Football by far is the most popular sport in Portugal, however the country does have a keen interest in other sports. For active Sports Tourist’s, Golf and Surfing are some of the popular activities in the country.
Sport in Portugal
Football in Portugal
Think of football in Portugal and the thought conjures up some of the world’s greatest players – Eusébio, Luís Figo or Cristiano Ronaldo. The national team is one of the best in Europe, winning UEFA Euro 2016 and the inaugural 2018–19 UEFA Nations League which they hosted. They were also runners-up at UEFA Euro 2004 (which they also hosted) and finished third at the 1966 FIFA World Cup and fourth in 2006.
The Primeira Liga is the country’s top football division and with the exception of Belenenses in 1945-46 and Boavista in 2000-01, has only ever been won by “os três grandes” – “the big three” of S.L. Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP. Between them, the three teams have performed well on the European stage – winning four European Cups/UEFA Champions League’s and two UEFA Cup’s/UEFA Europa League’s.
The LigaPro is the division below the Primeira Liga. The national cup is the Taça de Portugal which has been held since 1938 and played by clubs of the top two divisions, the Campeonato Nacional de Seniores (third division), 22 District Championships runners-up and by 18 District Cups winners. The Final is played annually at Estádio Nacional.
Golf in Portugal
The Algarve is famed for its array of beautiful golf courses, however courses can also be found in Lisbon, Porto, Madeira, Albufeira, Lagos and Tavira.
The Portugal Masters is a European Tour event held annually in the autumn at the Arnold Palmer designed Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, Algarve.
Motorsport in Portugal
The Rally de Portugal is one of the most well known rally races, being a round of the World Rally Championship. The main circuits in the country are the:
- Circuito do Estoril which held the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix from 1984 to 1996.
- Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, which was opened in 2008 at a cost of €195 million.
- Circuito Internacional de Vila Real, a street circuit which annually hosts the FIA WTCC Race of Portugal since 2005.
Surfing in Portugal
Portugal is a popular surf destination, with great waves to be had at Amado, Arrifana, Beliche, Castelejo, Faro, Tonel and Zavial. The MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal is a professional surfing competition of the World Surf League World Tour held annually in October at the Supertubos beach in Peniche.
Key Country Information
Capital – Lisbon
Currency – Euro (EUR)
Official & Recognised Languages – Portuguese
Population – 10.2 million
Time – GMT
Travelling to Portugal & Visa
The three international airports of Portugal are in Lisbon, Porto and Faro, which between them serve a number of international destinations. The islands of the Azores and Madeira also each have their own airports.
Entry Requirements & Visas
Portugal is a member of the European Union and part of the Schengen area, therefore citizens of many countries can spend up to 90 days in the country without a visa.
If you are a UK citizen, you can view the UK’s government latest advice on entry requirements to Portugal by clicking here. For other passport holders, consult your own government’s travel advice for entry to Portugal.
Travelling around Portugal
Bus/Coach – The bus is a cheap and potentially fast way of travelling around the country. Rede Expressos, Rodonorte and Eva are three of the more well companies that offer travel between the major cities.
Car Hire – Hiring a car is a relatively inexpensive way of travelling across Portugal, meaning you can dictate your own itinerary and pace. There are many companies offering car hire and can be found across most major towns, with one-way hire often available.
Train – The Portugal rail system is an efficient way of travelling across the country. Timetables and booking are available on the state run CP railway website.
Portugal City Guides
Click on the below for a guide to some of Portugal’s major cities/districts and most popular stops for watching Sport in Portugal: