Portugal's temperate maritime climate differs depending upon
altitude and location. Winters are mild, but the north of the
country experiences the coolest temperatures and most rainfall. In
summer Portugal is largely warm and sunny throughout although
inland temperatures can reach 40°C (104°F), whilst the Atlantic and
Mediterranean coasts remain cooler.
Gastronomes will find much to enjoy in Portuguese cuisine.
Grilled Piri-piri chicken with its distinctive chilli and garlic
flavour is found everywhere but other specialities include salted
cod - bacalhau - which forms the basis of many traditional dishes,
the pork of the naturally-reared Black Iberian pig, and
freshly-caught sardines which, when barbecued, are incomparably
delicious. The traditional Portuguese custard tart, Pastel de Nata,
is equally not to be missed.
Portuguese greetings are often formal and include a handshake.
Most Portuguese people forgive errors in etiquette so long as you
make an effort to be respectful. Please and thank you are por favor
and obrigado respectively.
Tipping is customary in Portugal but only when the service
warrants it. Five to ten percent is sufficient for taxi drivers and
waiters. As much of your train travel through Portugal is done as a
group, your Tour Manager will provide the gratuity for group meals,
tour guides and hospitality staff.