VisitPortugal

2012/07/27

Dive in Azores

Diving day and night, in sandy, rocky or mixed seabeds, in caves or shipwrecks… The potential of the Azores is almost endless in terms of diving spots and types of diving.

It offers adequate spots for various experience levels, from beginners to professionals, and the adventure may start with simple snorkelling in order to leisurely enjoy the abundant marine life of the archipelago’s crystal clear waters.

On the other hand, diving in an ocean bank is a guarantee for an adrenalin rush and for memories that will persist in our mind. When we return, both a certainty and a doubt come up: the desire to return to the sea and the difficulty in choosing a new spot to discover.



Source: Azores Tourism

2012/07/25

Lisbon: Summer in the City


©Terreiro do Paço_VisitLisboa

Lisboa is famous for its radiant light and all-year mild climate, which enable visitors to enjoy magical moments in the city. In the summer season this European riverside capital invites you to discover the huge range of outdoor activities that take place all around the city.

Lisboa’s new meeting-point, Terreiro do Paço, serves as the starting point for exciting experiences and different ways of discovering the Portuguese capital. It is the point of departure, for example, of Ghost Tours Portugal’s themed walking tours, Lisbon by Segway’s two-wheeled adventures and the Tagus river tours offered by Transtejo’s tourist boats.

Terreiro do Paço is also the ideal place to restore your energies after a city tour. The various outdoor terraces and restaurants – Aura, Terreiro do Paço, Populi, Can the Can, Nosolo Italia, Museu da Cerveja and the Ministerium food court, where you can find Banana Café and Hot Dog Lovers –, or the Ginginha do Carmo kiosk, offer a range of choices to suit all tastes and occasions.

When you want to cool down, the Paço d’Água ice cream parlour has a selection of the best artisanal ice creams, which can be enjoyed while admiring the majesty of one of Europe’s largest squares. Other attractions include Lust, a popular Lisboa nightclub, and an innovative public toilet concept – “The sexiest WC on earth, by Renova”, which deserves a visit just for its own sake.

Yet if an image is worth more than a thousand words, this is the perfect way to describe the magnificent view of Lisboa from one of the terraces dotted around the city’s seven hills. Each terrace offers a different panoramic view, which all visitors are invited to discover during their tour of Lisboa. The city’s numerous panoramic viewpoints include, in particular, the terraces of Monte Agudo, Penha de França, Torel, Parque Eduardo VII, São Pedro de Alcântara, Graça, Nossa Senhora do Monte, Santa Luzia, Castelo de São Jorge (St. George’s Castle) and Elevador de Santa Justa (the Santa Justa lift). From these terraces it is possible to identify and admire dozens of interesting elements of the city’s heritage.

Another interesting summer activity in Lisboa is to visit the various street markets that take place all round the city. The twice-weekly Feira da Ladra (Flea Market), for example, attracts hundreds of buyers and sellers of all types of second-hand objects. Every Tuesday and Saturday, from sunrise to sunset, spread out on the fair’s stands and stalls, visitors will find all sorts of bric-a-brac and thousands of used articles, from books to clothes, coins, records, photographs, furniture and crockery, in an endless array of low-price objects. The Feira da Ladra is located in the old part of the city, in Campo de Santa Clara, right next to the Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora (Monastery of St. Vincent Outside the Walls). The ever-popular 28 tram, one of the most pleasant ways to visit Lisboa, stops here.


Source: Webletter Terreiro do Paço

2012/07/24

Madeira Wine Rally 2012: July, 27th–29th

Madeira becomes, once again, the stage for another edition of the Madeira Wine Rally, the largest automobile event in the island.

Famous names from the world of motor racing take part in this prestigious car race, which will bring together around 48 competitors. For two days the competitors will drive their cars across the island, bringing excitement to the thousands of people who head towards the mountains of Madeira to get the best view of the speed and skill of the racers.






