Tourism is an important sector in the region’s economy since it contributes 20% to the region’s GDP, providing support throughout the year for commercial, transport and other activities and constituting a significant market for local products. The share in Gross Value Added of hotels and restaurants (9%) also highlights this phenomenon.

The island of Porto Santo, with its 9 km long beach and its climate, is totally devoted to tourism. Over the past decade it has recorded a substantial increase in its hotel accommodation capacity.

Porto Santo

Porto Santo - source

Development in Madeira is considered to have potential since the necessary infrastructure has been established and adequate investment incentives have been introduced for expanding its hotel and catering structure in a controlled manner. Conservation of its nature is important as it is one of tourists’ main reasons for visiting Madeira.

Tourism is also important at the mainland Portugal’s southernmost region of the Algarve archipelago. Activities related to tourism are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve’s summer economy.

Here are some guiding web pages dedicated to tourists:



Except of island tourism, there are also possibilities to visit the cities on the land. When I was browsing for these opportunities I found out that very interesting is Porto or Braga on the north; in the Centre Portugal it is Aveiro or Fátima. The most popular and interesting is the Lisbon’s coast, divided in Cascais Estroil, Costa Azul, Ericeira and Sintra.

Here is a helpful web site to check out and pick where you actually want to go. It also helps you to find accommodation:


The best source for booking the hotel or hostel for a very good deal is a web site of


Visitors are mainly from the European Union, with German, British, Scandinavian and Portuguese tourists providing the main contingents. The average annual occupancy rate was 57.4% in 2001, reaching its maximum in March and April, when it exceeds 70%.

Porto e Norte

Centro de Portugal

Lisboa region






Madeira - source

What’s good to visit? Historical cities Lisbon, Braga, Evora, Porto, Tomar, Leiria, monasteries Mafra, Batalze, Alcobaça, lime reefs Nazaré (pilgrimage point) and Serra de Arrábida, sandy coast Algarve and ports Lagos and Portim.





www.lonelyplanet.com - virtual tour




www.lisboa.arounder.com - virtual tour

www.youtube.com – video - tourist in Portugal

www.visitportugal.com – Portugal video

www.molon.de - Portugal photos

www.portugal-info.net – photo Portugal with islands

www.nationalgeographic.com - high quality photos