VisitPortugal

2014/03/31

From the 1st to the 7th of May, don't miss the Madeira Flower Festival 2014

In Madeira, springtime is honoured like a queen, being crowned with the Flower Festival, held every year after Easter.

In celebrating springtime and the exuberance of the flowers that typically bloom in that season, and here with even greater intensity due to Madeira’s subtropical climate, Funchal is the setting for a truly sumptuous spectacle, the city’s Flower Festival.

The festivities begin on the Saturday, when thousands of children dressed in the appropriate fashion flock to the Praça do Município to take part in the building of a mural of flowers - the Wall of Hope.

The next day, dozens of floats decorated with a myriad of the island’s most typical flowers leave the scent of gentle but ephemeral perfumes in the air - it is time for the Flower Parade. At the same time, to mark the occasion, Madeiran artists devote their time to building unforgettable floral carpets, strategically exhibited in the streets at different points, whilst competitions are also organised to find the best decorated shop windows.

Come and experience the springtime here too! 


More information at:
http://visitmadeira.pt/festadaflor
http://www.visitportugal.com/Madeira Flower Festival
http://www.visitmadeira.pt/Madeira Flower Festival

Escolha Portugal - Açores / Choose Portugal - Azores

Vera Kolodzig travelled around the Azores and visited the Island of Terceira



The nine islands of the Azores are the ideal place to rest, relax and be in contact with nature.


We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.

More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/acores
http://www.visitazores.com

Escolha Portugal - Madeira / Choose Portugal - Madeira

Diogo Amaral travelled around the Island of Madeira



The Atlantic islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, with their subtropical climate, are acclaimed for their natural beauty. Two thirds of the archipelago are protected areas and home to the largest laurel forest in the world.

We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.


More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/madeira
http://www.visitmadeira.pt/

2014/03/26

Escolha Portugal - Algarve / Choose Portugal - Algarve

Paulo Pires visited the Algarve and travelled around the Vicentine Coast



The Algarve is one of the most internationally known Portuguese destinations and corresponds fully to the idea of a holiday by the sea: lots of sun, good weather, great diversity of beaches, spas, water sports, lots of entertainment and a good supply of accommodation.

We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.


More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/algarve
http://www.visitalgarve.pt/

Escolha Portugal - Alentejo / Choose Portugal - Alentejo

Choose Portugal / Alentejo

Pedro Lima travelled around the Alentejo and visited the Marble Route and the city of Elvas





Plains of wild flowers, tranquil lakes, hospitable towns and cities and horizons lost to sight are the images that best describe the Alentejo.

We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.


More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/alentejo
http://www.visitalentejo.pt/

Escolha Portugal - Região de Lisboa / Choose Portugal - Lisbon Region

Cristina Ferreira travelled around the Lisbon region and visited the city of Lisbon, the Tagus Estuary and the Tapada of Mafra.


Lisbon is the capital, one of Europe's most fashionable cities, but is also the name of a region that has a great deal to offer.

We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.

More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/lisboa-regiao
http://www.visitlisboa.com/

Escolha Portugal - Centro de Portugal / Choose Portugal - Central Portugal

Margarida Marinho travelled around central Portugal and visited Coimbra.

 

 In central Portugal, the cities of Aveiro, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Guarda, Viseu and Leiria are great starting points for getting to know a region of contrasts, which lies between the River Douro in the north, and the River Tagus to the south.

We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.


More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/centro-de-portugal
http://www.visitcentro.com/

Escolha Portugal - Porto e Norte / Choose Portugal - Porto and the North

Manuel Luís Goucha travelled around the Porto and Northern region, and visited the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.  


Porto and the North is a region where history, culture and nature come together perfectly, making it a unique destination.

We invite you to discover a country of magical surprises and unexpected feelings. Visit us and be mesmerized by Portugal, Europe's best kept secret.

Choose Portugal is a TVI initiative with the support of Turismo de Portugal.


