Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Goumet experience aboard "The Presidential"

Meet "The Presidential": a luxury project that brings together the best Michelin chefs in the world, the best wines and the best local products. Come aboard on a beautiful train, that holds a lot of portuguese History, the Portuguese Presidential Train. Aboard this train have traveled Presidents, Heads of State, Kings and Popes. Come along the Douro line, in this luxury and gourmet train experience, that gathers emotion, Michelin gastronomy and breathtaking sights.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Filigree Route: understand the portuguese tradition

Filigree is a delicate kind of jewellery metalwork that holds a tradition of portuguese generations.

The Filigree Route allows you to get a closer look at the art behind a luxury piece that is traditionally portuguese. You can visit a lot of ateliers that work everyday to keep this traditional piece alive (45 minutes each atelier) and you can even produce your own piece of filigree by attending a workshop at a goldsmith school. Then, you'll be able understand the History behind these pieces by visiting an exhibition at the Tourism Office.


Here's an article about the growth of the tourism sector in Portugal published by Tourism Review news:

"A recent study on the tourism sector in Portugal revealed that the industry is likely to grow in the area of luxury hospitality and several niche products like nature, surf, sun, beach, and culture. The regions with positive outlook with respect to tourism include Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and Madeira.

The study was published by Cushman & Wakefield in response to the increasing interest of real estate investors in the Portuguese tourism sector. The report “Hospitality Market in Portugal 2017” talks about a booming hotel sector in the country, marked by an excellent performance of hotels and by the ever increasing tourist indicators registered year after year, since 2010.

“The performance has been drawing the attention of international investors in tourism products, as they find in these assets an investment option with competitive ROI rates,” reads the paper. The study highlights the cities of Lisbon and Porto and the region of Algarve as very appealing destinations to the foreign capital and recognizes the hospitality assets of these zones as a very significant potential of recovery capital.

Among the main trends of the evolving tourism sector in Portugal, the authors highlight the product qualification, with an increase in the supply which will tend to focus on higher category facilities, and the expansion of alternative products such as nature (in Açores and Serra Algarvia),  surf (on the West coast, in the North of Lisbon, Alentejana and Vicentina), and new ‘sun & beach’ destinations (in Troy and on the Coast of Alentejana) and of a cultural nature (in Évora, Coimbra, Aveiro, Guimarães and Braga).

A trend of market yields contraction is also noted in the study, mostly driven by the arrival of players with hotel management capabilities and by the increase of generated performances. The analysis points to yet another trend of concentration of operation” in the Portuguese tourism sector, with the current scattering of market operators to be substantially reduced through the growth of the dominant brands, essentially through the acquisition of the existing facilities, but also through some organic growth.

In this evolution process, the assertion of the dominant destinations such as Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and Madeira is expected. In Lisbon’s case, there are about 40 known future projects, which will translate to over 3,500 accommodation units in the next five years in the city, the majority of the projects being located in the center of the city and belonging to the four and five-star categories.

Although admitting that the level of growth in the supply in the last few years may evoke some reservations about the sustainability of the sector, the consulting agency points out that the growth of the demand was much bigger.

“Bearing in mind the inaugurations expected for the next three years in the city of Lisbon, the average annual growth of the supply may be estimated at 3%. For their part, the hotel stays in the capital in the last three years increased at an average annual rate of 11%, more than three times the rate expected for the supply,” the study states.

Regarding the Metropolitan Area of Porto – which today has over 170 hospitality establishments that offer about 12,000 accommodation units – the projects expected to open in the next three to five years surpass 30 facilities, the vast majority being located in the city of Porto.

“The increasing activity of the city for international tourists has been capturing the investment in new hospitality facilities, so that now there are 18 new projects with a demand that surpasses 1,200 rooms,” says Cushman & Wakefield, emphasizing that almost all of the new hotels expected to open in Porto in the next three years are four or five-star hotels. Such as in the capital, the average annual growth rate of 3% expected for the supply in Porto is “well below” the level of demand, whose average annual growth between 2014 and 2016 was around 15%."

Monday, 6 November 2017

Meet Viana's garranos!

Source: Pinterest

It is now inaugurated the Equestrian Course of Ribeira Lima, where you can walk a total of 16km, between Lanheses and the city of Viana! You can either horseride or walk along this trail! Prepared to be surprised by its sights and its biodiversity! This initiative is part of a valorization project called "Pónei da Serra", promoting equestrian tourism. You'll be able to meet "garranos", wich are our native short kind of horses!

It is intended that in 2018 two more rails will be inaugurated.

Source: Público

Sunday, 28 May 2017

The new boutique hotel in Évora is a Noble House

The former Casa dos Condes de Lousã, in the historical center of Évora, is being restored and transformed into a "luxury boutique hotel" and it will open in June.

Source: Fugas - PÚBLICO

The historical center of Évora

The building, which dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries, was purchased by Unlock Boutique Hotels and has been restored since November 2016 to form The Noble House. Évora's new luxury boutique hotel is 200 meters from the city's Cathedral, right in the heart of the historic center, classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The project for the renovation of the former Casa dos Condes de Lousã is in charge of the architect Fernando Coelho, author of several reference projects, such as the Cella Bar on the island of Pico (Azores), distinguished by ArchDaily as Building of the Year 2016. 