To follow more closely all the emotions of this competition, please check:
-  
http://www.ralivm.com/
-
https://twitter.com/RallyVM
- https://www.facebook.com/ralivinhodamadeira
 -http://www.visitmadeira.pt
- http://www.visitportugal.com/

Source: Turismo da Madeira

2012/07/23

Discovering the "Song of Lisboa"

©Fado_Visitlisboa
Born on the banks of the Tagus River at the close of the 18th century, Fado sings the melancholy soul of a people, the sorrows of the narrow streets and alleyways of Lisboa, songs of unrequited love, of farewells, misfortune, and yearning for what cannot be.

From the typical neighbourhoods of Lisboa, Fado suddenly became a citizen of the world when UNESCO classified it as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2011.

A visit to the Museu do Fado (Fado Museum) is a must for those interested in learning more about the universe and history of “song of Lisboa”. Located in Alfama, the neighbourhood traditionally associated with this musical genre, the Fado Museum houses a one-of-a kind collection of fundamental importance in interpreting the city’s highest cultural expression.

The museum’s permanent exhibition is a tribute to Fado and to its creators and performers and recounts the history of the genre beginning in 19th century Lisboa. As visitors go through the museum, they are invited to learn about the history of Fado from its genesis to today and to discover a vast collection of objects associated with Fado, including musical instruments, specialised publications, musical scores, trophies and costumes, among other objects.

Fado is indelibly associated with Lisboa and the Lisboan lifestyle, and the city’s traditional Fado houses are the best venues to experience this cultural manifestation of Portuguese sentiment.

Many establishments offer regular Fado shows with local resident performers. These Fado houses were traditionally located in the historic neighbourhoods of Alfama, Bairro Alto, Lapa and Alcântara, but nowadays they can be found throughout the city.

Places like Café Luso, Casa de Fado Marquês da Sé, Páteo de Alfama and Taverna d’el Rey are excellent choices for enjoying typical Portuguese cuisine to the sounds of Portuguese guitar music.

Museu do Fado
Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 1
T. (+351) 218 823 470

www.museudofado.pt

Café Luso
Travessa da Queimada, 10
T. (+351) 213 422 281

www.cafeluso.pt

Casa de Fado Marquês da Sé
Largo Marquês do Lavradio, 1 A/B
T. (+351) 218 880 234


Páteo de Alfama
Rua São João Praça, 18
T. (+351) 218 822 174

www.pateodealfama.com

Taverna d’el Rey
Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 15
T. (+351) 218 876 754

www.tavernadelrey.com

Source: Webletter Terreiro do Paço

2012/07/20

Relax in Alqueva

Start two relaxing days in the Alentejo, wandering through the white streets of the Historic Centre of Évora, classified as World Heritage.



In the Roman Temple, learn about the history of the Roman occupation of the region and try out an excellent meal in the cloisters of the Convent of Lóios, converted into a Pousada.

In the company of the sun and ondulating golden plains, travel to Monsaraz in order to visit this preserved medieval town-museum. Nearby, you can visit the Reguengos Cooperative Wine Cellars or the Esporão Estate, integrated within the Alentejo Wines Route.

The water mirror of the Alqueva Dam and the natural beauty of the spot are an excellent reason to relax on a boat trip or practise nautical sports. In the surrounding area, the Museum of the Aldeia da Luz evokes the recently submerged village. Before visiting the Rural Hotel in the Horta da Moura or a Rural Tourism house, ascend to the castle of Mourão in order to appreciate the finest view over the great lake.

On the second day, travel to São Pedro do Corval, one of the largest pottery centres in the Iberian Peninsular, before beginning an itinerary of three castles: Alandroal, Terena and Juromenha. These offer privileged belvederes across all directions of the horizon, in a region where everything seems to be infinite.

Have lunch in Redondo and then further your knowledge of Alentejo wines in the Enotheque and Wine Museum.

Dating back to the time when it served as a royal palace, the palace of the Dukes of Bragança is the principal attraction in Vila Viçosa, alongside the marbles that are exported throughout the world. In Borba, also famous for its excellent wine, you can see carved marble monuments, such as the Chafariz das Bicas fountain, the Mother Church and the Convent of the Servas de Cristo.