More information at:
http://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/porto-e-norte
http://visitportoandnorth.travel/

Alentejo Wine Route

©Vinhos do Alentejo
A wine producing region with a long tradition, the Alentejo boasts wines that will surprise you for their excellence, aromas and colours as unique as the landscape and the cuisine.




This region, where the skyline extends as far as the eye can see, on which the cork oaks bestow a sense of strength and durability, was once an expanse of wheat fields. Today, the wheat fields have been replaced by vast vineyards, whose wines take in the power of the landscape and the heat, and can be counted amongst the most celebrated in Portugal.

Besides the Alentejo Regional Wine, which is found all over the region, wine producers are spread across 8 areas bearing a designation of origin - Portalegre, Borba, Redondo, Reguengos, Vidigueira, Évora, Granja/Amareleja and Moura, which allows for a diversity of choice anywhere in Alentejo.

The distinct characteristics of the soils according to area (granite, limestone, Mediterranean or schist), the long hours of exposure to the sun and a group of selected grape varieties enable high quality production, combined with the ability to preserve the tradition of flavour, while innovating in the art of winemaking.

There is a distinction between the white wines, which are aromatic, fresh and balanced, and the red wines, ruby- or garnet-coloured, which are more intense, full-bodied and at the same time smooth and slightly astringent.

To make the right choice and know what is the best pairing for a meal, there’s nothing better than visiting a wine cellar where you will be welcome by the most knowledgeable wine makers who are willing to enlighten you. You can also start at the Tasting Room (Sala de Provas) of the Alentejo Wine Route, in Évora, where several routes around the region will be suggested to you. It also gives you an opportunity to visit the city of Évora, which has World Heritage status.

Other alternative suggestions to get to know the secrets of the wine are to visit the Enoteca (Wine Shop) and the Wine Museum of Redondo or participate in the grape harvesting festivals in late summer, of which Borba is a good example with its Festa da Vinha e do Vinho (Vine and Wine Festival).

And if you add the delicious Alentejo cheeses and the fragrant flavours of the Alentejo cuisine to the wines, your visit will surely be richer and more complete.


More information at:
http://www.vinhosdoalentejo.pt/
http://www.visitportugal.com/Alentejo Wine Route
http://www.visitalentejo.pt/wines

2014/03/20

Rally de Portugal 2014: April 3-6

Come and witness the great skill and expertise of the world’s top drivers, who will be racing along the roads and tracks of Portugal, competing in the Portugal's Rally.


The Portugal’s Rally is the fourth stage of the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Rally Championship, and it is expected to be one of the most hotly disputed events of the season on the European continent.

The route taken by the rally, which overall is almost 1.565 kilometres, combines fast open stretches with more technical and challenging tracks. The event takes place mainly at the Algarve but has a competitive stage in Lisbon, at Belém historic area, and its closing ceremony will be held at the Algarve Stadium.


More information at:
http://www.rallydeportugal.pt
https://www.facebook.com/rallydeportugal
https://twitter.com/rallydeportugal
http://www.wrc.com/Portugal
http://www.visitportugal.com/

Easter in Portugal

Tejo Internacional, Campo de Rosmaninho ©Turismo do Centro de Portugal

With sun-drenched days reminiscent of Summer and mild temperatures, the Easter mini-holidays are an excellent time to visit Portugal.

Stroll along the beach with temperatures that are sometimes enough for sunbathing and a swim in the sea, especially in the Algarve and Madeira; or immerse yourself in Nature, which renews itself in Spring in an explosion of colour and aromas waiting to be discovered in the Natural Parks of the North and Centre, in the Alentejo or on the Azores islands.

And why not take the opportunity for a bit of shopping, looking for the new trends and collections in the quality shops of Lisbon and Porto? Or to enjoy the gastronomic delights such as almonds covered in sugar or chocolate and the delicious folares (traditional sweet or savoury Easter bread). And for Easter Sunday lunch, you must follow the example of most Portuguese homes and try the roast kid.

