Saturday, 31 December 2016

Wishes for 2017


On this last day of the year, we wish you a promising 2017 with tailor made trips and many other good things!


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas


TravelTailors's team wish you a merry christmas! ðŸŽ… ðŸŽ„


Thursday, 22 December 2016

2017 Michelin Stars in Portugal

Nine new Michelin Stars in Portugal for 2017! Let’s add those to the existing 14, and we have some excellent fine dining across the country.  One star chefs earning a second star this year is Ricardo Costa at The Yeatman in Porto, and Benoit Sinthon at Il Gallo d’Oro in Funhcal. They join the “two star club” with existing members José Avillez of Belcanto in Lisbon, and Hans Neuner of Ocean and Dieter Koschina of Vila Joya in the Algarve. New single stars have been awarded to Rui Paula at Casa de Chá da Boa Nova and Vitor Matos at Antiquum in Porto, Henrique Sá Pessoa at Alma and Alexandre Silva at Loco in Lisbon, Sergi Arola at LAB in Sintra and Luís Pestana (under the signature of Joachim Koerper) at William in Funchal.  Miguel Laffan earns back a star for L’And in Alentejo.  Retaining their one star for another year are: Pedro Lemos at Pedro Lemos in Porto; André Silva at Casa da Calçada in Amarante, Joachim Koerper at Eleven and João Rodrigues at Feitoria in Lisbon; Miguel Rocha Vieira at Forteleza do Guincho in Cascais, and Rui Silvestre at Bon Bon, Willie Wurger at Willies, Henrique Leis at Henrique Leis, and Leonel Pereira at São Gabriel, all in the Algarve. See below for more details and contact information for the 20 Michelin Star restaurants of Portugal 2017.


DOURO VALLEY & PORTO
Largo do Paço
Hotel Casa da Calçada - Amarante 
Chef: André Silva
ONE STAR. Just minutes away from Porto in northern Portugal is this cozy restaurant tucked away inside the elegant Casa da Calçada hotel. In the past year, Chef André Silva has taken the reigns of the kitchen from Vitor Matos. Chef André won the Nobre Young Chef Trophy in 2007. He was invited to by Matos to join the Largo do Paço kitchen in 2009. And, he was named Portugal Chef of the Year in 2013. Silva’s cuisine is traditional Portuguese with contemporary creativity. Regional ingredients change with the season, meaning you need to return again and again. Book in advance and ask for the eight-course Largo do Paço menu, or the 11-course Prestige menu. 
Largo do Paço, 6, Amarante, Douro Valley
Reservations: +351 255 410 830 
Learn more: Largo do Paço website

Antiqvvm 
Chef: Vitor Matos 
ONE STAR  Chef Matos has a passion for the use of the freshest seasonal products harvested from the region. His cuisine leans towards Mediterranean influences, embracing both traditional and contemporary techniques. Matos started out studying confections and pastries in Neuchâtel., Switzerland, and later worked his way through the kitchens of some of Portugal’s top hotels, such as Vidago Palace and Tiara Park. He earned his first Michelin star while head chef at Largo do Paço in Amarante. His high-quality cuisine is enhanced by stunning views over Porto from the refurbished 19th century.
Quinta da Macieirinha. 
Rua de Entre-Quintas 220, Porto
Reservations: +351 22 600 0445 
Learn More: Antiqvvm Website

Casa de Chá da Boa Nova 
Chef: Rui Paula 
ONE STAR Rui Paul is one of Portugal’s most beloved and respected chefs. Known for restaurants DOP in Porto and DOC in Douro, Paula also hosts Portugal’s Master Chef. And finally, Paula receives recognition for his masterful work at Casa de Chá da Boa Nova. Paula takes inspiration from the restaurants location overlooking the ocean to create amazing Portuguese dishes with fish and seafood. Popular dishes are coastline fish and lobster stewed rice, cataplana of fish and shellfish and salted bass. Three themed tasting menus are also available. 
Avenida da Liberdade Leça da Palmeira, Matosinhos Porto 
Reservations: +351 932 499 444 

Pedro Lemos 
Chef: Pedro Lemos
ONE STAR Pedro Lemos may be new to the list of Michelin star chefs, but he is not new to foodies in Porto. His popular restaurant in the Foz do Douro or Porto has been pleasing guests and generating praise since its opening in 2010. Lemos’ cuisine is inspired by memories of his grandmothers: one working the fields in Bragança; the other selling fish at the markets in Matosinhos. These simple and genuine cuisines of land and sea, blended with his own innovative techniques and creativity, make for a unique gastronomic experience. Menu items, therefore, range from devil fish and octopus, to rabbit loin and roasted lamb. Tasting menus are available. 
Rua do Padre Luís Cabral, 974, Foz do Douro, Porto 
Reservations: +351 220 115 986 
Learn More: Pedro Lemos website

The Yeatman 
Chef: Ricardo Costa
TWO STARS Within the first year of opening, the restaurant at the Yeatman Hotel earned its first star; and just a few years later, its second.  All credit must be given to Chef Ricardo Costa, formerly of Largo do Paço (see above). At the Yeatman, Costa puts his own contemporary spin on traditional Portuguese dishes. Yet, the Michelin judging panel may have also been swayed by the extraordinary views from the dining room that stretch across the Douro River to the cityscape of Porto. Or, perhaps they were impressed with the selection of 25,000 bottles of old and new world wines in the Yeatman wine cellar. Most likely, all are reasons to rank this exquisite restaurant among the world’s finest. 
Rua do Choupelo (Sta. Marinha), 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto 
Reservations: +351 22 013 3100 
Learn More: Yeatman Website

LISBON  |  CASCAIS  | SINTRA

Alma – Lisbon 
Chef: Henrique Sá Pessoa 
ONE STAR  Alma (Portuguese for “soul”) is a restaurant created from the passion of Portuguese celebrity chef Henrique Sá Pessoa. The mantra of Alma is “to serve much more than a meal: we serve emotions, identity, knowledge.” With this in mind, the team, headed up by Sá Pessoa prepares Portuguese cuisine straight from the heart fused with Asian-inspired techniques. Having trained in acclaimed kitchens as Evo Santi Santimara in Barcelona, El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona and Tippling Club in Singapore, Sá Pessoa considers his travels as the greatest influence over his cooking. 
Rua Anchieta 15, Lisbon 
Reservations: +351 213 470 650 
Learn More: Alma Website

