For other uses see Portugal (disambiguation).
|Native Name:||República Portuguesa|
|Conventional Long Name:||Portuguese Republic|
|National Anthem:||"A Portuguesa"|
|Ethnic Groups:||95.9% Portuguese, 4.1% (Brazilians, Capeverdeans, Ukrainians, Angolans, other minorities)|
|Government Type:||Parliamentary republic6|
|Leader Name1:||Aníbal Cavaco Silva|
|Leader Title2:||Prime Minister|
|Leader Name2:||José Sócrates|
|Leader Title3:||Assembly President|
|Leader Name3:||Jaime Gama|
|Sovereignty Note:||Conventional date for Independence is 1139|
|Established Event3:||De facto sovereignty|
|Established Date3:||24 June 1128|
|Established Date4:||25 July 1139|
|Established Date5:||5 October 1143|
|Established Event6:||Papal Recognition|
|Established Date6:||23 May 1179|
|Accessioneudate:||1 January 1986|
|Area Magnitude:||1 E10|
|Area Sq Mi:||35,645|
|Population Estimate Year:||2008|
|Population Estimate Rank:||77th|
|Population Census Year:||2001|
|Population Density Km2:||114|
|Population Density Sq Mi:||295|
|Population Density Rank:||87th|
|Life Spectancy:||78,17 years|
|Infant Mortality Rate:||3,4/1000 (2007)|
|Gdp Ppp Year:||2008|
|Gdp Ppp:||$236.697 billion|
|Gdp Ppp Rank:||43rd|
|Gdp Ppp Per Capita:||$22,264|
|Gdp Ppp Per Capita Rank:||34th|
|Gdp Nominal Year:||2008|
|Gdp Nominal:||$255.483 billion|
|Gdp Nominal Rank:||30th|
|Gdp Nominal Per Capita:||$24,031|
|Gdp Nominal Per Capita Rank:||31st|
|Gpi Category:||very high|
|Time Zone Dst:||WEST|
|Utc Offset Dst:||+1|
|Date Format:||yyyy-mm-dd, yyyy/mm/dd (CE)|
|Footnote1:||Mirandese, spoken in some villages of the municipality of Miranda do Douro, was officially recognized in 1999 (Lei n.° 7/99 de 29 de Janeiro), since then awarding an official right-of-use Mirandese to the linguistic minority it is concerned. The Portuguese Sign Language is also recognized.|
|Footnote2:||Before 1999: Portuguese escudo.|
|Footnote4:||The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.|
|Footnote5:||Coimbra was the capital of the country from 1139 to about 1260.|
|Footnote6:||The present form of the Government was established by the Carnation Revolution of 25 April 1974, that ended the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo.|
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic (Portuguese: República Portuguesa), is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. Located in southwestern Europe, Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also part of Portugal.
The land within the borders of today's Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled since prehistoric times. Some of the earliest civilizations include Lusitanians and Celtic societies. Incorporation into the Roman Republic dominions took place in the 2nd century BC. The region was ruled and colonized by Germanic peoples, such as the Suebi and the Visigoths, from the 5th to the 8th century. From this era, some vestiges of the Alans were also found. The Muslim Moors arrived in the early 8th century and conquered the Christian Germanic kingdoms, eventually occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. In the early 1100s, during the Christian Reconquista, Portugal appeared as a kingdom independent of its neighbour, the Kingdom of León and Galicia. In a little over a century, in 1249, Portugal would establish almost its entire modern-day borders by conquering territory from the Moors.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, with a global empire that included possessions in Africa, Asia, and South America, Portugal was one of the world's major economic, political, and cultural powers. In the 17th century, the Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain ended the sixty year period of the Iberian Union (1580–1640). The 1755 Lisbon earthquake and, in the 19th century, armed conflicts with French and Spanish invading forces and the loss of its largest territorial possession abroad, Brazil, disrupted political stability and potential economic growth. After the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution coup d'état in 1974, the ruling regime was deposed in Lisbon and the country handed over its last overseas provinces in Africa. Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau, was handed over to China in 1999.
Portugal is a developed country, and has a high Human Development Index. It is the 7th most peaceful and the 13th most globalized country in the world, and has the world's 19th highest quality of life, although having the lowest GDP per capita of Western European countries. It is a member of the European Union (joined the then EEC in 1986, leaving the EFTA where it was a founding member in 1960) and the United Nations (since 1955); as well as a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (Community of Portuguese Language Countries, CPLP), and the European Union's Eurozone. Portugal is also a Schengen state.
See main article: History of Portugal.
The early history of Portugal, whose name derives from the Roman name Portus Cale, is shared with the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. The region was settled by Pre-Celts and Celts, giving origin to peoples like the Gallaeci, Lusitanians, Celtici and Cynetes, visited by Phoenicians and Carthaginians, incorporated in the Roman Republic dominions (as Lusitania after 45 BC), settled again by Suevi, Buri, and Visigoths, and conquered by Moors. Other minor influences include some 5th century vestiges of Alan settlement, which were found in Alenquer, Coimbra and even Lisbon. In 868, during the Reconquista (by which Christians reconquered the Iberian peninsula from the Muslim and Moorish domination), the First County of Portugal was formed. A victory over the Muslims at Ourique in 1139 is traditionally taken as the occasion when Portugal was transformed from a county (County of Portugal as a fief of the Kingdom of León) into an independent kingdom: the Kingdom of Portugal.On 24 June 1128, the Battle of São Mamede occurred near Guimarães. At the Battle of São Mamede, Afonso Henriques, Count of Portugal, defeated his mother, Countess Teresa, and her lover, Fernão Peres de Trava, in battle — thereby establishing himself as sole leader. Afonso Henriques officially declared Portugal's independence when he proclaimed himself king of Portugal on 25 July 1139, after the Battle of Ourique, he was recognized as such in 1143 by Afonso VII, king of León and Castile, and in 1179 by Pope Alexander III.Afonso Henriques and his successors, aided by military monastic orders, pushed southward to drive out the Moors, as the size of Portugal covered about half of its present area. In 1249, this Reconquista ended with the capture of the Algarve on the southern coast, giving Portugal its present day borders, with minor exceptions. In 1348 and 1349, like the rest of Europe, Portugal was devastated by the Black Death. In 1373, Portugal made an alliance with England, which is the longest-standing alliance in the world.In 1383, the king of Castile, husband of the daughter of the Portuguese king who had died without a male heir, claimed his throne. An ensuing popular revolt led to the 1383-1385 Crisis. A faction of petty noblemen and commoners, led by John of Aviz (later John I), seconded by General Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota. This celebrated battle is still a symbol of glory and the struggle for independence from neighboring Spain.
