For some visitors, the only things they know about Portugal are its legendary beaches and the transfer distance from Faro airport to Albufeira and similar resorts. To provide a little background, here some common misconceptions are corrected. |
Portuguese is a form of Spanish. Well, it depends how far back you go, but broadly speaking it is an entirely separate language. Both what we today call Spanish (more correctly called Castilian) and Portuguese have their origins in Latin and the languages of the various peoples that lived in the Iberian Peninsula after the Roman period. Today, typical Castilian speakers have some considerable difficulty in understanding Portuguese, although Castilian is apparently rather more easily understood by Portuguese speakers. You might also be interested to know that Portuguese is, by a small margin, the most widely spoken language in South America rather than Spanish.
Portugal is a small country. By the geographic standards of its neighbour Spain, then yes, it is. However, Portugal was one of the first European countries to set out on global explorations and that led to it at one time having a considerable trading empire. Today the vestiges of that can be seen in the fact that Portuguese continues to be spoken in Brazil, several African countries and several in the Far East. For example, even elements of ‘traditional’ Japanese cuisine (e.g. tempura) were very heavily influenced or imported by Portuguese voyagers and settlers centuries ago.
The country is mainly about beaches and holidaying. That is one of the most serious misconceptions around! The ease of getting a transfer from Faro airport to Albufeira and, of course, its sun and beaches make it an extremely attractive place for holidaymakers. And, if your only experience of the country is based upon the journey from Faro airport to Albufeira and your subsequent stay in the resort, thinking that might be understandable. However Portugal is also an agricultural and industrial country with many major centres of culture and history, such as Oporto and Lisbon.
The importance of Portugal as a political, geographic and economic power is evidenced by the fact that it is officially England’s (later Britain’s) oldest ally. That friendship and alliance goes back over centuries to the original date of its agreement in 1373.
It is a hot and semi-arid country. This view sometimes frustrates many locals, as it does many Spaniards who live in Northern Spain. It probably arises from the fact that the majority of holidaymakers head for the southern areas, where tourism is a major economic force. These are, as dictated by geography, typically very warm during several months of the year. However, the country also sits on the Atlantic and its central and northern areas are typically much cooler and benefit from much more rain than the south. As a result, many parts of the country are very green and verdant for large parts of the year.
Hopefully, these few basic facts will convince you this is a fantastic country to visit; there is certainly more to see than is simply visible on a typical transfer from Faro airport to Albufeira.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you’re looking for a transfer from Faro airport to Albufeira, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.
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