Portugal’s excellent geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports all over the country:
Lisbon - Portela Airport - Phone: 218 413 500
Oporto - Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport - Phone: 229 432 400
Faro - Faro Airport - Phone. 289 800 800
Funchal, Madeira - Funchal Airport - Phone: 291 520 700
Ponta Delgada, Azores - João Paulo II Airport - Phone: 296 205 406
ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal, SA is the Portuguese airport authority and provides departure and arrival information on www.ana.pt
There are several Portuguese airlines offering regular domestic and international flights.
TAP - Air Portugal (www.tap.pt) is the country’s "flagship" airline and has scheduled flights to more than 50 international destinations and domestic flights between Lisbon, Oporto, Faro, Madeira and the Azores, and also between Madeira and Porto Santo.
SATA (www.sata.pt) has regular flights between all the islands of the Azores and from the Azores to Madeira and mainland Portugal. SATA also offers regular flights to a number of international destinations.
Aerovip (www.aerovip.pt) - Scheduled flights between Funchal and Porto Santo (Madeira). Scheduled flights between Bragança, Vila Real, Viseu, Cascais and Portimão (Mainland Portugal).
CP - Comboios de Portugal (www.cp.pt), the Portuguese railway company, offers a vast rail network covering the whole of mainland Portugal and also offers international train services to Vigo, Madrid and Paris.
There are a number of options to meet your needs:
- The top-of-the-range "Alfa Pendular" trains offer the fastest and most comfortable rail link between Lisbon and the Algarve and, in the north, Oporto or Braga, with stops in Coimbra.
- The "Intercidades" or Intercity service covers the Lisbon-Oporto-Guimarães, Lisbon-Guarda, Lisbon-Covilhã, Lisbon-Évora-Beja and Lisbon-Faro routes.
- The international Sud-Express train and Lusitânia hotel-train leave from Lisbon.
- There is a vast network of regional, inter-regional and suburban trains covering the whole of the country.
In addition to normal train ticket prices, Comboios de Portugal - CP (Portuguese Rail Services) is offering discounts on day or leisure trips with the Tourist Travelcard (Bilhete Turístico) which allows you unlimited travel on suburban trains from Lisbon (on the Sintra/Azambuja, Cascais and Sado lines), Porto (on the Aveiro, Braga, Guimarães and Marco de Canaveses lines) and on regional trains on the Algarve line, and the Beach Ticket (Bilhete Praia) for trips from Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra to the nearest beaches.
Portugal has a good road network composed of Motorways (AE), Main Trunk Routes (IP), Complementary Trunk Routes (IC), Main (National) Roads (EN) and Secondary (Municipal) Roads.
There are two types of motorways:
– the traditional motorways with toll booths, where payment is made either in cash or by bank card. These motorways also have a Via Verde (green channel), which is an electronic toll system that allows drivers to make the payment by bank debit and is intended for use solely by those who have an electronic device identifying their vehicle, which they have previously acquired at one of the respective sales outlets (www.viaverde.pt)
- and motorways that have an exclusively electronic toll system, where tolls are collected by exclusively electronic means. As vehicles pass through the toll gates, they are picked up by electronic detectors placed at the entry to the channels, which are identified with the words “Electronic toll only”.
There are regular coach services between Portugal’s main towns and cities. For details of routes, timetables and fares visit www.rede-expressos.pt the website of Rede Nacional de Expressos.
The underground is an important addition to the traditional forms of public transport.
In Lisbon and Oporto it operates between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m.
The Lisbon underground (www.metrolisboa.pt) is the older of the two and reaches a considerable part of the city. Its network has gradually been extended in recent years. Both the oldest and the most recent stations are decorated with panels of tiles by renowned Portuguese artists, making them true underground art galleries.
In Oporto, the underground (www.metro-porto.pt) is new. There are six lines in operation - blue, red, green, yellow, violet and orange -, and most of their route is above ground.
Taxis are usually cream in colour, although there are still some painted black with a green roof in the traditional Portuguese style.
The fare is shown on the taximeter. The prices are affixed inside the car or you can ask the driver about them.
If you phone for a taxi you have to pay an extra 0.80 euros. There is a charge of 1.60 euros for luggage, regardless of weight or the number of pieces.
Carry cots, pushchairs, wheelchairs and walking aids are carried free of charge.
Outside towns, transport by taxi is paid per kilometre, and the passenger is informed of the amount in advance. Where they exist, the passenger has to pay the road tolls there and back.
Tipping is at the passenger’s discretion, though it is normal to tip 5-10% or round the amount up to the nearest euro.