In the following decades, Portugal spearheaded the exploration of the world and undertook the Age of Discovery. Prince Henry the Navigator, son of King João I, became the main sponsor and patron of this endeavor.
In 1415, Portugal gained the first of its overseas colonies when a fleet conquered Ceuta, a prosperous Islamic trade center in North Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira and the Azores, which led to the first colonization movements.
Throughout the 15th century, Portuguese explorers sailed the coast of Africa, establishing trading posts for several common types of tradable commodities at the time, ranging from gold to slaves, as they looked for a route to India and its spices, which were coveted in Europe. In 1498, Vasco da Gama finally reached India and brought economic prosperity to Portugal and its then population of one million residents.In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral, en route to India, discovered Brazil and claimed it for Portugal. Ten years later, Afonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa, in India, Ormuz in the Persian Strait, and Malacca in what is now a state in Malaysia. Thus, the Portuguese empire held dominion over commerce in the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic. The Portuguese sailors set out to reach Eastern Asia by sailing eastward from Europe landing in such places like Taiwan, Japan, the island of Timor, and it may also have been Portuguese sailors that were the first Europeans to discover Australia.
Portugal's independence was interrupted between 1580 and 1640. Because the heirless King Sebastian died in battle in Morocco, Philip II of Spain claimed his throne and so became Philip I of Portugal. Although Portugal did not lose its formal independence, it was governed by the same monarch who governed Spain, briefly forming a union of kingdoms, as a personal union; in 1640, John IV spearheaded an uprising backed by disgruntled nobles and was proclaimed king. The Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain on the aftermath of the 1640 revolt, ended the sixty-year period of the Iberian Union under the House of Habsburg. This was the beginning of the House of Braganza, which was to reign in Portugal until 1910. On 1 November 1755, Lisbon, the largest city and capital of the Portuguese Empire, was strongly shaken by an earthquake which killed thousands and destroyed a large portion of the city.
In the autumn of 1807 Napoleon moved French troops through its allied Spain to invade Portugal. From 1807 to 1811, British-Portuguese forces would successfully fight against the French invasion of Portugal.
Portugal began a slow but inexorable decline until the 20th century. This decline was hastened by the independence in 1822 of the country's largest colonial possession, Brazil. At the height of European colonialism in the 19th century, Portugal had a already lost its territory in South America and all but a few bases in Asia. During this phase, Portuguese colonialism focused on expanding its outposts in Africa into nation-sized territories to compete with other European powers there. Portuguese territories eventually included the modern nations of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, and Mozambique.In 1910, a revolution deposed the Portuguese monarchy, but chaos continued and considerable economic problems were aggravated by the military intervention in World War I, which led to a military coup d'état in 1926. This in turn led to the establishment of the right-wing dictatorship of the Estado Novo under António de Oliveira Salazar.
In December 1961, the Portuguese army was involved in armed action in its colony of Portuguese India against an Indian invasion. The operations resulted in the defeat of the isolated and relatively small Portuguese garrison which was forced to surrender. The outcome was the loss of the Portuguese territories in the Indian subcontinent. Also in the early 1960s, independence movements in the Portuguese overseas provinces of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea in Africa, resulted in the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974).
In April 1974, a bloodless left-wing military coup in Lisbon, known as the Carnation Revolution, led the way for a modern democracy as well as the independence of the last colonies in Africa shortly after. These events prompted a mass exodus of Portuguese citizens from Portugal's African territories (mostly from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique), creating over a million destitute Portuguese refugees — the retornados. Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau, was not handed over to the People's Republic of China until 1999, under the 1987 joint declaration that set the terms for Macau's handover from Portugal to the P. R. of China. In 2002, the independence of East Timor (Asia) was formally recognized by Portugal, after an incomplete decolonization process that was started in 1975 due to the Carnation Revolution.
From the 1940s to the 1960s, Portugal was a founding member of NATO, OECD and EFTA. In 1986, Portugal joined the European Union (then the European Economic Community). In 1999, Portugal was one of the founding countries of the euro and the Eurozone. It is also a co-founder of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), established in 1996 and headquartered in Lisbon.
See main article: Administrative divisions of Portugal. Portugal has an administrative structure of 308 municipalities (Portuguese singular/plural: concelho/concelhos), which are subdivided into more than 4,000 parishes (freguesia/freguesias). Municipalities are grouped for administrative purposes into superior units. For continental Portugal the municipalities are gathered in 18 Districts, while the Islands have a Regional Government directly above them. Thus, the largest unit of classification is the one established since 1976 into either mainland Portugal (Portugal Continental) or the autonomous regions of Portugal (Azores and Madeira).
The 18 district capitals of mainland Portugal are: Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Portalegre, Porto, Santarém, Setúbal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, and Viseu - each district takes the name of the district capital.
The European Union's system of Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics is also used. According to this system, Portugal is divided into 7 regions (Açores, Alentejo, Algarve, Centro, Lisboa, Madeira, and Norte), which are subdivided into 30 subregions.