In addition to "one of the largest suites of the district", which integrates part of the city's Roman wall into one of the walls, the new housing unit still preserves other features of the historic building, such as the 18th century tiles, the emblazoned portal, the vaulted ceilings. Some "frescões" (which cover the walls of several rooms), the garden or the well used formerly for homemade water consumption.

The landscape of Alentejo region 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

For the first time, there are eight hotels distinguished by the Forbes Guide

Lisbon premieres this year at the Forbes Travel Guide Awards with eight distinguished hotels. Bairro Alto Hotel was the only Portuguese to receive four stars, a threshold reserved for "exceptional properties".

Source: Fugas - PÚBLICO 

Each year, Forbes Travel Guide inspectors anonymously visit dozens of hotels, restaurants and spas, scrutinizing them through a thin sieve of "up to 800 objective criteria." At the podium of the Star Rating Awards comes only the crème de la crème of the sector, divided between five-star properties ("extraordinary, often iconic, with a virtually perfect service and incredible facilities"); four stars ("exceptional, offer a high level of service and corresponding facilities"); and recommended ("excellent, with consistently good services and facilities").

This year, the prizes awarded by the international publication have expanded to 20 new destinations, including the Portuguese capital. Lisbon premieres with eight distinguished hotels. None reached the top of the podium, but the Bairro Alto Hotel won the four-star label.

In addition to Bairro Alto Hotel, seven other Lisbon units were "recommended" by the international travel guide. The Corinthia Hotel Lisbon - a good choice for those who want a "quiet place" to stay in the city; The InterContinental Lisbon - with "vast views" over the capital; The Olissippo Lapa Palace - one of the outstanding features is the "exceptional collection of hand-painted Portuguese typical wall murals"; The Penha Longa Resort - a "picturesque hideaway" between the mountains of Sintra; The Pestana Palace Lisbon Hotel - where "palatial luxury and history meet"; The Pousada de Lisboa - "a luxurious look at the past" of the city; And the Sofitel Lisbon Liberdade - "French sophistication in elegant Lisbon".

Besides to Lisbon, new cities such as Bali, Barcelona, Bogotá, Budapest, Cartagena, County Kildare, Dublin, Kyoto, Lima, Manila, Melbourne, Monte Carlo, Munich, Osaka, Santiago, Seoul, Saint Tropez, Sydney , Venice and Zurich premiered in this guide made by Forbes. 

Monday, 15 May 2017

TV and cinema: the most iconic places where we have been without leave our couch

Television and cinema have already transported us to the most unimaginable places. But while many of these scenarios are pure fantasy, a lot of them are real places that you can visit. We mapped out iconic destinations from the 1950s to the present. If you do not want to become an actor to wander through all these sets, you'll be at least inspired for an upcoming trip!

source: LonelyPlanet 

The 1950s

We highly recommend the secluded beach scenes of the Seventh Seal in Sweden, a trip to Rome and the Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, from the movie Roman Holiday or the San Francisco Bay, scenery of Vertigo. 

Skane, in Sweden

The 1960s 

A german castle that might have come out from a fairytale inspired the setting for the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In fact, this castle was really the inspiration for the Beauty and The Beast's castle, the Disney movie from 1959.

The 1970s  

Khao Phing Kan put aside his own name and became known by the epithet "James Bond Island". And the blame is on the film directed by Guy Hamilton. We continue with the certainty that regardless of the name, this island is worth a visit!

The "James Bond Island" 

The 1980s

Silverton: or the light is very interesting cinematically, or it's a cliché location for a typical abandoned town. It has already been the stage to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Mad Max 2. If this is not quite what you are looking for, there is always the chance to visit Ireland and the Moher Cliffs, where The Princess Bride was recorded.

Moher Cliffs panoramic view 

The 1990s 

Italy is known for so many cities such as Venice, Rome, Florence, the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre. But the film The Talented Mr Ripley showed that there is beauty beyond that and took viewers to Ischia, a beautiful island in the Gulf of Naples.

Ischia, in the Gulf of Naples

The new century

The location of a gangster drama may not be the best place to go on vacation, but surely the "favelas" from Rio de Janeiro filmed in City of God may be the starting point for a trip in Brazil. If you prefer not to risk, Shinjuku in Japan is a turning point that set Lost in Translation. 

After 2010

Part of the TV show Downtown Abbey's appeal was the celebration of an era of rigid and sharp rules and social differences between aristocrats and servants. But the drama was well set in Hampshire, England. And although you can visit these fantastic places on specific days of the year, the English aristocracy has not disappeared and the house stills belongs to the Earl of Carnarvon.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

New project wants you to discover Portugal through Science and Culture

“Ciência Viva” and Vodafone Foundation have just launched a "tourism of knowledge" program. Project includes a discount card, interactive guides and a mobile application.

The “Ciência Viva” Circuits want to get the Portuguese to know the country "through science and culture". A trip to the beach that ends up providing the discovery of dinosaur footprints in Lagos, Algarve; a stroll through Estremoz, Alentejo, that turns into a journey through quarries, castles and the solar system, a walk through the center of a city that surprises you with an art in the extinction.

Estremoz, where one of the routes passes by

For now there are 18 available circuits, with "54 routes and more than 200 steps to explore". Each itinerary is part of one of the “Ciência Viva” Centers spread throughout the country: Açores, Alviela, Aveiro, Bragança, Coimbra (there are two centers but only one circuit in the city), Constância, Estremoz, Faro, Guimarães, Lagos, Lisboa Centro, Lisboa Oriente, Lousal, Porto, Proença-a-Nova, Sintra, Tavira and Vila do Conde. The Ciência Viva Center of Porto Moniz, on Madeira Island, is the only one without an associated circuit.

