Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Best Urban Hotels Shortlist by Wallpaper - and Lisbon is on it

Wallpaper magazine just announced the shortlist for Best Urban Hotels. And Portugal has one name on it.

The competition in the hotel business has never been stronger

And the same goes for the opportunities, with the travel business always increasing its numbers. These days, it is simply not enough to have great rooms, warm reception and exquisite restaurant. It is all about the experience. So, hotels are constantly introducing new services, thinking outside the box. The devil is all in the details.

This is what Wallpaper went looking for

A hotel that cultivates a sense of belonging and community... It’s all about the vibe without the starchy formality and fussy five-star frills, the current brief is for hotels to ‘drop any attitude’. Wallpaper is looking for simplicity, instead of good old glamour. In a nutshell. To help them, they surrounded themselves with six globetrotters, from diverse areas, all linking to style and beauty. A beauty entrepeneur, a creative director, an art consultant, a designer, an architect and a design curator. All looking for the Best Urban Hotels.

The shortlist has 39 names on it

But one which really stands out is our own Verride Palácio Santa Catarina hotel, in Lisbon. We could tell everything about it... but really this is a case on which the images will speak on its own. We are looking forward for January 2019 for the winner announcement!

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Teresa Conceição shares her favorite Nature Parks - Part Two

We have talked about some of Portugal's Nature Parks, from the North to the Center of the territory. These were brought by Teresa Conceição, a journalist from TV channel SIC, who co-hosts the series "Ir é o melhor remédio" ("To go is the best medicine" in a free translation). She shared with the national newspaper Expresso some of her favorite Nature Parks. Today we share the ones south of the Tagus river.

Serra da Arrábida

The Arrábida Nature Park is right by the Atlantic Ocean, where it reaches in high cliffs and small coves. The diversity of the wild life is such that it is a protected area. The green forest is a contrast with the blue waters. The water at the beaches is freezing but that does scare away people, who choose these beaches for their beauty. Galapinhos is considered one of the best beaches in Europe.

Photo by F nando

Vale do Guadiana

This Nature Park rests in the Alentejo inland. Here it is possible to meet the wonderful and protected Iberian Lynx and the Royal Eagle. They make their life in this area, together with the trees and plants that create wonders one cannot forget. Pulo do Lobo is a waterfall in which resides one of the most beautiful natural atractions. Through the park makes its way the river Guadiana, all the way until the Algarve. It is also a wonderful area to try the best Alentejo cuisine.
Photo by Francisco Antunes

Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina

This park extends in a vast area, from the village of São Torpes all the way to Sagres, in the Algarve. It is a biodiversity sanctuary that has been preserved, regardless the high potential of the turist industry. It follows the coastline and offers many routes to the ones who love trekking. And for the ones who like to observe birds, it is the only place in the planet where you can see storkes laying their eggs on the cliffs.
Photo by Xuaxo

Ria Formosa

This is the farthest South Nature Park and sits in the Algarve. It is one of the seven Nature Wonders in Portugal. The area is well known for its paradise beaches. However, it holds other riches, like animal life which exists almost nowhere else in Europe, such as the chameleon. For the ones who love to observe birds, here is where they can see the flamingo, and other special birds. It is also a wonderful place to eat fish, octopus and seafood, cooked in an exquisite way.
Photo by Osvaldo Gago

Even though Portugal is a small country, its diversity and richness is well worth a visit, from North to South. These Nature Parks are just one (very good) example.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Teresa Conceição shares her favorite Nature Parks

Portugal is a small country but it offers many contrasts. High mountains, where it even snows, deep valleys, where the sun sometimes forgets to shine, and beautiful plains with wheat and old cork trees. Not to mention, of course, our wonderful coastline which offers amazing beaches and sights to the Atlantic Ocean.

Teresa Conceição is a journalist from TV channel SIC, who co-hosts the series "Ir é o melhor remédio" ("To go is the best medicine" in a free translation). She shared with the national newspaper Expresso some of her favorite Nature Parks. This is an excerpt of her sharing.


Nature, first. Then traditions, villages and people. This park was created in 1971 and sits in the North of Portugal. It integrates mountains Amarela, Peneda, Soajo and Gerês. The rivers Minho, Lima, Homem and Cávado flow through it and offer some marvelous sights.

