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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Portugal

Tour Information

Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour.  It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space.    The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.

ENTERING PORTUGAL: U.S. citizens will need a passport which is valid for three months beyond the intended date of departure and with at least two blank passport pages. A visa is not required for stay of fewer than 90 days. 

Citizens of other nations should contact the nearest Spanish Consulate for entry requirements.

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/Portugal.html, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Portugal at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/po.html.

PACE OF TOUR: The tour is based around two hotels. Our daily routine will largely be dependent on weather conditions. At the time of our tour it does not become light until 07.15 so we’ll have breakfast before departing for the day’s main birdwatching excursion. Lunch will be taken in a roadside cafe or restaurant. We will return to our hotel in time to shower before going for dinner in nearby towns. Dinner is usually taken late in Portugal, between 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm. Virtually all the walking is fairly easy and on good paths or tracks. 

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/portugal

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.

Miscellaneous:  Minor intestinal problems are possible so we suggest bringing Imodium in case of an upset stomach.

Generally, insects shouldn’t be a problem but it might be wise to bring a repellent in case we encounter a few mosquitoes.  

The sun may be strong and it is easy to become sunburnt so bring a few long-sleeve shirts and a broad-rimmed hat.  

CLIMATE:  We expect mainly warm, sunny weather with average temperatures between 63°F (17°C) and 75°F (24°C). Rain is possible throughout. Wind is irregular and can vary between no wind on some days and moderate wind on others. 

ACCOMMODATION:Accommodation throughout the tour will be in hotels with private facilities available in all rooms. Two of the hotels we normally use for this trip have nice swimming pools.  

Internet Access:  WiFi is available in both hotels. Mobile phone access is very good near our lodging locations but can be intermittent when in the field. 

FOOD: Breakfasts consist of the usual staple items e.g. coffee, tea, juice, cheese and bread. Lunch is normally taken in a cafe where the choices are limited to sandwiches with cheese or ham. The cakes and pastries are more varied and the leader will be happy to recommend! Evening meals are taken late in Portugal which allows us to make the most of the daylight hours for birding. Around Alcochete the seafood is recommended, inland the local pork and game are excellent. Local wine is excellent as well and the local leader will be able to give advice.

Drinks:   Bottled water and/or a soft drink, beer or wine is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. Bottled water is available in the tour vehicle during the day. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room etc. is the responsibility of the individual.  

Food Allergies/Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 

TRANSPORTATION: Transportation will be by minibus driven by the leader. Participants should be willian and able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles.

Updated: 09 August 2015