Belcanto – Lisbon 
Chef: Jose Avillez TWO STARS José Avillez received his first Michelin star while head chef at the historic Tavares restaurant in Lisbon. His career has since skyrocketed with books, TV appearances and a flurry of restaurant openings across the country. Yet, his own personal pride and joy is Belcanto. Avillez refurbished this historic building and designed a menu that has won him much acclaim and two Michelin stars. Avillez likes to say, “each dish tells a story and stirs the emotions of those willing to try it.” And with names of dishes like “the Garden of the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg,” “Dip in the Sea,” and “Suckling Pig Revisited,” we can’t wait to experience his book. 
Largo de São Carlos, 10, Lisbon 
Reservations: +351 213 420 607
Learn More: Belcanto Website 

Eleven 
Chef: Joachim Koerper
ONE STAR Set high on a hill in Parque Eduardo VII, this sophisticated and contemporary restaurant features beautiful views of Lisbon. In the kitchen, Chef Joachim Koerper prepares Mediterranean cuisine that can be described as “luminous and elegant, modern and innovative.” Koerper, who has worked in such noteworthy restaurants as Moulin de Mougins, Guy Savoy, L’Ambroisie and his own Girasol, prides himself on his philosophy of keeping it simple. Locally grown, fresh and natural ingredients are the basis for his harmonious dishes. 
Rua Marquês Fronteira (within Parque Eduardo VII), 1070-051 Lisbon 
Reservations: +351 21 386 22 11 
Learn More: Eleven Website

Feitoria at Hotel Altis Belêm 
Chef: João Rodrigues
ONE STAR The theme of modern Hotel Altis Belém is the heritage of Portugal’s global discoveries. This concept carries over into the kitchen of Chef João Rodrigues. His unique take on Portuguese cuisine involves embellishments of exotic flavors and textures found in former Portuguese colonies in South American, Asia and Africa, such as hamachi salad marinated with prunes, radish and fresh aromatic herbs, and roasted Royal pigeon with mushroom, summer truffle and rich salsify sauce. Tasting menus of three and five courses allow diners a choice of gastronomic discoveries. Yet, for something very special, make reservations 48 hours in advance and ask for the chef’s “Creative Menu.” 
Doca do Bom Sucesso,1400-038 Lisbon 
Reservations: +351 210 400 208 
Learn More: Feitoria Website

Fortaleza do Guincho – Cascais
Chef: Miguel Rocha Vieira 
ONE STAR The stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean from this former 17th century fortress transformed into boutique Hotel Forteleza do Guincho are reason enough to visit this restaurant. However, it’s the extraordinary cuisine of Cascais-native Miguel Vieira that receives a star. At 19, went to London to train in gastronomy at the prestigious cooking school “Le Cordon Bleu”. Afterward, Chef Miguel worked in numerous venues across England, France and Spain before opening Costes restaurant in Budapest, earning the first Michelin Star for Hungary. The cuisine at Forteleza do Guincho is traditional French, with local Portuguese flavor, and now, with the added creativity of Chef Miguel. 
Estrada do Guincho, Cascais 
Reservations: +351 214 879 076 
Learn More: Forteleza do Guincho Website

LAB – Sintra 
Chef: Sergi Arola 
The small 22-seat restaurant is intimate, yet an ideal showcase for the fine art and flavor of Chef Sergi Arola’s cuisine. Mentored by renowned chef Adriá Ferran, Arola has made a name for himself by leading the kitchens at Hotel Miguel Ángel in Madrid and Hotel Arts in Barcelona, as well as his self-named restaurant Arola already at Penha Longa. He adds this star to the two Michelin stars he has collected for Gastro restaurant in Madrid. At LAB, three tasting menus and à la carte selections offer innovative and emotional gastronomy. For oenophiles, LAB has more than 550 labels from around the world. Penha Longa Resort, 
Estrada da Lagoa Azul, Sintra 
Reservations: +35 1 219 249 011 
Learn More: LAB Website

Loco – Lisbon
Chef: Alexandre Silva 
ONE STAR In the last decade, Chef Silva has wound his way around Portugal hitting numerous culinary milestones. His studies ranged from kitchen and pastries, to F&B Management and molecular gastronomy. He was at Lisbon’s Bocca restaurant before winning TV’s Top Chef for 2012. He opened the restaurant at the exclusive Alentejo Marmóis Hotel and later became Executive Chef at the trendy Bica do Sapato. At Loco, Silva embraces “micro seasons” by selecting local organic products at the peak of freshness, to prepare Portuguese cuisine using experimental and innovative techniques. 
Rua dos Navegantes 53-B, 1200-730 Lisboa
+351 21 395 1861 
Learn More: Loco Website

ALENTEJO
L’And Vineyards 
Chef: Miguel Laffan 
ONE STAR  It is no surprise to followers of Miguel Laffan that he has achieved a star for his superb cuisine at the L’And Vineyards and Resort. Laffan’s inspirations are Luso-Asian and Mediterranean cuisine prepared using fresh local produce with a nod to traditional Portuguese flavors. Dishes such as red mullet and squid “açorda,” and roasted tenderloin pork from Alentejo, accompanied by cauliflower gratin with asparagus, peas and black sausage pudding, express his love for the region. Having trained at Forteleza do Guincho (above), Les Jardin des Ramparts and Le Clous de la Violette in France, Laffan no doubt is on track to lead L’And to international acclaim. L’And Vineyards Resort. 
Herdade das Valadas, Montemor-o-novo 
Reservations: +351 266 242400 
Learn More: L’And Vineyards Website

ALGARVE

Bon Bon – Carvoeiro 
Chef: Rui Silvestre 
ONE STAR Not a surprise to fine dining aficionados in the western Algarve, Bon Bon has had their attention for the last couple of years. Now, Michelin agrees. The guide awards the recognition to the cuisine of young Chef Rui Silvestre, stating in the press release “interesting” kitchen “surprised by the technical level,” and, “based on selected raw materials and cutting-edge dishes, with distinctive flavors and careful presentation. “. 
Urb. Cabeco de Pias, Carvoeiro 
Reservations: +351 282 341 496
Learn More: Bon Bon Website

Henrique Leis – Almancil 
Chef: Henrique Leis 
ONE STAR This Swiss-chalet inspired restaurant provides an ambiance of sophisticated elegance and rustic charm. It is the perfect setting for the mastery of Brazilian Chef Henrique Leis who embraces French cuisine enhanced by flavors of his South American homeland. Having set his roots in the Algarve in 1993, Leis is now a gastronomic leader in the region. Seasonal menus can include creations such as noisettes of venison with poivrade sauce and chestnut bonbon, and duo of red mullet and sea scallops with celeriac mousseline. The extensive wine list is equally impressive. 
Vale Formoso, Almancil 
Reservations: +351 289 393 438
Learn More: Henrique Leis Website 