The new "knowledge tourism program" includes a card, an interactive guide and a mobile application (available for Android and iOS). The first one is the epicenter of the project. It is valid for one year for "two adults or one couple and their children up to the age of 17" and gives free admission to the 20 Ciência Viva Centers and access to discounts "in more than 100 science, culture and leisure institutions" - including museums, Monuments, parks and nature reserves, caves, mines, zoos and aquariums, among others - and in partner entities of the project - such as accommodation units, transport companies or restoration establishments.

The card activation also opens doors to everything else, either through the project website or the mobile application: details about the suggested circuits, interactive maps of the routes, "challenges to explorers", sharing of experiences and access to promotional rates. It is also possible to consult a schedule of activities in the different destinations. The circuit kit costs € 50 - it has a card, a guide and a small pocket-sized notebook. 

Lisbon is also included in the program 

The “Ciência Viva” Circuits are an initiative of this national institution, in partnership with the Vodafone Foundation. "We feel that we could be the catalysts for an innovative project of knowledge tourism," says Rosália Vargas, president of Ciência Viva - National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, arguing that "this is a sustainable nature project" that "Looks at the future, while valuing tradition and heritage ".

According to Mário Vaz, Vodafone Portugal Foundation’s president, the program "provides users with a complete and highly creative experience", which "allows not only knowledge of the national and regional heritage in a clearer and more practical way but also allows the sharing of trips, photographs and knowledge."It is, above all, a dynamic, pedagogical and fun way to discover or rediscover Portugal", he emphasizes.

Source: Fugas – PÚBLICO 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

East Africa Tourism

African tourism authorities rely more and more on synergy. In East Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda have decided to join forces to improve their visibility to tourists across the world. After signing a tripartite agreement in October, these countries created their first joint marketing plan in London at World Travel Market.

Source: Tourism Review

The biggest international tourism trade fair opened its doors in London from November 7th to the 9th. Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda opted for a common stand, announced Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi, the Ugandan Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities.
As a reminder, these three countries of East Africa recently signed a common cooperation agreement regarding the tourism sector which consists of joint promotion of the three destinations as if it were only one. The objective: boost African tourism, increase the number of visitors, and indirectly help the economy of each of the three countries.

Countries Where Tourism Counts

In Kenya, tourism, which accounts for about 11% of the GDP, has been in trouble for a few years, a situation in which the attack on the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi—which occurred in September 2013, killing 68 people and injuring over 200—is not foreign.

In Uganda, the tourism industry, which is the primary source of revenue, is traditionally seen as an important aspect of the economy. In 2015, it generated 2.6 billion dollars in revenues, representing 9.8% of the GDP and employing 247,000 people. But according to authorities, the potential of the country remains mostly untapped.


More known for its technological boom, Rwanda is also trying to diversify its economy by focusing, among other things, on tourism. The country has managed to set up a tourism development strategy which has successfully boosted the number of visitors from around 25,000 to nearly one million between 2004 and 2012. And the synergy created with its neighbors also aims to multiply its economic impact.

Single Tourist Visa

The joint agreement between the three countries also aims at the establishment of a single visa. “We are implementing a single tourist visa. This is the first time that we have signed an agreement of this kind and we are committed to promoting our countries' tourism together,” said Ugandan Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi. But he wants to make it clear right away:  the joint promotion is not synonymous with 'less aggressive politics.' “We will continue to be innovative in order to capture the largest market share in East Africa.”
As for the Kenyan government, it has recently called on the other countries of the sub-region (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Burundi, Tanzania, Seychelles, Comoros, and Mayotte) to implement the single tourism visa as well. The aim is to build a strong sub-region and boost East African tourism.


This Rwandan-Ugandan-Kenyan tourism strategy is a first in Africa. It is a sign that the trend of synergy observed here-and-there across the continent, notably in West Africa in the financial field, has spread gradually to different industries. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Guide to plan your honeymoon

Getting hitched is the most socially accepted reason on the planet to ditch work and undertake your longest, most splurge-iest trip ever. But before you dive head first into checking off the items on your travel bucket list, take a few minutes to consider the practical stuff, because the trip of your dreams won’t just magically appear by itself.

Source: Lonely Planet 

In fact, lousy hotels, missed flights, lacklustre meals and inhospitable weather can significantly hamper a happy holiday, essentially flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet. And while we can’t read crystal balls or do rain dances, we can assure you that proper planning will undoubtedly put the odds in your favour of enjoying the getaway of your dreams.

Timing is everything

You’ve dutifully set aside your collection of vacation days — now it’s time to work out how to spend them on your honeymoon. It’s important to weigh the time you’ve allotted for your adventure against your destination of choice, and make sure that your trip is spent travelling, not transiting.
With two or three weeks, you’ll have a more generous amount of time to take a crack at a faraway destination and overcome the exhaustion of a long-haul journey and/or jet lag. But a week-long holiday, say, is never well served by spending two full days hoofing it from one continent to another, only to turn around a few days later and repeat the gruelling trek back.
The other major timing consideration has to do with seasonality. Tacking your honeymoon on at the end of your already-set wedding date might preclude travel to certain destinations simply due to the time of year. Large areas of the Caribbean, for example, are prone to hurricanes during the months of September and October. Other destinations have annual monsoons – like Thailand, which has two different curtains of rains that sweep across the kingdom during the latter half of the year.
It’s best to educate yourself on the high and low seasons of your preferred honeymooning locales. Prices, of course, increase with a rise in demand during the months with the most favourable climate and during busy periods such as school holidays (when desirable hotels can also become scarce). Low seasons, on the other hand — or better yet, ’shoulder’ or ‘green’ seasons — can be a worthy option if you want to see more bang for your buck at the expense of rolling the dice weather-wise.