Wind up your visit dedicated to the good life, in another land famous for its pottery tradition - Estremoz, and live like a prince in the Pousada da Rainha Santa, housed within the castle.

Points of interest along the Itinerary:

- Évora
- Sé de Évora

- Museu-Biblioteca da Casa de Bragança - Paço Ducal e Castelo de Vila Viçosa
- Borba
- Chafariz de Borba ou Fonte das Bicas
- Estremoz



For others suggestions along this itinerary click here.

Porto new promotional video

Oportonity City I Visit Porto I Norte Portugal

Porto is one of the oldest tourist destinations in Europe and benefits from a privileged geographic location, complemented by a modern transport and communications network. The richness of its monumental and artistic heritage, Port Wine, numerous leisure facilities and its cultural attractions invite you to visit this contemporary and inspired city well-known for its hospitality.

You are welcome to visit Porto!




Source: Official Porto Tourist Portal

2012/07/19

Oásis by Nuno Sá Wildlife photography

© OasisbyNunoSa
Nuno Sá, photographer and Triplinfinito have the pleasure to invite you to visit the first outdoor exhibition of the project "Oásis by Nuno Sá - the incredible marine life of Azores", opens to the public on 19th july, at 7pm, in front of the Oceanário de Lisboa.

Come and discover the marine life of an oasis as never seen before, from July 19th until 19th august.

Nuno Sá was born in Montreal, Canada in 1977. When he was eleven years old he returned with his family to Portugal. His contact with the underwater world only begins in 1997, with his first diving certification.

He is the first Portuguese wildlife photographer nominated in some of Europe's major nature photography competitions, such as: Wildlife photographer of the year and Asferico International Nature Photography Competition, amongst others.

Nuno Sá is on the Wild Wonders of Europe's team of top European nature photographers, this is the worlds biggest ever nature photography project with an expected public of over 100 million people, a project
supported by the National Geographic Society.

For more information click: www.facebook.com/OasisbyNunoSa  or www.oasisbynunosa.com

Source: Oceanário de Lisboa

Algarve with Events

The Algarve is known for its beaches, natural landscapes, bars and golf courses. And for its restaurants, hotels, monuments, and of course, for entertainment.

The offer of entertainment destination is diversified and includes events of public and private partners that invite you to enjoy emotions and traditions, sounds and regional flavors that the Algarve Tourism organizes in this guide leaflet.

Discover them and reserve space in your schedule for this Algarve with Events.

Click here for downloading the Events guide

For more detailed information please check Algarve region website here .

Tickets on sale at the usual places and/or where events take place. For further information:
www.visitalgarve.pt

For further information contact us.
Line open on week days from 9am till 12.30pm and 2pm till 5.30pm:
+351 289 800 400

Outside these hours, please send us an e-mail to: eventos2012@turismodoalgarve.pt  

All events are the sole responsibility of the promoters. The programme may be changed without prior notice.



Cais do Sodré: Lisboa’s new Nightspot

©Cais do Sodré_VisitLisboa
Although in former times it was the place of arrival and departure for sailors from all over the world who filled the streets in search of short-term romance, Cais do Sodré is now one of the Portuguese capital’s trendiest districts, offering both variety and quality. Here you can find the now mythical nightclubs Jamaica, Europa and Tóquio, the revamped Roterdão, the more recent Music Box and the new projects accommodated in Pensão Amor.

In this traffic-free area it is now possible to find several outdoor terraces as well as innovative concepts such as a restaurant (Sol e Pesca) devoted to Portuguese conserves and an erotic bookshop (Ler Devagar com Amor). The ground floor of this project also houses the bars Povo and Velha Senhora. Inspired by Lisboa’s typical tascas (cheap taverns), Povo belongs to the same owners as Music Box and was created as a complement to it. This no-frills space serves traditional snacks like salada de polvo (octopus salad), peixinhos da horta (deep-fried green beans in batter) and ovos verdes (fried devilled eggs) to the sound of Fado, with live music, resident artists and a special preference for the new generation of Fado performers.