The climate can be classified as Mediterranean type csa in the south and csb in the north, according to the Köppen climate classification. Portugal is one of the warmest European countries, the annual temperature averages in mainland Portugal are 13 °C (55 °F) in the north and 18 °C (64 °F) in the south and it is over 20 °C (68°F) on the warmest spots, like south coast of Madeira island. The Madeira and Azores Atlantic archipelagos have a narrower temperature range. Extreme temperatures occur in the mountains of northeastern parts of the country in winter (where they may fall to -15 °C) and Southeastern parts in summer.Sea coastal areas are milder. Official absolute extremes registered so far have been -16.0 °C in Penhas da Saúde and +47.4 °C in Amareleja, Moura municipality, Alentejo region. There are registered values of 50.5 for Riodades. It is very plausible that these values could be registered in the warmest valleys such as Guadiana, Douro and Tagus (Tejo). Mainland Portugal is split by its main river, the Tagus. The northern landscape is mountainous in the interior areas, with plateaus indented by river valleys. The south, between the Tagus and the Algarve (the Alentejo), features mostly rolling plains and a climate somewhat warmer and drier than in the cooler and rainier north. The Algarve, separated from the Alentejo by mountains, has a climate much like southern coastal Spain.
The islands of the Azores are located in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge whilst the Madeira islands were formed by the activity of an in-plate hotspot, much like the Hawaiian Islands. Some islands have had volcanic activity as recently as 1957. Azores have a subtropical humid climate, as well as Madeira which is warmer and more diversified. In the mountains it is possible to have a Mountain Temperate climate, in the lowlands a sub-tropical Humid climate with the exception of Porto Santo (Warm Infra-mediterranean climate) and Salvages Islands (Ilhas Selvagens) with a Desert climate. Portugal is the only European country that has a Tropical climate in the oceanic area of South Azores, due to the strong influence of the Gulf Stream in this area. Sea water temperatures there remain over 20°C even in the middle of winter ( January). Portugal's highest point is Mount Pico on Pico Island in the Azores. This is an ancient volcano measuring 2,350 meters (7,713 ft). Mainland Portugal's highest point is Serra da Estrela, measuring 1993 meters (6,558 ft).Portugal's Exclusive Economic Zone, a seazone over which the Portuguese have special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, has 1,727,408 km². This is the 3rd largest Exclusive Economic Zone of the European Union and the 11th largest in the world. Conservation areas of Portugal include one national park (Parque Nacional), 12 natural parks (Parque Natural), 9 natural reserves (Reserva Natural), 5 natural monuments (Monumento Natural), and 7 protected landscapes (Paisagem Protegida), ranging from the Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês to the Parque Natural da Serra da Estrela to the Paul de Arzila. Climate and geographical diversity shaped the Portuguese Flora.
As far as Portuguese forests are concerned, due to economic reasons the pine tree (especially the Pinus pinaster and Pinus pinea species), the chestnut tree (Castanea sativa), the cork oak (Quercus suber), the holm oak (Quercus ilex), the Portuguese oak (Quercus faginea), and the eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) are very widespread.
Mammalian fauna is diverse and includes the fox, badger, Iberian lynx, Iberian Wolf, wild goat (Capra pyrenaica), wild cat (Felis silvestris), hare, weasel, polecat, mongoose, civet, brown bear (spotted near Rio Minho, close to Peneda-Gerês) and many others. Portugal is an important stopover place for migratory birds, in places such as Saint Vicent Cape or Monchique mountain, where thousands of birds that fly from Europe to Africa in the Autumn or on the opposite direction can be seen in the Spring. They congregate there because the Iberian Peninsula is the closest place in Europe to Africa. Portugal has around 600 bird species and almost every year there are new records. The islands have some species of American, European, and African origin, while the mainland shares European and African bird species.
Portugal has over 100 freshwater fish species and vary from the giant European catfish (Tejo International Natural Park) to some small and endemic species that live only in small and located lakes (West Zone, for example). Some of these rare and specific species are highly endangered due to habitat loss, pollution and drought.Marine fish species number are on the thousands mark and include the sardine (Sardina pilchardus), tuna and Atlantic mackerel. The marine bioluminescence is very well-represented (in different colors spectra and forms), with interesting phenomena like the glowing plankton, that is possible to observe in some beaches. In Portugal it is also possible to observe the upwelling phenomena, especially on the west coast, which makes the sea extremely rich in nutrients and biodiversity. Portuguese marine waters are one of the richest in biodiversity in the world.
There are many endemic species of Insect fauna, that are only found in some places in Portugal, others are more widespread like the stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the cicada. Macaronesian islands (Azores and Madeira) have many endemic species (like birds, reptiles, bats, insects, snails and slugs) that developed differently from other places in the world due to their isolated locations and so very unique species have evolved there. Madeira is the only place where it is possible to observe 200 species of land gastropods.Laurissilva is a unique type of subtropical rainforest in Europe and in the world. It is found in Madeira and The Azores and also on the Canary islands, Spain.
See main article: Politics of Portugal. Portugal is a democratic republic ruled by the constitution of 1976 with Lisbon, the nation's largest city, as its capital.The four main governing components are the president of the republic, the parliament, the government, and the courts. The constitution grants the division or separation of powers among legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Portugal like most European countries has no state religion, making it a secular state.
The president, who is elected to a five-year term, has a supervising non-executive role. The current President is Aníbal Cavaco Silva. The Parliament is a chamber composed of 230 deputies elected in four-year terms. The government is headed by the prime minister (currently José Sócrates) who chooses the Council of Ministers, comprising all the ministers and state secretaries.
The national and regional governments (those of Azores and Madeira autonomous regions), and the Portuguese parliament, are dominated by two political parties, the Socialist Party and the Social Democratic Party. Minority parties Unitarian Democratic Coalition (Portuguese Communist Party plus Ecologist Party "The Greens"), Bloco de Esquerda (The Left Bloc) and CDS-PP (People's Party) are also represented in the parliament and local governments.
The courts are organized in several categories comprising the judicial, administrative, and fiscal branches. The supreme courts are courts of last appeal. A thirteen-member constitutional court oversees the constitutionality of the laws.
