caravanning
Caravan Sites



Entry Requirements
Citizens of the European Union (EU), as well as citizens of Liechtenstein, Malta, Norway, and Switzerland, can enter Portugal with a valid national identity card and stay for up to 90 days. However, citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland, where there is no identity card system, must carry a valid passport. Other nationals should consult the Portuguese embassy or consulate in their country of residence before departure, for any visa requirements.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Ambulance, police and fire brigade: 115
Alternative pan-European emergency number for all services: 112

Driving
Vehicle documents
Check with your motor vehicle insurance company regarding any insurance documents you will need, and whether additional motor insurance is required. Make sure you have a red warning triangle in the car in case of an accident or breakdown. The international registration letters of your country of residence must be displayed at the rear of your car.

Rules Of The Road
Carry your full valid driving licence or International Driving Permit, vehicle registration documents (or a letter of authority from the owner, if it is not your car—check with the Portuguese embassy on how to make the letter official), and insurance documents with you in the car at all times. Although a Green Card is not mandatory, it is still advisable. Traffic drives on the right. Note that trams have right of way, and they must not be overtaken when they are stationary. Seat belts must be worn. The limit of alcohol in the blood while driving is 40 mg per 100 ml (4g/l).

Roads, Tolls And Speed Limits
Motorways in Portugal are marked with an “A” (for auto-estrada) and have six lanes. Tolls are charged, which can make motorway journeys quite expensive. National roads are marked with an “N”; these are generally single-lane roads that pass through towns and villages, where speeds must be significantly reduced. The more minor the road is, the more digits will be displayed after the letter “N”. Speed limits are 120 kilometres (75 miles) per hour on motorways, 90 kilometres (55 miles) per hour on national roads and on all roads outside towns, and 50 kilometres (31 miles) per hour in towns and cities. Anyone who has held a licence for less than one year must not exceed 90 kilometres (55 miles) per hour and must display a “90” disc, obtainable from any vehicle accessory shop in Portugal.

Driving Tips
Sudden bends and turns are commonplace on Portuguese roads, especially in mountainous areas, so drivers are advised to stay alert.

Assistance
The Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) can provide breakdown assistance 24 hours a day; tel: (02) 830 1127 for service in the north, and tel: (01) 356 3931 in the south. In the event of a breakdown, you must place your warning triangle at least 30 metres (100 feet) behind the vehicle.

Electrical Devices
The electrical current in Portugal is 220 volts AC. Round, two-pin plugs are used. An adapter is essential for UK and Irish appliances.

ADVICE AND INFORMATION


Alenquer Camping - Casal das Pedras
E.N. nº 9, Km 94
2580-330 Alenquer - Portugal
Phone / Fax: +351 263 710 375
Mobile:+351 93 428 93 75
Phone:+351 21 355 20 70
Fax:+351 21 354 85 40
www.dosdin.pt/agirdrin E-mail:
dosdinconsultores@sapo.pt


Campismo Valsereno

Campismo Valsereno
Riodouro 431
4860 Cabeceiras de Basto - Portugal
Tel: 00 35 1253666042
campismovalsereno@hotmail.com


On the far western edge of Europe, Portugal is famous for its 560 kilometres (350 miles) of Atlantic coastline and its character as a maritime nation of discoverers, traders, and fishermen. The soul of this gentle country lies away from the beaches, however, in the rural landscapes and tiny whitewashed villages such as Óbidos, Elvas, or Marvão. Many people still live traditionally, tending the family olive groves, peach orchards, or vineyards, or making a living in small fishing harbours, with a peeling boat and a net of sardines. Cities such as Lisbon and Porto, Évora and Coimbra are filled with fine museums and galleries, elegant townhouses and gracious plazas. Lisbon, the capital and site of the huge World Expo trade fair in 1998, is a city of great beauty and atmosphere, its steep and narrow cobbled streets lined by elegant houses with wrought-iron balconies, no two of which are alike.

Over the last 2,500 years, Portugal has been variously invaded by the Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Moors, Spaniards, and French. When the English John of Gaunt helped fend off the Spanish in 1386, the Portuguese signed a pledge of friendship known as the Treaty of Windsor that has lasted for over 600 years. The following year, the king married John of Gaunt's daughter Philippa, and their son Henry the Navigator became the inspiration behind Portugal's golden age of discovery. In 1498, the Portuguese sea captain Vasco da Gama made the first successful voyage round the Cape of Good Hope and opened up the sea route to India. In 1500, Cabral sailed west to colonise Brazil. Portugal then spread tentacles across the world to India, China, Indonesia, Africa, and South America, creating an empire of enormous wealth. The economy of present-day Portugal is supported by the export of port and cork, sufficient for almost every wine bottle in the world, although its mainstay is tourism and the millions of holidaymakers who head to the sunny Algarve each year.

Portugal has an immense artistic and cultural heritage, sharing many influences from Europe. Typical artistic achievements include the elaborately decorative azulejos (painted, glazed ceramic tiles), which have formed part of Portuguese architecture since the 1400s, and the mournful, soul-searching songs of fado. The Manueline style of art, noted for its delicate design, life-size figures, and realistic backgrounds, emerged in the early 16th century. Cubism became a popular form in the 20th century, with Paula Rego perhaps one of the best known contemporary painters of Op Art.

