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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 citizen’s card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, arrange your visa or other required documentation well in advance.
The climate is of the maritime temperate type 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.
Mainland Portugal and Madeira = GMT
Azores = GMT - 1
Geography and Politics
Portugal is part of the Iberian Peninsula, in southwest Europe. It includes two archipelagos: the islands of Madeira and the islands of the Azores. Portugal is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, where the Prime Minister is the head of government. It is a member of the European Union.
Tips and Payment
Portugal is part of the Eurozone, so the currency used will be the Euro (EUR). Many businesses accept credit cards, but it is always useful to have cash with you. There are many ATMs where you can withdraw cash. It is customary to tip around 10% if you are satisfied with the service provided.
Language and expressions to memorize
The official language is Portuguese. Some useful phrases in Portuguese are: “olá” = hi, “por favor” = please; “muito obrigado/a” = thank you very much; “desculpe” = sorry.
What to do
Do not be surprised if you are invited to lunch to do business - it is customary that these lunches last a long time. Family and the social side of life are very important and it is essential to establish good relationships when you are doing business.
What not to do
Do not try to rush negotiations. The Portuguese take their time and like to be meticulous, so try to accompany the pace. Do not be late for meetings - although the culture is not as punctual as other European countries, you are expected to arrive on time when you are doing business.
What to wear
Men should wear suits and ties and women the formal equivalent, with elegance. Appearance is important, be conservative and professional, adjusting your choices to the industry you work in and the type of meeting.
When meeting someone in a business context, greet him or her with a handshake. After certain meetings and in social situations it is considered normal to give two kisses on the face. The handshake or a hug continues to be the appropriate greeting between men. If you are invited to someone's house, bring a box of chocolates or good bottle of Portuguese wine to show your appreciation.