The President, elected to a 5-year term by direct, universal suffrage, is also commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Presidential powers include appointing the prime minister and Council of Ministers, in which the president must be guided by the assembly election results; dismissing the prime minister; dissolving the assembly to call early elections; vetoing legislation, which may be overridden by the assembly; and declaring a state of war or siege.
The Council of State, a presidential advisory body, is composed of six senior civilian officers, any former presidents elected under the 1976 constitution, five members chosen by the assembly, and five selected by the president.The government is headed by the presidentially appointed prime minister, who names the Council of Ministers. A new government is required to define the broad outline of its policy in a program and present it to the assembly for a mandatory period of debate. Failure of the assembly to reject the program by a majority of deputies confirms the government in office.
The four main organs of the national government are the presidency, the prime minister and Council of Ministers (the government), the Assembly of the Republic (the parliament), and the judiciary. The Assembly of the Republic is a unicameral body composed of up to 230 deputies. Elected by universal suffrage according to a system of proportional representation, deputies serve terms of office of 4 years, unless the president dissolves the assembly and calls for new elections.
See main article: Foreign relations of Portugal.
Portugal is a founding member of NATO (1949), OECD (1961) and EFTA (1960); it left the latter in 1986 to join the European Economic Community, that would become the European Union in 1993. In 1996 it co-founded the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). The country is a member state of the United Nations since 1955.
The only international dispute concerns the municipality of Olivença. Under Portuguese sovereignty since 1297, the municipality of Olivença was ceded to Spain under the Treaty of Badajoz in 1801, after the War of the Oranges. Portugal claimed it back in 1815 under the Treaty of Vienna. Nevertheless, bilateral diplomatic relations between the two neighbouring countries are cordial, as well as within the European Union.
See main article: Military history of Portugal and Portuguese Armed Forces. The armed forces have three branches: Army, Navy, and Air Force. The military of Portugal serves primarily as a self-defense force whose mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the country and providing humanitarian assistance and security at home and abroad. As of 2002, the total armed forces of Portugal numbered 43,600 active personnel including 2,875 women. Reservists numbered 210,930 for all services. The army had 25,400 personnel with equipment including 187 main battle tanks. The navy of 10,800, including 1,580 marines, had two submarines, six frigates, and 28 patrol and coastal combatants. The air force of 7,400 was equipped with 50 combat aircraft. Paramilitary police and republican guards, the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR), number 40,900. GNR is a police force under the authority of the military, its soldiers are subject to military law and organization. It has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor. The United States maintains a military presence with 770 troops. Portugal participates in peacekeeping operations in several regions. Defense spending in 1999–00 was $1.3 billion, representing 2.2% of GDP.
Since the early 2000s, compulsory military service is no longer practiced. The changes also turned the forces' focus towards professional military engagements. The age for voluntary recruitment is set at 18. In the 20th century, Portugal engaged in two major military interventions: the First Great War and the Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974). Portugal has participated in peacekeeping missions in East Timor, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq (Nasiriyah), and Lebanon. The Portuguese Military's Rapid Reaction Brigade, a combined force of the nation's elite Paratroopers, Special Operations Troops Centre, and Commandos, is a special elite fighting force.
Portugal's economy is based on services and industry such as software and automotive. Business services have overtaken more traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear, cork and wood products and beverages (wine, beer, juice, soft drinks). The country has increased its role in the automotive, mold-making and software sectors. Services, particularly tourism, are playing an increasingly important role. Portugal's European Union (EU) funding will be cut by 10%, to 22.5 billion euros, during the 2007–2013 period. EU expansion into eastern Europe has erased Portugal's past competitive advantage and relative low labor costs. Portugal's economic development model has been changing from one based on public consumption and public investment to one focused on exports, private investment, and development of the high-tech sector. At present, Portugal is exporting more technology than it imports.
Portugal changed its political regime in 1974 due to the Carnation Revolution, culminating with the end of one of its most notable periods of economic growth, which had started in the 1960s. It left the EFTA and joined the European Union (then the European Economic Community) in 1986. These changes resumed a process of fast modernization and economic growth within the framework of a stable environment. Successive governments implemented reforms and privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy.
Portugal was one of the founding countries of the euro in 1999, and therefore is integrated into the Eurozone. Major industries include oil refineries, automotive, cement production, pulp and paper industry, textile, footwear, furniture, and cork (of which Portugal is the world's leading producer). Manufacturing accounts for 33% of exports. Portugal is the world's fifth-largest producer of tungsten, and the world's eleventh-largest producer of wine. Agriculture and fishing no longer represents the bulk of the economy. However, Portugal has a strong tradition in the fisheries sector and is one of the countries with the highest fish consumption per capita. Portuguese wines, namely Port Wine (named after the country's second largest city, Porto) and Madeira Wine (named after Madeira Island), are exported worldwide. Tourism is also important, especially in mainland Portugal's southernmost region of the Algarve and in the Atlantic Madeira archipelago.
The Global Competitiveness Report for 2005, published by the World Economic Forum, placed Portugal's competitiveness in the 22nd position, ahead of countries and territories such as Spain, Ireland, France, Belgium and Hong Kong. This represented an increase of two places from the 2004 ranking. Portugal was ranked 20th on the Technology index and 15th on the Public Institutions index. However, the Global Competitiveness Index 2007-2008 placed Portugal in the 40th position out of 131 countries and territories.
Research about quality of life by the Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life survey placed Portugal as the country with the 19th-best quality of life in the world for the year 2005, ahead of other economically and technologically advanced countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea, but 9 places behind its only neighbour, Spain. This is despite the fact that Portugal remains the country with the lowest per capita GDP in Western Europe and is among the less wealthy in the European Union (the 6th poorest country among the 27 European Union member-states by purchasing power for the period 2005-2007, according to the Eurostat).
Major State-owned companies include Águas de Portugal (water), Caixa Geral de Depósitos (banking), Comboios de Portugal (railways), CTT (postal services) and Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (media). Publicly owned companies like EDP, Galp, Jerónimo Martins, Millennium bcp, Portugal Telecom and Sonae are among the largest corporations of Portugal by both number of employees and net income.