Ocean Restaurant at Vila Vita Parc – Porches 
Chef: Hans Neuner 
TWO STARS Having trained with Michelin star chefs in Berlin, Hamburg and Mallorca, Austrian Chef Hans Neuner was hungry for a star of his own. In 2006, he arrived at Ocean Restaurant in the beautiful VILA VITA Parc resort and immediately set out on his mission. He began utilizing innovative haute cuisine techniques on fresh, locally-produced food products. Within three years, Neuner earned his star, and two years later is was awarded with a second star. Season dishes such as Miral Pigeon with blackberry, chicory and black walnuts, and John Dory served with “burned” artichoke, zucchini flower and rock octopus, have the gastronomy community singing his praises. Neuner’s “culinary moments” come in four-, six- and seven-course menus. 
VILA VITA Parc, Alporchinos, Porches 
Reservations: + 351 282 310 100
Learn More: Ocean Website

Sao Gabriel – Almancil 
Chef: Leonel Pereira 
ONE STAR For years, the classic cuisine of São Gabriel impressed the palates of guests and critics, and always placed the restaurant on the list of Portugal Michelin stars. In 2013, São Gabriel changed owners and Algarvian-native chef Leonel Pereira took over the kitchen. His training at the Alain Ducasse Academy, Le Nôtre and the Institute of Culinary Arts, lead him to positions at the Hotel Quinta do Lago, Niko in Paris, Cipriani in Venice, Alexandra Palace in Switzerland and Panorama at the Sheraton Lisbon.  Helming the kitchen at São Gabriel, Pereira’s “creative and contemporary cuisine” has brought a fresh new attitude to the tried-and-true establishment, as well as earning Michelin recognition. 
Estrada Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago, Almancil 
Reservations: +351 289 394 521 
Learn More: São Gabriel website

Vila Joya at Hotel Vila Joya – Galé 
Chef: Dieter Koschina 
TWO STARS In addition to being honored with this Michelin distinction, Austrian Chef Dieter Koschina’s Vila Joya has been selected as one of San Pellegrino’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” He credits this recognition to his staff’s dedication to a high level of excellence in technique and service, as well as use of the freshest ingredients from regional farms and sea. Although, ultimately, it is Koschina’s innovative European cooking techniques that win over the hearts of guests and pallets of critics. His guinea fowl is stuffed with black truffles and artichokes, roasted goose liver is served on a broccoli purée with smoked eel, and Portugal’s emblematic bacalhau is confited and paired with beetroot coulis and yogurt. Vila Joya is located in the multi award-winning 
Vila Joya boutique hotel. 
Praia da Galé, Galé, Albufeira 
Reservations: +351 289 591 839
Learn More: Vila Joya Website

Willie’s – Vilamoura 
Chef: Willie Wurger 
ONE STAR German-born Willie Wurger has left a trail of Michelin stars across the Algarve. Since he arrived in the early 1980’s, Wurger cooked at La Reserve, the first restaurant in the Algarve to be designated with a star. He followed with seven years at São Gabriel, contributing to the star designation it has today. And, since 2000, Wurger has helmed his own restaurant in Vilamoura, which has been awarded a star every year since 2006. His specialty is cuisine from central Europe, and he prides himself on his hand-made seafood ravioli in a Vermouth cream sauce, pan-fried saddle of monkfish on mustard crème-sauce with potato-mousse, and lemon crème in sugar basket with berries. The restaurant is quietly tucked away behind the Hilton Resort in the residential area of Vilamoura. Rua do Brazil, 2, Vilamoura 
Reservations: +351 289 380 849
Learn More: Willie’s Website

MADEIRA

Il Gallo d’Oro at the Cliff Bay Hotel 
Chef: Benoît Sinthon
TWO STARS  French born Benoît Sinthon credits his Italian grandmother for awakening his passion for cooking. From his days in Marseille, he mastered the art of Mediterranean cuisine. After stints at several European restaurants, Sinthon settled at the Cliff Bay and quickly reorganized the kitchen of Il Gallo d’Oro. Four years later, his efforts paid off with a Michelin star. Distinguished dishes include: Foie Gras Triolgy with bicolor pear compote and 10 year Blandy’s Madeira Wine verdelho jelly; Langoustine XL, with couscous of cauliflower and mango, granny smith apple and wasabi; and Premium Wagyu Filet, accompanied by veal cheek confit, black truffle juice. Il Gallo d’Oro is a formal dining room (gentlemen wear jackets) with superb ocean views.
The Cliff Bay Hotel, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Reservations: +351 291 707 700 
Learn More: Il Gallo dÓro Website

William Belmond Reid’s Palace 
Chef: Luís Pestana 
Executive chef Luís Pestana is at the helm and Michelin Star chef Joachim Koerper is responsible for the direction at this fine dining restaurant at the iconic and exclusive Reid’s Belmond Palace. Modern European cuisine prepared with innovative flavors and contemporary techniques is provides a “wow factor”. Cannelloni of foie gras with Madeira wine, chocolate and coffee financier, and pear chutney, rivals the lobster with cauliflower textures, beetroot and caviar. Tasting menus from €77-168, or order a la carte. 
Estrada Monumental 139, 9000-098 Funchal, Madeira, Portugal 
Reservations: +351 291 717 171 
Learn more: William website 

Source: Portugal Confidential

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Five Portuguese destinations among the "100 most valuable in the world"

Fátima (29.º), Guimarães (59.º), Braga (62.º), Sintra (89.º) and Coimbra (91.º). These are the Portuguese cities among the list Best Value City Index 2017, from Trivago. This ranking was based on over 175 million ratings made by travelers from around the world, combined with the average price of cities, to rank the most valuable destinations in the world for 2017.



In this value-for-money inventory, Mostar, a city of Bosnia and Herzegovina destroyed during the Balkan conflict and whose historic center and old bridge were classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005, ranks first, followed by Novi Sad (Serbia) and Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) - to complete the top ten destinations are Suzdal (Russia), Lviv (Ukraine), Eger (Hungary), Oradea (Romania), Pécs (Hungary), Safranbolu (Romania).