Bar da Velha Senhora sought its inspiration in the Cais do Sodré of the old days in order to present a contemporary, uninhibited cabaret. This venue hosts a variety of shows and the menu is typically Portuguese.

Pensão Amor is notable for its trendy burlesque decor, where no chair or sofa is the same but all are upholstered in glossy velvet. The walls are covered with red materials and hung with photographs and the ceilings are painted with replicas of frescoes. A new way of being is taking over this district of Lisboa and transforming its reputation from that of a rundown, somewhat unsafe area to a popular modern nightspot area whose varied and authentic offering preserves the memories of the old days. This is the new Cais do Sodré.

Source:
Webletter Terreiro do Paço



2012/07/18

Sines: World Music Festival

Each year,in July, the largest Portuguese event in the area of world music is held, the Festival Músicas do Mundo – the World Music Festival. This here the FMM Sines 2012 is scheduled for July 19-28.

Organised by the local City Council, it’s a public service, non-commercial, event designed for an audience of music discoverers, who come to Sines for the quality of the programme.

One of the festival’s venues is Sines Castle, a setting and space that shows the great range and wealth of the world’s different cultural expressions, in what is considered to be one of the country’s most democratic cultural events.

For the 2012 Programme click here.

In 2012, FMM Sines will offer again a programme comprising concerts (paid and of free entry) and parallel initiatives. The paid concerts are the night concerts (starting at 9:45 PM) taking place at Sines’ Castle on July 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.


Admissions:

Price:
-
Daily ticket: 15 euros / day
- First weekend pass (July 19, 20 & 21): 35 euros
- Second weekend pass (July 26, 27 & 28): 35 euros
- Two weekends pass: 65 euros
VAT included

Free concerts
- All concerts at Palco do Pontal
- Concerts in the Castle at 18:45 / 19:00
- Special concert in the Castle on July 25 (Ensemble La Notte della Taranta)
- Concert in Sines’ Arts Centre

Where to buy:
- Reservations / Info: Call 1820 (24h) in Portugal
- From outside Portugal call +351 21 794 14 00.
- Purchase online: http://www.ticketline.sapo.pt/ . Network of Stores (Portugal): Fnac, Worten, El Corte Inglés , C. C. Dolce Vita, Casino Lisboa, Galerias Campo Pequeno, Ag. Abreu, C. C. MMM e C. C. Mundicenter
- In Sines: Centro de Artes de Sines, Sines’ Tourism Office, Porto Covo Municipal Office
- During the Festival Days: Ticket booths next to the venue

More Info at:
- http://fmm.com.pt/ 

- https://www.facebook.com/fmmsines
- http://www.youtube.com/fmmsinesoficial
- https://twitter.com/fmmsines
- http://www.issuu.com/fmmsines  

Resource: FMM Sines 2012

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 - Azores

For the first time ever,  the Red Bull Cliff Diving event will be held on Portuguese territory, in the small islet of Vila Franca do Campo, in São Miguel Island, Azores.

This stage will allow the athletes to perform their two required dives straight off the rocks, in the World Series' most natural cliff diving environment to date, since the tiny islet of Vila Franca do Campo, is a beautiful nature reserve set in the crater of an extinct volcano.

This stage will be the third in a series of seven, which, besides Portugal, also includes France, Norway, Ireland, USA, United Kingdom and Oman

Never before has a competition taken place directly off the cliff. Only for the third and fourth round will the athletes return to the 27m platform in order to complete their most difficult dives.



Event Schedule:
Saturday, July 21:
- 10.00am: Head-to-Head Round (14 athletes)
- 11.00am: Head-to-Head Round (14 athletes)
- 11.45am: Final Round (8 athletes)
- 12.30pm: Awards Ceremony at Marina de Vila Franca do Campo


© red Bull

Spectator information:
The Portuguese stage of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is free and open to the public. However, given the location of the competition, in the islet of Vila Franca do Campo, the only way to watch it is by boat. All private boats must be registered, with the application form available to download here. The same form can be picked up and delivered to Clube Naval de Vila Franca do Campo or to the delegation of Tourism of Ponta Delgada by July 18.