In 2006 the world's largest solar power plant began operating in the nation's sunny south while the world's first commercial wave power farm opened in October 2006 in the Norte region. As of 2006, 55% of electricity production was from coal and fuel power plants. The other 40% was produced by hydroelectrics and 5% by wind energy. The government is channeling $38,000,000,000 into developing renewable energy sources over the next five years.
Portugal wants renewable energy sources like solar, wind and wave power to account for nearly half of the electricity consumed in the country by 2010 (the EU target is 20% by 2020). "This new goal will place Portugal in the frontline of renewable energy and make it, along with Austria and Sweden, one of the three nations that most invest in this sector", Prime Minister José Sócrates said.Transportation was seen as a priority in the 1990s, pushed by the growing use of automobiles and industrialization. The country has a 68,732 km (42,708 mi) network of roads, of which almost 3,000 km (1,864 mi) are part of a 44 motorways system.
The two principal metropolitan areas have subway systems: Lisbon Metro and Metro Sul do Tejo in Lisbon Metropolitan Area and Porto Metro in Porto, each with more than 35 km (22 mi) of lines.Lisbon's geographical position makes it a stopover point for many foreign airlines at airports all over the country. The government decided to build a new airport outside Lisbon, in Alcochete, to replace Lisbon's Portela airport. Currently, the most important airports are in Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Funchal (Madeira), and Ponta Delgada (Azores).Portugal has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world (the number of operative mobile phones already exceeds the population). This network also provides wireless mobile Internet connections as well, and covers the entire territory. As of October 2006, 36.8% of households had high-speed Internet services and 78% of companies had Internet access. Most Portuguese watch television through cable (June 2004: 73.6% of households). Paid Internet connections are available at many cafés, as well as many post offices. One can also surf on the Internet at hotels, conference centres and shopping centres, where special areas are reserved for this purpose. Free internet access is also available to Portuguese residents at "Espaços de Internet" across the country.
Portugal has also modernized its water supply and sanitation system, in particular by increasing the rate of wastewater treated with support from EU subsidies to 80%. The country has also established a modern institutional and legal framework for the water and sanitation sector, including an autonomous regulatory agency, a national asset holding company called Águas de Portugal and a number of multi-municipal utilities. This replaced an institutionally fragemented sector structure, under which the country's 308 municipalities — many of them very small — had exclusive responsibility for water and sanitation.
The population of Portugal, the first unified nation-state in Western Europe, has been unusually homogeneous for most of its history. A single religion and a single language have contributed to this ethnic and national unity. The great majority of Portuguese are Roman Catholic, though a large percentage consider themselves non-practicing, especially in urban areas. Portugal was one of the last western European nations to give up its colonies and overseas territories, turning over the administration of Macau to China in 1999. Its colonial history has long since been a cornerstone of its national identity, as has its geographic position at the southwestern corner of Europe looking out to the Atlantic ocean. The country is fairly homogeneous linguistically and religiously. Native Portuguese are ethnically a combination of Celts, Lusitanians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Germanic (Visigoths, Suebi, Buri), Alans, Vandals, Jews and Moors (mostly Berbers and Arabs). However, the greatest, most dominant genetic / ethnic influences are Celtic, Lusitanian, Roman, Visigoth and Suebian.
The Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE) is Portugal's official bureau of statistics. In the 2001 census, the population was 10,355,824 of which 52% was female, 48% was male. By 2007, Portugal had 10,617,575 inhabitants of whom about 332,137 were legal immigrants. Portugal, long a country of emigration (the vast majority of Brazilians have some Portuguese ancestry), has now become a country of net immigration, and not just from the last Indian (Portuguese until 1961), African (Portuguese until 1975), and Far East Asian (Portuguese until 1999) overseas territories. Since the 1990s, along with a boom in construction, several new waves of Ukrainian, Brazilian, people from the former Portuguese colonies in Africa and other Africans have settled in the country. Those communities currently make up the largest groups of immigrants in Portugal. Romanians, Moldovans and Chinese also have chosen Portugal as destination. A number of EU citizens from the United Kingdom, Spain and other EU member states, are permanent residents of the country, with the British community being mostly composed of retired pensioners and the Spaniards composed of professionals (medical doctors, business managers, businesspersons, nurses, etc.). Portugal's Gypsy population, estimated at about 40,000, offers another element of ethnic diversity. Most gypsies live apart, and primarily in the south. They can often be found at rural markets selling clothing and handicrafts. Portugal also has small Protestant, Muslim and Jewish communities, largely composed of foreigners.
The most populous cities are Lisbon, Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Amadora, Braga, Almada, Coimbra, Funchal and Setúbal. There are seven Greater Metropolitan Areas (GAMs): Algarve, Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon, Minho, Porto and Viseu.
|Rank||City name||Population||Metropolitan area||Population||Subregion|
|1||Lisbon||564,657||Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon||2,641,006||Grande Lisboa|
|2||Porto||263,131||Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto||1,647,469||Grande Porto|
|3||Vila Nova de Gaia||178,255||Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto||-||Grande Porto|
|4||Amadora||175,872||Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon||-||Grande Lisboa|
|5||Braga||109,460||Greater Metropolitan Area of Minho||797,909||Cávado|
|6||Almada||101,500||Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon||-||Península de Setúbal|
|7||Coimbra||101,069||Greater Metropolitan Area of Coimbra||435,900||Baixo Mondego|
|8||Funchal||100,526||Autonomous Region of Madeira||245,806||Madeira|
|9||Setúbal||89,303||Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon||-||Península de Setúbal|
|10||Agualva-Cacém||81,845||Greater Metropolitan Area of Lisbon||-||Grande Lisboa|
See main article: Education in Portugal and Higher education in Portugal. The educational system is divided into preschool (for those under age 6), basic education (9 years, in three stages, compulsory), secondary education (3 years, till the 12th grade), and higher education (university and polytechnic).Total adult literacy rate is 95%. Portuguese primary school enrollments are close to 100%. About 20% of college-age students attend one of the country's higher education institutions (compared with 50% in the United States). In addition to being a key destination for international students, Portugal is also among the top places of origin for international students. All higher education students, both domestic and international, totaled 380,937 in 2005.