For countries with more entries in the list, Portugal comes in fifth place, together with Romania (which has two destinations in the top 10) and Russia (one destination in a fourth place). Italy leads (11 destinations), followed by Spain (8) and Hungary and Poland (both with 7).

Trivago's Best Value Index is created using an algorithm that combines Trivago Hotel Price Index (THPI) - which shows the average price of double rooms around the world - with the reputation of the accommodation. The opinions were gathered in over 200 websites available in Trivago. Only hotels with more than 50 ratings were considered.

Source: Fugas

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Portugal: Europe’s Most Compelling New Food Destination

Not too long ago, all the chatter about the Douro Valley, the flourishing wine region in northeastern Portugal, revolved around its velvety reds and austere beauty. The conversation is slowly changing, however, now that word is getting out about the unexpected excellence of the region’s cooking, which is humble, hearty and newly creative. ​




As I first discovered many years ago during a weekend of wedding banquets I attended, there’s always been some superb food to be had in the Douro River Valley. Back then, just about the only way to taste it was to be invited home for a meal by a local. To be sure, Porto, the seaside city at the mouth of the 557-mile-long Douro (most of which crosses Spain, and the historic center of the region’s Port trade, has long had a few good restaurants. But in the wine towns upriver, the genteel old Port-producing families mostly entertained among themselves, and gastronomic extravagance for their vineyard workers was pretty much limited to communion, marriage and harvest-day feasts.

During the last decade, however, the Douro has emerged as one of the most compelling new food destinations in Europe, with a growing roster of standout restaurants. These range from cutting-edge tables to cozy country taverns. Some of the credit for the growing interest in Portuguese cooking goes to a few high-profile chefs outside the country, including Nuno Mendes in London (Taberna do Mercado, Chiltern Firehouse) and George Mendes—no relation to Nuno—in New York City (Aldea, Lupulo). But most of the ardent new proponents of Portugal’s palate still live there. Take Porto native chef Rui Paula, 49, the granddaddy of the Douro’s restaurant revolution. He learned to cook from his grandmother in the Douro Valley town of Alijó, where his family is from. Mr. Paula now owns three well-regarded restaurants in the region, including Restaurante DOC on the riverbank in the village of Folgosa, and his newest, the Casa de Chá da Boa Nova in a seaside suburb of Porto.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Friday, 2 December 2016

This other Eden: the Azores, Europe's secret islands of adventure

For in-the-know travellers, the Azores have long represented a beckoning blip on the radar of possible destinations. Recognition from Unesco and other organisations has helped that blip to pulse more brightly over the years.


But most people still know little, if anything, about this far-flung archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic. And yet it is hard to imagine a place better suited to nature lovers, fans of adventure sports, or anyone looking for a beacon of sustainability.
As if that wasn’t tantalising enough, there is a new reason to visit this autonomous region of Portugal: restrictions on air routes to the Azores recently eased, which means more carriers, more choice and cheaper fares for travellers trying to reach this other Eden.

The exposed tips of vast underwater mountains, the Azores lie on the nexus of the European, American and African tectonic plates, and they bear witness to the forces forever shaping our planet. This is a world of fumaroles, mudpots and scalding springs; of caverns, columns and grottoes formed from once molten rock; of blue lakes ringed by forests of laurel and cedar, and green pastures patterning the slopes of calderas.
Unesco designated three of them (Graciosa, Flores and Corvo) as biospheres, and the archipelago also contains 13 Ramsar sites (important wetlands) and over 30 Blue Flag beaches. Combine mineral-laden soil with a subtropical climate surrounded by Gulf Stream-warmed waters, and the result is a crucible for life.

Thankfully, Azoreans seem intent on preserving their treasures – the built environment covers just five per cent of the land; the rest is a patchwork of protected areas and marine reserves. The regional government aims to produce 75% of the islands’ energy from renewables by 2018.
Little wonder then that last year the Azores were named as the world’s top destination for sustainable tourism by Quality Coast, a European Commission-supported certification programme. In fact, it is the only place in the world to receive a Platinum Award, the organisation’s highest accolade.

Adventures at sea

Whale watching
The Azores are best known for whale and dolphin watching; the archipelago is a pit stop or home for about a third of the world’s species of cetacean.
Year-round residents include sperm whales, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins. Many other species (including blue whales – the largest animal in the history of the planet) pass through on migration routes.

Well-organised tours run from the larger islands and go to great lengths to whale watch responsibly. A code of conduct governs how many boats can congregate near a whale, the direction from which they must approach the animals, and how long they’re allowed to shadow them.
Not so long ago, of course, people came armed with harpoons rather than cameras. Whale hunting – introduced by Americans in the 18th century – played a part in the Azorean economy until as recently as 1987. In one of many ironies, the vigia (watchtowers) once used for hunting these leviathans now help to steer tourist boats to their quarry. The Whalers’ Museum on Pico (espacotalassa.com) and the Whaling Station at Porto Pim on Faial tell the story of the industry and its demise.

Diving
Nutrient-rich water welling up from the deep – or rather the life it supports – is what attracts the whales; this is also what makes the Azores one of, if not the, best diving locations in the Atlantic. Warmed to between 17C and 24C, the seas truly teem, and visibility reaches 30 metres between May and October.
The kaleidoscope of species – from yellowmouth barracuda to devil rays, loggerhead turtles to slipper lobsters – arises from the extraordinary range of habitats. Wrasse, damsel fish and moray eels dwell in the coast’s jade-green bays; marlin, tuna and shark swirl around the peaks of barely submerged volcanoes; jacks, bonitos and grouper patrol the walls of underwater cliffs; more delicate life forms shelter in caves formed from lava tubes; and countless other species take up residence in the shipwrecks cluttering the seafloor.
All the islands apart from São Jorge and Corvo have accredited dive centres offering excursions and equipment hire (dive.visitazores.com).

Watersports
The mild weather, warm water and variety of the coastline also make the Azores a year-round destination for watersports.
The attractions for sailors are obvious and Azorean harbours host a calendar of regattas and events. Horta, the main town of Faial, is the cosmopolitan centre of this transatlantic traffic, and its marina has become an open-air gallery of murals painted by superstitious crews before they depart on their voyages.