But Easter is a time of deep Catholic significance all over Portugal. In Braga, holy week is celebrated with heavy religious solemnity and its highlights are Maundy Thursday (The Last Supper and Jesus washes the disciples’ feet), Good Friday (crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ), Holy Saturday (ascension to heaven) and Easter Sunday itself (Resurrection). In Óbidos, the last moments of the life of Jesus Christ on the Sacred Road are recreated, and in Castelo de Vide Jewish traditions bring a rich tone to the celebrations.

In other parts of the country, there are other reasons to celebrate. In Loulé, it’s the Feast of the Sovereign Mother, which attracts many visitors; and in Constância, the colourful boat processions at the Festival of Our Lady of the Good Voyage. And these are just a few suggestions. You’ll be sure to discover many more! Why not schedule your trip now?


More information at http://www.visitportugal.com/Easter

2014/03/19

Rail & Fly Portugal

Take the train to catch flights operated by TAP departing from/arriving at the Lisbon, Porto and Faro airports.

A partnership between TAP Portugal and CP Comboios de Portugal.

TAP Portugal is offering, the product “Rail&Fly Portugal”, in cooperation with CP Comboios de Portugal. This service allows any passenger who has a flight operated by TAP departing from/arriving at Lisbon, Porto or Faro airport, regardless of whether it is a regular fare ticket or an award ticket, the opportunity to purchase a CP train ticket.

This product is available for Alfa Pendular and Intercidades trains and offers passengers a 20% discount on the basic fare (passengers must present a boarding pass and/or e-ticket). Passengers must also present these documents when requested to do so by the conductor in order to confirm their eligibility.

The train ticket can be purchased through flytap.com by selecting the option created for this purpose or they can be purchased at the CP long distance ticket offices. The name and surname on the e-ticket must coincide with the name and surname on the ticket being purchased from CP.

Passengers who wish to use the online service must first register with CP Comboios de Portugal here.  

This service does not include transfer between the train station and the airport or vice versa, nor does it guarantee connections between the two means of transport.


Note: Additional services, such as the transport of animals or sporting equipment or special assistance to persons with reduced mobility, will only be valid in the company where they were requested. Passengers are therefore responsible for requesting the services they desire by contacting each of the carriers (TAP and CP) in order to obtain information about availability, conditions and the respective costs.

To access the Terms and Conditions of Rail&Fly Portugal, click here.

For further information about the Route Map for the Alfa Pendular and Intercidades trains, click here.

Source: Tap Portugal and CP


2014/03/12

From the 3rd to 13th April, Lisbon Fish & Flavours returns to Pátio da Galé, Lisbon

Don't miss the “Lisbon Fish and Flavours” festival in April - the chance to enjoy innovative gastronomic dishes created from fish and seafood.



For eleven days, "Lisbon Fish and Flavours" will offer all its visitors the chance to enjoy innovative gastronomic dishes created from fish and seafood, in a relaxed atmosphere where spending time with friends and family is a genuine delight. 


You can take part in the demonstrations of gourmet food, get to know some of the region’s best restaurants and the work of their great chefs, delight in the live music and entertainment provided, read a book or taste a fine wine.

If you enjoy good food and gourmet cooking, this is the place for you!


More information at:
http://www.peixemlisboa.com
https://www.facebook.com//Peixe-em-Lisboa
http://www.youtube.com/EssenciaVinhoTV
http://www.visitportugal.com/

2014/03/11

International Chocolate Festival in Óbidos: From March 14th to April 6th


Anyone with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the chance to take part in the International Chocolate Festival in Óbidos.

During several days the medieval town’s narrow streets will be transformed into genuine showcases of cakes and sweets that everyone can sample and purchase.

For younger visitors, the “Kids’ Chocolate House” offers recreational and pedagogical activities and a kitchen where they can prepare several recipes. Adults can attend culinary classes where chocolate is always the base ingredient and also watch competitions involving professional pastry-makers, such as the “Chocolatier of the Year” and the “International Competition of Chocolate Recipes”, and also marvel at an array of chocolate sculptures – genuine works of art.