Portuguese universities have existed since 1290. The oldest Portuguese university was first established in Lisbon before moving to Coimbra. Universities are usually organized into faculties. Institutes and schools are also common designations for autonomous subdivisions of Portuguese higher education institutions, and are always used in the polytechnical system. The Bologna process has been adopted since 2006 by Portuguese universities and polytechnical institutes. Higher education in state-run educational establishments is provided on a competitive basis, a system of numerus clausus is enforced through a national database on student admissions.
See main article: Science and technology in Portugal. Scientific and technological research activities in Portugal are mainly conducted within a network of R&D units belonging to public universities and state-managed autonomous research institutions like the INETI - Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovação. The funding of this research system is mainly conducted under the authority of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education. The largest R&D units of the public universities by number of publications which achieved significant international recognition, include biosciences research institutions like the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, the Centre for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, the IPATIMUP, and the Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular. Among the private universities, notable research centers include the Facial Emotion Expression Lab. Internationally notable state-supported research centres in other fields include the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, a joint research effort between Portugal and Spain. Among the largest non-state-run research institutions in Portugal are the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência and the Champalimaud Foundation which yearly awards one of the highest monetary prizes of any science prize in the world. A number of both national and multinational high-tech and industrial companies, are also responsible for research and development projects. One of the oldest learned societies of Portugal is the Sciences Academy of Lisbon.
Portugal made agreements with several European scientific organizations aiming at full membership. These include the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), ITER, and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Portugal has entered into cooperation agreements with MIT (USA) and other North American institutions in order to further develop and increase the effectiveness of Portuguese higher education and research.
Portugal is home to the largest aquarium in Europe, the Lisbon Oceanarium, and have several other notable organizations focused on science-related exhibits and divulgation, like the state agency Ciência Viva, a programme of the Portuguese Ministry of Science and Technology to the promotion of a scientific and technological culture among the Portuguese population, the Science Museum of the University of Coimbra, the National Museum of Natural History at the University of Lisbon, and the Visionarium.
With the emergence and growth of several science parks throughout the world which helped create many thousands of scientific, technological and knowledge-based businesses, Portugal started to develop several science parks across the country. These include the Taguspark (in Oeiras), the Coimbra iParque (in Coimbra), the Madeira Tecnopolo (in Funchal), Sines Tecnopolo (in Sines) and Parkurbis (in Covilhã). Companies locate in the Portuguese science parks to take advantage of a variety of services ranging from financial and legal advice through to marketing and technological support.
See main article: Law of Portugal, Portuguese legal system, Law enforcement in Portugal and Crime in Portugal. The Portuguese legal system is part of the civil law legal system, also called the continental family legal system. Until the end of the 19th century, French law was the main influence. Since then the major influence has been German law. The main laws include the Constitution (1976, as amended), the Civil Code (1966, as amended) and the Penal Code (1982, as amended). Other relevant laws are the Commercial Code (1888, as amended) and the Civil Procedure Code (1961, as amended). Portuguese law applied in the former colonies and territories and continues to be the major influence for those countries. Portugal's main police organizations are the Guarda Nacional Republicana - GNR (National Republican Guard), a gendarmerie; the Polícia de Segurança Pública - PSP (Public Security Police), a civilian police force who work in urban areas; and the Polícia Judiciária - PJ (Judicial Police), a highly specialized criminal investigation police which is overseen by the Public Ministry.
See main article: Religion in Portugal. Church and state were formally separated during the Portuguese First Republic (1910–26), a separation reiterated in the Portuguese Constitution of 1976. Portugal is a secular state. Other than the Constitution, the two most important documents relating to religious freedom are the 2001 Religious Freedom Act and the 1940 Concordata (as amended in 1971) between Portugal and the Holy See.
Many Portuguese holidays, festivals and traditions have a Christian origin or connotation. Although relations between the Portuguese state and the Roman Catholic Church were generally amiable and stable since the earliest years of the Portuguese nation, their relative power fluctuated. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the church enjoyed both riches and power stemming from its role in the reconquest and its close identification with early Portuguese nationalism and the foundation of the Portuguese educational system, including the first university. The growth of the Portuguese overseas empire made its missionaries important agents of colonization with important roles of evangelization and teaching in all inhabited continents.
The country has small Protestant, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian Orthodox and Jewish communities, largely composed of foreigners. It also has a growing population of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) numbering almost 40,000.
See main article: Languages of Portugal, Portuguese language and Mirandese language. Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Portuguese is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain) and Northern Portugal, from the Galician-Portuguese language. It is derived from the Latin spoken by the romanized Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula around 2000 years ago. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it spread wordwide as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire (1415–1999). As a result, nowadays the Portuguese language is also official and spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor and Macau. These countries, plus Macau Special Administrative Region (People's Republic of China), make up the Lusosphere, term derived from the ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which currently matches the Portuguese territory south of the Douro river. Mirandese is also recognized as a co-official regional language in some municipalities of northeastern Portugal. It retains fewer than 5,000 speakers in Portugal (a number that can be up to 12,000 if counting second language speakers).
See main article: Health in Portugal.
The Portuguese health system is characterized by three coexisting systems: the National Health Service(NHS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions (health subsystems) and voluntaryprivate health insurance. The NHS provides universal coverage. In addition, about 25% of the populationis covered by the health subsystems, 10% by private insurance schemes and another 7% by mutual funds.The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing health policy as well as managing the NHS.Five regional health administrations are in charge of implementing the national health policy objectives,developing guidelines and protocols and supervising health care delivery. Decentralization efforts haveaimed at shifting financial and management responsibility to the regional level. In practice, however, theautonomy of regional health administrations over budget setting and spending has been limited to primarycare.
