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