climate tends to be moist and moderate throughout the year. The total land area of the nine islands is 888 sq. miles.

The two main islands and the numerous smaller, uninhabited islands that make up the Madeira chain are located in the Atlantic Ocean about 350 miles west of Morocco. The islands are mountainous and rugged, with a mild year-round climate. Total land area is slightly over 300 sq. miles.

Mainland Portugal experiences two distinct seasons. From late October to mid-May rain is frequent and sometimes heavy.

Temperatures may drop into the low 30s at night during the coldest months, with daytime highs in the 50s and 60s. Annual variations in rainfall can be considerable, with years of flooding followed by years of drought. The remainder of the year is normally sunny with minimal rainfall. Days are pleasant, with temperatures seldom exceeding 95° F, except in the southern interior of the country. Afternoons and evenings are breezy, with nighttime temperatures in the 60s and low 70s. Spells of intense heat are infrequent and last only a few days.

Population Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Portuguese, who number about 10 million (1998 estimate) are a homogeneous people of Mediterranean stock. The original Ibero-Celtic peoples have, over the last 2,000 years, mixed with Germanic, Celtic, Roman, Arabic, and African peoples to form the population of today. The Portuguese are predominantly Roman Catholic, have a literacy rate of more than 85%, and a life expectancy of almost 76 years. “Saudade,” a feeling of nostalgia mixed with a melancholy acceptance of fate, is a concept often applied by the Portuguese to themselves.

More than 600,000 residents of Portugal’s former overseas colonies returned to the motherland in the 1970s. Portuguese citizens of African descent make up the country’s largest minority. Open borders within the European Union and job opportunities within Portugal are resulting in a rapidly growing number of immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Some 24,500 American residents live in Portugal, 18,000 on the mainland and Madeira, and 6,500 in the Azores. The vast majority of U.S. citizens are returned Portuguese-born immigrants. Most Americans live in the Lisbon area, the Oporto district in the north, the Algarve Province in the south, and in the Azores and Madeira. Additionally, about 350 U.S. Government employees and their dependents live on the mainland and over 2,500 in the Azores.

Tourism is a major industry with Portugal being the 15th tourist destination in the world. According to the National Institute of Statistics, “tourism and commerce” make up 17% of Portugal’s GDP as of the fourth quarter of 1998. Spaniards make up the largest group of tourists, followed by the British and other Northern Europeans. About 300,000 Americans visit each year.

English and French are the most widely spoken foreign languages. Although Spanish and Portuguese are quite similar in structure and vocabulary, they differ significantly in pronunciation. Although the Portuguese are very gracious when foreigners attempt to speak Portuguese, they are often offended when non-Spaniards speak Spanish with them. It is prudent for Americans to speak English with the Portuguese when they are unable to converse in Portuguese.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Portugal is one of Europe’s oldest independent nations, tracing its history to the 12th century when it became a kingdom following victories over the Leonese and the Moors. The current borders of Portugal, established in the 13th century, have hardly changed since that time, a longer period than for any other country in Europe. In the 15th and 16th centuries Portuguese navigators led the way in overseas exploration, establishing an empire in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The Portuguese monarchy lasted until 1910, when it was overthrown and Portugal was proclaimed a republic. Sixteen years later, a military coup led to the dictatorship of Dr. Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, a law professor who served as Finance Minister and later Prime Minister. Marcelo Caetano followed Dr. Salazar as Prime Minister from 1968 to 1974.

On April 25, 1974, the Armed Forces Movement, formed by young military officers, overthrew the Caetano regime in a relatively peaceful coup. Although the period that followed was marked by considerable instability, free elections were held for a Constituent Assembly in April 1975, and for the Legislative Assembly in April 1976.

A new constitution was adopted in April 1976, and revised in 1982 and 1989, which defines Portugal as “a Democratic State based on the rule of law.” The constitution provides strong safeguards for individual civil liberties. It also establishes the four main branches of the national government: the Presidency; the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers; the Assembly of the Republic (Portugal has a unicameral system); and the courts.

In the most recent presidential election, in 2001, Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio, the PS candidate, was elected to a 5-year term. The 1999 legislative election produced a government run by the Socialist Party (PS) for the second consecutive time. The PS reelected Antonio Guterres to a 4-year term as Prime Minister.

Portugal is active on the international stage taking leadership roles in various organizations and contributing to peace keeping and democracy-building initiatives. Portugal played a key role in supporting the development of a democratic, independent East Timor. Though Portugal has long seen itself as an Atlantic rather than European State, that focus is shifting as the country moves toward greater integration with Europe. Portugal has been actively involved in helping develop European Union structure and polity, seeking to safeguard the influence of smaller countries and prepare for the imminent accession of new member states. Domestically, the Government seeks to manage the nation’s current economic growth while instituting new programs to help marginalized citizens.

Internally, Portugal is divided into 18 districts and 2 autonomous regions (the Azores and Madeira). Municipalities, within each, hold elections for the selection of local officials. Internationally, Portugal is a member of the European Union and held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2000. Portugal qualified for the European Monetary Union in 1998. It is a member of the United Nations and recently held a seat on the Security Council. Portugal is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in which it will be the Chairman-in-Office in 2002. Portugal participates in several international development organizations and is a member of the Organization of Lusophone Countries.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Portuguese economy has witnessed a rapid transformation since the Portuguese Revolution of 1974 and particularly since the country joined the European Union in 1986. Traditionally, the country was known for its agricultural products, such as wine and cork, and its fishing fleets that ranged across the Atlantic. By 1995, however, these sectors accounted for only 4.3% of the economy and 14% of total employment. Manufacturing continues to provide about 35% of total economic output, with automobile parts, textiles, clothing, footwear and wood and paper products comprising the primary manufactured products. As with other developed economies, the service sector has become the country’s leading employer. Tourism is among the more important service sector industries and has witnessed robust growth over recent years. In the 4th quarter of 1998, tourism and commerce represented 17% of Portugal’s GNP.

One of the results of the Portuguese revolution was the nationalization of a number of sectors of the economy, including banks and major industrial enterprises. Over the last 15 years, however, Portugal has pursued an aggressive privatization plan for state-owned companies. In 1988, state-owned enterprises accounted for 19.4% of GDP and 6.4% of total employment. By 1997, these had fallen to 5.8% and 2.2%, respectively. At the end of 1998, total privatization receipts had reached $21.5 billion. The Government still holds significant interests in electricity and petroleum companies, telecommunications, several industrial enterprises, airlines, and two major banks, but the trend has been to dispose of its shareholding.

Membership in the European Union has strengthened Portugal’s economic ties to the rest of Europe, as well as bringing significant EU structural adjustment funds. Most of these have been plowed into infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, and mass transit. Since 1993, Portugal has experienced economic growth rates above the EU average, and a narrowing of the per-capita income gap with its wealthier European neighbors. Much of the recent growth can be linked with the country’s successful efforts to join the European Monetary Union (EMU), which was formally established at the beginning of 1999. With monetary union, the exchange rate for the Portuguese escudo has been tied to the Euro (200.482 escudos equal one euro), and escudos will disappear altogether in coming years. In addition to exchange rate stability, monetary union has brought falling inflation rates and low interest rates. Lower interest rates and greater availability of credit have, in turn, stimulated a boom in consumer spending.

Although the economy is generally healthy, the growth in consumption has been accompanied by a dramatic rise in household debt (from less than 20% of disposable income in 1990, to 90% by the end of 2000) and a lower savings rate. This higher indebtedness, along with recent increases in interest rates in the Euro-zone countries, may reduce economic growth in the near future. Also, membership in EMU has reduced the Government’s ability to fashion an independent monetary policy to address economic conditions, and strictly limits deficit spending.


Automobiles Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

A personal automobile will greatly enhance one’s enjoyment of Portugal. The countryside is beautiful, historic sites numerous, and distances within the country relatively short. With the exception of the far northeast, most of Portugal is within a 6-hour drive of Lisbon.

Compact four-door cars, with low gas consumption, are most practical. Popular European-specification cars available in Portugal include Fiat, Opel, Ford, Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo. Japanese makes include Toyota and Honda. Some auto companies offer diplomatic sales within Portugal, and several other companies offer the same services in other countries. Prices of European cars are generally less expensive than for the same make in the U.S., but delivery may require several weeks or months to arrange.

It is possible to bring an American automobile to Portugal. However, it is difficult to find spare parts for American-specification cars in Portugal. Spare parts such as fan belts, spark plugs, and oil filters should be sent in advance or make arrangements with a supplier in the U.S. for later shipments. There are excellent automobile mechanics in Portugal, and their services are generally priced at the level of their U.S. counterparts.

