Tuesday 29 October 2019

Wine experiences in the Alentejo

In the Alentejo, one of the most prominent places to stay is the L´AND Vineyard Resorts, an architectural wonder, combining structural innovation and splendor with traditional vineyards and experiences. With this, a lot of wine related experiences can be enjoyed, such as a balloon ride over the vineyards and the entire estate, wine tasting sessions and wine and food pairing classes.
Another possibility is the emblematic Torre de Palma Wine Hotel, a modern hotel located in a traditional area of the Alentejo. This hotel also provides experiences such as wine tasting sessions and wine and food pairing sessions, but it also provides unique experiences like bike tours through the region and the vineyards, trips to the local market with the hotel´s chefs and accompanying the entire vindimas, from observing the workers pluck the grapes to stomping them and finally tasting the end product at the end of the session.

Friday 25 October 2019

Experiences in the Douro Valley

There is a large plethora of experiences and places to stay in the Douro Valley related to wine and wine production. One of these is the Vila Galé Douro Vineyards, a premium hotel with a variety of experiences on offer, such as: visiting the vineyards; visits to the wine cellar, where wines like the Val Moreira Tinto DOC (DOC meaning the highest quality) and the Porto Val Moreira Tawny 20 Anos can be enjoyed.
Another great place to stay and partake in experiences is the Six Senses Resorts Douro Valley, which also provides some fun experiences: wine tasting, wine courses and during the vindimas, participating in the ancient grape stomping ritual.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

The vindimas

The wine harvesting process in Portugal is one of the oldest and most traditional and untouched industries in the portuguese country. Most vineyards still have the harvests performed manually, hiring mainly locals from the area to collect the grapes.
The process itself is one of the reasons why the vindimas have kept its originality: the harvesting begins early in the morning, with hundreds of people (mainly women) throughout the estate harvesting the grapes by hand, covering themselves from the heat with straw hats and cloth around their bodies. After the grapes are gathered and undergo a selection process, they are stepped on, thus commencing the wine production process in itself.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Wine Harvesting in Portugal, 2019

Portugal is mainly known for 3 things: Cristiano Ronaldo, the beaches and great wines (not in any specific order). In this newsletter, we will be talking about portuguese wine harvests (commonly known as vindimas), more specifically about this process in two of the greatest wine producing regions in the mediterranean: Alentejo and Douro Valley, home to some of the most well known wines of Portugal.
A lot of Portugal´s tourism derives from wine tasting and attending the sites where the grapes and vines are grown and harvested, and Portugal´s wine export figures keep increasing, thus the portuguese wines represent a major tourism attracting factor, possibly the next reason your clients visit Portugal.
Hope this newsletter makes your clients want to learn more about portuguese wines and perhaps come and try some!

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 bertrand.pt

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 penaaventura.com.pt

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 walkalgarve.com

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 onetroia.com
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!

Wednesday 28 November 2018

The Michelin Guide was in Portugal and left us with more stars

The Michelin Stars Gala happened in Sintra and brought additional stars to portuguese restaurants. Alma joined the 2 stars restaurants, which awarded chef Henrique Sá Pessoa's team.

Along with this award, the Michelin Guide gave 1 star to three new restaurants in Portugal:

  • G Restaurante, in Bragança
  • A Cozinha, in Guimarães
  • Midori, on Hotel Penha Longa, in Sintra
With this new (and very well deserved!) distinction for Alma, six restaurants now have 2 Michelin stars. Two of these are right in Lisbon's city center, on the cosmo and trendy Chiado. Portugal thus becomes more important on the Michelin Guide for the Iberian Peninsula. And claiming its place internationally as a destination for foodies - the food lovers who travel in the search of new flavors and restaurants. Also, it starts to be more likely to get a 3rd Michelin star for a portuguese restaurant. This would certainly place Portugal as a food destination!

Photo by Lifecooler

Check here the complete list of Michelin stars' restaurants in Portugal, for 2019.