Theme for this year's festival: Lisbon Zoo



Opening hours:
Friday: 02 pm to 08 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday: 10 am to 08 pm

Ticket Prices:
Adult General entrance ticket (over 12 years old): 7 euros
Children (06 – 11 years old): 5 euros

Citizens living in the Municipality of Óbidos – Free entrance on Fridays
Free entrance: Óbidos Culture Card Holders (Via Verde Para a Cultura)

Ticket price for Groups (over 50 visitors): 6 euros

School Groups:
(06 – 11 years old): 3 euros
(over 12 years old): 5 euros

Workshops:
-Chocolate Courses: 7,50 euros (general entrance ticket required). Spoken in Portuguese-Kids Cooking: 3 euros

From 12 to 16 March don't miss the 2014 edition of BTL - Lisbon International Tourism Fair

Under the theme ‘Tourism: The Smile Industry’ the 26th edition of BTL - Lisbon International Tourism Fair, which takes place from 12 to 16 March at FIL (Parque das Nações), pays tribute to hospitality, friendliness and the art of welcoming, one of the strengths of national tourism, in an event where the Meeting Industry (MI) segment and the Hosted Buyers programme have special focus.


Promoted by the AIP Foundation, through AIP - Fairs, Conferences and Events, which this year made an overall investment of 1 million euros in the organisation of the exhibition, BTL 2014 will be attended by more than 1,000 companies and organisations, of which about 100 will be present for the first time. In this year’s event, the organisation aims to exceed the 65,000 visitors that attended the 2013 event.


       

Occupying an area of 30,000 m2, BTL is held in 3 pavilions and an outdoor area. Pavilion 1 is for the entities promoting national tourism - regional directorates and entities, as well as centres from north to south and from the islands. Municipalities, accommodation offers and services are represented in Pavilion 2. In this pavilion, the space dedicated to gastronomic tourism will not go unnoticed. This is one of the bulwarks of national tourism, both for the diversity of flavours and combinations so typical of each region and for the high quality of the products used in preparation, completed with the famous Portuguese wines and traditional desserts.

The international area, with operators, distributors, entertainment and services, is in Pavilion 3, where 30 destinations will be represented: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Macau, Morocco, Mozambique, the Dominican Republic, São Tomé, Taipei, Tunisia, Turkey, Andalusia, Formentera, São Paulo, Andorra, Dubai, the USA, Russia.

This year, Austria, Malaysia, Panama, Amazonas, Gramado, Vitória, Pará, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Philippines will be attending BTL for the first time.
The first two days of BTL are reserved for professionals in the tourism sector, but the exhibition will also be open to the general public on 14 March, from 6 pm.

At a time when many Portuguese start planning their holidays, participating companies take advantage of their participation to promote Easter campaigns and to anticipate Summer offers, through exclusive BTL campaigns. During the weekend, visitors have personalised service and have access to prices, promotions and special offers, which in some cases can be up to 70% off.

Hosted Buyers Programme already has 400 entries

With an estimated 2,500 foreign professionals expected to attend and more than 2,500 professional meetings expected to be held during the event, BTL will once again be focusing strongly on its foreign buyers programme.

The Hosted Buyers programme, organised by BTL in partnership with Turismo de Portugal and TAP Portugal, aims to attract international buyers specifically interested in the Portugal destination. So far, 400 Hosted Buyers are confirmed from various segments, coming from markets as diverse as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Spain, the USA, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Poland, the UK, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.

State of Amazonas and Azores are the guest destinations at the 26th BTL

Reflecting its focus on the theme of sustainability and ecotourism, a tourism segment that has been showing increasing demand - according to the World Tourism Organisation, the global growth of green travel is between 15 to 25% per year - the Guest National Destination at this year’s 26th BTL will be the Azores region.