The Portugal Automobile Club is reliable, providing inexpensive emergency assistance services, tours and touring information, and access to its special club dining room.

Diplomatic personnel traveling with a family are entitled to duty-free entry of two vehicles. Single personnel are entitled to only one vehicle. Administrative and technical staff are entitled to duty-free entry of only one vehicle, within 6 months after arrival at post. Entering vehicles must have a valid registration, insurance, and proof of ownership. Vehicles should not arrive at post more than 2 weeks before the owner since customs clearance will be authorized only upon the employee’s arrival in country. Provide the Embassy with the following information for each vehicle as far in advance as possible: make, model, year of manufacture, chassis and engine numbers, engine size in cubic centimeters, number of cylinders, type of fuel used, color, seating capacity, number of doors, and license plate number and date of issuance.

Bring a valid drivers license from the U.S. The Embassy will issue you a translation of your license. These, together, with your identity card, will allow you to drive in Portugal.

Vehicles with diplomatic tags cannot be sold to the general public prior to permanent importation (nationalization) of the vehicle. This cannot occur until 2 years after the vehicle’s initial customs’ clearance. Sales within the diplomatic community are possible at any time. Application to sell a vehicle should be made at least 6 months prior to departure from Portugal, as the process for obtaining permission can take considerable time.

The Portuguese Government requires third-party liability insurance of 140,000,000 escudos (about $70,000). It is recommended that American personnel carry unlimited liability and comprehensive insurance. Such insurance can be arranged through several American companies, or it can be purchased locally.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Lisbon area offers extensive public transportation services: buses connect all parts of the city and its suburbs with frequent, regularly scheduled service. Fares are on a zone basis, with rides seldom exceeding 75 cents per zone. One U-shaped subway line operates within the city itself, connecting the downtown area with eastern areas of the city. (The American Embassy is within a 10-minute walk of the subway line.) The fare for the subway is about 50 cents per trip. Passes that are valid on both the buses and the subway may be purchased. Both buses and subway trains are crowded during rush hours, from 7:30 to 9:30 and from 4:30 to 7:00.

Taxis are plentiful in the Lisbon area, and many are radio-dispatched. These operate on meters, with most trips within the city costing $6 or less. Drivers are uniformly courteous and honest.

Commuter train service is available from downtown Lisbon, along the coast to the western suburbs and Cascais. A round-trip ticket from downtown to Cascais costs about $2.35, and the one-way trip takes approximately 35 minutes. A commuter train also runs from Lisbon to Sintra.

Ponta Delgada has inexpensive bus service available to most towns on the Island of Sao Miguel, although buses do not run frequently. Taxis are readily available and are not expensive. Some taxi drivers speak English and are willing to hire their taxis for half-day and full-day trips. Driving in Portugal is dangerous. Roads are congested, speeds high, and many drivers are careless. In particular, the coast road from Lisbon to Cascais is considered the most dangerous stretch of highway in Europe based on accident reports. One must always drive defensively while behind the wheel in Portugal.


Regional Transportation Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Many international airlines serve Lisbon, connecting Portugal via daily flights to most of Western Europe, North and South America, and less frequently with Africa and Asia. Continental Airlines initiated service between New York and Lisbon in May 1997. TAP Air Portugal connects New York with Lisbon on a schedule similar to that of Continental. Direct railroad connections exist between Lisbon and Madrid in Spain, where it is possible to connect with trains to the rest of Europe. There are also daily train connections to Paris. Road systems connect Portugal with Spain and the rest of Europe. Lisbon is also a major port, with maritime traffic arriving at and departing for ports throughout the world.

International airlines also connect Oporto, the Azores, and Madeira with foreign countries. Domestic airline service is available between Lisbon and Oporto, the Algarve, the Azores and Madeira. Flight delays may be encountered during the rainy season.

Regular train service connects Lisbon with Oporto in the north, and with the Algarve in the south. Round-trip, first-class fare to Oporto costs about $50 (as of March 2001). Auto-train services are available to Oporto at an additional cost. Train service to the eastern part of Portugal is available on the Lisbon-Madrid line, which also offers auto-train services. Other locations throughout the country are serviced by local trains, which are less comfortable than those serving the main lines.

Portugal’s highway system ranges from excellent to poor. Major expressways are found in and around Lisbon, stretching both north to Oporto and south to Grandola.

Short stretches of expressway are found in and near several other urban centers. Most parts of the country are connected by two-lane paved highways, which are passable in all weather. Many roads are narrow and winding and are heavily traveled by automobiles, trucks, and buses. Road maintenance, particularly in the northeastern and eastern parts of the country, may be spotty at times. Drivers must employ good defensive driving habits wherever they may be driving in Portugal. Both American and Portuguese car rental agencies operate throughout the country. Rental prices are comparable to the rest of Europe, but may seem expensive compared to rentals in the U.S. Several agencies offer discount rental prices to employees of the American Embassy. The Embassy Association (CO-OP) provides a discount for rentals.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The telecommunications industry is the most dynamic business market in Portugal. Driven by liberalization of the sector beginning 1998, scheduled for completion before the end of year 2003, Portuguese telecommunication companies have been making large investments to increase their competitiveness levels. The results of this competitive atmosphere have been the development of a telecommunications infrastructure that provides a full range of customer services.

Opening the telecommunication market to competition has drastically reduced long-distance costs. IDD (International Direct Dial) services and costs are consumer friendly. The use of calling cards is not recommended, as charges exceed established Portuguese rates.


Telephones and Telecommunications

Wireless Service Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM Growth has been particularly strong in the cellular phone market with an estimated 50% of the population accessing the available cellular systems. Cellular phone capabilities are provided to the Mission’s permanently assigned officers for official use.


Internet Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Internet connectivity is expected to expand to 25% of the population by 2004. Many of the current subscribers benefit from free services offered by the majority of the 15 ISP (Internet Service Providers) that compete in the Portuguese market. ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) capabilities are available countrywide to support video conferencing needs. The Embassy provides desktop access to all Mission employees. Access includes Department Intranet LAN and Mission-funded Internet LAN systems.


Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

American personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal have the privilege of using APO mail facilities. Each section is assigned a box number. Your box number will be included in the “Welcome Telegram” or you may obtain it by contacting the post.

Your address will read as follows:

APO ADDRESS POUCH Full Name PSC 83 Box Department of State APO AE 09726 5320 Lisbon Place Washington, D.C. 20521-5320

The USPS has divided domestic mail into four basic classes of matter and service: FIRST, SECOND (paper/periodicals), THIRD (Standard A), and FOURTH (Standard B). The USPS also provides EXPRESS MAIL MILITARY SERVICE (EMMS [Expedited])—designed to provide the fastest delivery. The APO offers all services that a normal post office, in the states would, except for mailing and receiving Registered and Delivery-Confirmation mail.

Express Mail (EMMS): (3-day service) EMMS provides the fastest delivery service; it receives no-fee postal insurance coverage of $500. Express mail service takes 3 days to and from the U.S. and Lisbon. Express mail is the most costly; however, it is guaranteed to reach the end destination within 3 days or your money will be refunded.

First Class: Up to 13 oz. (5 to 7 days’ transit) when originating stateside. Delivery time from our APO in Lisbon to a stateside address varies on location and class of mail used when mailing. First-class mail includes the following: letters, postcards, bills and statement of accounts.

Second Class: (Paper/Periodicals) (8 to 12 days transit) This class of mail includes monthly magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.

Third Class: (Standard A): Merchandise weighting 16 oz. or less. Transit time is normally 10–20 days.

Fourth Class (Standard B): Space Available Mail (SAM) is transported to New York on a space-available basis via surface (train/truck) within the U.S. Postage for SAM parcels is calculated at the fourth-class rate and may weigh up to 70 pounds with a combined length and girth of 100 inches.

Priority Mail: This is transported through the U.S. and to Lisbon via air at an increased price. The maximum size restrictions for Priority mail is 70 pounds and 130 inches combined length and girth.


The DOD authorizes Military Postal Service (MPS) patrons to mail articles called “correspondence,” not mail, between APOs in the same geographical theater free of postage. Limit for MPS is 70 pounds and 130 inches in length and girth combined.

International Mailings: Consult with the MPO before you prepare packages for mailing to a foreign (international) country. Sending parcels through international mail channels can be very expensive. The cheapest way to send merchandise international mail is via “SMALL PACKET.”


