Portugal’s Public Holidays

Don’t get caught by surprise when planning and booking your holidays. Here is a list of Portugal’s public holidays and curiosities below.

Holidays in Portugal in 2017

Date Weekday Holiday Name Holiday Type
Jan 1 Sunday New Year’s Day National holiday
Feb 28 Tuesday Carnival/Shrove Tuesday Optional Holiday
Mar 20 Monday March equinox Season
Mar 26 Sunday Daylight Saving Time starts Clock change/Daylight Saving Time
Apr 14 Friday Good Friday National holiday
Apr 16 Sunday Easter Day National holiday
Apr 25 Tuesday Liberty Day National holiday
May 1 Monday Labor Day / May Day National holiday
Jun 10 Saturday Portugal Day National holiday
Jun 15 Thursday Corpus Christi National holiday
Jun 21 Wednesday June Solstice Season
Aug 15 Tuesday Assumption of Mary National holiday
Sep 22 Friday September equinox Season
Oct 5 Thursday Republic Implantation National holiday
Oct 29 Sunday Daylight Saving Time ends Clock change/Daylight Saving Time
Nov 1 Wednesday All Saints’ Day National holiday
Dec 1 Friday Restoration of Independence National holiday
Dec 8 Friday Feast of the Immaculate Conception National holiday
Dec 21 Thursday December Solstice Season
Dec 24 Sunday Christmas Eve Observance
Dec 25 Monday Christmas Day National holiday
Dec 31 Sunday New Year’s Eve Observance
What are the holidays celebrated in Portugal?

Portuguese Holidays Traditions

On Christmas Eve Portuguese families gather around the Christmas tree and the Crèche to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Catholicism is the main religion in Portugal. Thus, the Crèche is a very important part of the celebration. Traditionally, children are in charge of collecting materials for the Crèche.

What is Carnival in Portugal?

The Portugal Carnival is not completely unique. In fact, it is like many carnivals held around the world right before the beginning of Lent. You may have heard of Mardi Gras, held in Louisiana. The Carnival in Portugal is just like Mardi Gras.

What is Portugal Day?

Portugal Day, officially Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities (Portuguese: Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas), isPortugal‘s National Day celebrated annually on 10 June. … The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.

Top 5 Best Discount Websites in Portugal

Just like Groupon, Living Social or Yipit in the US, Wowcher, HotUkDeals in England or even Dailydeal in Germany, Portugal has plenty of discount websites where you can find incredible deals on hotels, spa treatments, restaurants, museums and many other things.

Here are some of the top discount websites Portuguese use the most.

  1. Odisseias – This is one of my favourites. The design is really clean and the website user-friendly. There’s plenty of great offers on Odisseias but I would recommend you start with the last one I bought that took me to one of the best 5-star hotels in Lisbon. A spa package that includes a 3-hour use of the swimming pool, a foot scrub, a 45-minute massage by the hands of an angel and tea at the end. All for €39! You can find the deal here.

2. Goodlife – This website offers a bit more variety in terms of types of deals including offers on courses, household items and even fashion. Goodlife has a customer service chatbox so you can also book with the help of someone. They have a very interesting deal right now. For €69.99 you can get a 2-hour sailing trip around Tejo in Lisbon, for up to 4 people. The deal includes a prosecco bottle. You can find this deal here.

3. Mygon – This is another of the deal websites I use frequently. The best thing about it is that you only pay after using the experience. Right now you can book a tour around Lisbon for two in a Go Car complete with a GPS and a virtual tour guide for only €17. You can check it out here.

4. Lifecooler – You can buy these deals in supermarkets and specialised stores or go to the website where you can buy specific deals. On offer now, a discount in one of my favourite restaurants in Portugal. On offer a lunch or dinner for two, with a sea view at the Terrace Restaurant in Praia Grande, Sintra. The meal includes the couvert (bread, olives, patê), entrées, main dish and desserts all for €39,90 instead of €85.

5. Voucher Sapo – The biggest Portuguese search engine also has a voucher discount website. Go for a small break to the Algarve and Spend two nights in Carvoeiro, Algarve, in Suites Alba Resort, a 5-star hotel, with a direct access to the beach and spa access. It used to cost €172,59 and it’s now €118,75. Find it here.

In case the language barrier is making it hard, you can just translate the whole address on Google Translate. The website will be translated into English in a few seconds.

 

16 Items You Should Pack For Your Trip To Portugal

Planning to visit Portugal in the summer? These are the essential items you should consider packing.

  1. Have your own personal guide with Lonely Planet Travel to Portugal

As fun as it can be to just go with the flow with no real plans on what to do or see, most of the times it’s helpful to have a guide who’s in the know. And Lonely Planet Travel to Portugal does that and more. Not only does it offer a comprehensive guide of Portugal’s top spots, it also gives you tips about what to visit in each area, insider tips on where to eat or sleep and itineraries and maps so you can tailor your trip to your liking. Costs $17.01 and you can buy it here.

2. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Lisbon is filled with top suggestions on how to make your trip unforgettable.

 

If you’re just visiting the capital, this is my favourite. The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Lisbon, is light, pocket-sized and packed with the best suggestions. It costs only $9.80 on Amazon.

3. Portable Wi-Fi for smartphones, tablets and laptops from Tep Wireless

wireless tep

In Portugal, free Wi-fi connections are usually available in most hotels and even some bars and restaurants in the most popular touristic areas. But, if you can’t live without an internet connection on your phone Tep’s wireless dongle is your best travel companion. All you have to do is rent the device and enjoy the super fast internet on your phone. The battery lasts for 8 hours, it’s light so you can carry it in your bag and you can connect up to 5 devices to Tep. The best part of it all? There are no data limits so you can surf away without worrying about getting an astronomical bill at the end of your trip. Rent it for 10 days and pay only $99.50.