Lisbon
The capital, Lisbon (Lisboa), is a city of hills and viewpoints, tumbling down to the River Tagus. Thundering trams and careless cars make the centre as busy as any European capital, but in the ramshackle backstreets of its old bairros (quarters) Portuguese charm reasserts itself. One of the best viewpoints is the Castelo de São Jorge, above the ancient bairro of Alfama, where the dark cavernous cathedral is also found. Cross the main square (the Rossio), to the Bairro Alto, the city nightlife centre, full of picturesque tumbledown houses. On the river front is the exquisite romantic medieval castle, Torre de Belém and adjacent, the striking giant modern Monument to the Discoveries. Close by is the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery. The pick of the city's many museums is the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum featuring world-class historical and art exhibits.

Porto
Second city of Portugal and the home of port wine, Porto (Oporto) is famous for its high-level bridge and its picturesque rabelos (traditional boats for transporting port wine). In reality, however, it's a gritty commercial city. The centre is a jumble so get your bearings by climbing the Torre dos Clérigos. The heart of the old city is the cathedral; below is the Barredo, a vertiginous confusion of shanty houses. Along the riverfront the Cais de Ribeira is an ideal area to eat fresh fish. Other buildings which merit a visit are: the house of Henry the Navigator (Casa do Infante); the Stock Exchange (Pálacio da Bolsa), famous for its Alhambra-inspired Arabian Room; and the lavishly gilded church, the Igreja de São Francisco. The best museum in the city is the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis with its excellent collection of art and sculpture. The port shippers' lodges are on the south bank at Vila Nova de Gaia. Most offer tours on weekdays.

Évora
The old walled city of Évora is a delightful maze of narrow alleys and historic squares in a superb state of preservation. Five of the city's great sights are on one square, Largo Marquês de Marialva. Most famous is the Roman Temple, the finest Roman monument in the country. Opposite is the church of São João Evangelista featuring stunning azulejos (glazed, coloured tiles). Adjacent, a 600-year-old former monastery is now the highly regarded luxury hotel, Pousada dos Lóios. The Évora Museum, formerly the archbishop's palace, houses important collections of medieval art. Behind it stands the mighty 12th- to 13th-century cathedral. The most memorable sight of all, however, is the macabre Capela dos Ossos in the church of São Francisco, where the skulls and bones of some 5,000 monks line the walls as a grim reminder of mortality.

 


Before you go get covered for all events

Tipping
Hotels and restaurants usually include a service charge. Otherwise, give about 10 to 15 percent. Tips in hotels are discretionary, but it is customary to leave the hotel chambermaid about 200esc per night stayed, and hotel porters and tour guides should be tipped about 100esc for particular services. Porters at railway stations and bus stations usually charge 75esc for each bag. Leave a 10 percent tip for taxi drivers.

Public Holidays
1 January: New Year's Day
Shrove Tuesday: Carnival
Good Friday
25 April: Liberation Day
1 May: Labour Day
Corpus Christi
10 June: Camões Day
15 June: Assumption
15 August: Assumption
5 October: Republic Day
1 November: All Saints' Day
1 December: Independence Day
8 December: Day of our Lady
25 December: Christmas

Travellers With Disabilities
Airports and main railway stations have specially adapted toilets. There are disabled parking bays in the large towns and, in Lisbon, a dial-a-ride system operates for people in wheelchairs, but two days notice is required. The local tourist office can provide you with a list of suitable hotels.


Transport
Metro, buses and trams
Lisbon and Oporto have both tram and bus services. The same tickets are valid for buses and trams, available from the driver. Alternatively a book of ten tickets (which works out cheaper) can be purchased from bus company kiosks, recognisable in Lisbon by an orange symbol and the word CARRIS, and in Oporto by the letters STCP. On entering the bus or tram, either show the ticket to the driver or punch it in the machine at the front. One-day, four-day, and seven-day passes, valid for both buses and trams, are available. CARRIS also run special sightseeing tours around Lisbon in beautifully restored 19th-century trams. The Lisbon metro system is excellent and is still expanding. You can purchase a daily, weekly, or monthly Passe Metro (metro pass). There is also a four-day or seven-day Tourist Pass, which gives unlimited travel on the metro, trams, elevators, and buses.

Ferries
Internal ferries and hydrofoils operate from many coastal ports and along the major rivers. For details, contact local ports.


Metro, buses and trams
Lisbon and Oporto have both tram and bus services. The same tickets are valid for buses and trams, available from the driver. Alternatively a book of ten tickets (which works out cheaper) can be purchased from bus company kiosks, recognisable in Lisbon by an orange symbol and the word CARRIS, and in Oporto by the letters STCP. On entering the bus or tram, either show the ticket to the driver or punch it in the machine at the front. One-day, four-day, and seven-day passes, valid for both buses and trams, are available. CARRIS also run special sightseeing tours around Lisbon in beautifully restored 19th-century trams. The Lisbon metro system is excellent and is still expanding. You can purchase a daily, weekly, or monthly Passe Metro (metro pass). There is also a four-day or seven-day Tourist Pass, which gives unlimited travel on the metro, trams, elevators, and buses.

Ferries
Internal ferries and hydrofoils operate from many coastal ports and along the major rivers. For details, contact local ports.