Two Michelin stars Alma / Henrique Sá Pessoa, Lisboa Belcanto / José Avillez, Lisboa Il Gallo d’Oro / Benoit Sinthon, Funchal Ocean / Hans Neuner, Alporcinhos The Yeatman / Ricardo Costa, Vila Nova de Gaia Vila Joya / Dieter Koschina, Albufeira One Michelin star A Cozinha /António Loureiro, Guimarães Antiqvvm / Vitor Matos, Porto Bon Bon / Louis Anjos, Carvoeiro Casa da Calçada / Tiago Bonito, Amarante Casa de Chá da Boa Nova / Rui Paula, Leça da Palmeira Eleven / Joachim Koerper, Lisboa Feitoria / João Rodrigues, Lisboa Fortaleza do Guincho / Gil Fernandes, Cascais G Restaurante / Óscar Gonçalves, Bragança Gusto by Heinz Beck / Heinz Beck, Almancil Henrique Leis / Henrique Leis, Almancil LAB by Sergi Arola / Sergi Arola, Sintra L’And Vineyards / Miguel Laffan, Montemor-o-Novo Loco / Alexandre Silva, Lisboa Midori / Pedro Almeida, Sintra Pedro Lemos / Pedro Lemos, Porto São Gabriel / Leonel Pereira, Almancil Vista / João Oliveira, Portimão William / Luís Pestana, Funchal Willie’s / Willie Wurger, Vilamoura

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Medieval town in the center of Portugal - Meet Óbidos, our fairytale place

Take a day off your city tour in Lisbon and Oporto and head to the town of Óbidos. That is the proposal Travel+Leisure offers for your bucket list. It's only a 1h30 away, but it will take you back some centuries...

Óbidos is a fairytale town which even has its own castle

It was built 700 years ago and was offered by a King to His Queen as a wedding present. But the impressive part is that the castle still remains today, as does the wall around the town.

Photo by Zoltan Kovacs on Unsplash

Take a walk on the top of the wall and you will feel as King of the Castle

To sleep as a proper King, spend the night at Pousada Óbidos, an historic hotel. There is even the possibility to sleep on a castle tower. This hotel also has a dining room with two very special tables - the Moon Table and the Sunset Table, where you can enjoy a good meal with a view.

There is also another alternative to spend the night, for book lovers

Stay at The Literary Man and experience sleeping amongst 45.000 books, on an exquisite location. This town is highly known for its medieval ambiance and fantastic views.

However, you won't miss the most fun (and tasty) part of the visit - having a ginjinha at one of the many bars.

Have it straight as a shot or simply sip it - on a chocolate cup. Sounds delicious? That is why it is. Finally, as almost anywhere in Portugal, you can taste many and delicious pastries. Difference here is you will do this while marvelling on the sights and buildings. It is a worth while visit!

Tuesday 13 November 2018

20 reasons why to come to Portugal and eat

To eat well is part of Portugal's DNA. However, our cuisine is not easy to internationalize, thus why there aren't many portuguese restaurants throughout the world. The main reason why this happens, according to CNN Travel, is the difficulty to have the freshest local ingredients. And this is the secret to portuguese cuisine.

So if you're a foodie, always looking for the next big thing in restaurants, you should come to Portugal

Dine in our "tascas" (a very small restaurant with an informal way of serving, where you taste real food) is just one example. Here's 20 more!


Portugal has fish and seafood like nowhere else in Europe. There are inumerous ways to do it, but definitely you need to visit a market and see the fish for yourself. You will be amazed with the diversity and freshness. In many restaurants, you get to pick your fish and the chef will cook the one you chose.

Olive oil

Olive oil is used in most of portuguese cuisine, both in the kitchen and at the table. Also, it has a strong economic value in Alentejo, Beira and Trás-os-Montes regions, as many families own olive groves and take income from its produce. It is called liquid gold for a reason.
Photo by Roberta Sorge on Unsplash

National dish

Portuguese food varies from North to South. Upnorth the food is robust, with lots of meat. In the South, there is more fish, seafood and cooked bread. However, there is one national dish, which is offered in almost all traditional restaurants, on sundays - the cozido à portuguesa. It consists of beef and pork, boiled with blood sausage and chorizo, and different vegetables and beans cooked in the same water. So there's different ingredients but everything tastes the same! You need to have this at lunch and you will skip every meal until the next day.

Gourmet offer

Recently portuguese chefs have awakened themselves to experiment modern techniques and approaches to portuguese cooking. Chefs like José Avillez, who has a 2 michelin stars restaurant (Belcanto) and Henrique Sá Pessoa, with several projects in Lisbon.

Our beloved codfish

It is said Portugal has a recipe to cook codfish for every day of the year. Probably there are even more! And you will find always an offer with codfish in every restaurant.

