VisitPortugal

2014/09/11

Plan your visit to Sagres and do not miss the Birdwatching Festival!

From the 2nd to the 5th of October, Sagres in the Algarve will host the largest birdwatching event held in Portugal: the "Bird Watching Festival". Sagres, a place with a huge biodiversity and beautiful landscapes, is at this time of the year the main crossing point in Portugal for migratory birds, towards the warm lands of Africa.

The program includes more than 160 different activities where you can participate alone or with friends or family. It includes activities such as field trips, boat trips, short-courses, environmental education workshops, bird ringing and monitoring sessions, and much more. But there are other possibilities: pedestrian walks, guided tours about the history of Sagres, walks with donkeys or horses or boat trips to watch dolphins or birds. Some activities are free and others have a special price for the Festival. 

During the four days of the Festival the participants may have access also to several discounts in services promoted by local partners, including accommodation, restaurants and shops.

2014/09/04

New video: Porto for families and children

Porto and the north of Portugal are perfect destinations for a family getaway. 

The kids will love the beaches, the mountains, places such as Sea Life or Santo Inácio Zoo, and they won’t even feel tired or complain about the programme you choose to do as a family.


Porto for families and children from Porto Convention Visitors Bureau on Vimeo.

In Porto, take them by tram or bicycle – downtown and in the historical centre there are several places where you can rent bicycles or tandems – to the beaches and to the City Park. Next to the Edifício Transparente there are surf schools where a healthy lifestyle is encouraged, while at the same time safety and self-confidence are instilled in students. Enrol your little ones in a one-off class. They will certainly spend a special morning or afternoon surfing the Atlantic waves. If you want, you may also join your children.

As an alternative, let them chase the wild ducks, the moorhens and the rabbits in the City Park, the biggest green “lung” in the city and the largest urban park in the country. Or meet the species populating our oceans and rivers at the Sea Life.

At the Sea Life, they will love the first underwater tunnel in the country, where visitors go across 500 thousand litres of water and see sharks swimming over their heads, but also the rays – Porto’s Oceanarium has the largest collection of raias-focinho-de-vaca in the country – and the most peculiar animals, such as the common eagle ray, the clown triggerfish, the sea cow, the seaweed pipefish or the leaf fish! In the rocky pools, let them pick up an urchin and touch a starfish.

If they like music, take them to visit Casa da Música, which has guided visits for tourists, seeking to promote and value the heritage of its reference cultural facilities.

Speaking of culture, the programme Families in Serralves – free and always on Sundays – puts children, parents and grandparents playing scientists, discovering the secrets of plants and doing handicrafts in the different spaces of the foundation. A lot of these activities take place in the luxuriant Park of Serralves. Take some time to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, and the house itself, a remarkable building in Art Deco style.

If your family is into history, go to the Museu Nacional da Imprensa and visit the exhibition “Living memories of the Press”, the greatest display of typographic relics in Europe. The interactive visit is an interesting way to gather generations and a unique opportunity to learn more about the history of the Press.

Find more activities do with your family in the Porto and the north of Portugal at:
http://visitportoandnorth.travel/family

Source: ARPT Porto e Norte de Portugal 

2014/08/08

The Algarve scoops 9 Travel Awards.

The Algarve has received a total of nine awards at the European World Travel Awards, the Oscars of Tourism, which took place last 2nd of August, in Greece.

Five of the awards within European categories we're awarded to hotels of the Algarve, the other four awards presented within the national category. 


List of hotels in the Algarve awarded in 2014:

WorldTravel Awards – Europe


 World Travel Awards – Portugal
To Desidério Silva, President of the Algarve Tourism Board, these results are a "recognition of the quality of hotels in the Algarve in Europe and the result of the work done in qualifying the destination by entrepreneurs, municipalities and regional authorities ".

The results based on an online poll conducted by people all over the world and thousands of professionals in the travel and tourism industry.

The global winners of the World Travel Awards will be announced in November at the final gala to be held in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

More information on http://www.worldtravelawards.com/


Source: Algarve Tourism

A short break in Portugal


How about some days of sun? Accept this invitation and come and relax with us.

A romantic weekend, a few days spent in the company of your family, or just a short relaxing break, all of these holidays are possible i
n Portugal.
Come and visit us and get to know a country that is full of fun, putting on great events every year, all of them specially prepared for the enjoyment of its visitors.

We’re waiting for you!

More information about Portugal at:
https://www.visitportugal.com/en
https://www.facebook.com/Visitportugal
https://twitter.com/visitportugal
http://www.pinterest.com/visitportugal/
https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitPortugal

2014/08/06

Madeira Elected Europe´s Leading Island Destination for 2014

For the second year in a row, Madeira Islands were elected by the "World Travel Awards” organization as Europe's Leading Island Destination for 2014.
Madeira competed in this category alongside with tourist destinations such as the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Malta and Cyprus.