How to build a multi-stop honeymoon

As the architect of your own multi-stop trip, you might want to think of your honeymoon as a novel; the action on your vacation should swell and ebb accordingly. Think of the beginning of the trip as the initiation phase — you’re adjusting to a new world (maybe getting over jet lag) and want to ease into the action as it gradually builds. The middle section of the honeymoon is where the plot thickens. Your pulse quickens with adventure sports, or late urban nights exploring. Then, with the end of the story in sight, the last section of the holiday is when the jets cool — a denouement of sorts when you once again slow your pace. It’s the beach in Bahia after Rio and São Paulo, the Amalfi villa at the end of Tuscany and Rome, or the ryokan in Hakone when you’re wrapping up Kyoto and Tokyo. You need an airbag at the end of the trip, so you feel revitalised by the holiday, not desperately needing another.

Picking hotels

Now, with your storybook itinerary you’re going to have to slot in hotels. These should play out in tandem with the pace at each stage of your trip, but you need to slightly trick your future self. Every accommodation option selected should build upon the previous choice. The human mind can’t help but judge, and when you arrive at lodging number two you won’t be able to ignore the instinct to compare it to your accommodation the night before. So, in order to essentially feel like you’re winning at travel, each hotel must get progressively better — or maintain the quality of the previous stay — culminating in your big splurge at the end, which nicely coincides with your itinerary’s finale. The last slice of the vacation is the happy ever after – just like you and your spouse after the wedding.

Honeymoon planning timeline

One year before honeymoon: Dream. Think about where you’ve always wanted to go to celebrate your marriage, and get inspired by guidebooks, magazines and websites.
Nine months before your honeymoon: If you’re budgeting your holiday in tandem with your wedding, you’ll likely know at this point what funds you’re hoping to allocate to your trip and can compare your budget against that dream list of destinations.
Six months before your honeymoon: Properly slot in your travel dates after calibrating for personal commitments and taking into account the optimal time – as you deem it – for visiting your destination of choice.
Four months before your honeymoon (or earlier): Cement the foundations of your plans, scouting airplane tickets, booking must-have items on your checklist (hotels, visa, park permits), and firming up a version – in very broad strokes – of what your itinerary might look like (which days in which destination for multi-stop trips).

Two months before your wedding (note wedding, and not necessarily honeymoon): If you’ve decided to ask your guests to help you fund your dream trip, now is the time to create an online registry detailing tangible activities to be undertaken at a gradation of price points to suit your wedding guests’ varying budgets.
One month before your honeymoon: The internet enables the world to move a million miles a minute, so once you begin the 30-day countdown you can take to your social platforms to snoop for upcoming events and trending bars, and even find friends that might be criss-crossing your itinerary.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Direct flights from and to Lisbon

It’s not a huge new that Lisbon has received more and more prizes and tourists in the last years. But now Lisbon also has more and more direct flights departing and arriving to the capital’s airport.

China will have direct flights to Portugal this summer, from Beijing. In North America, direct flights are available to Toronto, Canada and, in the United States, it is possible to fly to New York, Boston and Miami.

The weekly intensity of flights to São Paulo, Brazil, was also strengthened; in the samba country, you can also fly directly to Brasília, Porto Alegre, Salvador or Recife, among others. Still in South America, Lisbon is directly connect by plain to Venezuela. 

African destinations such as Senegal, Angola and Mozambique have not been forgotten. You can also find direct flights to some popular tourist destinations such as Morocco, Sao Tome and Principe, Tunisia and Cape Verde; Or, if you prefer something less cliché, enjoy and do not stop in your flight to Ghana, Guinea Bissau and Algeria.

In Europe, flights to classic destinations such as London, Madrid, and flights to Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany and Ireland remain available. If you want to go East, the options are extend to Turkey, Romania, Moldavia and Poland. You can still choose between Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Austria and Dubai, since every destination has its own direct flight to Lisbon. In addition to those already mentioned, we have the destinations of the Benelux (Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium) and a Scandinavian Peninsula, with direct flights to Denmark, Sweden, Norway or Finland.
After all the options, the most difficult right now is to choose where to go!

Monday, 20 February 2017

Three Portuguese cities among the undervalued destinies deserving a visit

The journal The Telegraph selected 21 european cities that “you never equated to visit – but that you definitely should”. Tavira, Guimarães e Braga are amoung the elected.

Source: Fugas 

Tavira, Portugal

They are smaller cities and, because of that, they ended undervalued by the big metropoles or touristic icons. But they are perfect for a getaway “without crowds”, capable of assure “a weekend of great food, rich culture and stunning views”.

The first one is a good option for those who want to “have a glimpse of what was Algarve before the mass tourism”, affirms the journalist Helen Pickles. “Crossed by the Gilão river, [Tavira] exhales an authentic Portuguese charm”. There are few hotels but a lot of churches, the fishing boats heap in the water and “everyone has time to dawdle”. 

