Friday, 28 December 2018

Sérgio Conceição, football coach, shares the feeling of portuguese villages

Portugal has vibrant and trendy cities, but it is built on small villages throughout the territory. Villages with its own traditions, food and festivities. With its own people. Like Sérgio Conceição, a football coach who is from a small village, Ribeira de Frades. He shared the feeling of being born in a village, with its sense of community and tradition. This is an adaptation of what he shared with the national newspaper Expresso, for a special Villages' Guide Edition. My village brought me the happiness of having a childhood in the outdoors, which is a true blessing. I was fortunate to grow up and play on the street, until late night hours. I remember the most important thing, then, was family life. Having grown up in a place where everyone knew each other's names, I remember the feeling of solidarity amongst all villagers.

These are some of the most beautiful villages in Portugal, which you really need to visit and get to know its people.


This village is located at the gates of National Park Peneda-Gerês. Set in the middle of the mountains, Men were obliged to build terraces in order to grow cereal. The beauty and authenticity of Sistelo granted it the classification of National Monument. This is the perfect scenario to explore as a family, walking through its trails and visiting ancient buildings. Don't forget to stop at Café da Ti Amélia, a traditional get-together spot, where you can eat local delicacies.

Photo from Aldeias de Portugal

Vilarinho de Negrões

This village sits between the river banks and the high peak mountain of Larouco. Its dark houses are built with granite stone and make contrast with the green landscape. Discover by foot and with time. To fill your stomach, try the local pastry, filled with veal.
Photo from Wikipedia


To get to this little and idyllic village is half the adventure! The road is steep and narrow, so much that only one car can pass at a time. However small, there is a lot to explore. From the all-round nature to the little alleys with typical houses made of stone. Don't forget to visit the local gastronomic center, Adega Típica. Here you start with cheeses, ham and chorizos and go on with the famous cozido à portuguesa or feijoada (beans' stew).
Photo from Aldeias do Xisto


This is one of the 12 historic villages of Portugal. With remains from the roman empire domain, it has ruins of a medieval castle, chapels and granite houses. There is also an old house turned lodging and a very refreshing pool, for the hottest summer days. Visit Museu do Côa, which was built to preserve rock engravings from the paleolithic period.
Photo from Wikipedia


This village is another one of the 12 historic villages of Portugal. It is located at the top of a mountain plateau, which made the muslims invaders call it Al-Mêda (meaning the table). Here, they built a castle, but there isn't much left of it, for it was destroyed on the french invasions. In the 18th century a new fortress was built, with an hexagon shape. It is one of the most beautiful military buildings of the country. Have lunch at Casa D'Irene, a true gastronomic sanctuary, where you can taste regional cuisine.
Photo from Aldeias Históricas de Portugal

Costa Nova do Prado

This picturesque village sits right in front of the Atlantic Ocean, with a magnificent beach. Its striped houses were old fishing warehouses, now turned into summer houses used by locals and tourists. Hop on board of a Moliceiro, a traditional boat which was used as a means of transport on the river channels.

Photo from Visit Portugal

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Hidden Portugal - special and forgotten places tourists don't know about (yet)

It is known Portugal is on everyone's wish list. World travel awards, high safety, Michelin stars and low cost of life makes it a wonderful travel destination. Now the film industry also has its eye in Portugal. According to this article, there are 5 hidden gems which may well be featuring in the next Hollywood productions.

The world’s oldest bookshop

Livraria Bertrand first opened its doors in 1732, in capital Lisbon. It was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1755 but it soon reopened in the heart of chic district Chiado. It remains in the same place until the present day. Its bookshelves are filled with old and new books. Its corridors are filled with city habitants and many many tourists, which like to visit the beautiful store.
Photo in

Coimbra, students' city

This city sits between capital Lisbon and cosmo Oporto. Which makes it still somewhat out of the travel circuits and, therefore, very worthwile a visit. It has the second oldest university in Europe and many gothic buildings. The Santa Cruz Monestary holds the remains of the first two kings of Portugal and was built in 1131. Also, it is the only place in Portugal where you can listen to the university students singing a specific type of fado music.
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

The largest zip line in Europe

Pena Adventure Park is located in the North of Portugal, between Serra do Alvão and Peneda-Gerês. Here you can travel at 130 km/h at 150 meters high. Just imagine the view from the top! You can also visit Vila Real, the nearest large city. If you manage to get tired of the air and the view on the mountains...
Photo in

The Algarve's Eye

The Algarve region is no hidden gem, since it was the first region to atract many tourists, on summer season, for its beaches. However, if you would like to escape the most crowded places, The Eye is one good (and breathtaking) place. It is a cave, located at the beach of Benagil and, well... the picture speaks for itself.
Photo in

Luxurious Troia

This peninsula is linked to mainland by a narrow band of land coming from the Alentejo region. It is a luxurious area, with many hotels, villas and even a casino. It is also possible to arrive by boat, from the city of Setúbal. You may even have luck and see one of the Sado dolphins, a protected species native to this area.

Photo in
If you look outside the obvious choices of Lisbon, Oporto and the Algarve, we are sure you won't be sorry. And these examples are just a few from everything Portugal has to offer.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Safety and security are important for travelers - and Portugal is number 4 on the most peaceful countries

The international think-tank, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), builds a list of the most peaceful countries, every year, reports Global Finance.

The list contains 163 independent countries, where more than 99% of the world population lives. The list is compiled taking into account more than 20 indicators in areas such as:

  • social safety and security
  • domestic and international conflict
  • degree of militarization

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

It is not good news that the World is not a better place nowadays. In the last decade, the conflicts have risen and turned the World a little less safe. However, it is safe to say that this century brought more peace than the previous one. And there are definitely good havens in several parts of the World. Number one on the list is the breathtakingly beautiful Iceland. Icelanders are now confortable taking this spot, since it is the 10th year in a row this happens.

Photo by André Filipe on Unsplash
Portugal sits on number 4 of the list, third country in Europe. The high safety standards, low cost of life and environmental quality places Portugal as a great place to live... and visit. Get to know the rest of the TOP 10 of the most peaceful countries in the World.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

More for Portugal - Know the winners of 2018 World Travel Awards

For the first time, the cerimony for the World Travel Awards occurred in Portugal, on its capital city, Lisbon. Not that we need it, but it must have brought good fortune, since Portugal won multiple awards!

Passadiços do Paiva

Here are some of the categories on which Portugal won the 2018 World Travel Awards:

World's Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction - Passadiços do Paiva World's Leading Airline to Africa - TAP Air Portugal World's Leading Airline to South America - TAP Air Portugal World's Leading City Break Destination - Lisbon World's Leading City Destination 2018 - Lisbon World's Leading City Hotel - Corinthia Hotel Lisbon World's Leading Classic Hotel - Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel World's Leading Conservation Company - Parques de Sintra - Monte da Lua World's Leading Design Hotel - The Vine Hotel World's Leading Destination - Portugal World's Leading Fine Dining Hotel Restaurant - Vila Joya Hotel Restaurant @ Vila Joya World's Leading Inflight Magazine - Up Magazine (TAP Air Portugal) World's Leading Luxury Leisure Resort - Conrad Algarve World's Leading Tourist Board - Turismo de Portugal

Get to know the whole list of Awards here.

And congratulations for all the winners!