Over the last decade, word of the Azores’ consistent, crowd-free surf has spread; Santa Maria and São Miguel have reliable beach and point breaks; aficionados, meanwhile, head to the fajãs (flat land at the foot of cliffs) of São Jorge, where the Atlantic crashes upon reefs to create longer, tube-shaped waves.
The conditions also make for great windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, and other water-based activities, while those seeking something more restful can always take a dip in one of the swimming holes formed by lava as it cooled flowing into the sea.
Adventures on land

Geotourism
Anyone remotely interested in geology will be in their element. The islands’ topography speaks of their volcanic origin in dramatic fashion, but there is more to see than just craters and cones; cave systems, rock formations, hot springs, and further ‘mistérios’ (mysteries, the name given to lava-covered patches of land) await investigation.
The Capelinhos volcano that surged up from the seabed off Faial in 1957 is one of the best documented sites in the world (turismo.cmhorta.pt); the interpretation centre beneath its now abandoned lighthouse does a superb job of explaining the Earth’s occasional convulsions.

On Pico, you can descend into one of the world’s longest lava tubes, the Gruta das Torres (parquesnaturais.azores.gov.pt), to inspect rare stalagmites of lava, as well as bizarre forms resembling benches, balls and lengths of rope.
Aside from a beautiful lake, the parish of Furnas on São Miguel has crowd-pleasing volcanic activity, including fumaroles and mudpots; Azoreans use the thermal heat to slow-cook their traditional cozido, a stew of meat and vegetables, under the ground. Try it, pig’s ear and all, at the art deco Terra Nostra Hotel (bensaude.pt/terranostragardenhotel), then slip into the thermal pool in the adjacent botanical gardens.

Hiking
At 7,713ft, Mt Pico is Portugal’s highest mountain. If conditions are right, the three-hour climb to catch sunrise or sunset is the Azores’ premier hiking experience; however, it faces stiff competition with about 60 marked trails crisscrossing the islands (trails.visitazores.com).A brochure shot par excellence, the twin crater lakes of São Miguel’s Setes Cidades are the focus of several routes. The two-hour trip from the Vista da Rei viewpoint to the caldera’s floor is a good primer to Azorean walking, but a hike down to the shore of mist-obscured Lagoa do Fogo has the edge.
Composed of a sheer-sided ridge, São Jorge is a hiker’s daydream, but those whose eyes are forever drawn to the edges of a map should probably look to far-flung Flores, the westernmost point of Europe, a real-life Jurassic Park praised for its beauty even among Azoreans. And they should know.

Other adventure sports
Fans of adventure sports might find themselves paralysed by indecision, such is the choice on offer.
The many waterfalls cascading into ravines make for world-class canyoning. Between them, São Miguel, Santa Maria, São Jorge and Flores have more than 50 equipped routes, from small drops for beginners to hair-raising descents for pros.
Horse riders and mountain bikers are well catered for, and both forms of transport fit the islands’ eco-friendly ethos. São Miguel, Terceira and Faial have stables, and you can hire bikes on São Miguel, Santa Maria, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico and Faial, with trails ranging from ultra-technical tracks to gentle lakeside circuits.
The Azores have also hosted a paragliding festival for the past 20 years (asassaomiguel.com). The rims of São Miguel’s craters make for ideal take-off points, and there can be no better way of appreciating this fantastical landscape than from above.

Source: Lonely Planet


Friday, 25 November 2016

One day on wine harvest in Douro

The wine harvest is the high moment of viticulture and there are even people who pay to cut grapes. But for those who work by need, the party is only in the first and last days. This is a report/story of a day spent in one wine harvest in Douro, which this year was destroyed (more than 20%) by the mildew and hail.



One more day, the same routine, always with their backs bent, sometimes squatting or even on their knees to reach the most hidden bunch. The harvest starts at seven in the morning, but after ten the heat starts to difficult the job. However, the day only ends at 4 pm.
First hours. Each one with their group and their row of vines. This is the most productive moment of the day.  The conversations are about soap operas, the last football game and the crisis, anything to break the monotony. The boxes begin to fill with grapes, one after the other.
Midmorning. At 11 am, the youngest start looking at their watch. Lunch is only at 12 am, still one hour to go. Now, there is just one break per day to eat something that we bring from home with friends and family. One hour to rest our backs and legs.
We are about ten people, but no one sings. What we hear is just complaints of a sad and poor life, without money for anything. The school is starting and the money they raise isn’t enough for children´s books and to survive.  
This year was tough in Douro because of mildew and hail. There are people who lost everything. The break in the whole region, if there are not many grapes from the neighboring regions and wine coming from Spain, should be higher than 30% percent. The quality is still unknown. In one of the hottest seasons ever, the grapes have reached the point of ripeness with surprisingly low levels of alcohol. But that is a subject to be talked in the cellar.
Any shadow is enough to have a snack. There are Portuguese and Romanian workers, people who were sent by the contractor and other people from the nearest village. At the peak of the harvest, it is a daily struggle for everyone, whether young or older, native or foreign from Ukraine, Romania, Moldavia, Bulgaria or elsewhere. The Douro and the whole Portuguese countryside is today a place of multiple languages ​​and religions.

This time there are only adults. In another day, it was different: "Do you already have Portuguese nationality?", I asked the young Romanian woman who had been harvesting with tiredness, not very enthusiastic about the idea of ​​cutting grapes, with her Romanian boyfriend, always beside her watching the other men. She, timid and ashamed, answered in perfect Portuguese: "Not yet. I can only apply for it at the age of fourteen". Until that moment, she was a worker like any other. After all, she was a 13 years old child, with a woman's body, but a child, half-Portuguese from the years she takes in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, studying and working in the countryside like her parents. "Shouldn't you be in school?" "Not worth it. In a few days we will go to Romania to work in the vineyards too. We miss it".
Child labor, a crime which the inspectors of the Authority for Working Conditions are investigating. They all pay: the agricultural contractor who hired the teenager and the winemaker who hired the contractor. The teenager, like any woman, receives 28 euros a day from the contractor (men receive 30 euros) and the vineyard pays the contractor 38 euros for each worker (whether male or female) plus taxes. The contractor offers the transport and pays the insurance and contributions of the workers (except the children, of course!). It's business.