Castelo de Guimarães, Guimarães, Portugal

However, “if there is a city which can be described as adorable is Guimarães”, defends Tim Pozzi. The footpaths from the heart of the city form a network of Gently winding streets, with alleys with hanging clothes to dry, adorned with small bars and coffes”, describes the journalist. 
On its turn, Braga is possible a familiar city to football fans, once it’s the cradle “of one of the most awesome stadiums in the world”. But the city also has another charms: “the oldest cathedral in the country, a rich roman heritage, vibrant coffees and some of the best gastronomy of the country”.

Among the 21 cities recommended by The Telegraph, are also: Bergamo (Italy), Skopje (Macedonia) Treviso (Italy), Tbilisi (Georgia), Segovia (Spain), Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain), Osijek (Croativa), Umea (Sweden), Nantes (France), Bregenz (Austria), Sion (Switzerland), Lubeck (Germany), Wroclaw (Poland), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Trieste (Italy), Aarhus (Denmark), Eger (Hungary) and Maribor (Slovenia).

Bom Jesus de Braga, Braga, Portugal 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Food and Wine: the presidential train returns to Douro

In 2017, the event that puts the old presidential train in Douro’s Line rails grows in durantion, traveled distance and invited chefs. These are the news from The Presidential. 

Douro River

It’s rare, very rare, having a chef from a restaurant distinguished with three Michelin Stars cooking in national soil. But it’s precisely that what’s going to happen in this year edition of The Presidential, the event that, for the second consecutive year, will lead the old presidential train to go through the incredible Douro Line, with wine and gastronomy in the mix. The chef is the Danish Esben Holmboe Bang, from Maaeno, one of the youngest ever (and the youngest, currently) achieving the maximum distinction of the Michelin Guide. 

But that is only one of the news. The premiere edition lasted ten days and had the chef Dieter Koschina, from Vila Joya, in the cuisine. Well, this one will last 17 days, throughout May, and will have five chefs responsible for the tasting menu with 4 dishes that will be served in which tour, all of them with Michelin stars in the respective restaurants. Gonçalo castel-Branco, mentor and responsible for the event, advances that for now two names, the already mentioned Esben Holmboe Bang, that will cook in the first week (from 3 to 7) and from Porto, Pedro Lemos (cooking in May 10 and 11).

And the route also grows. If last year the tour was made between São Bento station, in Porto, to the Pinhão, already in the Vineyard Douro, now it continues to the beautiful Quinta do Vesúvio, where will happen a wine tasting with Porto’s wines from Graham’s. This means that, this time, the train will pass by the two banks of the river, allowing all the guests to enjoy the view to river.   

The trip back to Porto was also the target of reinforced planning: in the bar-carriage will be live music and another carriage will be transformed into tea salon. Moreover, the moto stills the same: “our objective number one is to promote the railroad and the romanticism associated with it”. 

It’s already possible buy tickets online in the event’s website. Which one costs 500€ per person – companies can acquire carriages or the full train – to the program that lasts from 10h45 am to 8h30 pm: it includes the tour São Bento – Quinta do Vesúvio – São Bento, the tasting menu with 4 dishes, the wine harmonization, the entrance in Quinta do Vesúvio, the wine tasting, bar with live music, tea salon and a gift bag with one autographed book from the chef responsible in that day. 

Source: Observador

Friday, 10 February 2017

Estorial Palace on the internacional luxory spas guide

Condé Nast Johansens launched this week the new edition of the annual guide dedicated to luxury spas located in hotels all around the world.  

Estoril (Cascais), Portugal

The beauty and well-being treatments’ service of Estoril Palace remains as the only Portuguese between the restrict selection of 68 international establishments. 

The 2017 edition integrates, however, 14 new entries, including three hotels in Europe: Bulgari Hotel (United Kigdom), Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort (Greece) and Hotel Belleuve (Croatia). Among the guide Condé Nast Johansens Luxury Spas novelties stand up the services locatel in the hotels The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore (Singapura), Taj Exotica Goa Resort (India), The Chedi Muscat (Omã), Water Garden Sigiriya (Sri Lanka) and Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa (Canada).

The guide is already for sale online for 9,99 libra (about 11,87€). 

Source: Fugas - Público

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A cultural agenda that helps to walk Coimbra

Coimbra Cultural Poster was born first as an agenda in internet and launches now maps to guide the city visitors. 

First was born as the Coimbra cultural agenda, in 2012, and now materializes in products directed to those who visited the city. The Coimbra Cultura Poster (CCP) started was a facebook page to share concerts, expositions, theater plays and expositions in the city. Almost fie years and some thousands of followers after, the dynamizers of the project launch maps and cards to take advantage of the tourism growth.  

Paulo Vale Marques, one of the initiative responsables, tells to PÚBLICO that the CCP “started to be a page to friends”. The page to a nearest circle grow “organically”, that is, with sponsored publications, and has actually more than 16 thousands of followers. 
One of the explications to the accession may be the lack of coverage of the agendas of official entities. Paula Vale Marques affirms that still tried to get in touch with the county, but the City Hall answered that already had the Agenda7, a partnership project between the City Hall and the University of Coimbra that, despite having more than 400 entities in the “partners” list it doesn’t traduces in cultural activity in the city. 