Payment: Only U.S. currency is accepted; however, you may use personal checks for the exact amount of purchase. You cannot purchase money orders with personal checks. You may use travelers checks to purchase all services provided purchases total at least half the amount of the travelers check. American Debit/ Credit Cards are also acceptable. Debit cards are accepted for money orders; credit cards are not. Debit cards are for purchases only.


Radio and TV Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Radio. Local AM and FM stations offer a full range of American and Portuguese music, as well as extensive newscasts in Portuguese. An Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) FM station with English-language news, sports, and music broadcasts from the CINCSOUTHLANT/NATO facility. Reception varies significantly from different locations in and near Lisbon.

Portugal uses the PAL 625 system. Multisystem TVs, VCRs, and DVD systems are available through the Navy Exchange.

Terrestrial television broadcasting is limited to approximately five Portuguese stations. These stations are also available on cable networks. The Portuguese have embraced the cable distribution system due to its quality and quantity of programming.

Cable Television. The distribution Cable TV market is largely controlled by TV Cabo Portugal Holding. This company operates in Portugal continental through seven regional operators, two more for the islands and another two that provide contents, such as Pay-TV offering short-term Pay-per-view, as well as Video-on-demand. TV Cabo envisages equipping its whole network with interactive television services by 2005. Portugal’s pioneering role in this technology is mainly a result of Microsoft’s investment in Portugal through its partnership with TV Cabo. Innovative aspects of Web TV include interaction with programs and advertising, as well as access to the Internet and e-mail services. Subscribers will also have access to personalized programming services and real-time research.

Television programming provides for international tastes with news and movie programs in English with Portuguese subtitles.

Satellite reception, with privately owned dishes, is optional at personal expense. However, the quality and availability of cable has diminished demand. The Embassy’s NEX facility offers AFRTS satellite receiver/decoders for purchase by authorized personnel; installation is the responsibility of the purchaser.


Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

All major international publications and many specialized publications are readily available on the local economy. Subscriptions tend to be delivered to the subscriber’s local address on time. Many publications are easily accessible through electronic media sources.

A small English weekly, the Anglo-Portuguese News (APN), is aimed primarily at the large British community in Portugal. Eight Portuguese dailies and five major weeklies carry domestic and international news.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Lisbon. The Embassy has a Health Unit currently staffed by an American registered nurse. The Health Unit staff provides routine immunizations, emergency first-aid treatment, and treatment for routine illnesses, all under the direction of a post medical advisor. A regional medical officer, stationed in London, visits the Embassy on a regular basis, usually once a year. A regional psychiatrist, based in London, also visits the Embassy yearly or on request.

The Embassy maintains a list of English-speaking physicians in various specialties, as well as listings of hospitals, clinics, and laboratories in the Lisbon area. Charges for medical services vary widely; charges at private clinics and hospitals are comparable to what one would pay in the U.S. The quality of physicians is good; however, Government hospitals and clinics are sometimes under-equipped, outdated, and poorly managed. Overcrowding can be a problem. Nursing care, with the exception of acute care areas, is below that found in American hospitals.

In spite of these problems, some private Portuguese hospitals are satisfactory for medical and surgical procedures. Emergency room services have been used with satisfactory results, as have obstetrical care services. Dental care is satisfactory. There are a number of excellent dentists who have been used, with good results (including periodontics, orthodontics, and pediatric dentistry).

Health and Medicine

Community Health Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Portugal is generally considered to have a healthy environment with minor health risks for those assigned here. Despite brief bouts of upset stomach and diarrhea, until one adapts to the new food, no major health problems present themselves. However, certain precautions are suggested.

Damp chilly weather is common throughout Portugal during the winter months. This aggravates rheumatism, sinusitis, asthma, and bronchial and other respiratory conditions. Common colds and various strains of the flu are frequent. Other commonly encountered diseases include Hepatitis A, dysentery, measles, mumps, chicken pox, and whooping cough. Tuberculosis is also more common than in most European countries. The reported incidence of AIDS and Hepatitis B cases is growing and has led to a nationwide educational campaign on the subject.

Health and Medicine

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Although not required, the following immunizations are recommended by the post: Hepatitis A and B, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, Hib, and polio. All are administered by the Embassy Health Unit, along with the other recommended childhood immunizations.

Many medications are available locally. However, post recommends that those on prescription medications bring a good supply with them and that arrangements be made for the refill of prescriptions, by mail, from the U.S., if they are not available through local pharmacies. The Health Unit may be contacted in advance to determine local availability of prescription medications. Although water supplied to Lisbon and the rest of Portugal is adequately treated, the distribution system is old in parts and in varying states of repair. Following any disruption of water service in the Lisbon area, and, at all times, outside the Lisbon metropolitan area, tap water should not be considered safe to drink unless it is first boiled for 3 minutes. Alternatively, good, bottled water, both carbonated and uncarbonated, is readily available at reasonable prices throughout the country. The water supply is not fluoridated, therefore, the Health Unit provides fluoride supplements for children between 6 months and 16 years of age.

Local meats, fish, fruits, and vegetables are safe for consumption. Meat and fish markets do not come under strict sanitary controls and nearly all stores have refrigeration equipment for meats, fish, and dairy products. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, is prevalent in many European countries, including Portugal. The current risk of acquiring vCJD from eating beef (muscle meat) and beef products produced from cattle in Europe appears to be extremely small (perhaps fewer than 1 case per 10 billion servings), if it exists at all. Your chance of getting vCJD from eating European beef is extremely remote. But, if you want to minimize your risk of getting vCJD as much as possible, you should avoid beef. If beef is important to your diet, then you probably should continue, but avoid organ meats, any products containing nerve tissues. The NEX store sells USDA choice beef imported from the U.S. Shellfish can be a source of hepatitis A, especially during the dry months. Caution is advised. Milk, butter, and cheese are generally safe and of excellent quality. Pasteurization of dairy products is now common, with the exception of what is called “fresh cheese” that is similar to “farmers cheese.” Unpasteurized dairy products should be avoided, as they may cause bovine tuberculosis.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 9/6/2005 2:23 PM

As of August 2005, post had the following Family Member Appointment (FMA) positions: POL/ECON OMS, two part-time CLOs, APO/Pouch/Mail Supervisor, APO Assistant, HR assistant, and several permanent, part-time Rover OMSes. The Mission seeks to provide as many family member employment opportunities as possible and generally is able to meet demand for jobs, though perhaps not at pay or professional levels commensurate to work experience for a family member previously employed in the private sector. Some jobs held by local hires would be very hard for FMAs to compete for due to language restrictions and need for thorough knowledge of local conditions.

Some dependents have been able to teach at either the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL) or St. Dominic’s. Anyone contemplating this should apply to the school(s) well in advance. The University of Maryland also hires qualified teachers for their local undergraduate program. Others have taught at language schools or have used their skills on a freelance basis giving music lessons, teaching aerobics, or tutoring. E-mail work is another option. Employment opportunities for teens and other family members are available through the Summer Hire Program.

Ponta Delgada. The opportunities are very limited in the Azores, except possibly for those with special skills in the arts, dance, and special education.

Please consult FLO’s listing (the FAMER) for more details, as well as the Embassy community liaison officer for current information.

American Embassy - Lisbon

Post City Last Updated: 9/6/2005 2:26 PM

Lisbon stretches over several hills on the north side of the Tagus River (Tejo, in Portuguese). The city faces south across one of Europe’s finest harbors toward the Arrabida Mountain range about 25 miles away. The bay’s entrance is spanned by Europe’s longest suspension bridge—the April 25 Bridge—with a main span of 1,108 yards.

Lisbon presents a contrasting picture of old, narrow, alleyways and tiled buildings that reveal its Moorish heritage next to broad, modern boulevards, new apartment buildings, and parks. There is an abundance of trees (including palms, evergreens, and numerous deciduous varieties), and a month without flowers is a rare one indeed.

Lisbon is the cultural and administrative center of the nation. The population of Lisbon proper is approximately 1,000,000; greater Lisbon’s population is approximately 2,500,000. Although less populous than many other major capitals, Lisbon is nonetheless quite congested from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, a situation exacerbated by the narrow, winding streets, many of them one-way. Traffic is generally disorderly in town, and it can be hazardous on highways and along the main coastal road (the "marginal") between Lisbon and Cascais.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 7/1/2003 2:18 PM

The Chancery houses all U.S. Government agencies comprising the Mission, including State, Defense Attaché Office, Office of Defense Cooperation, OPA, Foreign Commercial Service and Foreign Agricultural Service. Also in the Chancery are the APO, the Employee Association ( Co-op) store and service center, and the Pipocas (Popcorn) Child Care Center for children (infants to 5 years old) of all employees. Pipocas also provides summer and school break camps for children up to the age of 9.