Photo by José Antonio Gil Martínez


This mountain sits in the Northeast of Portugal and it's home of the iberian wolf. Apart from this wonderful animal, it also has many of its preys and other species. Wild boars, foxes, eagles, bucks. And of course, unique flora such as oak trees, chestnuts and heaths. The biodiversity of the Montesinho Natural Park is extraordinary!

Photo by Manuel Anastácio


This protected area, created in 1983, invites many photographers and biodiversity lovers. It offers natural relics, not only in what concerns fauna and flora, but also in geological terms. Its ex-libris is the waterfall Fisgas do Ermelo. The river Olo floods the park with natural beauty. And it's just enough to sit and hear the sound of its water flow...
Photo by Bhavagati

Douro Internacional

The river Douro is very well-known as the cradle of Port wine. However, this long river is born in Spain and before it reaches the winery area, it has a much more wild string to it. This park holds border with our neighbour country, Spain, and it's called "hot land" for its enormous thermal amplitudes.

Serras de Aire e Candeeiros

Much far south, impressive geological formations tell an imense story. This set of mountains was craved throughout millions of years, offering dinosaurs' footprints and many pedestrian rails, One just needs to get himself lost on these lands.

Photo by Towiki60

Tejo Internacional

This Natural Park is one of the most relevant in Europe. It marks the separation of two regions, Beira Baixa and Alentejo, with the river Tejo (Tagus) in between. Portas de Rodão is where the two margins almost touch each other, offering a wonderful sight. Apart from that, the river flows generously.

Photo by Nuno Tavares
Soon we will share the rest of Teresa Conceição favourite National Parks...

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Joana Vasconcelos' Castles of Portugal

oana Vasconcelos is our most renowned plastic artist, currently holding an individual exhibition at the Guggenheim in Bilbao. She takes inspiration from arquitecture in general and especially Castles and Palaces. Her exhibitions are proof of that, since she often displays her giant and modern masterpieces in wonderful heritage buildings.

This is an adaptation of what she told the national newspaper Expresso, for a special Castles and Palaces' Guide Edition.

These buildings have not only the ability to reveal our story as people and society, but also have contributed to our dreams of a happy ending, through fairy tales of princes and princesses. It is from these stories that we have formed our romance concepts and behaviours. A great deal of childrens' tales are about a princess which is saved by prince charming. All this happening in a wonderful castle and palace, leading them to a rich and fulfilled life. So we, as a society, always long for something great. It's no wonder Joana Vasconcelos takes inspiration from Portugal's Castles and Palaces. And while some make the headlines, others are hidden gems. So we're going to explore these and bring our castles to you.

Photo by Francisco Antunes [2] - Flickr [1], CC BY 2.0,

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

A portuguese professional surfer talks about his favorites' beaches and why he thinks surf has a lot of potential

Tiago Pires is a surf icon in Portugal and worldwide. And he has a lot to say in what concerns beaches and best surf spots in Portugal, along with the potential this sport has from a travel destination point of view.

This is an excerpt of what he told national newspaper Expresso, for a special Beaches' Guide Edition.

We have some of the best beaches of the World, much diversified and beautiful. Our cropped coast has a lot of character. Personally, I love the Vicentine Coast. In terms of natural beauty, it is and area with beautiful beaches, pretty untouched by Man. For surfing, there are good waves from North to South, although the northern ones are colder but beautiful, like Moledo beach. In terms of waves, I would say south of Nazaré and Figueira da Foz there is a lot of diversity, coming with all sizes and formats. The best known are on my special list, such as Ericeira and Peniche. Let's not forget surfing is a development factor, but these days we need to ask ourselves what can we do to keep this going. We have to take advantage of the conditions we have, in terms of waves and climate, as we have the best climate in Europe. So it is yet the time to do a profound study of surf potential in Portugal. Sport's initiation is providing jobs to many people, and it is necessary to organize this practice. Beaches are not just for surf and sun... they exist all year long. Meaning we need to understand the interaction with the beach, both with surfers and bathers. And we need to keep preserving them. One cannot love the ocean and not respect the beach. We can no longer take garbage and not put it into the bin. We have to respect and leave the beaches clean, also because of the image this offers to our country. We want the traveler to come and find a well preserved beach. We totally agree with Tiago and welcome all these initiatives to keep our beaches as they are. Beautiful and lasting.

Photo by Rita Gomes Oliveira on Unsplash