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Enjoy the island's colours
One of the most famous places in Madeira is definitely the Monte. Here nature is all around you in ornate gardens and Nossa Senhora Church is also well worth a visit. Then take a ride back down by cable car or in a traditional wicker toboggan. At the bottom, visit São Lourenço Fort and feast your eyes on the exotic fruits in Lavradores Market.
And Funchal's flavours
You must absolutely drink ”poncha” and taste the famous sweets made from fennel (funcho), which gave its name to the city! You can enjoy folk dancing, special events and beaches. There are a number of bathing complexes from Formosa to Ponta Gorda. And of course on New Year's Eve the skies light up with the largest firework display in the world.
Culture and Business
Make sure you have your identity card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, take care of your visa or other necessary documentation ahead of time.
The climate type is maritime temperate, with hot summers and rainy winters, with Atlantic, continental and Mediterranean influences. The climate also varies according to the altitude and proximity to the ocean.
Continental Portugal and Madeira = GMT
Azores = GMT - 1
Geography & politics
Portugal is part of the Iberian Peninsula and is located in southwestern Europe. It includes two archipelagos: the islands of Madeira and the islands of the Azores. Portugal is a semi-presidential Democratic Republic, where the Prime Minister is the head of government. It is part of the European Union.
Tipping & paying
Portugal is part of the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro (EUR). Many places accept credit card payments, but it is always helpful to have some money with you. There are many ATMs where you can withdraw money. It is common to tip around 10% if you are satisfied with the service.
Languages & useful phrases
Portuguese is the official language of Portugal. Some useful phrases in Portuguese are: “olá” = hello, “por favor” = please; “muito obrigado/a” = thank you very much; “desculpe” = sorry.
What you should do
Don’t be surprised if you are invited to lunch to talk business—it is common for these lunches to run long. Family and the social side of life are very important and it is essential to establish good relationships when doing business.
What you shouldn’t do
Don’t try to rush negotiations. The Portuguese take their time and like to be meticulous, so try to be patient. Don’t be late for meetings—even though people may not be as punctual as in other European countries, you are expected to arrive on time when doing business.
What to wear
Men should wear a suit and tie and women the formal equivalent, with elegance. Appearance is important, so be conservative and professional, adjusting your choices to the industry you work for and the type of occasion.
When meeting someone in a business context, greet them with a handshake. After some encounters and in social situations, it is normal to give two kisses on the cheeks—but between men, continue with a handshake or a hug. If you are invited to someone's house, take a box of chocolates or a good bottle of Portuguese wine as a thank you gesture.