The restored three-story manor house behind the Chancery, houses the Embassy cafeteria (which serves breakfast, lunch, and snacks) and two reception rooms, which can be used by Embassy personnel, for representational and private functions. The upstairs houses the Marine Security Guard detachment.

Behind the manor house are a formal garden, an extensive cobbled patio with a fountain, and tables and chairs for outdoor dining. A tennis court, in the same area, is used by many employees during lunch hour, as well as in the evenings and on weekends. Changing rooms and showers for men and women are located in a building adjacent to the tennis court.

The Navy Exchange is located next to the manor house and sells a limited variety of American products. A converted stable contains a large mirrored and carpeted exercise room with a good assortment of exercise equipment for employee and family members’ use.

Organized lunchtime exercise classes are also available. Men’s and women’s changing rooms (each with shower) are located in the basement of the same building. The original chapel of the estate has been restored. Throughout all the restored buildings, one sees an exquisite assortment of old Portuguese tiles.

The total Mission staff, including the attached agencies and the Marine Security Guard detachment, currently numbers 60 Americans and 122 Foreign Service National employees.

Embassy office hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Lunch hour is from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The Embassy is closed on all U.S. national holidays and most Portuguese holidays.

The Embassy has facilities for taking photographs required for various identification cards.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Embassy maintains furnished apartments, and the Embassy CO-OP also rents some short-term furnished apartments both in Lisbon and on the Estoril coast. Although there is no assurance that every new employee can be accommodated in one of these apartments, every effort is made to do so, particularly in the case of families. Please notify the Embassy of your arrival date, as far in advance as possible, so that housing arrangements can be made. Hotels, particularly on the coast, are usually fully booked in July, August, and September, so reservations should be made well in advance.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Ambassador’s residence is a four-story, neoclassical house, with a large garden in Lapa, a charming downtown residential area. Built in 1878, the house has a central stairway, with galleries on the second and third floors surmounted by a glass dome. The second floor reception rooms include three salons and a dining room that seats 20. The third floor contains four large bedrooms, four baths, a family room and a sitting room. Two additional bedrooms, a family room and bath are located on the fourth floor. A small rooftop room can be used for informal entertaining and commands an astonishing view of Lisbon. The residence also includes an elevator, servants’ quarters, garage, swimming pool, tennis court, and bathhouse, with sauna and showers. All necessary household items are furnished. The Art in Embassies program will provide large pieces of American art to fill the extensive wall space, but a new Ambassador might wish to bring personal items and art. The residence underwent substantial renovation in 1995.

The DCM’s home is a fully furnished house in the Restelo residential district, 20 minutes by car from the Chancery. This three-story house has a basement with garage, central gas heating system, maids’ quarters, and storage rooms. The first floor has two living rooms, a dining room that seats 10, a covered veranda, kitchen, pantry, and a guest bathroom. The second floor has four bedrooms, a small study, and three full bathrooms. The third floor has a family room usable in spring and fall. The house has a side yard and a barbecue area in the back. The DCM should bring his or her own art- works.

The Embassy has initiated the process of moving away from LQA to STL, a process that should be completed by 2004. Employees are pre-assigned to housing either in Lisbon or the Cascais area. In recent years, the trend has been for employees with children to live on the coast to the west of Lisbon (the Cascais/Estoril area), and single employees or married employees with no children to live in apartments in the city. Most houses and some apartments lack storage space. Heating systems are usually inadequate. Embassy-supplied heaters and fireplaces help during the chilly, damp Portuguese winters. Fans are sufficient to keep homes cool in the summer.

The Embassy supplies employees with stove, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, washer, and dryer. When supplies permit a vacuum cleaner, space heaters, and transformers are lent. The Navy Exchange sells small 110v appliances; many employees prefer to purchase small 220v appliances (such as coffeemakers, blenders, and the like) on the local economy. Two items, which will add greatly to your comfort in Portugal, but which are difficult to obtain locally, are electric blankets and heating pads.


Furnishings Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

You must bring your furniture (but not appliances) since Lisbon is a non-furnished post. Most employees find American upholstered furniture and bedding more to their liking and a better value than what they could purchase locally. Excellent Portuguese craftsmen can make wood furniture to your specifications, although this takes some time. Local upholstery work and curtain making is of good quality. The Portuguese needle-point rugs (known as “Arraiolos”) are very lovely and can be made to order or bought ready made in the village of Arraiolos (where they are the least expensive), in Lisbon, and in suburban shops. The price, which is determined by the size of stitch, the quality of yarn used, and the design, averages between 35,000 and 45,000 escudos per square meter, as of 2000.

Fabric selections have improved, in recent years, in both quality and variety, although prices can be high for imported materials. Hand-embroidered linens are exquisite, but expensive. Portuguese towels are a good buy. Attractive linen guest towels can be bought locally. Fine crystal, porcelain, and silver are made in Portugal, but prices match U.S. prices. Locally produced pots and pans are of good quality and reasonably priced, as are knives. Basketware and local ceramics are attractive and inexpensive.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

You should rent quarters, which already has a telephone. Telephone bills are itemized, both for local and international calls. A number of Internet companies offer competitive services in Portugal, including NetCabo, which operates with Cable TV.

Electricity is 220v, 50 cycles. Electrical appliances, with rotating parts, such as certain electric clocks, electric timers, phonographs, and tape recorders will not operate properly unless adapted to 50 cycles. Adaptation should be made in the U.S. if possible. U.S. (NTSC) television sets cannot receive local (PAL) broadcasts, but multi system sets and VCRs are available through the Navy Exchange. Round prong plugs and outlets are standard in Portugal.

Conversion plugs are available locally. In the suburbs, butane gas is used for cooking and is delivered to homes in tanks. Many areas in the city have natural gas and soon it will be installed in the suburbs.

Food Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Food is available in ample variety and quantity. Seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables are of excellent quality, as well as fresh fish and meats. Fish tends to be as expensive as in the U.S., except for common fish such as fresh sardines. Large supermarket chains sell everything, including a small, but constantly growing selection of ethnic foods. Portugal’s EU membership ensures many European products, as well. Markets open weekly, as well as neighborhood-covered markets that sell fresh produce and flowers in abundance. Freshly baked bread is excellent, and there is a large variety available.

The Embassy has a medium-sized Navy Exchange. It stocks approximately 3,000 items, including appliances, cosmetics, bedding, books, and magazines. The usual frozen, canned, and packaged food items (including baby food and pet food), liquor, and cigarettes are available. What the Exchange does not carry can be ordered in caselots from the commissary at the U.S. military base in Rota, Spain.

The U.S. military base in Rota (near Cadiz) can be visited only with official orders. Check with the Embassy for further information.

Clothing Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Clothing requirements are much the same as for Washington, except that heavy snow wear is not required. A good raincoat with a zip-out lining is an excellent investment. Umbrellas and water-resistant footwear is a must. Summers can be hot, but there is usually a breeze in the evening. Most houses do not have air-conditioning. The winters can be chilly and damp, and it can be colder inside than out! Most houses are not insulated and electricity is very expensive. A good supply of sweaters and polartec clothing, as well as heavy slippers for cold marble floors is a must. Flannel bedding (available at some markets locally) and heavy comforters is also a good idea. Shoes are readily available, but large sizes are hard to find.

Clothing tends to be expensive in Portugal, but bargains can be found during sales (twice a year) or at the local markets. Large sizes are not easy to find, and many Embassy people shop through mail order.

Formal wear for men can be rented, but for women, it could be hard to find off the rack without spending a fortune. Dressmakers/tailors are available, but you may be better off getting something in the U.S.

The Ambassador and DCM, and the spouses of these officers, need black tie or a formal dress.

NATO personnel wear uniforms during duty hours. All other military personnel wear civilian clothes. Defense Attaché‚ office (DAO) and Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) officers occasionally wear uniforms for visits to Portuguese units, for other official business, and for social functions. Air Force officers use blue ceremonial, but mess dress functions are common. Service dress uniforms and dinner dress uniforms are required for all Navy personnel, and ceremonial uniforms are required for Navy officers. Army officers must have the Army blue uniform. DAO and ODC enlisted personnel seldom wear uniforms, but must have the normal service uniforms. DAO personnel must have mess dress uniforms. Do not depend on the Exchange at Rota, Spain, to have uniforms and insignia in stock. Contact your unit of assignment to get the latest information.