Tourism Delegation of Sao Miguel
Avenida Infante D. Henry, 9500 Ponta Delgada
Opening Hours: 9.00am - 6.00pm
Tel: +351 296 285 743
       +351 296 308 625

Clube Naval de Vila Franca do Campo
Street Engineer Manuel Antonio Martins Mota

Marina of Vila Franca do Campo
9680 Vila Franca do Campo
Opening Hours: 9.00am - 1.00pm & 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Tel: +351 296582 333
Please note that on Thursday, the 19th, to Saturday, the 21st of July, the islet of Vila Franca do Campo will not be accessible due to preparations for the competition.More information about this event here

Source: Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series





2012/07/17

New airport Metro station opens

The new subway stations of the red line – Moscavide, Encarnação and Aeroporto – opened for service today. The extension of the red line between Oriente/Aeroporto has 3326 meters and three new stations, with a estimate mensal value of new passengers around 400 thousand passengers/year.

The passengers will be welcomed by caricatures of Portuguese personalities,  like artist Vieira da Silva, poet Fernando Pessoa, Nobel Prize doctor Egas Moniz and aviators Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho who made the first flight across the southern Atlantic.

This enterprise will have a significant impact on the accessibilities to and from the Lisbon International Airport, constituting an important interface for the passengers of the air transport and for the generality of the people that work in that area.

By the other hand, it also serves the residential areas of Moscavide and Olivais (around 7% of the total population of the Lisbon city lives in Olivais area).

The three new stations will allow a significant reduction of the CO2 emissions, in about 5 thousand tonnes/year.

With this new connection it will the possible to travel from the city administrative center (Saldanha) to the Lisbon International Airport in 16 minutes.

Take the subway:)

Source: Metro de Lisboa





Portugal is a golfer’s paradise

©JoaoPaulo
Portugal is a golfer’s paradise. Not only because it boasts more than 70 courses, but because the mild climate makes it possible to play all year round. Close to the sea and with excellent weather, Portugal attracts some of the most discerning golfers in the world, who come to enjoy courses that vary in both design and difficulty. That’s why Portugal regularly hosts major tournaments on the international circuit, such as the Portugal Masters.

Many of our courses are designed by famous architects such as Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore and Arnold Palmer. And all of them combine great natural beauty with challenging course designs.Where else would you find so many courses of such exceptional quality, alongside an array of additional tourist attractions such as the Algarve or the Lisbon Coast?

And as if that wasn’t enough, golf-lovers can also to take advantage of our hospitality, our fine cuisine and our culture, to make their stay even more enjoyable.

More information about Golf at:
-
www.portugalgolfbooking.com/
- http://www.visitportugal.com/

ANA Aeroportos launches App

The perfect journey at your fingertips

ANA puts the airport in your hand so that you may travel with greater enjoyment and less stress. Now you will be able to check your flight status and view information about your destination or transport options to and from the airport.

ANA has launched a new App for iOs, Android and Windows Phone mobile (to be available in the future) systems in a native environment.

This will be the first version of a plan to be implemented in phases over the next 12 months aimed at building a direct communication platform with passengers and users of our airports. This first version will include real-time information on flight status, timetables, commercial information and services, as well as contact details of airlines and/or handlers, with a direct telephone link.

Future phases will incorporate Airport shopping Online, Parking Online and services resulting from various initiatives such as the Airport of the Future and the development of bundles. ANA is working together with Innovagency, the company which also won the bid to develop the new version of the ANA website, creating several positive synergies between the two platforms.

ANA believes that this application will meet passengers’ increasing need for a constant online mobile connection while they are at the airport, and thus contribute to a better airport experience

Link for the new App: http://www.ana.pt/app/ANA/HTML/

Source: Ana Aeroportos

2012/07/16

Condé Nast Traveler places 3 Algarve beaches in list of the 50 best beaches of the world

Do Alemão, Dona Ana and Amado are all beaches in the Algarve which have been considered by travel magazine Condé Nast as the best in the world, featuring on their list of the 50 best beaches.