In spite of living the past three years in Lisboa, Paula always assured the actualization of the page Coimbra Cultural Postar without any financial reward, until start thinking in ab “way to monetize it”. 
So she challenged Ana Fróis, architect and illustrator to create materials that framed themselves with the page. From that work flourished city maps, cards and cloth bags. 
One of the objectives is to take advantage of the tourism growth. “We noticed that Coimbra has more people, not only foreign tourists, but also Portuguese”, affirms the responsible, who understands that the CCP materials are a way to “make the city more attractive, more interesting” to those who visit it. 

In the product developing fase they noticed a certain absence of materials out of the typical map distributed in the touristic circles. “There is the county map but not alternative trails and the cards are from old times”, they said. 
The bilingual CCP maps show not only the city street, but also propose ways to go through them. For now, in the launch date, it’s available a two-days tour suggestion through Coimbra, that stars in the left margin of the Mondego River and ends in the right one. A map with gardens is still stitched and others are in the gutter, one that follows the marks left by literature in the city and another by unique buildings.

Source: PÚBLICO 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Sá Pessoa is the chef of the year to Wine Magazine

Publication of the Wine Essence awarded once again “the best of the year” in the wine and gastronomy sector. 

The Wine magazine already elected the “2016 best of the year”, distributing 15 awards between different categories connected to gastronomy and wines sector.
In the wine section, one of the biggest winners was the red from Alenjeto, Dona Maria Grande Reserva 2011, producted by Júlio Bastion in Estremoz. Elaborated from selected grapes in plots of old vineyards Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot e Syrah, was then fermented in mills, following a phase of a year in new French oak barrels. 
The Herdade of Portocarro, located in Torrão (Alcácel do Sal county), leaded by José Mota Capitão, eas elected “producer of the year”; meanwhile the Azores Wine Company, António Maçanita’s project with Filipe Rocha and Paulo Machado, with head office in Pico Island, was considered “Producer of the year revelation”. 

Still in the wine section, three more awards: Vasco D’Avillez, current president of the Wine Commission of the Lisbon Region, was elected “2016 Personality of the year”; Jorge Moreira has received the “Oenologist of the year” award, at the time he celebrates two decades of his career; and António Coelho, sommelier e maître in the Spanish restaurant Lasarte (with three Michelin stars), was considered “sommelier of the year”. 

In his turn, João Rodrigues, bartender in the Columbus Cocktail & Wine Bar, in Faro, Algarve, conquered the award of “Mixologist of the year”, after won, last year, the World Class Portugal competition final and represented the country in the world final in United States.  
In the gastronomy area, highlights to the awards delivered to two new Michelin stars in Portugal. After having conquered the first star in the last year, Henrique Sá Pessoa, from the Alma restaurant, was elected “Cuisine Chef of the Year” and Loco, from Alexandre Silva, was considered the best “Gastronomic Restaurant”. Duarte Calvão, gastronomic and director of the event Fish in Lisbon, is the “2016 Personality of the year in gastronomy”.   

The Mealhada region, famous for its roasted piglet in wood oven, left de ceremony with two awards. It was elected as “Gastronomic Destiny of the year” and saw one of the region’s restaurants, Rei dos Leitões, being distinguished with the “best wine service”.   
Among the awarded, are still added Herdade do Esporão, in Reguengos de Monsaraz, Alentejo, with the “Wine tourism of the year”; the salt flower of the company Salmarim, based in Castro Marim, Algarve, is the "artisanal product of the year"; and Jaime José de Barcelos, owner of the Ostradamus restaurant in Florianópolis, was elected "personality of the year in Brazil".

Source: Fugas

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Guarda created a thematic tour dedicated to Miguel de Unamuno

The City Hall of Guarda created a thematic tour dedicated to Miguel de Unumuno, intitulated “That Guarda that so many times attracted my eyes”, with the goal to attract more visitors to the city.

The councilman Victor Amaral, with the culture and tourism roles, told Lusa agency that the thematic tour pretends to take tourists to the locals that were visited by the Spanish writer Miguel de Unamuno (1964-1936), in November 1908, and reffered in the book In Portuguese and Spanish lands”, published in 1911.
The path allows the visitors and all the interested ones to go trough “the physical spaces of the monumental and cultural city’s patrimony that, deep down, is referenced in Miguel de Unamuno’s work. 

“There are seven references to the emblematic spaces that Miguel de Unamuno walked in this passage trough Guarda and that we propose to revisit. It’s a literary cultural itinerary that is related to the books, related to that experience, with that passage Miguel de Unamuno’s passage, and that we reconstructed and actualized to a cultural-touristic path of our patrimony in Guarda city”, said Victor Amaral.
The “unamunian tour in Guarda” can star or finish in the train station, because that was the starting point to thw writer “go through the city in his ride for the highest city in Portugal”, explained the councilman.

Besides that train station, the tour that recreated Miguel de Unamuno’s passes also includes the Santos Pension, today with the designation Santos Hotel, where he was housed, the Sun Door, the Blacksmiths Tower, the Misericórdia Church, the Cathedral and the Guarda’s National Lyceum, now 1ª Basic Cicle Scholl Augusto Gil.
The councilman Victor Amaral recognizes that the tour created by the autarchy though the Guarda Museum, based on the work of “an important author to the world literature” that one that passed by the city, is useful to rise the capitation of tourists.
“In that book, Miguel de Unamuno, in fact, talks about Guarda. And he talks about Guarda, in his passage, that was brief, only an afternoon and a morning, but that in our opinion is something very importante”, he explained. 

