2018 is looking very positive for lovers of “mini-férias” – those extended weekend breaks that Portuguese delight in, and which give the national economy a welcome boost in the so-called low season.
Says tabloid Correio da Manhã, the country can look forward to eight long weekends next year – involving four naturally-occurring three-day breaks, and four others that can be easily ‘massaged’ into mini-holidays with skillful use of the statutory 22-day annual holiday allowance.
In all, Portuguese workers could end up with 139 days at home next year, says the paper, totting up weekends, holidays, Bank Holidays, Saint’s Days and ‘pontes’ – the name for Portugal’s much-loved ‘extended breaks’.
With the return of all the Bank Holidays lopped by the previous government in the name of austerity, Portugal is looking forward to its full complement of 13 Bank Holidays once again, though the three that fall in December will not be as useful as they are this year due to the first two falling on a Saturday.
In other words, make the best use of this year’s ‘December days off’ (the first coming on Friday and commemorating the wrestling back of independence from Spain in 1640).