The NHS is predominantly funded through general taxation. Employer (including the state) and employeecontributions represent the main funding sources of the health subsystems. In addition, direct paymentsby the patient and voluntary health insurance premiums account for a large proportion of funding.
Similar to the other Eur-A countries, most Portuguese die from noncommunicable diseases. Mortalityfrom cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is higher than in the Eurozone, but its two main components, ischaemicheart disease and cerebrovascular disease, display inverse trends compared with the Eur-A, withcerebrovascular disease being the single biggest killer in Portugal (17%).Portuguese people die 12% less often from cancer than in the Eur-A, but mortality is not declining asrapidly as in the Eur-A. Cancer is more frequent among children as well as among women younger than44 years. Although lung cancer (slowly increasing among women) and breast cancer (decreasing rapidly)are scarcer, cancer of the cervix and the prostate are more frequent.Portugal has the highest mortality rate for diabetes in the Eur-A, with a sharp increase since the late1980s.
Portugal’s infant mortality rate has dropped sharply since the 1980s, when 24 of 1000 newborns died inthe first year of life. It is now around 3 deaths per a 1000 newborns. This improvement was mainly due to thedecrease in neonatal mortality, from 15.5 to 3.4 per 1000 live births.
People are usually well informed about their health status, the positive and negative effects of theirbehaviour on their health and their use of health care services. Yet their perceptions of their health candiffer from what administrative and examination-based data show about levels of illness withinpopulations. Thus, survey results based on self-reporting at the household level complement other data onhealth status and the use of services.Only one third of adults rated their health as good or very good in Portugal (Kasmel et al., 2004). This isthe lowest of the Eur-A countries reporting and reflects the relatively adverse situation of the country interms of mortality and selected morbidity.
See main article: Culture of Portugal, Portuguese literature, Music of Portugal and Architecture of Portugal. Portugal has developed a specific culture while being influenced by various civilizations that have crossed the Mediterranean and the European continent, or were introduced when it played an active role during the Age of Discovery.
Portuguese literature, one of the earliest Western literatures, developed through text and song. Until 1350, the Portuguese-Galician troubadours spread their literary influence to most of the Iberian Peninsula. Gil Vicente (ca. 1465 - ca. 1536), was one of the founders of both Portuguese and Spanish dramatic traditions.
Adventurer and poet Luís de Camões (ca. 1524–1580) wrote the epic poem "Os Lusíadas" (The Lusiads), with Virgil's Aeneid as his main influence. Modern Portuguese poetry is rooted in neoclassic and contemporary styles, as exemplified by Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). Modern Portuguese literature is represented by authors such as Almeida Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco, Eça de Queiroz, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and António Lobo Antunes. Particularly popular and distinguished is José Saramago, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for literature.
Portuguese music encompasses a wide variety of genres. The most renowned is fado, a melancholy urban music, usually associated with the Portuguese guitar and saudade, or longing. Coimbra fado, a unique type of fado, is also noteworthy. Internationally notable performers include Amália Rodrigues, Carlos Paredes, José Afonso, Mariza, Carlos do Carmo, Mísia, and Madredeus. One of the most notable Portuguese musical groups outside the country, and specially in Germany, is the goth-metal band Moonspell. In addition to fado and folk, the Portuguese listen to pop and other types of modern music, particularly from North America and the United Kingdom, as well as a wide range of Portuguese and Brazilian artists and bands. Bands with international recognition include Blasted Mechanism and The Gift, both of which were nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award. Portugal has several summer music festivals, such as Festival Sudoeste in Zambujeira do Mar, Festival de Paredes de Coura in Paredes de Coura, Festival Vilar de Mouros near Caminha, and Rock in Rio Lisboa and Super Bock Super Rock in Lisbon. Out of the summer season, Portugal has a large number of festivals, designed more to an urban audience, like Flowfest or Hip Hop Porto. Furthermore, one of the largest international Goa trance festivals takes place in central Portugal every two years, and the student festivals of Queima das Fitas are major events in a number of cities across Portugal. In 2005, Portugal held the MTV Europe Music Awards, in Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon.In the Classical music domain, Portugal is represented by names as the pianist Maria João Pires, and in the past by the great cellist Guilhermina Suggia. Notable composers include Luís de Freitas Branco and his student Joly Braga Santos, and Fernando Lopes-Graça. Portuguese cinema has a long tradition, reaching back to the birth of the medium in the late 19th century. Portuguese film directors such as Arthur Duarte, António Lopes Ribeiro, Manoel de Oliveira, António-Pedro Vasconcelos, João Botelho and Leonel Vieira, are among those that gained notability. Noted Portuguese film actors include Joaquim de Almeida, Maria de Medeiros, Diogo Infante, Soraia Chaves, Vasco Santana, Ribeirinho, and António Silva, among many others.It has also a rich history as far as painting is concerned. The first well-known painters date back to the XV century – like Nuno Gonçalves - were part of the Gothic painting period.José Malhoa, known for his work Fado, and Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro (who painted the portraits of Teófilo Braga and Antero de Quental) were both references in naturalist painting.
The 20th century saw the arrival of Modernism, and along with it came the most prominent Portuguese painters: Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, who was heavily influenced by French painters, particularly by the Delaunays. Among his best known works is Canção Popular a Russa e o Fígaro. Another great modernist painter/writer was Almada Negreiros, friend to the poet Fernando Pessoa, who painted his (Pessoa’s) portrait. He was deeply influenced by both Cubist and Futurist trends. Prominent international figures in visual arts nowadays include painters Vieira da Silva, Júlio Pomar, and Paula Rego.
Traditional architecture is distinctive. Modern Portugal has given the world renowned architects like Eduardo Souto de Moura, Álvaro Siza Vieira and Gonçalo Byrne. Internally, Tomás Taveira is also noteworthy.