Men Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Clothing suitable for Washington is suitable for Lisbon. Good, quality ready-to-wear clothing can be expensive. Less expensive leisure clothing is available, particularly in the open-air markets. Portuguese sweaters and woolens, in general, are a good buy.

Most American men prefer to buy their underclothes and shoes either in the U.S. or from mail-order catalogs that will ship via APO. Tuxedos are worn, although not required, at the Marine Ball and on some other occasions.


Women Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Portuguese women tend to dress more formally than their American counterparts. Ready-made clothing is available, but again, the sizes may be a problem. A large variety of attractive shoes are available. Other items, like underwear, can be found at bargain prices at the local markets—if you can figure out your size!


Children Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Good ready-made clothing is available for children. Prices are generally much higher than in the U.S., the assortment not nearly so wide, and it is often not to American children’s taste. Mail orders work well. Baby clothes are available in local markets at reasonable prices, but you can’t count on a regular supply.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

A broad selection of toiletries, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals is available in Lisbon. Since Portugal has joined the European Union, the variety of European cosmetics and toiletries available has grown immensely. Many American brands are also available. Some items may be higher priced than those in the U.S. and others cost less. The Navy Exchange also carries a limited supply of these items. Greeting cards, gift wrappers, and ribbons are available at the Exchange and on the local market.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Drycleaning services are adequate, but slightly more expensive than in the U.S. The CO-OP at the Embassy provides a drycleaning service for Embassy personnel. Shoe repair shops provide fine work, at reasonable prices.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Although salaries for domestics have risen in the past few years, many Americans still employ a maid. Employees can hire someone for a few days or hours a week, or for full-time daily work. Live-in servants are difficult to find. Many employees with a yard hire part-time gardeners. If the home has a pool, pool maintenance technicians can also be hired.

The Embassy Community Liaison Office can provide you with a summary of the law that covers the employment of domestics (social security payments, vacation time, bonuses, etc.) Anyone hired to work in your home should be cleared through the Security Office.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

There are a broad variety of religious services available in Lisbon and the surrounding suburbs. Irish Dominican priests hold English-language Roman Catholic services in Lisbon, Sao Pedro do Estoril, and Cascais. A nondenominational contemporary church holds English-language services, each Sunday, in Carcavelos on the campus of St. Julian’s School. An interdenominational American Protestant church holds English-language services, each Sunday, in Cascais. An Anglican Church in Lisbon, and its sister church in Estoril, holds weekly services in English. There are also Presbyterian and Baptist church services in English in Lisbon. The Mormon Church has an active congregation in both Lisbon and the western suburbs. There is an orthodox synagogue in Lisbon and a fairly active Jewish social community in the Estoril/Cascais area. Several missionary groups headquartered in Lisbon have American missionaries and Portuguese orientation. There is religious education available for Catholic children. Most churches offer study and prayer groups.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM There are currently five schools to which Mission personnel generally send their children. In general, all families have been pleased with the schools their children attend.

The American International School of Lisbon is a community, non-profit school sponsored collectively by the U.S. Government, Grupo Espirito Santo and Visteon Portuguesa. It offers grades PK–12 and has an enrollment of over 400 students from 39 countries. Approximately 25% are Americans, with the remainder of the student body either Portuguese or third-country nationals. AISL is located in a purpose-built facility in Linho, near Sintra. The elementary building was inaugurated for the school year 2000/01. Bus service is provided. Teaching methods and curriculum are American. The International Baccalaureate diploma is offered in secondary school, as well as AP courses. ESL is also available. If you have special educational needs, please contact the school. Approximately half of the teachers are U.S. certified.

St. Dominic’s School is an Irish Dominican Roman Catholic school. The school has good facilities and is located near Carcavelos (between Lisbon and Cascais). It accepts pupils from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, regardless of religious affiliation. The student body numbers about 550, including many American children, as well as other nationalities. Texts and classroom methods are British, and the International Baccalaureate diploma is offered. Bus service is available. Uniforms are required.

St. Julian’s School is the British school. It is located in Carcavelos and is based on the British system for pre-kindergarten through grade 13. The International Baccalaureate diploma is the only one offered for high school. The school has both English and Portuguese sections. Americans wishing to enroll their children in St. Julian’s should apply as far in advance as possible. The school has a waiting list for admission and British children are given first preference. Uniforms are required. Bus service is not available, but the school is close to the local rail station.

The International Preparatory School is a small school that has classes from nursery school through grade 5. It is located in Carcavelos. The curriculum is British, and bus service is available.

The International Christian School of Cascais was founded in 1981 to provide an American education from a Christian perspective. Many families have taken advantage of the academic emphasis at ICSC. The curriculum is American and grades range from kindergarten through 12. Enrollment is approximately 60 students.

Please contact the Office of Overseas Schools, M/FLO or the Overseas Briefing Center in Washington, or the Embassy Community Liaison Office in Lisbon for further information.


Dependent Education

Away From Post Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM Away from post educational allowances are not available, except on a special needs basis. Please check with your specific agency for details.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Universities of Lisbon, Coimbra, and Aveiro provide courses for foreigners in Portuguese language, literature, history, and philosophy. However, credits earned here cannot be transferred to an American university and vice versa.

The University of Maryland Overseas offers undergraduate courses for Americans, at post, and has a contact person at the Embassy. Two courses are scheduled per semester. They also offer Distance Learning classes for part of a graduate degree program administered through Heidelberg, Germany. Check with the Embassy Community Liaison Office or NATO for information.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Portugal offers a variety of participant and spectator sports, including soccer, tennis, golf, squash, horseback riding, swimming, sailing, bicycling, hiking, fishing and hunting. Wind surfing, water skiing, surfboarding, and scuba diving are popular. Soccer is the major spectator sport, and Estoril has a famous car racing facility. Bull fighting is also quite popular. The fight is carried out mostly on horseback.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Sightseeing trips are easily arranged, and there are lots to choose from. Lisbon is a popular tourist destination. Portugal operates state inns called “pousadas,” which offer fine lodgings, often in converted castles and other historical buildings. These tend to be expensive, but well worth the experience on occasion. There are also bed and breakfast lodgings (“turismo de habitaçao”), often in stately homes under the auspices of the national tourist bureau. There are other alternatives, naturally, and one can still travel relatively cheaply in Portugal. The roads are generally good, but the drivers are not always so! The Algarve offers a wide range of accommodations, ranging from campgrounds to luxury resort complexes.

Lisbon has lovely tree-lined and flower-filled parks, numerous children’s playgrounds, a fine, small zoo, botanical gardens, an aquarium, a modern Oceanarium, museums, galleries, cathedrals, palaces, and castles. The Royal Coach Museum is reputed to have the finest collection of royal and state coaches in the world. Day trips to Evora, Fatima, Batalha, the walled villages of Obidos, Marvão, Monsaraz, and Estremoz are possible. Madrid is approximately 5 hours by car. Charter companies offer inexpensive flights to major destinations, such as London, Paris, etc.

Atlantic Ocean temperatures north of Lisbon seldom rise above 60° F because the Gulf Stream does not flow near enough to temper the cold waters. The water is somewhat warmer in the Algarve, but it is still not warm by American standards. The Lisbon beaches are very popular during the summer, despite the cold water, and with some exceptions, the beaches are safe for swimming. There are saltwater pools at hotels that non-guests can use for a fee, as well as a modern public one.

There is a choice of health clubs, as well as a number of tennis clubs, golf courses, and riding stables. Lessons are available. Sports equipment tends to be expensive, so plan accordingly.

Skiing is sometimes possible in mid-winter in the Serra da Estrela, about 250 kilometers northeast of Lisbon. Equipment can be rented. Better skiing is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Granada, Spain.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Movies are a popular form of entertainment, with films being shown in their original language with Portuguese subtitles. American films usually reach Portugal about 6 months after their debut in the U.S. Current and older films from other countries are also shown, but British and American are by far the most popular. Lisbon also has regular showings of classic films.

Many people enjoy the rich ballet, opera, and concert seasons. The quality of performances is good, and the tickets are reasonably priced. Performances tend to start late by American standards, so it helps to live in town. Pop groups, especially popular with teenagers, also tour Lisbon on occasion.

Theater performances, usually original works by Portuguese playwrights, also abound. An international amateur drama group, the Lisbon Players, offers several English-language productions each year.