One party?
When I was 13 years old, I almost begged to cut grapes or pour buckets. We used to earn a few pennies and then we returned home at sundown. It was hard, and yet, every year we longed to go back to the vineyards and the wineries, while the school did not reopen. But the vineyards aren't for children, nor for old people, much less in the Upper Douro, where temperatures reach over 40 degrees Celsius.
Three in the afternoon. The last hour is always torture. The thermometer should be closer to 50 than 40 degrees. It looks like fire is falling from heaven and rising from the earth, and the wind – when it comes - is also made of fire. Everything burns: the wires that hold the vines, the sticks that hold the wires, the leaves that protect the grapes, the grapes themselves. You can only find some comfort in the filtered shadow of the streakiest vines, still living from the rain that fell during the spring and the first weeks of summer. The fresh water refreshed the mouth for a moment, but soon the sweat became salty ardor in the eyes.
The vineyards are not in the desert, but in Foz Côa, in the Upper Douro, there are vineyards and the place is almost desert: it rains as much as in the Sahara, the landscape is arid and in the summer months there is always a steaming slush in the air.
You can see by their faces and their walking that they have reached the limit: the retired septuagenarian of France who agreed to give a few days "at the request of his nephew" and the constructor; the girl who cuts grapes with cigarettes in her hand; her mother; the sad widow who barely speaks; the sexagenarian, newly separated, limping; the man in charge, proud of the production; the Romanians who always walk together, whispering in Romanian and asking in Portuguese: "And now, chief?".
And now we're leaving, half an hour earlier. No one speaks, but the silence is the sign of thanksgiving and relief. The ordeal is over, but the men still have a truck to carry with boxes of grapes for a few extra euros. For many, the next day, the hottest of the year, is going to be worse. Who said harvesting is a party?


Source: Fugas

Friday, 9 September 2016

Trivago elects the 10 best infinity pools of Portugal

Trivago has made a ranking of the 10 best infinity pools - or infinity edge pools - in Portuguese territory. And the first place is occupied by Conrad Algarve, in Almancil, whose pool is described by the hotel search engine as "one of the most impressive."


The second place is occupied by Memmo Alfama, in Lisbon, where the highlight goes to the infinity edge pool, with red mosaic, and the view over the Tagus and the district of Alfama. Closing the podium is the infinity pool at The Yeatman, in Porto, from which guests can appreciate the city of Porto and the Douro river.

In the ranking of trivago appear as well the infinity pools of Pestana Casino Park (Funchal), Vidamar Resorts Madeira (Funchal), Eurostars Rio Douro (Castelo de Paiva), Rocamar Exclusive (Albufeira), Areias de Seixo (Torres Vedras), Pestana Palácio do Freixo (Porto) and Douro Royal Valley (Baião).


Source: Welcome

Saturday, 3 September 2016

There’s a new 5 star resort in Serra de Monchique

Fully dedicated to the well-being of body and soul, the Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa, a new five-star resort located in Monchique, Algarve, has just opened.
The resort is located in Serra de Monchique and features 185 luxury suites, Spa, four restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, gym, kids club, cinema, conference rooms and a wide array of outdoor activities.

The new resort is a 60 minutes’ drive away from Faro International Airport, 15 minutes from the beaches in the region of Portimão, 30 minutes from the Costa Vicentina and 20 minutes from the nearest golf course.


Source: Welcome

Friday, 26 August 2016

Twelve national spas awarded Gold at the World Luxury Spa Awards

World Luxury Spa Awards 2016 awarded 12 Portuguese spas. Sayanna Wellness at EPIC SANA Algarve was the most distinguished one, winning in the categories "Global Winner - Luxury Fitness Spa" and "Luxury Resort Spa - Portugal" as well as the Grand Prix "Overall Global Winner".



Conrad Algarve was also a Global Winner, but as "Luxury Country Spa". As for the European winners, the prizes went to CitySpa Lisbon ("Luxury Day Spa"), Vidago Palace Thermal Spa ("Luxury Mineral Springs Spa") and Gspa at Altis Grand Hotel ("Luxury Emerging Spa"). The latter won as well the trophy for Portugal's best "Luxury Fitness Spa".

At the national level were also prized the Ayurveda cure center by Birgit Moukom ("Best Spa Manager"), the Sayanna Wellness at Myriad by SANA Hotels ("Luxury Boutique Spa" and "Luxury Urban Escape"), the Spirito Spa of Sheraton Lisboa ("Luxury Day Spa"), the Magic Spa of Pestana Hotel and Casino ("Luxury Destination Spa"), the spa at the Porto Bay Liberdade ("Luxury Emerging Spa"), the Bspa by Karin Herzog at Altis Belém ("Luxury Hotel Spa") and the Stone Spa ("Luxury Wellness Spa").

World Luxury Spa Awards are given on the basis of the quality of the facilities and of the service provided by the hotel, the size of the property not being given any weight in the stages of nomination and voting. Among its objectives are the celebration of service excellence, encouragement of competitiveness in the luxury hotel industry and drawing attention to the value and importance of providing guests with a quality service.


Source: Welcome

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Portugal is a safe destination for holidays

Portugal is a destination to consider when it comes to going on safe vacations in Europe, data from an analysis performed by Virtuoso – a network of travel agencies specialized in travel arrangements – says.


The article, published in The New York Times newspaper, starts by indicating how much daily accommodation costs in Portugal, highlighting that it is 57 percent lower than the average practiced in Europe, and adds that the only country where this rate is lower is Poland.

Portugal, as well as Spain, are destinations which present good prices during the high season, ensures, in turn, Virginia Irurita, founder of a company based in Madrid which sells trips to the two countries. In this respect, she adds that the money in these destinations yields even more than two years ago.

Based on this article, published in the Travel section of the American newspaper, and dedicated to those who want to go on vacation in the old continent, the Virtuoso network also stresses that the terrorist attacks which took place in Europe last year did not affect the willingness of tourists who chose Europe as a holiday destination this year.

The Top 5 of the most popular destinations, according to Virtuoso, are, thus, respectively: Italy, United Kingdom, France, Spain and the Netherlands.


Source: Welcome

Friday, 12 August 2016

Mértola, echoes of an Arab heart

A journey through the "possibility of a dialogue between worlds, crossing destinations beyond gratuitous violence"





the crescent that marks the end of fasting
is shining in its face
Ibn as-Sîd

The trip had been planned, but not this chronicle.

If she, the trip, was intended to verify the hypothesis of a narrative – "Beirut, a crossroads of destinations" – Mértola being the axis that would allow the connection to that Mediterranean city, this chronicle is born from the urgent need of the given time, a week after Brussels’ attacks.

The Hospedaria Flor do Guadiana, a modern and comfortable facility located on the northern border of town, at about ten minutes from the center, was the chosen one for the stay; and the center, in Mértola, may coincide with the boundary between the "new town" and the "old town", the inner space which relates to al-Andalus.