The State of Amazonas, the largest Brazilian Federal State, is the Guest International Destination. The participation of the State of Amazonas will feature some well-known attractions, as is the case of the shows with the bulls, Caprichoso and Garantido. Its presence will be also marked by the presentation of the first ecological soccer ball produced with rubber from the Amazon rainforest, the Caramuri EcoBall.

Note that this year the Brazil destination will be represented by several States on an independent basis.

Meeting Industry booming at BTL

As BTL is the largest national tourism fair and the largest international Portuguese Language exhibition (10 billion km2 of Portuguese Language tourism) and a privileged meeting point for CPLP tourism, the major focus of this year’s BTL will be the Meeting Industry segment. This line has contributed to increased offers from new exhibitors at the fair, such as operators and hotels, particularly from Brazil.

CPLP and Latin America Business Forums on the BTL Conferences agenda
Of the conferences scheduled for the professional public, the organisation of BTL 2014 will be highlighting the I Forum of Business and Tourism Investments in the CPLP, a joint initiative of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), which has the support of the Secretary of State for Tourism in Portugal and the Lisbon Tourism Fair (BTL), and the Latin America Forum, an event organized by IPDAL and BTL which will bring Ambassadors from Latin America and tourism entrepreneurs and official Portuguese entities together to promote the Portugal destination and the development of synergies.

The 26th Lisbon International Tourism Fair will be organising the BTL Blogger Travel Awards 2014 for the first time. These are designed to reward the best travelblogs in Portugal and in the Portuguese language which stood out in 2013.

The awards comprise four categories: Best Personal Travel Blog, Best Professional Travel Blog, Best Travel Photography Blog and Best Travel Blog Elected by the Public.
Along with the prizes for best travel blogs sponsored by BTL, on the 12th the fair will host the award ceremony for the Publituris Portugal Trade Awards.

All in all, in this the fourth year of the awards from Publituris magazine, there are 13 categories, including the Best Cruise Company, Best GSA Aviation or Best Space for Events.

BTL supports Start-ups and SMEs

In 2014, BTL is also seeking to establish itself as a reference business platform for all start-ups and SMEs linked to the tourism sector and that want to make their products and services known.

This year, BTL has launched a programme of special conditions for start-ups in the tourism area that are less than a year old and that have up to two workers, preferably residing in business incubators. This measure at BTL 2014 is aimed at welcoming new micro-enterprises, in the services and tourist facilities area, with very favourable conditions.

BTL Club exclusive for exhibitors and sector professionals

BTL - International Tourism Fair - set up the BTL Club in order to create more dynamics between theplayers in the sector, providing a unique opportunity to discuss and conduct business, explore new markets and attract new customers, share experiences and to learn about new work tools.

The BTL Club is reserved for BTL exhibitors from all sectors and professional visitors in the tourism sector with a direct influence on buying or purchasing in the following areas: Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Organisers of Congresses and events, Organisers of business and incentives programmes, Online Tour Operators and the Media.

BTL Club members have free access to BTL every day of the Fair and can bring a guest on days open to the general public. They also have access to the BTL Lounge - a space reserved for cardholders.
Source: BTL

2014/03/10

A train ride through the almonds in blossom

Almond Blossom by Município de Mirandela
Get aboard the train for a memorable journey along the Almond Blossom Trail, where you can let your senses delight in the vast flower-filled landscape of one of Portugal’s most green and verdant regions.

The oldest tourist excursion developed by the Portuguese railway company CP (Comboios de Portugal), the Almond Blossom Trail takes you through some unique countryside, where history and tradition blend perfectly with the beauty of the landscapes. A journey that will literally take your breath away.

Taking you through the region of Alto Douro and Trás-os-Montes in special trains, along the line from Porto-Campanhã to Tua and back, the Almond Blossom Trail is further complemented by a series of road tours that you can also choose from.

Visit the CP website to find out the train times and any other information you may require.