The bullfight season runs from Easter to early October. There is a major bullring in Lisbon and one in the suburb of Cascais.

Dining out is a favorite form of entertainment in Lisbon on the Estoril coast, and throughout Portugal there are countless restaurants in all ranges in terms of standards and prices. Lunch is usually served from about 1 to 3 pm, and dinner from about 7 to 10 pm. There are McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza, KFC, TGI Friday’s and Pizza Hut chains in Lisbon, as well as food courts at big shopping centers. An Outback restaurant recently opened as well. Prices tend to be higher for this kind of food than in the U.S., but the variety of food is greater. You also (still) get proper dishes and silverware in many places.

Fado is sung in many small restaurants in the older sections of Lisbon and a few tourist spots along the Estoril coast. Haunting in tone, tragic in theme, the fado is well beloved by the Portuguese and is to the Portuguese what the blues are to Americans. The fado performances generally begin about 10 pm, with the best sets performed well after midnight.

Nightclubs of varying quality, discotheques, and the Estoril Casino provide further nightlife. Cascais has many small bars that are close replicas of English pubs.

Teenagers tend to go out in groups to clubs and restaurants, both in Cascais and Lisbon, and they tend to stay out late.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM There are three American clubs in Lisbon. The American Women of Lisbon Club was established in 1947 and is still active. They have members from many countries. The American Club of Lisbon consists of a group of businessmen and members of the Mission. They hold monthly lunches with featured speakers. Yet another is a club formed in 1999 that meets more informally for lunch, once a month, in Cascais.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

International Contacts Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM The International Women in Portugal (IWP) offers many activities and a monthly luncheon at different restaurants. Although international in flavor, the main language is English.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Ambassador and the DCM have heavy social obligations. Section chief responsibilities are moderate to heavy. Representational activities for other officers depend upon the requirements of their position.

Official Functions

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Embassy can produce acceptable black and white laser-printed cards for officers upon arrival at post. Higher quality, engraved or printed cards can be obtained in Lisbon. Invitations likewise can be printed locally. Most Portuguese have calling cards, both personally and professionally, so American non-working spouses might also wish to have a supply of cards.

Special Information Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Post Orientation Program

All new arrivals are met and assisted through customs. A Welcome Kit containing background material on Portugal and information on everyday life is supplied upon arrival. The Embassy Community Liaison Office can provide additional information, as needed. The regional security officer, the Personnel Office, and the Health Unit also brief new arrivals. The Embassy also schedules periodic group orientation programs, with briefings by the Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, and section heads.

Consulate - Ponta Delgada

Post City Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The Azores archipelago, an autonomous region of the Republic of Portugal, is located in the North Atlantic about 800 miles west of Lisbon and 2,300 miles east of Washington. The Ponta Delgada consular district includes nine islands: São Miguel, Terceira, Santa Maria, Graciosa, São Jorge, Pico, Faial, Flores and Corvo. The estimated population is 250,000. The Consulate is located on São Miguel, the largest and most populous island.

People from Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, France, and Spain were among the first settlers of these islands. The present-day inhabitants reflect their physical, cultural, and linguistic characteristics. The islands are of volcanic origin characterized by steep coastlines with occasional black sand beaches. Inland, the terrain is marked by extinct volcanic craters, some with lakes and picturesque hills rising to 3,000 feet. Lush vegetation and beautiful flowers cover the countryside, each season bringing its own variety of flora. The climate is temperate and the Gulf Stream wards off extreme heat and cold. Temperatures never reach freezing and rarely go above 80° F. Humidity, however, usually exceeds 80%. May through September is generally good beach weather, although even during December and January many local people can be found lying on the beaches and swimming in the surf. The winter months can be chilly and rainy. Annual rainfall is 34 inches. The islands are also very windy, with winds reaching gale force, with some regularity.

In the past, the Azores were an important port of call for ships returning from the New World and from India. Now, except for cargo ships, which link the archipelago with continental Portugal and the rest of the world, ships stop only for bunkering and emergency repairs. Foreign cruise ships occasionally call for a day in Ponta Delgada.

The principal economic activity is agriculture. About two-thirds of the land is devoted to pasture. Dairy products, including excellent cheeses, account for a large percentage of local income, as does cattle breeding. Also of importance are canned fish, milling, and feed production, bakery products, sugar, tobacco, and wood. Azorean wines from Graciosa and Pico are excellent, but insufficient quantities are produced for export. Other than food processing and handicrafts (mainly embroidery, ceramics, wicker, and woodworking), the Azores has little industry.

According to the Autonomy Statute approved in 1987, the Azores form an autonomous region of Portugal, with an elected Regional Assembly (52 deputies) and a Regional Executive Branch responsible to the Assembly. Portuguese sovereignty is represented in the Azores by the Minister of the Republic who is appointed by the President of Portugal and is a member of the Portuguese Cabinet. The Regional Government consists of a president, eight regional secretaries, and one undersecretary. Since the Azores has no capital city, Government functions are divided among the three major cities: Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel), Angra do Heroismo (Terceira), and Horta (Faial). The Azores is represented in the National Assembly of the Portuguese Republic by five deputies.

The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces in the Azores, with headquarters in Ponta Delgada, oversees Portuguese military operations throughout the Azores and is also the NATO representative in the archipelago. Under the Commander in Chief, a Rear Admiral of the Portuguese Navy supervises the small naval detachment stationed in the islands, and a Major General commands infantry and artillery units. An Air Force Major General commands the Azores Air Command, with headquarters at Portuguese Air Base Four on Terceira.

The U.S. military presence in the Azores began during World War I, when a squadron of destroyers was based at Ponta Delgada. In 1943, the United States constructed an air base on Santa Maria. After the war, the U.S. forces were transferred to Lajes Field on Terceira. U.S. military facilities are located on Portuguese Air Base Four. U.S. personnel refer to the facilities as “Lajes Field.” Many of the U.S. military medical, educational, shopping, and social facilities at Lajes Field are available to Consulate officers.

The Consulate’s jurisdiction over all the islands provides the small American staff with a variety of Foreign Service activities. Broad ranges of consular services are provided.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 10/15/2003 12:29 AM

The American Consulate in Ponta Delgada is located at Avenida Principe Monaco, 6-2 Frente, 9500-237 Ponta Delgada. Consulate phone numbers are (351) 296-282-216 and Fax: (351) 296-287-216. Office hours are 8:30-12:30 am and 1:30-4:30 pm, with a local guard remaining on duty during the lunch hour. The Consulate is staffed by two Americans and five Foreign Service Nationals.


Permanent Housing Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Government-leased quarters are provided for the principal officer within walking distance of the Consulate. The home is an attractively furnished, modern, five-bedroom home with a swimming pool, sauna, and a small yard. The house is not centrally heated and the small electric heaters provided do not heat the larger rooms adequately during the winter months. The house is fully furnished with china, crystal, some kitchenware, and some small appliances. Some bed and bath linens are provided. Flannel sheets are recommended. The house has been made safe for small children: a fence has been built around the pool and the large windows have been coated with mylar.

The U.S. Government currently leases one four-bedroom house for the vice consul within walking distance of the Consulate. Rugs, draperies, washers, dryers, stoves, transformers, and refrigerators, as well as attractive furniture are provided.


Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Electric current is dependable, and homes are equipped with both 220/110 transformers. Voltage regulators are advisable for stereo systems and other precision equipment such as computers. Small regulators, suitable for television sets and similar equipment, are available locally. Large regulators must be ordered from Lisbon and are expensive.

Most non-motorized appliances, designated for 110v, 60-cycle operation will operate satisfactorily if fitted with appropriate transformers. Local television operates on PAL system and American (NTSC) system sets cannot be used: multisystem television sets and video recorders are available through the military exchange system, at reasonable prices. Cable television is available, but offerings in English are limited. Both the principal officer’s and the vice consul’s homes have satellite television systems that bring in significantly more English-language channels.

Access to the Internet is quite good, with several Internet Service Providers available.

Gas for the water heaters and stoves is supplied in cylinders.

The Ponta Delgada water distribution is new, but not safe to drink. Health Department and the regional medical officer recommend boiling it. Bottled water is available.

Food Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Most kinds of vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, milk products are available in the market and supermarkets all year. There are very good cheeses and wines from the Azores; tea grown locally is excellent. Consulate officers also have access to the U.S. military commissary at Lajes Field. Food from this commissary can be ordered by fax and flown to the Consulate. Products can also be ordered from the U.S. via the Internet and shipped to post via APO.