The World Travel Awards takes place annually and recognises, awards and celebrates excellence in all sectors of the tourism industry worldwide.
 
Votes followed an evaluation undertaken mostly by tourism professionals and travel agents located in over 200 countries worldwide. 
Madeira Hotels should also be congratulated for winning 3 awards: Choupana Hills - Boutique Resort, The Vine - Design Hotel e Pestana Porto Santo - all inclusive Resort.

Learn more about Madeira Islands acknowledgements at:
http://www.visitmadeira.pt
http://www.visitmadeira.pt/acknowledgments
http://www.visitportosanto.pt/acknowledgments


Source: Turismo da Madeira / Madeira Tourism









2014/08/05

Historic villages of Portugal

Historic villages of granite and schist preserve memories of ancient conquests and traditions and are remarkable for their landscapes, their heritage and for the friendliness of the people who live there. 





Perched on the top of mountains, they can be spotted from afar by the tall towers of their mediaeval castles. That is why they were strategically aligned along the border. The kings and lords of the land knew this would mean they could sleep more restfully. But they were sometimes mistaken. Moors and Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese, all tried to take them for themselves and so each has a very ancient history or a tale to tell. Today they are peaceful and preserve in the street cobbles and the stone of the houses the real Portugal: the authenticity of its people and a proud 900-year long history.

There are twelve in total, and to discover them, we suggest a route that starts in the only place where there is no castle to visit - Piódão. The village sits on a slope hidden in the wilds of the Serra do Açor, and maybe this was why it was not necessary to fortify it. The visit involves a long walk because there is no other way to pass through these narrow streets that wind between the houses of schist.

In Linhares da Beira, in Serra da Estrela, the highlight is the castle built on a plateau, providing a lookout point over the horizon. But you must also see the Romanesque parish church, which still has some panels attributed to Grão Vasco, an important 16th century painter. The historic centre of Trancoso is surrounded by mediaeval walls and has a Jewish quarter where Hebrew symbols can be seen engraved on the stones of the houses.

Marialva was an important military post in the Middle Ages, and Castelo Rodrigo preserves the ruins of another fortress with the marks of a history of struggles and betrayals. Seen from the air, the walls of Almeida form a twelve-pointed star that you can cross from one end to another. This solid defensive structure was built in the 17th century transforming a mediaeval village into a stronghold. In Castelo Mendo, another fortified village, figures can be found representing the mayor who gave his name to the village, and his wife, carved in the stone of two houses.

Belmonte, austere in its granite architecture, was the birthplace of the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil in 1500, and welcomed Jews expelled from Castile in the 15th and 16th centuries, and there is still an active community that attends the synagogue. At 760m above sea level, Sortelha sits on a rocky escarpment that forms a ring surrounding the village. The view from the castle tower is breathtaking.

In Castelo Novo, which has some fine examples of manor houses, the Town Hall, and Jail and the Baroque style D. Joao V Fountain are notable. In Idanha-a-Velha you can see the ruins of the ancient Egitânia and the Visigoth cathedral. Right next door is Monsanto, which has been called the "most Portuguese village in Portugal", an award that is commemorated by the silver rooster on top of the Lucano Tower. This is the last village on this tour and here it is normal to wonder if the house is born from the rock or the rock arises out of the house, so perfect is its integration into the landscape.


More information at:
http://www.aldeiashistoricasdeportugal.com
https://www.facebook.com/ALDEIASHISTORICASDEPORTUGAL

https://www.visitportugal.com/Historic Villages

2014/08/04

Portugal wins 16 awards in the World Travel Awards 2014 for Europe

After winning nine awards in 2013, Portugal scooped 16 awards at the "World Travel Awards for Europe" ceremony that took place last 2nd August in Athens, Greece. 

From among the 44 Portuguese nominations for 2014, Portugal walked away with the following awards:

Europe's Leading Tourist Board 
Europe's Leading Island Destination
Europe's Leading Cruise Destination
Lisbon, Portugal
Europe's Leading Cruise Port
Porto de Lisboa, Portugal
Europe's Leading Airline to Africa
Europe's Leading Airline to South America
Europe's Leading All Inclusive Resort
Europe's Leading Boutique Hotel
Vila Joya, Portugal
Europe's Leading Boutique Resort
Europe's Leading Design Hotel
The Vine Hotel, Portugal
Europe's Leading Hotel Residences
Pine Cliffs Residence, Albufeira, Portugal
Europe's Leading Landmark Hotel
Europe's Leading Luxury Resort              
Conrad Algarve, Portugal
Europe's Leading River Cruise Company
Europe's Leading Villa Resort
Europe's Most Romantic Resort              
Vila Vita Parc, Portugal

Celebrating this year its 21st anniversary,  the World Travel Awards are considered one of the most important awards in the tourism industry.