According to him, the principal motto to the tour creation was the book Guarda to Miguel de Unamuno, from the painter Florencio Maíllo (Salamanca, Spain), that participated in the first edition of Of the International Symposium of Contemporary Art of the City of Guarda, that ran from may 28 until june 14.

The flyer with the tour “Unamuniano Tour in Guarda” is available in the installations of the Welcome Center and the Museum of the city. 

Source: Fugas

Friday, 27 January 2017

S. Gonçalinho’s Festival is already an economic motor and fills hotels and restaurants

Aveiro lives the one that is the biggest popular festival and continues to be, increasing, motive to attract tourists.

By Aveiro's lands it’s often said that the Christmas festivities only end after the finishing of the festival in honor to São Gonçalinho – event which “brand image” is the throwing cavacas  (a portuguese pastry covered in sugar)from the top of the chapel consecrated to this saint. There are various days of “strong” party, centered in the Beira Mar historical neighborhood and which attract more and more people from other points of the country and, also, beyond borders. That was confirmed to PÚBLICO for various by several hotel and restaurants managers of the city. The majority of them talks about a rise in the reservations and make vows that this is a trend to keep. 

Carla Santos, Hotel das Salinas owner, assures that her hotel is, this São Gonçalinho weekend, “almost full”. “In the last years, we verified that are the national tourists, specially from Lisbon, and the international tourists, from France and Belgium, the ones who value the most this tradition”, testify. Carla Santos refers that have “some clients” who already ask “to buy cavacas to make sure they can participate in the festivities”.
Also in the Hotel Moliceiro this festivities are synonymous of an increase of reservations. “We’re talking about a rise of 10% and are, mostly, people that have relatives or friends in Aveiro and want to participate in the festivities”, notice Cristina Durães, director of this four stars hotel.

For the hotel Meliã Ria, for now, the popular aveirense festival didn’t produce effects in the reservations number yet. “The only thing we have is an event, in the restaurant, of a family that always take opportunity in this date to get together”, declares Ana Gouveia,  without making vows that, in the future, São Gonçalinho festivities will bring more profits to the hotel she runs.  
In the restoration, the rise in clients and service seems to be even more significant. Maria Soares has three restaurants, all of them situated in the Beira Mar neighborhood, in the heart of the festivities, and assures that that all the three are already full, with reservations, in the nights of this weekend and “with good perspectives for Monday and Thursday”. “In one of the cases, for example, the person who is organizing the dinner is from Aveiro, but the guests are from outside, from other cities”, testifies the owner of Porta 35, Porta 36 and À Portuguesa, evidencing that “this is also a festival that attracts a lot of people from Aveiro that are out of town, making them return to their city”.  

The festivities, organized by São Gonçalinho Stewardarship – in partnership with Aveiro Town Hall – started this Friday, with the promise of having S. Peter’s help until the end (the weather previsions are good). Until Tuesday, it will be throwing cavacas from the top of the church, a ritual that serves to the devotees pay the promises did to the saint that, in Aveiro, is treated like “little saint” or “little boy”. And while ones throw cavacas, others, almost always in hundreds, get together in the church wide to catch some cavacas, achieving a tradition that has crossed generations.
And, even if it’s the most popular side of the festivities, the program goes behind the cavacas tradition. As the tradition dictates, the Monday programs dedicate the morning to the youngest, with the habitual São Gonçalinho from the schools.

Also included in the festivities of the patron saint of the Beira Mar neighborhood, is going on “Aveiro Flavors with tradition”, a gastronomy festival that mobilizes more than 30 local restaurants – the participating establishments are indicated with a little flag identifying the event at the door. 

Source: Fugas 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

São João da Madeira’s Industrial tourism celebrates the 5th anniversary with free tours

The touristic tour through the São João da Madeira’s factories and museums was born five years go. To celebrate, there are five days of free guided tours.

In 2012, the smallest county in Portugal launched an innovative project: take tourists to the city’s industrial patrimony, opening historic factories to the visitors in office hours, letting them circulate between noisy machines to see pencils, hats or shoes born in the worker’s hands. Two months ago, the Footwear’s Museum inauguration completed the touristic offer. Now, to celebrate the five years of the touristic circuits through factories and museological spaces in São João da Madeira, the industrial tourism project launches five days of free guided tours. There are two routes per day, from January 23 to 27, from 9h30 until 12h45 and from 14h until 17h30. They all start and finish in Oliva Tower, the iconic building of the old metallurgic factory transformed in the project’s reception. The circuits are all different between them and include the entrance in two spaces of the touristic network.

Since the Viarco, the only working pencils factory in the country, to the footwear companies Helsar and Evereste, passing by the Cortadoria Nacional de Pêlo and Fepsa, connected to the headgear industry, or the Heliotêxtil, manufacturer of labels and trimmings. Besides the factories, the routes pass by the footwear museums, the Portugal’s Footwear Technologic Center or the Training Center of the Footwear Industry.

The visits are free but the previous inscription is required. On the 26th, the circuits include a novelty: they will be adapted to people with hearing loss, with simultaneous tradition into sign language.
The commemorations of the 5th anniversary integrate the inauguration of an exhibition of cheetah dresses in Oliva Tower, in an “invocation of the popular contestants which were organized by the historic company”, refers the organization of the event, in a statement. It occurs in January 23, at 18h. The clowns show Lullaby closes de festivities on the day 27, at 21h30.