Clothing Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Temperate clothing is suitable most of the year. Lightweight tropical garments can be worn only a short time in summer. A topcoat, a zip-lined raincoat, boots, and an umbrella are useful for the rainy, cold winters. Sweaters, flannel pajamas, and wool robes are necessities for winter. Lightweight winter clothing, appropriate for centrally heated U.S. buildings, is not adequate for the drafty and unheated buildings in the Azores. Clothing stores are abundant and well stocked. It is also easy to find all kinds of shoes, in a variety of price ranges. Shoe repairs are reasonably priced.

Supplies and Services

Basic Services Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Local hairdressers are satisfactory and reasonably priced. Several electric firms do all kind of repairs. Carpenters do excellent work. Some maintenance services are difficult to find and unreliable.

Mail comes from Lajes Field. It is not unusual for a letter from the U.S. to take 3–4 weeks to reach the Consulate: however, 10–14 days is about average for APO mail.

Supplies and Services

Domestic Help Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The principal officer has a cook, a housemaid, and a part-time gardener, none of whom live in. Live-in maids are difficult to find. Domestic help is available. Embassy will provide detailed information on Portuguese law regarding the employment of domestics.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Many Roman Catholic churches dot the island. Other denominations include Southern and Nazarene Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Mormons. All services are in Portuguese. The one synagogue is not open at present.

The most important religious event on São Miguel is the Santo Cristo Festival. Held in Ponta Delgada every year, it peaks the fifth Sunday after Easter. The festival attracts many people from the U.S., Canada, and continental Portugal.

Romeiros (pilgrimages) during Lent, the Holy Ghost celebrations in May and June, and “Carvalhadas” on June 29 are some of the most interesting festivals and pageants. On Sundays during the summer, many small processions can be seen in the villages throughout the islands.


Dependent Education

At Post Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM No schools offer instruction in English.


Dependent Education

Away From Post Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM Possible solutions for those who do not wish to enroll their children in Portuguese schools are leaving children in boarding schools in the United States. Placing them in Depart-ment of Defense boarding schools in Europe is a possible option, or arranging for them to attend the USAF dependent school at Lajes. Department of Defense schools accept Consulate dependents on a space-available basis, and acceptance cannot be confirmed until around August 15. The high school at Lajes, which does not have boarding facilities, is U.S. accredited and is staffed by American teachers. Although small, the school has modern classrooms, laboratory facilities, and a wide choice of extracurricular activities. It compares favorably with a very small U.S. high school. A potential problem is finding a family at base willing to board a child during school year.

Consulate officers have had good luck in finding suitable pre-school educational facilities for young children. Although all of these schools are in Portuguese, the teachers are very understanding and willing to help American youngsters adapt to the new language environment.


Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The University of the Azores offers classes in the Portuguese language for foreigners. Music lessons by private tutors are given at the Regional Conservatory. Ballet lessons, exercise classes, and craft classes are available, as well as other private lessons.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

A beautiful golf course is located in the hills 28 miles from Ponta Delgada, and another about 10 minutes away. The weather is often cloudy, chilly, and windy, so bring a golfer’s raincoat. There is also a good, golf course near Lajes Field on Terceira.

Two private tennis courts and six public courts are located near Ponta Delgada. Lajes also has tennis courts.

São Miguel has some fishing. Saltwater fish include bluefish, amberjack, marlin, tuna, and shark. Local anglers have broken several world records. Freshwater fishing is possible in the lakes and streams of São Miguel. Licenses are required.

Other popular sports include soccer, basketball, volleyball, field and roller hockey, horseback riding, and swimming. Lajes Field has bowling alleys, ice-skating and other sports facilities.

Portuguese authorities limit the size of sporting rifles to .22 caliber and pistols to .32 caliber. It is possible to hunt for quail, ring doves, pigeons, and rabbits on Sundays for about 9 months of the year. The basic hunting licenses costs about $20. There is a shooting club located about half an hour’s drive from Ponta Delgada.

Recreation and Social Life

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

A visit to the other islands of the archipelago is highly recommended, as each has a distinct personality and different customs, food, and even accent. Incredibly beautiful spots for picnics and camping exist everywhere. The islands are a photographer’s and a hiker’s paradise. São Miguel has beautiful lakes at the bottom of ancient craters at Sete Cidades, Lagoa do Fogo, and Furnas. The botanical garden and famous hot springs of Furnas are picturesque.

SATA is the Azorean airline, with daily flights to all nine islands, and Lisbon. SATA owns two charter companies that fly to the U.S. (Boston) and Canada (Toronto). In all the islands, except for tiny Corvo, it is easy to find good to excellent accommodations. During summer it is possible to travel through the islands by boat. For a nominal fee, you may join the local yacht club, which sponsors a variety of activities including swimming meets, and has sailboats and windsurf boards for member’s use. Limited facilities are available for lessons in sailing and horseback riding.

Organized activities for young children depend on the parents’ initiative. Ponta Delgada has Scout troops for boys and girls.

Recreation and Social Life

Entertainment Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Ponta Delgada has two regular motion picture theaters. The films are predominantly American with Portuguese subtitles.

An interesting museum displays paintings, sculptures, and artisans’ crafts. The Regional Government of the Azores, the municipalities, and the University of the Azores at Ponta Delgada sponsor some concerts and conferences with local and foreign guests.

There are some pubs and discos located in and around Ponta Delgada, and good restaurants including some Chinese and Mexican restaurants. Most restaurants stay open until 11 p.m.

Recreation and Social Life

Social Activities

Among Americans Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM The Azorean people are very friendly, and are especially fond of Americans. Most have relatives in the U.S. It is not difficult for Consulate officers to make friends in the local community.

There is a large group of foreigners living in Sao Miguel; most are Canadian, German, British, or South African. The American expatriate community is small. The U.S. has the only professional Consulate in the Azores; however, the consular corps includes a number of honorary consuls. Social and professional contacts are friendly. The ability to speak Portuguese is essential for the conduct both social and business activities.

Most entertaining is done at home.

Employment opportunities for spouses may be quite limited.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Life in Ponta Delgada is generally quiet. Social functions and usage are similar to the other posts. High-ranking Embassy, U.S. military and civil personnel sometimes visit the Consulate. The Ambassador calls on the Consulate about once a year. The principal officer hosts about 300 guests for the Fourth of July. New principal officers must make several courtesy calls upon arrival.

Special Information Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Health and Medicine

Ponta Delgada offers good medical care and facilities. English-speaking physicians include such specialists as pediatricians, obstetricians, and gynecologists.

A local hospital and two clinics provide adequate care and can handle acute medical emergencies. Emergency room and intensive-care services are available.

Problems may exist in obtaining some medications from local pharmacies; eyeglasses are not readily available.

Americans assigned to Ponta Delgada may, at their own expense, use the USAF medical services at Lajes. The medical service provides limited patient care and an ambulance service. Care is available in family medicine and physical therapy. The base also provides general dentistry, but there are no dental specialists. Dental care is on a space-available basis, with costs borne by the individual.

Post Orientation Program

The principal officer briefs new personnel on general conditions in the consular district and on specific job-related problems. Embassy Lisbon has prepared a summary review of social usage in Portugal that is recommended reading for newcomers.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Airfreight shipments take 1 week to 10 days to arrive in Lisbon, depending on point of origin in the U.S., and about 3 to 5 days to clear customs. For Ponta Delgada, due to increased logistical difficulties, allow approximately 3 weeks for air shipments to arrive.

Surface shipments, including automobiles, take about 1 month and are usually available for delivery about 7–10 days after arrival. Again, due to logistical difficulties, for Ponta Delgada, allow 3–4 months for surface shipments to arrive.

The Embassy provides a Welcome Kit for newcomers, which includes proportional dishes, pots, pans, silverware, pillows, blankets, and towels. Warm clothing and rain gear is essential if arriving during the winter months.

For Ponta Delgada, the residence of the principal officer is fully furnished, and the arriving Consul will not need to provide household effects. For the newly arriving Vice consul, the cooking equipment, as well as plates/glasses etc., are borderline sufficient for short-term basic needs. For the duration, you will need to bring your own. Some sheets and blankets are also provided, which again are adequate for short-term use, but again you will likely want to bring and supplement with your own.