The list includes beaches such as Phu Quoc in Vietnam, Atolón South Male in the Maldives and Barbados.

Full article on http://www.traveler.es/




Holiday Inn Express Lisboa Alfragide Now Fully Operational

The latest Portugal property in the Holiday Inn chain opened its doors for the first time recently in the outskirts of west Lisbon.

The Holiday Inn Express Lisboa Alfragide is a mid-budget hotel with 128 comfortable rooms, all with LCD cable TV, high-speed Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, work desk and hair-drier.

The price of the room includes continental buffet breakfast and guest facilities include a bar, laundry service, car park and a restaurant operated by a concessionary.

Rua da Quinta do Paizinho
2790-138 Carnaxide
Telephone: +351 210 080 800
Fax: +351 210 080 819
E-mail: hielisbonairport@palminvest.pt
Web page: http://www.hiexpress.com/hotels/us/en/lisbon/lisap/hoteldetail

Source: Lisbon Lux

2012/07/13

The Tall Ships Races 2012 Lisboa

Do not miss, The Tall Ships Races 2012 Lisboa 19-22 July.

More than 45 tall ships, with a total of three thousand crew members, including 220 young Portuguese, meet in Lisboa from July 19 to 22 for another edition of The Tall Ships Races.

During this period, as Lisboa prepares to host more than one million visitors from Terreiro do Paço to Santa Apolonia, you can admire these mythical sailing vessels, true witnesses of world history.

Among the most emblematic sailboats, highligts include the Portuguese ships Sagres, Creoula, Santa Maria Manuela and Vera Cruz. The MIR, the great Russian sailing ship assumes the title as the grandeur of the seas whilst the Lord Nelson is a sailing boat adapted for people with reduced mobility, as well as the Jolie Brise, which in the past has flown the Portuguese flag.

On board the tall ships are 220 young Portuguese mariners who, in some cases, will have their first contact with the sea, in what will be an unforgettable experience.

The Tall Ships Races are organized annually by Sailing Training International with the aim of promoting education and training at sea, as well as intercultural coexistence, with people from all over the world.

Entrance to the enclosure is free and the public has the opportunity to visit the tall ships, attend concerts and a variety of shows, as well as participate in conferences and workshops about the sea and the city of Lisboa.

On July 20, all crews will participate in a grand parade along Rua Augusta and on July 22, it is the turn of the tall ships to put on a show that will fascinate spectators, with a parade along the Tagus.


More info at:
- http://www.tallshipslisboa.com/ 
- www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tall-Ships-Races-2012-Lisboa/137829789642186
- http://www.sailtraininginternational.org/
- www.facebook.com/SailTrainingInternational
- http://www.visitportugal.com/NR/exeres/4A755957-0B40-48ED-B183-8FE254E337B0,frameless.htm

Source: Lisboa Inside



CH Design & Wine Hotel Opens in Caminha

The northern seaside town of Caminha has a brand-new 4 star luxury hotel, the CH Design & Wine Hotel.

The hotel has five suites installed on a raised platform with a pillar that weighs 18 tons and rotates on it very own. This is new thinking in the new luxury Design & Wine designed by Pedro Guimaraes. It has 23 thematic rooms in an 18th century old building known as the Solar das Torres.

The five suites overlook the Minho River and the Santa Tecla mountains and can rotate 35 degrees (it takes 5 minutes) two times a day so that the guests fall to sleep looking the mountain and awake looking at the river. Also, there is a restaurant featuring regional dishes.

Praça Conselheiro Silva Torrres, 8
4910-122 Caminha
+351 258 719 040

http://www.designwinehotel.com
info@designwinehotel.com 

New hotel Vila Galé Palácio dos Arcos Under Construction

The Vila Galé group's latest hotel project is already being built in a prime location west of Lisbon midway along the Estoril Coast.