Source : Fugas-Público

Monday, 23 January 2017

16 Portuguese sayings that don’t make any sense

Every language has common sayings that everyone knows and uses that don’t necessarily make sense, especially when translated into another language.

1. Ir com os porcos
“Go with the pigs” meaning: DIE

2. Pulga atrás da orelha
“Flea behind the ear” meaning: BEING SUSPICIOUS

3. Barata tonta
“Dizzy Cockroach” meaning: BEING UNFOCUSED/CLUMSY

4. Acordar com os pés de fora
“Wake up with the feet outside” meaning: WOKE UP IN A BAD MOOD

5. Estar com os azeites
“Being with the olive oils” meaning: IN A BAD MOOD.

6. Muitos anos a virar frangos
“Many years turning chickens” meaning: A LOT OF EXPERIENCE/KNOWLEDGE

7. Macaquinhos na cabeça
“Little monkeys in the head” meaning: HAVING STRANGE/SUSPICIOUS THOUGHTS

8. Pentear macacos
“Comb monkeys” meaning: GO F%CK YOURSELF (in a polite way…)

9. Engolir Sapos

10.  Tirar o cavalinho da chuva
“Take the little horse from the rain” meaning: DON’T COUNT ON THAT!

11.  Partir a loiça toda
“Breaking all the dishes” meaning: ROCKIN’!!

12. Chatear Camões
“Go bother Camões” meaning: GO BOTHER SOMEONE ELSE

13.  Água pela Barba
“Water up his beard” meaning: A LOT OF WORK

14. Ter muita lata
 “A lot of cans” meaning: 100% SHAMELESS

15.  Pão Pão, Queijo Queijo
“Bread bread, cheese cheese” meaning: IT IS THIS SIMPLE!

16.  À sombra da Bananeira
“Under the Banana Tree shade” meaning: NO WORRIES

Source: Twisted Sifter.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Linha do Tua is going to have a train inspired by the cowboys movies

Machine and carriages are being made in England, but businessman promises to recover old locomotives from CP. There are already criticisms: "They are in our collective memory for the films of Indians and cowboys, but in America. Not in Trás-os-Montes. "

The tourist train that the group Douro Azul intends to circulate in the Linha do Tua raised a wave of indignation in the social networks because the locomotive, typically American, seems brought out of Disneyland. The comments refer to the "tackiness" of the machine, in the absence of a more "historical and cultural" view of this tourist project and the blog Aventar even states that "there is in Europe a single railway tourism project pulled by an amusement park train".
Despite some compliments for the entrepreneurship of Mário Ferreira (owner of the Douro Azul), his detractors accuse him of ignoring that there are several locomotives of the CP that circulated in the rails of the line of the Tua and that now lie abandoned, to rot. 

Contacted by the Portuguese newspaper Público, Douro Azul explained that the locomotive bought in England is "green" because it will have gas oil and not coal as fuel. The result is the same: the water in the boiler is heated and the resulting steam will move the wheels of the locomotive. A solution that, moreover, is also used by the CP in the historic train of Douro.

Official source of the Douro Azul said that "the circulation of the coal-fueled historic train would be limited due to the safety conditions in times of high temperatures, a situation that was sought to avoid" and explains the option for this locomotive.

However, the company says it has already planned the recovery and reactivation of an old steam locomotive in partnership with the National Railway Museum to operate "in some activities that reinforce the identity of that line." 

But at this stage, the Tua Express inspired by the trains of Uncle Sam will circulate from the next spring between Mirandela and Brunheda, in the 33 kilometers of the narrow road of the Tua that survived the dam. The remaining 20 are submerged. 

The four carriages that will be part of the composition of this train are made of wood and also come from England.

The tourist project costs 15 million euros, divided between 10 million paid by EDP (as the counterparts for the construction of the dam) and 5 million by Mystic Invest, the holding company that owns Douro Azul.

The Tua train will run throughout the year, with an offer adapted to the seasonal peaks, and will be open regular passenger service to respond to local mobility. This was one of EDP's counterparts for the destruction of the Tua line connecting the Foz Tua station to Mirandela. Now a boat will be needed to be part of the course, which is already ordered. Público has learned that it will be a replica of a rabelo boat.

António Brancanes, president of APAC (Portuguese Association of Friends of the Railways) told Público that "it is praiseworthy for a private initiative to take advantage of a railway section that was out of service because it is a way to value the region's railway memory and of potentiating more tourist visits ". The leader waits until initiatives of this nature make school in other areas of the country, especially in the Alentejo, where there are many rail lines closed and where tourism has been increasing. But as for the locomotive, António Brancanes says that the design chosen has nothing to do with Portugal, not even with Europe. "It is a typical American machine and it would have been good if an option were made for a material that had a greater approximation to the identity of what the Portuguese locomotives were," he says.

We understand that the existing CP locomotives that could be used in the Tua are ancient and maintenance costs are very high for a regular tourist operation, but this proposal of the Douro Azul is not the best," he added.

The controversy has overtaken the circles of railroad enthusiasts who, of course, speak out against what they call the Disneyland convoy and social networks insist that an American locomotive has nothing to do with the European and Portuguese railroad culture.

Even the non-experts distinguish the old American steam engines from the European ones. The Americans have an unusually tall and wide chimney, a fairly large pavilion (booth) and boast the typical cows away. "They are part of our collective memory for Indian and cowboy movies. But in America. Not in Trás-os-Montes, "says the APAC president.

Source: Fugas