26th March, Saturday

At the Largo do Guadiana square (of Vasco da Gama, according to the village toponymy), left to the coffee shop from which the name is taken, there’s the market; and it's between the Guadiana coffee shop and the market with a view to the other Guadiana, the River, that one enters the "old village".

The journey will lead to Rua da Igreja street, which features two interesting places: the Casa de M̩rtola Рreplica of the typical village house Рand the Oficina de Tecelagem, a manufacturing and exhibition space of wool pieces with regional motifs entangled with Mediterranean memories.

Up the street is the Castle, on the right, and further more to the right, the Parish Church. But today is a day to turn your back on the sacred and take the Elias Garcia street, which descends along the walls and leads to the Islamic Studies Centre, which, in addition to the library of more than sixty thousand documents, welcomes researchers to whom academic and logistic support is provided.

Nearby the Studies Centre, there’s a museum of Islamic Art with a collection that witnesses the Islamic presence, of which we can highlight the model of a mosque with five naves. Following the Combatentes da Grande Guerra street is the Clock Tower, structure of the late sixteenth century which lays on the ancient turret of the walls, like a lighthouse for navigation, and from where a flight of stairs connecting to the river and the reminiscences of the River Tower, a true power symbol in what regards the defense of Mértola, illustrating, now as a memory, the importance of the river as a connecting link between the Peninsula and the Oriental Mediterranean. And that’s here, by the river, in this late afternoon, that an immense silence, only shattered by brief echoes, recalls with surprise the Douro, in this dense and suspended environment, here framed by the voice of poets:


this is the river and these are its groves:
body,
whose soul is the breeze of the gardens,
river,
if the breeze sleeps at the surface,
chainmail,
if the winds above it are disturbed.
Ibn al-A'lam ash-Shantamarî

27th March, Easter Sunday

These verses offer a peaceful horizon, an almost abandoned one, tied to a latent violence, sudden affirmation of a will that is either free on the edge of life itself; it is its echo that, starting from the Largo do Guadiana square, points the direction of the acropolis.

Before the Parish Church, to the left, lies the Castle, power symbol which rises its highness on the horizon; memories of the Reconquest that, right beside it, in the church, coincide with those grounded in other memories, of Islam; in these times of resurrection, it is the liturgical space itself that will allow to think of the relationship between two views of the world which coincided for centuries and which resulted in this "Arab heart" that echoes in Mértola.

It’s time for the Easter celebration and this moment offers a unique perspective: believers pray before the cross and also before what remains of the mirhab; that is, in these times marked by the recent violence lived in Brussels, it’s possible to see Christians praying facing... Mecca. Astounding! Astounding and revealing of that osmosis which was felt outside, by the river, of that possibility of dialogue and openness to what appears as radically different.

What remains is the visit to the citadel, a replica of an Islamic house, and down again towards the river, crossing the slope characterized by terraces (once more, the Douro) in a thicket of streets which culminates in the Praça Luís de Camões square, flooded by a morning atmosphere, almost intoxicating given the intensity of the orange blossoming perfume; and again, the voice of the poets:

and in the urge of the trip
lo and behold, finally,
I left…
Ibn Darrâj al-Qastallî

Before leaving, visit the gardens of São Francisco Convent, owned by the Dutch couple of artists Christiaan and Geraldine Zwanikken, an ideal space for a quiet late afternoon.

This chronicle, while confirming the hypothesis required by the narrative that originated it raised, also intends to be a witness to the possibility of a dialogue between worlds, crossing destinations beyond the gratuitous violence: re-ligare РM̩rtola-Beirut.

Note: the above verses were taken from Adalberto Alves book, O meu coração é árabe (3rd edition, Assírio & Alvim, Lisboa, 1999), publication to which the title of this very chronicle much owes.

Source: Fugas

Thursday, 28 July 2016

It is now possible to rent a suitcase in Portugal

The "first national network of suitcase rental" is called Bag4Days.



The concept already exists in countries like Japan, Brazil or the USA. Now it comes to Portugal by the hand of Bag4Days, a portuguese company from the district of Braga, created in late June. The project, supported by the University of Minho, allows you to rent high-quality travel bags in a "safe, durable and sanitized" way.

For now, there are 15 bags available for rental, of different sizes and models, but always from Samsonite and Delsey Paris, with whom the company has "exclusive partnerships." Prices range from 4 Eur to 8 Eur per day, with a minimum rental duration of four days and a maximum of six months. The value includes sending and collecting the bag in mainland Portugal ("for now we don't make shipments to Azores and Madeira, but we are working on that issue in order to overcome it on the short-term", states Ruben Marques in an interview with Fugas).

It is also necessary to pay a deposit fee of 20 €, which is returned after the final collection of the bag, and the company "takes on small damages, such as any broken wheel or damaged handle."

The advantages of renting instead of buying are many, defends the mentor of the project. "The most important are the savings, freeing up money to spend in enjoying the journey and not the acquisition of a suitcase," enumerates the former University of Minho student, recalling that the market price of this type of luggage is around 400 €.

Then, it allows to "free up some space at home, otherwise occupied by bags that are mostly stored in the closet, collecting dust and fungi", the "convenience of receiving the bag at home without any additional cost," the "online and telephone support 24 hours a day, in order to solve any eventuality with the suitcase" or the "possibility to choose the most appropriate bag size" for each trip.

The idea of ​​creating Bag4Days, Ruben says, has emerged last summer. Ruben used to ask his brother to borrow him a suitcase, but the holiday schedules overlapped and he eventually "got one at a retail store". "When I returned home I realized I had been robbed and some valuables had been taken. You get what you pay for", he recalls. "Purchasing a quality bag would have avoided [the incident], but would force me to spend a lot of money." Thus the idea of ​​renting a suitcase was born and, shortly after, Bag4Days.

In addition to the rental of new suitcases, it is also possible to deposit or sublet the ones you might already have at home. As for the deposit service, the company collects the suitcase, makes an assessment of its physical state, photographs and proceeds to cleaning and sealing "to prevent dust accumulation and fungi." "The report, along with the photos, are sent to the customer, and when it needs the bag, it's enough to warn us with a minimum of three working days in advance. The bag will be delivered to the corresponding address in the requested date", he indicates.

In the case of bag sublet, it must "meet the necessary requirements to be Bag4Days bags" and are sublet "on a low cost basis." Then, "the value of each rental is distributed between our company and the owner of the suitcase according to the agreement signed between both."

Source: Fugas

Friday, 8 April 2016

What trip fits you the best?

To find out, we suggest you start having fun by facing the challenge we prepared to celebrate our 6th anniversary with you :)
(Yes, it's today!)