4. A hanging toiletry bag from Mr. Pro

Portugal in the summer means lots of sunscreens, after sun lotions and even mosquito repellent, depending on where you go.  This super organiser is perfect for keeping all your toiletries together and has multiple pockets so things are easy to find, it’s also water resistant and odor-free so no need to watch out for that mouldy smell. The hook is strong so you can fit in the toilet with no worries. Buy it for $12.95 here.

5. No pain in your shoulders with the Ultra lightweight backpack

In Portugal, you will do a lot of walking and this versatile ultralight backpack is just what you need. You can take it to the beach, it’s water resistant, you can take it when hiking or even when you’re just shopping. At the airport, you can fold it and put it back inside your luggage and voilá, no surcharges. It’s priced at $15.99 on Amazon.

6. Liquid containers leak proof and portable

 

When I travel far and for more than 1 week I like to buy shampoo and conditioner in the country I’m visiting but there are some things that I end up inevitably having to take like hair mask or contact lenses liquid. This little bottle container bag costs only $6.99.

7. Eye modelled sleep mask with stars 

Houses and hotels in Portugal usually have blinds, so most of the time you will be able to keep your room dark if you want. But packing this mask might prove useful in the plane or when taking an afternoon nap by the swimming pool. The best thing about this mask is that it doesn’t touch your eyes and it fits around your nose. Buy it here for $9.99.

8. 4 in 1 USA to European Plug Adapter

plug

This is a safe bet if you’re travelling with lots of electronic devices. This adapter has two USB connections so you can charge your smartphone or tablet and a normal plug adapter. Just remember, this is not a voltage converter so your devices need to be compatible with the 250v capacity. The price tag is $8.99 and you can buy it here.

9. Happy feet with compressed socks for the long haul flights

These socks are incredible for when you just know you’re going to be stuck on a plane for more than 5 hours. They promote the circulation, minimise swelling while reducing fatigue. Perfect for long bouts of sitting and walking, which you will do a lot of in Portugal. They’re selling for $14.60 on Amazon.

10. A soft travel pillow that supports your neck

No more neck pain with this pillow. I don’t know about you but the number of times I just end up throwing the plane pillow to the side and give up on having any neck support is ridiculous, so I was amazed when I found this alternative. It soft and it holds your neck in an ergonomic position. It’s also small and light compared to other travel pillows. You can buy it for $29.99 on Amazon.

11. Puncture and water resistant beach and picnic blanket

How cute is this? You can carry a large blanket in your pocket without even noticing it. There are three different sizes available and it even has small weights in the corners for those windy days. It goes for $11.99 for the small size and $19.99 for the larger version. Buy it here.

12. A mini usb humidifier for those hot Portuguese summer nights

Apparently, Mariah Carrey can’t live without humidifiers nor should you, especially not during the Portuguese summer. You can attach almost any water bottle or even Pepsi and Coke bottle. It’s small, it has a timer and it works with batteries if you don’t want it connected to your computer. It’s on sale at the moment which means you can buy it for $23.99.

13. Tide Travel Sink Packets

The laundry service in hotels is usually expensive and it’s still very uncommon to find self-service laundries in Portugal. But don’t worry, with this packets you won’t have to worry about dirtying your favourite items of clothing when you’re travelling. Just wash them in the sink and problem solved. It costs $3.95 on Amazon. 

14. A small travel charger for your smartphone and tablet

travel charger

Nothing’s more annoying than running out of battery midway through a day exploring. That last sunset picture, that wrong turn that left you not knowing which way you needed to go. A mobile phone is an essential travel companion and this small travel charger will give you the breather you need before you get to the hotel. It’s on sale now and going for $17.99.

 

15. Lightweight, slip-on, memory foam sneakers from Skechers

Skechers-Performance-Mensskechers

They’re slip-on, they’re grippy and flexible, perfect for someone planning to do a lot of walking, which as I mentioned extensively will happen a lot when you visit Portugal. Size 7 on the women shoes is $37.67 at the moment. And the men’s version is at $40 for size 10.

15. Pack of portable reusable bottle protector sleeves

wine protector

If there’s one thing you won’t want to leave Portugal without is wine. You might want to take it for yourself or to offer friends, regardless, after you try the Portuguese wine you will for sure crave for more. And this is the perfect way to carry it back home without risking any breakage. You can buy it on Amazon for $15.97.

And that is the end of the list, do you have any other suggestions of what you might want ot pack in your bag when travelling to Portugal?

How Can American Tourists Be Safe Abroad?

Have you heard of the Smart Enrollment Program? It’s a free service provided by the American bureau of consular affairs which allows U.S. citizens who are planning to travel abroad to enrol their trip with the nearest U.S Embassies and the consulate.

The Benefits of Enrolling in STEP:

You can enrol here.

The U.S. Department of State also has a very complete page, with all the info you might need when travelling abroad. All you have to do is write the name of your destination. There’s also a page with constant updates, alerts and warnings about short and long term events.  Follow the alerts here.

You can also follow the Travel – State Department on Twitter for live alerts here.

Finally, for those planning to visit Portugal, here are the details of the American Embassy & Consulate in Portugal.

U.S. EMBASSY    

Avenida das Forças Armadas

1600-081 Lisboa

Phone: 351-21-727-3300

Fax: 351-21-726-9109

U.S CONSULATE PONTA DELGADA – AZORES

U.S. Consulate Ponta Delgada

Avenida Príncipe do Mónaco, 6-2 F

9500-237 Ponta Delgada

Phone.: 351 296 308 330

Fax: 351 296 287 216