Situated in the historic town of Paço d'Arcos, the new Vila Galé Palácio dos Arcos is a lavish five-star property set in and around an old 15th century palace of the same name.

Once completed and fully operational, the hotel will have 76 guest-rooms, five of which are integrated within the original palace walls.

Leisure facilities will include a modern spa with Turkish bath, sauna, Jacuzzi and heated indoor swimming pool.




http://www.vilagale.pt
https://www.facebook.com/vilagale
https://twitter.com/VilaGaleHotels
http://www.flickr.com/photos/hoteisvilagale
http://www.youtube.com/hoteisvilagale

The InterContinental Group Announces New Hotels for Lisbon

The InterContinental group has reconfirmed the opening of a hotel in Lisbon under its Indigo brand. It will be a boutique hotel in a former convent downtown and the scheduled date is 2014.

The same group also owns the Holiday Inn brand and plans one for Avenida da Liberdade and a Holiday Inn Express in a location to be determined.

The convent that will be turned into Lisbon’s 4-star Indigo Lisbon Old Town Hotel is located on Rua de São Nicolau and dates from 1648 (one of the rare pre-1755 earthquake constructions downtown). It was partially destroyed by the earthquake but the circular church and octagonal dome still survive.

Its interior which is now empty will be divided into 139 rooms, plus conference and meeting rooms, a gym, lounge, bar and restaurant.

The announcement was made during the one-year anniversary of Porto’s Intercontinental Hotel which currently ranks number one in Europe in guest satisfaction (91%) and is among the group’s top five in value for money.

More info at http://www.ihgplc.com/

Source: Lisbon Lux

Douro is best for couples

©Douro by Rui Cunha
The World Heritage Douro valley is a captivating destination for couples.

In the Gaia wine cellars, taste the Port and learn about the stages involved in its production. Old traditions highlight the symbiosis between river, land and this wine, too precious to be fully appreciated alone.

From the S. Leonardo da Galafura viewpoint, the soft smoothness of the river incites warmth and affection. Take the steam train and, with your good company, delight at the beauty of the vines layered down over granite steps.

In Pinhão, enjoy the warm nostalgia conjured up by the fine tiles decorating the station. On the south bank, head into a landscape defined by rocky bluffs and the force of nature. With the most imposing views out over the river, the S. Salvador do Mundo viewpoint is a place for festivity and romance. During the annual festival, girls seeking husbands tie knots in the woadwaxen lining local paths to ensure their beloved find their way into their arms.As winter draws to a close, the banks of the river are enveloped in the white mists of flowering almond trees. The sun’s warmth begins to mature not only the fruits but also lovers’ hearts. And by autumn, with the vines replete in their golden and ruby fruits, the labour and happiness of harvest time bring forth that romance.

Sleep on enveloped in the seductiveness of nature under fabulous views out over the Douro provided by the Vintage House in Pinhão, or the Solar da Rede country hotel near Mesão Frio, while not neglecting to visit one of the estates producing the rich nectars of this region.

See here more suggestions



2012/07/12

Modern Design Delights of Portugal

Oriente Train Staion ©Dias dos Reis | Turismo de Lisboa
Portugal may be the oldest nation in Europe--in terms of how long its current borders have beendefined--but today it is becoming known for its innovation and creativity in design.
What is old is what's new – and Portugal's had new places that have come to define the modern culture of an ancient nation.
Some examples that have transformed new landmarks in past years include:
The Park of Nations near the station was constructed for the 1998 World's Fair in Lisbon, modernizing a rundown waterfront in the city's northeast section and paving the way for continued urban redevelopment. The Portugal Pavilion within the Park of Nations was created by the Portuguese architect Álvaro de Siza Vieira. Nearby, Lisbon’s Oriente rail station is adorned with art, on an oceanic theme, by international artists from five continents.
The city of Ilhavo, on Portugal’s central coast, recently refurbished its Maritime Museum, which celebrates the town’s sea-faring culture. The result was a dramatically modern building of white and black stone.
In the southern Portugal city of Sines, a new cultural center using an impressive modernist design now stands at the edge of the city’s historic district, which also features a medieval castle.
In Porto, the relatively new National Contemporary Art Museum helped spur the city’s transformation from a fine wine-producing city to a center of contemporary art and architecture. There is also Porto’s Casa da Musica (House of Music)and numerous galleries now populate the Rua Miguel Bombarda.
Source: VisitEurope Newsletter



2012/07/10

Cetaceans in the Azores

Set in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are an archipelago of nine islands that are still in a very pure state.



