Portugal is a country located in south-western Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of mainland Europe and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east. The Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are also part of Portugal.
People are very friendly in general. During the summer, especially the coastline is overrun with tourists. In Portugal people are easy going and sometimes slow. Everything needs its time, so you will probably have to wait for a little while. Long distance buses are usually a bit late.
if you don't find anything through the typical hospitality exchange networks, you can try to stay with the firemen. Each Bombeiros station in Portugal has a room where they can host passing travellers, and it is free. These (mostly volunteer) fire-fighters are friendly and chatty, when they speak English. Make sure you go ask early enough, however, as the station commander has to verify that you can stay... (janpa tried it in several stations in March 2013 and had no luck. Might work in remote areas though, or if you are a fireman yourself.)
Throughout the three warmer seasons, and in winter too if you have a tent or find shelter, you can sleep outside without much hassle. However, it is illegal to camp unless you do so on a specified camp area, so be sure to keep yourself out of sight and don't litter. Camping on the beach is also illegal, and most are patrolled at night during the summer. If caught, you will be kicked out and fined.
You make a good deal if you buy on the local markets where you can expect good quality for low prices. Fruits, vegetables, fish and meat have mostly good prices. Expensive is cheese, fruit juice, haribo and chocolate.
In restaurants you will always get bread, cheese, butter and olives without being asked. This will cost extra. As starter there is a soup usual and as main course grilled fish or grilled meat with rice or chips. Portuguese people often eat grilled stuff or stew. The meals are mostly simple.
If you're in small villages while they have festivities, you might get free food distributed by the organization. The food normally consists of grilled sardines (yummy!), bread and wine (loads of it). You can find those events mainly in summer time in places like Azambuja (Feira de Maio), Vila Franca de Xira (Colete Encharnado) or Benavente (Festas da Amizade). You can check this website to find these events (not all of them include free food though). In summer 2015 EliasExplores traveled to many of these festivities and documented it with his camera. You can find his videos on Youtube.