Since the 1990s, Portugal has increased the number of public cultural facilities, in addition to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation established in 1956 in Lisbon. These include the Belém Cultural Center in Lisbon, Serralves Foundation and the Casa da Música, both in Porto, as well as new public cultural facilities like municipal libraries and concert halls which were built or renovated in many municipalities across the country.
See main article: Tourism in Portugal.
Portugal attracts many tourists each year. In 2006, the country was visited by 12,8 million tourists. Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in Portugal's economy contributing with about 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The tourist areas are, by order of tourist receipts and earnings, Greater Lisbon (Lisboa), the Algarve, Portuguese Islands (Ilhas Portuguesas: Madeira and Azores), Greater Porto and Northern Portugal (Porto e Norte), Alentejo, and Centro.
2007 was a record year for inbound visitors to Portugal. During the peak of the tourist season, occupancy rates registered levels of almost 100% in the Algarve and in Porto. Porto benefited from staging important world events in the summer, such as the Red Bull Air Race. Domestic tourism continued its significant increase, since the Portuguese still prefer to travel within their borders. Among the inbound countries that contributed the most to the summer’s success were Spain, the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and Ireland.
Low cost carriers continue to increase their share towards the end of the review period. After a boom in continental airports, easyJet expanded to Madeira airport with new routes including London Stansted and Bristol. Low cost airlines continued to invest in their fleets and in direct flights, creating new inbound tourism destinations. The main low cost companies operating in Portugal are easyJet, Monarch Airlines and Ryanair.
Demand for dynamic holiday packages is constantly increasing, as consumers show a preference for creating personalised holidays or travel packages. This also prompted tour operators to improve their standard packages, in order to offer a wider range of options to their customers. At the same time, online sales are increasing steadily. This trend is pushing traditional tour operators such as Viagens Abreu to improve their web platforms or to create their own online travel agency, with Star Viagens creating OTA Exit.
Portugal is one of the world’s leading destinations for health and wellness tourism. The country benefits from its climate, mineral and medicinal water properties, natural thermal baths and recent investments in hotel/resort spas. Health and wellness is the main emerging tourism area, as shown in the strategic tourism plan from the government. Health and wellness is also expected to play an important role in diminishing the seasonality of tourism in the country.
Travel and tourism will continue to be extremely important for Portugal, with visitor numbers forecast to increase significantly over the next five years. However, there is increasing competition from Eastern European destinations such as Croatia who offer similar attractions to Portugal, and are often cheaper. Portugal must keep its focus on its niche attractions such as health, nature and rural tourism to stay ahead of its competitors.
See main article: Portuguese Cuisine and Portuguese Wine. Portuguese cuisine is diverse. The Portuguese consume a lot of dry cod (bacalhau in Portuguese), for which there are hundreds of recipes. There are more than enough bacalhau dishes for each day of the year. Two other popular fish recipes are grilled sardines and caldeirada. Typical Portuguese meat recipes, that may take beef, pork, lamb, or chicken, include cozido à portuguesa, feijoada, frango de churrasco, leitão (piglet) and carne de porco à alentejana.Typical fast food dishes include the francesinha from Porto, and bifanas (grilled pork) or prego (grilled beef) sandwiches which are well known around the country. The Portuguese art of pastry has its origins in ancient recipes of which pastéis de Belém (or pastéis de nata) originally from Lisbon, and ovos-moles from Aveiro are good examples. Portuguese cuisine is very diverse, with different regions having their own traditional dishes. The Portuguese have a cult for good food and throughout the country there are myriads of good restaurants and small typical tascas.
Portuguese wines have deserved international recognition since the times of the Roman Empire, which associated Portugal with their god Bacchus. Today the country is known by wine lovers and its wines have won several international prizes. Some of the best Portuguese wines are: Vinho Verde, Vinho Alvarinho, Vinho do Douro, Vinho do Alentejo, Vinho do Dão, Vinho da Bairrada and the sweet: Port Wine, Madeira Wine and the Moscatel from Setúbal and Favaios. Port Wine is well known around the world and the most widely known wine type in the world. The Douro wine region is the oldest in the world.
See main article: Sport in Portugal. Football (soccer) is the most known, loved and played sport. There are several football competitions ranging from local amateur to world-class professional level. The legendary Eusébio is still a major symbol of Portuguese football history. Luís Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the numerous examples of other world-class football (soccer) players born in Portugal and noted worldwide.
The Portuguese national teams, have titles in the FIFA World Youth Championship and in the UEFA youth championships. The main national team - Selecção Nacional - finished second in Euro 2004 (held in Portugal), reached the third place in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and reached the fourth place in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their best results in major competitions to date.
Sporting C.P., F.C. Porto and S.L. Benfica are the largest sports clubs by popularity and in terms of trophies won, often known as "os três grandes" ("the big three"). They have 12 titles won in the European UEFA club competitions, were present in many finals and have been regular contenders in the last stages almost every season. Other than football, many Portuguese sports clubs, including the "big three", compete in several other sports events with a varying level of success and popularity, these may include basketball, futsal, handball, and volleyball.Portugal has a successful rink hockey team, with 15 world titles and 20 European titles, making it the country with the most wins in both competitions. The most successful Portuguese rink hockey clubs in the history of European championships are F.C. Porto, S.L. Benfica and Óquei de Barcelos.
The national rugby union team made a dramatic qualification into the 2007 Rugby World Cup and became the first all amateur team to qualify for the World Cup since the dawn of the professional era. The Portuguese national rugby sevens team has performed well, becoming one of the strongest teams in Europe, and proved their status as European champions in several occasions.
In athletics, the Portuguese have won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals in the European, World and Olympic Games competitions. Cycling, with Volta a Portugal being the most important race, is also a popular sports event and include professional cycling teams such as S.L. Benfica, Boavista, Clube de Ciclismo de Tavira, and União Ciclista da Maia. The country has also achieved notable performances in sports like fencing, judo, kitesurf, rowing, sailing, surfing, shooting, triathlon and windsurf, owning several European and world titles. The paralympic athletes have also conquered many medals in sports like swimming, boccia and wrestling.