Smelly cheese

French and dutch cheeses are known all over the world, Portuguese cheeses are great; we just don't have the right communication skills! You can have cheese before a meal, with some bread, or after, with marmalade or a glass of Port wine.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Porto's finest

Portugal's second city has two very famous dishes. However, please be warned that you need a very strong stomach for both. That said, have no fear and taste away! Tripas à moda do Porto is a stew of several types of meat, with the star ingredient being the tripe - the white lining of the cow stomach. The other one is francesinha - or little french girl - and is basically a big sandwich made of beef, egg, cheese, a special sauce and some other things you probably don't need to know about.

Everything with rice

There are a lot of dishes made with rice - seafood, octopus, duck and also desserts, similar to rice pudding (but better!). They are not known all over the world, as risotto and paella are, but they are so so much better.

Black is the pig

These pigs grow in the wild in the plains of Alentejo. They have a different taste and texture and provide for the best cured ham Portugal has to offer.

Have lunch at school

There are a lot of old primary schools, all over the territory, which now serve as restaurants. You find many different concepts in unusual locations.

Pour the wine

There is wine for everyone here. And award-winning too! Green wine you can only find in the North of Portugal. The same with Port, one of our best sellers abroad.

The explorers' food

Portugal was a colonizing country, with territories from Africa, to Brasil and India. These flavours are now part of our cuisine. And also, part of our offer on its own, since you can taste food from old colonies in many dedicated restaurants.

We love little pigs

Suckling pig is a delicacy at the middle of the territory, in a town called Mealhada. You can taste it elsewhere, but the real thing is there.

Local fruit

Our mild climate, together with singularities with mountain or island climate, turn Portugal in a fantastic home to many tasty seasoned fruits. We eat it plain and make jams or desserts with it.

Little as the sardine

Sardines are only available in the Summer, on which you can have it at Lisbon's street festival. Grilled of course.
Photo by Elle Hughes on Unsplash

Weird but tasty

A blood-sucking snake-shaped fish. Goose-necked barnacles. Or a sugared blood sausage. Don't ask. Just taste.

Visit the local market

To see all you can taste in its original form, visit a local market. There is one in each town, even in the smallest.
Photo by Stefan Pflaum on Unsplash

We are so sweet

Come and bring a larger pair of trousers. You will need it. Portuguese pastry is very diverse and unique on its own. Our pastel de nata is famous everywhere but you need to dig further and try other options. You won't regret it.

Meat sandwiches

We already referred to our tascas. There you can either eat a bifana (a sandwich made with fried pork) or a prego (same concept, but with beef). Or both.

Many many meat

Portugal is more known for its fish and seafood. But we have meat too - and good one.

Hope you have (even) more will to come to Portugal - and eat!

What is the best time to travel to Portugal?

The weather in Portugal is mild all year round, so it is always a great time to visit! There are, however, the best times of the year to enjoy the sun and have less chance of rain.

Recommended Season
From April to September
Summer - maximum:  35°C [95°F]; minimum: 16°[60.8°F].
Winter - maximum: 16°[60.8°F]; minimum: 8°C [46.4°F].
From May to September
Summer – maximum: 25°[77°F]; minimum: 15° C [59°F];
Winter – maximum: 13°[55.4°F]; minimum: 5°C  [41°F].
From May to September
Summer – maximum: 25°[77°F]; minimum:  14°C [57.2°F];
Winter – maximum: 15°[59°F]; minimum: 5°C [41°F].
From May to September
Summer – maximum: 29°[84.2°F]; minimum: 15°C [59°F];
Winter – maximum: 13° [55.4°F]; minimum: 5°C [41°F].
From April to June / in September to October
Summer – maximum: 30°[86°F]; minimum: 16° C [60.8°F];
Winter – maximum: 12°[53.6°F]; minimum: 5°C [41°F].
From May to September
Summer – maximum: 25°[77°F]; minimum: 15°C [59°F];
Winter – maximum: 13° [55.4°F]; minimum: 5°C [41°F].
Spring and Autumn
Summer – maximum: 29°[84.2°F]; minimum:  15°C [59°F];
Winter – maximum: 18° [64.4°F]; minimum: 8°C [46.4°F].
From May to September
Summer – maximum: 25°[77°F]; minimum:  18°C [64.4°F];
Winter – maximum: 17°[62.6°F]; minimum: 11°C [51.8°F].
Spring and Summer
Summer – maximum: 25°[77°F]; minimum:  19°C [66.2°F];
Winter – maximum: 19°[66.2°F]; minimum: 13°C  [55.4°F].
Porto Santo
All year
Summer – maximum: 25°[77°F]; minimum:  20°C [68°F];
Winter – maximum: 18°[64.4°F]; minimum: 13°C  [55.4°F].