Set in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores are an archipelago of nine unspoilt islands. Sperm whales, whales and dolphins are to be found in great abundance in these waters, which are also rich in fish. Whaling was once an important activity for many of the islands.

Today, the whaling tradition has been converted into a highly popular tourist activity - whale watching, which first began on the island of Pico in 1989 and rapidly spread to the other islands in the archipelago.

Specially fitted boats make it possible to observe more than twenty-four different species of these great sea mammals, an unforgettable experience.In recent years, some private companies on the island of Pico have included swimming with dolphins in their programmes.

Your whale watching adventure is carefully prepared on land by the skipper, who gives visitors a briefing to explain the various species that may be seen, the way in which the trip will develop and the special precautions that need to be taken.

An encounter with the blue whale, the world’s largest existing mammal, is a breathtaking experience that you will not want to miss.

More information at:
- http://www.visitazores.com/en/whale
- http://www.visitportugal.com/NR/exeres/08AEC827-E090-4DFC-96AB-8C7A37DAF06C,frameless.htm

2012/07/06

Taste Portugal

Do you know what is the best taste in Portugal? Is it the fish, which many people consider to be the best in the world? Or is it the wines, originating from the country’s sun-drenched vineyards? Or perhaps it’s the sweets and desserts made from age-old recipes kept secret by the monks and nuns?



Find the answers to these questions by exploring the tastes and aromas of this rich and authentic gastronomy, which has consistently reinvented itself over the centuries, incorporating tastes and flavours from far-off lands discovered by the Portuguese in their overseas travels.

This particular voyage takes you on a trip from the world of traditional cuisine, prepared according to recipes handed down from generation to generation, to the more contemporary trends based on modern scientific methods. But it also includes the use of regional products, most notably olive-oil, the incomparable variety of smoked meats, the ever more highly regarded wines or the delicate horticultural produce, grown according to traditional methods and endowed with a truly unique taste.

You should also try to discover the country’s gourmet restaurants, where you can enjoy some of the most exquisite flavours, or the special creations of internationally renowned chefs whose talents bring an entirely new and sophisticated look to the already excellent Portuguese products.And, in Portugal, fine food and wine can also be a reason for a festive occasion. You can easily enjoy convivial moments in the company of your friends, but there are other events where regional products and specialities are celebrated and which always provide you with a perfect excuse to visit and get to know other places.

Set off on this journey through the different tastes and flavours and come and sit at the table with us. Portugal is pleased to be your host!

Find more about Taste Portugal at:
-
http://www.taste-portugal.com  
- http://www.visitportugal.com/Gastronomy and Wines

Sports in Estoril

Put all your energy into some outdoor activities and enjoy some unforgettable holidays.



This whole region offers you perfect conditions for enjoying a wide variety of different sports, in a constantly changing landscape where you’re guaranteed bright sunlight almost all year round.

When the choices range from water sports, such as water skiing in the calm water of the bay of Cascais, surfing at Praia Grande or windsurfing at Guincho, to more radical activities such as paragliding and hang-gliding, rock climbing, abseiling or aerial slides, without forgetting the possibility of country walks, mountain biking or horse riding, it is difficult to decide what to do.

Take advantage of your holidays to walk or ride through the countryside, enjoy one of your favourite sports or just simply observe the wonderful nature all around you.

More suggestions at:
- http://www.visitportugal.com/Estoril
- http://www.estoril-portugal.com/en/sports