On a serious note, we are here to help you prepare your dream vacations.
Our sincere thank you for having trusted us with the preparation of more than 2,000 tailor made travel itineraries which we can proudly remember.

Are you trying to pack your bag or waiting for it to arrive?
Either way, here’s a game to relax a bit!
Try to hit the largest possible number of bags with your travel stick. But be careful, heavy luggage can be dangerous!
On the computer, use your arrows to walk and the space bar to attack. On the smartphone, simply touch the icons.
What does your score say about you?
0 to 90 - the path is made by walking and your starts now. To practice the bag packing for your next tailor made travel, we suggest you start by checking our easy going destinations - maybe a dreamy beach in a country that (almost) nobody has ever heard of. What about Colombia or Palau archipelago (Micronesia)?
91 to 150 - clearly your spirit claims for new discoveries. It’s time to raise the bar and try a tailor made travel to Australia and New Zealand or take a safari trip in Africa. A coast-to-coast adventure in the US or on board a Canadian trains, can also fulfill your soul.
151 to 200 - You’re ready to go on your next great adventure! The ease with which you pack is inspiring. What destination will be your temptation? Madagascar? Gabao? Papua Nova Guiné? Tasmania? We’re sure all the dreams you might have fit your luggage just fine, let us help you pack it. See you soon!


TravelTailors is thankful to Christina Brühl and André Narciso for developing and implementing this game.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Another look at the Serra da Estrela "secret" tunnel



A Hélder Afonso video, from Portugal Seen from the Sky project, shows a new perspective from the already famous"stuck" lagoon,

Covão dos Conchos is no longer a secret - ceased to be so when this video was viewed more than 450,000 times in the P3, a public website of the portuguese newspaper, Público.

A regular traveler in Serra da Estrela, this 49 year-old nurse and photographer took advantaged from his last break on Tuesday, took his adapted drone and made a "beautiful walk about five kilometers" to shoot the location that was presented to him about three years ago. "They first filmed without snow, but I filmed with it", said Hélder referring to the ProBilder video that became viral in early February.

"I went there altough the weather was cloudy and windy, as is normal in Serra da Estrela, and this can be seen in the film", says Hélder who began the air footages with a GoPro and has already won a first prize in an international aerial photography competition in 2014. This time he tried to put his drone in the mouth of the tunnel, built in 1955, creating the illusion that the dam is broken.

Hélder's drone, author of the project Portugal Seen from the Sky, flew over the place and got close to the mouth of tunnel, moving away from there up to 150 meters high. "Inside the hole" is no longer a secret. But still looks like something that got out of a X-Files episode.

Source: Fugas

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Lisbon Bookstore in the world top 10 "industrial-chic"



The Guardian newspaper chose the "ten spaces more industrial and chic" in the world. The Ler Devagar ("Read Slowly in english) is one of them. The "flying bicycle" definitely helps.

They were warehouses, underground car parks, garages, factories and even a swimming pool. Now they are "cool conceptual spaces" where "the design is as attractive as what they have to offer as shops, showrooms, restaurants, bars". Or bookstores. 

Among the 10 selected around the world - from France, to United States, Japan, Serbia - there are two book houses: the Librairie Avant-Garde, installed in a former underground car park in Nanjing, Chine, and the Lisbon Ler Devagar, an independent bookstore that opened in 1999 in Bairro Alto, and that after successive house moves, seems to have finally settled their endless bookshelves in Lx Factory (since 2009).

It was this huge high standing old printing house room, with its literature and colorful book spines, that filled the eye of the british newspaper. "If you've always wanted to see a huge wall of books, the Ler Devagar is a good place to go", the paper's authors ensure.

Here "the books are stacked almost to the top of the high ceiling (the equivalent of three floors), while the metal stairs and industrial air balconies lead you to the first floor and around the store". The space doens't has the "moldy" and "dark" enviornment of the typical old bookstores that "fill most of literary fantasies" but "in many ways, the salvaged interior teases the imagination just as a bookstore should do" says the Guardian.  

In addition to the exhibited books, highlight for the sculptures, "being the most prominent a flying byclicle hanging from the cieling", which has become the store brand image, and two bars, that give a "pretty social and creative enviornment".

Source: Fugas



Friday, 4 March 2016

Rocha Vieira is the first Portuguese chef to gather three Michelin stars



Masterchef on a national television channel, the Cascais chef has seen another one of his restaurants distinguished with a Michelin star, after Fortaleza do Guincho and Costes de Budapeste achieved the same award.

"The Costes team has won again! During the night, two Michelin stars fell on Budapeste: the seventh consecutive for the Costes Restaurant and the first (of many, I hope) to the Costes Downtown, that open just ten months ago." It's the Chef itself who sums up the great news on his Facebook page, adding "I'm speechless".

The awards that "rained down" on Costes brought it international fame, after becaming the first Michelin star restaurant in Hungary. In the last year, Rocha Vieira exchanged Budapest for his hometown Cascais but continued to lead the destinations and the kitchen concepts of "his" hungarian restaurant - where, in loco, the space is controlled by his former sous chef, Palágyi Esther. In 2015, another Costes was born in the city, the Downtown, in the Prestige Hotel.

Rocha Vieira arrived in August at Fortaleza do Guincho, and replaced the veteran Vincent Farges, the man who, for a decade, led that kitchen. Despite Farges' exit, the restaurant held the Michelin star, that was previously conquered and mantained in 2016.

The chef´'s exchange to Cascais was truly a homecoming return. The 36 year-old chef, was born and lived in Cascais up to his 19s. After that, he went to London to study gastronomy at the renowed cooking school Le Cordon Bleu. In the meantime, he would work in several top restaurants in England, France or even Spain. In 2008, he arrived in Budapest and opened the Costes restaurant. He won the first Michelin star in Hungary, just after two years of the Costes opening.

Shortly after the Michelin stars have been confirmed, Rocha Vieira wrote on his page: "Once again the dedication and teamwork proved that the effort of a lifetime always pays off, Far from what it was my home for the past seven years. I proudly celebrate in Portugal, but I want to send a hug to my comrades in Budapest".

In Portugal, José Avillez became the first portuguese chef winning two Michelin stars (thanks to his Belcanto restaurant). In the country, there are also two more Michelin stars: Hans Neuner with Ocean (in Armação de Pêra, Algarve) and Dieter Koshina with Vila Joya (in Albufeira, Algarve).

Source: Fugas