Portugal Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Portugal Population and cities



According to Countryaah website, Portugal has about 10.6 million residents.

Ethnic composition

About 98% of the population are Portuguese. The largest minority groups in Portugal are Brazilians, Africans and Spaniards.


In Portugal 93% of the population are Roman Catholic. In addition, Protestants, who make up the largest religious minority group, Muslims, Jews and Orthodox, still live here.

National languages

Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, just like in Brazil.

Capital, other cities

The capital of Portugal is Lisbon with around 545,300 residents. According to Abbreviation Finder, PRT stands for Portugal in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other larger cities are:

  • Porto, with about 263,000 residents
  • Vila Nova de Gaia, with about 289,000 residents
  • Amadora, with about 176,000 residents
  • Coimbra, with about 149,000 residents

Portugal: geography

National borders

Portugal has a border with Spain with a length of 1,214 km. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Portugal.



Portugal’s coastline on the Atlantic has a length of around 832 km.

The Algarve, which is so popular with holidaymakers, has a coastline of 157 km.

Portugal is located in the west of the European continent, on the Iberian Peninsula. The country is divided into 18 districts and two autonomous regions: Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Porto, Aveiro, Viseu, Guarda, Coimbra, Castelo Branco, Leiria, Santarém, Portalegre, Lisboa, Sétubal, Evora, Beja, Faro as well as Madeira and the Azores as autonomous regions.

In the north of Portugal rise the montanhas, the mountainous heights of the country, while the south is relatively flat. The southern coastal strip of Portugal is called the Algarve and is particularly popular with tourists due to its numerous beautiful beaches.

At Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of mainland Europe.

Area, land use, Cabo da Roca, national borders

Portugal covers an area of 89,000 km2 (excluding the Azores and Madeira).


  • ForestAbout 40% of the country is covered with forest. Devastating forest fires are not uncommon in Portugal in summer, which often results in an extreme decimation of the forest.
  • Arable land and fields Around 17% of the area of Portugal is used as arable and pasture land. The main crops are potatoes, grapes, tomatoes, wheat, corn and olives. Portugal is also one of the largest cork producers in the world.
  • MountainsIn the north of Portugal, the Serra da Estrela extends up to an altitude of 1,991 m.

Portugal has a border with Spain with a length of 1,214 km.

Cabo da Roca Cabo da Roca,

140 m high above the Atlantic, is the westernmost point on the European mainland. The cape is located around 35 km west-northwest of Lisbon. Here the visitor will find a tourist office, a lighthouse, a bar and a marine radio transmitter.

Coastline, surf spot

Portugal’s coastline on the Atlantic has a total length of around 832 km.

The Algarve, which is so popular with holidaymakers, has a coastline of 157 km.

Surfspot Nazaré

Nazaré is a Portuguese city on the Atlantic Ocean in the Oeste sub-region of the Centro region – approx. 100 km north of Lisbon.

The village has 10,000 residents. It is known as a fishing and tourism town as well as a place of pilgrimage.

But the local surf spot is particularly well-known, where you can find breaking waves with a height of over 20 m due to special conditions.

The village is located around 100 km (as the crow flies) north of Lisbon.

Tidal range

In Lisbon the mean tidal range is around 2 m.

For detailed explanations of ebb and flow, see Tides, Ebb and Flow.


The world’s highest tidal range can be found in the Bay of Fundy in Canada. It is up to 16 m there, and at spring tide even over 20 m. The Bay of Fundy is located on the Atlantic between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which is called Nova Scotia in German and whose capital is Halifax. On the German North Sea coast, the tidal range varies between 1 m and 3 m. In the western Baltic Sea, however, it is only about 0.3 m, while it is barely noticeable in the eastern Baltic Sea.

Longitude and latitude

The mainland of Portugal extends over the following latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 37 ° to 42 ° north latitude Δλ = from 6 ° to 9 ° west longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.


In Portugal, the following applies to Central European Time (CET):

Δt (CET) = – 1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest level of the sun in Lisbon

Lisbon lies at a north latitude of about φ = 39 °.

When the sun or its image point is at the northern tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer begins in Lisbon; this is June 21st. Accordingly, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

39 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °


H = 74.5 °

This is the highest level above the horizon (exactly: above the horizon) that the sun occupies within the year in Lisbon.



The highest mountain on the Portuguese mainland is the Estrela with a height of 1,993 m.

Ponta do Pico

The Ponta do Pico in the Azores is the highest mountain in the Republic of Portugal with a height of 2,351 m.

