MotoGP™ de Portugal

Portimão - Algarve International Circuit

22.03.2024 - 24.03.2024

MotoGP™ de Portugal

22.03.2024 - 24.03.2024 | Portimão - Algarve International Circuit

Key Facts

Location: -8.345996


92,345 sq km (35,655 sq miles).

10,304,434 (UN estimate 2016).

117.2 per sq km.






Portugal juts out into the Atlantic in the far southwest of Europe otherwise known as the Iberian Peninsula. The only country it shares a border with is neighbouring Spain to the north and the east, with the Atlantic Ocean hugging its 800km (500-mile) coastline to the south and west.

The country also comprises the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Madeira. The Azores lie around 1,100km (700 miles) west of Lisbon, while Madeira sits just north of the Canary Islands to the west of Morocco.

Outside the large urban areas, the countryside is a great deal more rural and sparse than in many other European countries. Portugal is crossed by several rivers which have their origin in Spain. These flow from east to west out into the Atlantic or north to south, the main rivers being the Minho and Douro in the north, and the Tagus and Guadiana in the south.

Portugal possesses a high plain of varying height intersected by deep valleys. The north of the country is rugged, mountainous and dotted with vineyards. The high northern point of the Serra da Estrela proves a popular area for skiing, while Serra de São Mamede further south on the Spanish border is a hiking favourite.

After the stunning slopes of the central regions, the vast plains of the Alentejo region stretch south of Lisbon, with a range of mountains dividing the Alentejo from the Algarve, whose wide sandy beaches and attractive bays run along the south coast. Approximately half the country is used for agriculture.

The capital, Lisbon, sits about two-thirds down the west coast. Porto is also situated on the coast in the northwest of the country. Smaller Faro nestles on the southern end of the country, its airport a busy hub for Algarve sunseekers and swathes of golfers looking for year-round sun. Braga, Coimbra and Setubal are also near the coast and rivers.

Language: Religion:

Roman Catholics make up around 85% of the population, but only about 20% of these regularly attend mass and take the sacraments. The remaining 15% is a mixture of Agnostic, Anglican, Atheist, Jewish, Muslim and Protestant communities, together with other religions that have been brought in through immigration over the years.

Time: Social Conventions:

Portugal is a fascinating mix of culture and folklore, depending on what part of the country you are visiting. Traditional ranchos folclóricos folklore, which is often illustrated with dance and song, tends to dominate the smaller towns and villages, with art and drama bigger in the larger towns and cities.

The Portuguese are warm, hospitable people who revel in exhibitions, films, crafts, concerts, plays, café culture and also shopping malls (to combat the summer heat!). The summer festival season is a particularly pleasant experience, with football and bullfighting also enjoyed, along with the traditional religious activities that cater for the majority Catholic population.

Casual wear is widely acceptable, but you shouldn’t wear beach clothing in towns. Smoking has been prohibited in public indoor spaces since 2008 and the ban includes cinemas, theatres, buses and most restaurants.


220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two round pins are standard.

Head of Government:

Prime Minister António Costa since 2019.

Head of State:

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa since 2016.

Recent History:

Portugal has a rich and varied history and its territory has been fought over, invaded and settled ever since prehistoric times. Romans, Visigoths and the Germanic tribes followed the Celts, Phoenicians and Carthiginians before the Moors conquered the Iberian peninsula in AD 711.

For centuries afterwards the region was part of Muslim Spain until the Christian Reconquista that saw Portuguese independence declared in 1139 by King Afonso I. Along with the British, Dutch, French and Spanish, Portugal's historic influence has due to its strong seafaring capabilities. Indeed, it was the first Western nation to establish a global empire. Its explorers led the Age of Discovery with Bartolomeu Dias reaching the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, Vasco da Gama founding a sea route to India in 1497 and Pedro Álvares Cabral discovering Brazil in 1500.

Its ascendancy wasn't to last though. After the destruction of its capital Lisbon in the 1755 earthquake, the disastrous Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Morocco in 1578 saw the childless King Sebastian I killed and Portugal united with Spain. In the decades following Portugal lost significant portions of its overseas empire, principally to Dutch companies, although it fought and won the Restoration War with Spain, which ended in 1688.

In 1807 it was occupied by Napoleon and as it turned to its British allies to fight the invasion the court of Queen Maria I transferred to Brazil where it remained until 1821. A year later Brazil proclaimed its independence.

From the second half of the 19th century until the 1980s more then 2.6 million Portuguese emigrated – more than any Western European country other than Ireland – mostly for economic reasons.

Portugal's monarchy ended after the 1910 revolution and the rest of the 20th century was defined by a series of uprising, coups and revolutions until the peaceful 1974 Carnation Revolution – so-called because barely a shot was fired and when the people took to the streets to celebrate flowers were put in the muzzles of the soldiers' guns. To this day 25 April is a national holiday known as Freedom Day.

When Portugal handed over the territory of Macau to the China in 1999 it marked the end of Europe's longest colonial empire.

Did you know?

• In 2001 Portugal became the first country in the world to decriminalise the usage of all common drugs, although their sale and distribution remains illegal.

• Footballer Cristiano Ronald does not have any tattoos as it would prevent him from giving blood, which he does several times a year.

• The distinctive Manueline architecture of the early 16th century is characterised by tributes to the great discoveries of da Gama and Cabral.