The Embassy meets newly assigned personnel and their families upon arrival in Lisbon and Ponta Delgada and assists through customs. Inform the administrative officer at the Embassy of your travel plans and of any special circumstances affecting your travel and accommodations as early as is possible. A packet of printed information is presented upon arrival and, within the first few days, the employee and family receive briefings from various offices in the Embassy. A sponsor is assigned to assist each new arrival. Orientation programs for newcomers are held periodically.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Lisbon. Diplomatic personnel may import personal and household effects and one vehicle (or two for families) at any time during their tour. Support personnel must import vehicle and personal and household effects within 6 months after arrival at post. Address all shipments to:

American Ambassador (employee’s initials) American Embassy Lisbon, Portugal

Private transit insurance is strongly recommended against breakage and pilferage.

Ponta Delgada. If you are shipping household goods in liftvans or as unaccompanied baggage, send a list of the items to the nearest Portuguese consulate. An “atestado” (certificate of receipt) will be issued for a fee. The same must be done with animal health certificates. Address all outside containers as follows:

Name c/o American Consulate Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Azores, Portugal

Show gross and net weight if possible. Keep weights and sizes of liftvans within reasonable limits. The Consulate requires the original bill of landing. Send it well in advance of the shipment’s arrival.

No commercial storage facilities are available in Ponta Delgada. Clearance through customs usually cannot be arranged until you arrive at post. No unusual risks are involved in sending shipments. Liftvans need plastic liners for waterproofing. For these purposes, it is also highly recommended you keep a detailed inventory to both expedite the customs process, and ensure receipt of your entire shipment.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Passage Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Accompanied baggage for all personnel is usually allowed to enter without customs inspection at the airport. At other points of entry baggage may be inspected. During this time the Embassy will obtain an official ID card from the Foreign Ministry for employees and all dependents. The ID card also serves as a residence permit.

Bearers of diplomatic and official passports do not require a visa to enter Portugal.

No vaccinations are required for entry into Portugal.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Pets Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Pets are not subject to quarantine. Dogs must have vaccination certificates against rabies, and both dogs and cats need a certificate of good health. All certificates must be visaed by a Portuguese consular official before the pet arrives in Portugal.

Pets will be inspected by a veterinarian on arrival. In addition, the owner will have to pay clearances, veterinarian fees, and other minor charges. Please inform the Embassy, in advance, if you are bringing a pet to post. An Embassy expediter will assist you upon arrival.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

Importation of personal firearms must be approved by the Chief of Mission prior to arrival in Portugal. See section below regarding storage of handguns.

In accordance with Portuguese law, personally owned firearms not intended for resale may be imported, provided shipment and registration are accomplished in the following manner:

Officers with diplomatic accreditation may import 1,000 rounds of ammunition and only the following types and quantities of non-automatic firearms: one pistol or revolver, with a barrel length of no more than 10 cm/4 inches; one rifle; and one shotgun. Firearms and ammunition are not subject to Portuguese importation and customs formalities. After firearms have arrived in the country, whether included in household goods shipment or shipped separately, they must be registered with appropriate Portuguese authorities. Registration is accomplished through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by presentation of full details and a description of all firearms imported.

Members of the Mission without diplomatic accreditation may import the same types and quantities of firearms and ammunition as stated above. However, such importation is subject to Portuguese importation and customs formalities. Firearms must be packed and shipped separately so they may be processed, cleared, and registered separately with appropriate Portuguese authorities. Including firearms in household goods or unaccompanied baggage shipments will delay clearance of these shipments through customs. Give the post full details of separate firearm shipments as far in advance as possible. Include description of weapon (type, name of manufacturer, and serial number) and purpose for which the weapon is to be used (hunting, sport shooting, etc.) After arrival at post, register firearms directly with the Public Safety Police Regional Commander. Firearms will remain in custody of customs officials until registration permits have been issued by Regional Commanders.

Portuguese law notwithstanding, it is post policy that handguns are not permitted to be kept at home. All such weapons brought to post must be turned over to the Security Office for safekeeping on arrival in country; they will be returned to you on departure from post.

Ammunition must not be shipped as unaccompanied airfreight or with household effects.

A summary of American Embassy Lisbon Firearms Policy:

No firearms may be brought into country without first obtaining the Ambassador’s approval. Personally owned handguns may not be kept at home. They will be held for safekeeping in the Security Office.

Once in country, all firearms must be properly registered with the Portuguese authorities.

You may contact post for assistance in complying with the post firearms policy.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

No limitations are placed on dollars or travelers checks brought to Portugal; however, declaration at the point of entry is necessary to re-export foreign currency.

The monetary units are the centavo and escudo; 100 centavos equal 1 escudo. The symbol for escudo is $ and is placed between the escudos and the centavos in written amounts, thus 2$50 is 2.5 escudos. A local Portuguese bank provides accommodation exchange in the Embassy. Many employees maintain escudo checking accounts in local banks. Most employees maintain a U.S. dollar checking account in the U.S.

Banks, hotels, and shops accept travelers checks, and Embassy employees may purchase travelers checks at the Embassy. Within guidelines, Embassy employees may purchase dollars in limited amounts at the Embassy. All major credit cards, U.S. and European, are widely accepted on the Portuguese economy. An ATM machine is available in the Embassy for withdrawals of local currency and payment of local bills. As the rest of European Union countries, Portugal will be transferring to Euro currency in 2002.

Consulate employees can cash government or personal dollar checks for escudos at many banks. Foreign currencies can be arranged in small amounts.

Portugal uses the metric system of weights and measures.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM


No special restrictions are imposed on the importation and licensing of automobiles. Diplomatic personnel and administrative/technical staff is entitled to import an automobile duty free and diplomatic personnel, with family, may import a second automobile duty free. Portuguese law requires a vehicle to be in country for 2 years to be nationalized. Once a vehicle is nationalized, it can be sold without tax and duty liabilities. If a vehicle is sold before completion of the nationalization process, the seller is responsible for payment of taxes and duties.

Through the Embassy’s CO-OP, employees may file monthly for reimbursement of the 17% VAT on local purchases, with the exception of hotels, restaurants, and utility bills. Also through the CO-OP employees may obtain tax-free gasoline cards. All personnel of all agencies are responsible to the agency head and the Ambassador for observing the U.S.

Code of Conduct and Ethics

Sale of personal property including automobiles and reverse accommodation exchange of the proceeds is governed by U.S. government regulations.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

American University. Area Handbook for Portugal. U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, 1977.

Antunes, Jose Freire. Kennedy e Salazar. Lisbon 1991. Difusao Cultural.

Antunes, Jose Freire. Nixon e Caetano, Promessas e Abandono. Lisbon, 1992.

Antunes, Jose Freire. Os Americanos e Portugal, Vol. 1, Os Anos de Richard Nixon 1969–1974. Pubs. Dom Quixote: Lisbon, 1979

Binnendijk, Hans, editor. Authoritarian Regimes in Transition, Chapter Four, “Democracy comes to the Iberian Peninsula.” U.S. Government Printing Office: Washington, 1987.

Graham, Lawrence S. and Wheeler, Douglas L., editors. In Search of Modern Portugal: The Revolution and Its Consequences. University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, 1983.

Marques, Antonio Henrique. History of Portugal. Palas: Lisbon, 1974.

Maxwell, Kenneth. (ed.). Portuguese Defense and Foreign Policy since Democratization. New York: Camoes Center, Columbia University, 1991.

Maxwell, Kenneth & Haltzel, Michael (eds.). Portugal: Ancient Country, Young Democracy. The Wilson Center Press. Washington, D.C., 1990.

Opello, Walter C. Portugal: From Monarchy to Pluralist Democracy. Boulder: Westmow Press, 1991.

Rodriguez, Avelino: Borge, Cesario; Cardoso, Mario. Abril Nos Quarteis de Novembro. Libraria Bertrand: Lisbon, 1979.

dos Passos, John. The Portugal Story: Three Centuries of Exploration and Discovery. Doubleday: New York, 1969.

Szulc, Tad. “Behind Portugal’s Revolution,” Foreign Policy, No. 21, Winter 1975-76.

Many excellent travel books on Portugal are available in bookstores in the U.S. Publications are also available from the Portuguese National Tourist Office both in the U.S. and in Portugal.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 4/30/2002 6:00 PM

The following holidays are typically observed by the U.S. Mission and the dates shown below may change:

New Year’s Day January 1 Carnival Varies Good Friday Varies Freedom Day April 25 May Day May 1 Santo Cristo Day (Ponta Delgada only) May 25 Espirito Santo Day (Azores only) June 8 Portugal Day June 10 Corpus Christi Day Varies Assumption Day August 15 Proclamation of the Portuguese Republic October 5 All Saints Day November 1 Restoration of Portuguese Independence December 1 Feast of the Immaculate Conception December 8 Christmas December 25

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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