Other high mountains are:

  • Santinha, with a height of 1,593 m
  • Marão, with a height of 1,415 m
  • Pedrada, with a height of 1,415 m
  • Montemuro, with a height of 1,382 m



The Tajo (attention: in Spain the river is called Tajo and in Portugal the Tagus) is the longest of the Iberian Peninsula with its approx. 1,007 km. The river has its source in the east of Spain in the Fuente de Garcia in the Sierra de Albarracín mountains, in the province of Teruel, at an altitude of about 1,600 m. From there the river basically flows in a westerly direction where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean near Lisbonopposite. The Tajo is particularly picturesque in the city of Toledo, which it also flows around 3 sides, in the east, south and west. In addition to Lisbon, there are other important cities such as Aranjuez, Toledo, Talavera de la Reina and Santarém. The river covers approx. 727 km within Spain and approx. 280 km within Portugal. Lisbon is also home to the largest bridge over the Tagus. The Ponte Vasco da Gama is the longest bridge in Europe with its 17 km. At Lisbon the river flows into the Atlantic Ocean as the Tagus.


The longest river in the country is the Duoro with a length of about 320 km within Portugal.




Alqueva Reservoir

The Alqueva Reservoir has a total area of 250 km ². About 187 km² of this is in Portugal while 63 km² are on Spanish soil.

Other lakes are:

  • Barragem de Guilhofrei
  • Barragem de Venda Nova
  • Barragem de Sta. Clara
  • Barragem do Roxo


Madeira and the Azores, about 1,500 km west of Portugal, belong to Portugal.


The Azores lie in the middle of the Atlantic and comprise nine larger islands and a number of smaller ones with a total area of 2,352 km². You are on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on the border of the European and African plates. Of the nine islands, eight are of volcanic origin and only the island of Santa Maria is a “sediment island”. The Pico volcano on the island of the same name is the highest mountain in Portugal with a height of 2,351 m, the main town of this island is Madalena. Around 242,000 people live in the Azores.

The capital of the entire Azores is Ponta Delgada on the island of São Miguel. Atlantic crossers among the sailors prefer Horta, the capital of Faial. The main town on the island of Terceira is Angra do Heroísmo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place was badly damaged in the 1980 earthquake, but it was completely rebuilt. There is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the island of Pico.

The Azores are certainly known to interested citizens for the “Azores highs”, which usually bring good weather to Europe. The Azores extend over the following geographical longitude and latitude:

Δφ = from 36 ° 55` to 39 ° 45` north latitude Δλ = from 025 ° 06` to 031 ° 17` west longitude

The nine large islands, eight of which are of volcanic origin, are specifically:

São Miguel

With around 747 km² and 140,000 residents, the island is the largest of the Azores. The capital of the Azores “Ponta Delgada” with around 65,000 residents is also located on it.


The island covers an area of 447 km², making it the second largest island in the Azores after São Miguel. Around 16,000 people live here. With a height of 2,351 m, the island is not only the highest mountain in the Azores but also in the whole of Portugal – it is the Ponta do Pico. The capital is the port city of “Madalena” with 6,200 residents. The viticulture culture of Pico Island was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004. More information under sights.


The island covers an area of 396.8 km² and has 56,000 residents. The main town of the island is “Angra do Heroísmo” with around 3,600 residents. The site, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1980 and then rebuilt, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For more information, see Sights.

São Jorge

The island covers an area of 233.5 km² – with 10,500 residents. The main town on the island is “Velas” with around 1,900 residents.


The island covers an area of 172 km² with 15,000 residents. The main town is “Horta”, with a population of around 6,000. The port is popular with transatlantic sailors.


Flores is about 20 km south of Corvo and covers an area of around 143 km² – with 3,900 residents. The main town is “Santa Cruz das Flores” with approx. 1,800 residents.

Santa Maria

The island has an area of around 97.2 km and about 5,500 residents. The main town is “Vila do Porto” with around 3,000 residents. The island is the only one of the large nine islands in the Azores that is not of volcanic origin.


The island covers an area of 60.8 km² – with 4,800 residents. The main town is “Santa Cruz da Graciosa” with around 1,800 residents.


Corvo is the northernmost of the Azores islands and covers an area of around 17.1 km² – with around 400 residents, it is also the smallest inhabited island in the Azores. The island is about 20 km north of Flores


Madeira covers an area of 795 km² and is located in the middle of the Atlantic. You can find a detailed description of the archipelago at Goruma under Madeira.


Mainland Portugal as well as the Azores and Madeira border the Atlantic.

Portugal Population