TRADITIONAL AND CONSERVATIVE
As a result of the Salazar dictatorship, Portugal was isolated from the rest of Europe for more than 40 years and has spent the best part of the last century in a state of slumber. All around it, progress went ahead almost unnoticed – giving Portugal its reputation as an oasis for stressed Northern Europeans. If you're keen to find peace and tranquillity during your language study trip to Portugal, you should explore the sparsely populated inland and thus avoid the hordes of tourists who flock to the South during the holiday season. Portugal's strong Catholic influence and long dictatorship make it a traditional and conservative country. The religious festivals, known as "Romarias", honour various Saints and are taken very seriously – as are the results of local football matches.