Monday, June 1, 2009

Via Algarviana - a 240kms long walking trail in the Algarve Region

The Algarve’s local government and entities have created the “Via Algarviana”, a path that is crossing the region and allows visitors to walk from Alcoutrim to Sagres. This project, inaugurated on May 29, 2009, involves the implementation of a 240 kms walking path between Lower Guadiana and Cape Saint Vincent, crossing the algarve's countryside. The path functions as the backbone of walking paths of the region, in order to promote other existing ones. It also intends to promote walking and other means of ecotourism in the Algarve, to promote and enhance cultural environmental heritage of the region and to promote a sustainable development of the Algarve countryside. For more information and images check

Tuesday, May 12, 2009's article says that Azores islands are a sight for sore eyes

Journalist Andree Frieze writes that arriving to Azores feels like you're stepping back in time and that driving around the Sao Miguel's island is like taking a trip through an open-air botanical garden. Click here to read the full article.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Carnaval is Mardi Gras Portuguese style

The festival of Carnival —the period just before the Christian religious era of Lent – is a seriously fun endeavor throughout Portugal and attracts thousands of visitors each year. During Lent, Catholics abstain from eating meat. The term “Carnevale” means “to put away the meat.” Before Lent, a 40-day period of austerity for the faithful, people want to let their hair down—and they do! Costume contests, street parades, dance competitions, theatrical displays, special foods and music, floats and parties are part of the typical festivities of Carnival throughout Portugal.

In the Algarve region, traditional fishing boats are decorated to parade on the water. Towns such as Loulé, Quarteira, Alte, Paderne, Moncarapacho, Vila Real de Santo António, Monte Gordo, Tavira all stage lively parades, with samba groups, dances and music.

In the city of Funchal, on the island of Madeira, grilled swordfish and Madeira wine is served in abundance. Samba troupes flood the streets with music an merriment, including a street carnival that involves nearly everybody. A float parade will be held on February 21. After the parade is ball at the Praça do Município. On the last night, Tuesday, a parade of costumed caricatures takes place, followed by prizes for the best-dressed.

In the capital city of Lisbon, celebrations take place in the modern part of the city along the riverfront, with parades, dances and festivities throughout the week before Lent. Many events feature show business celebrities. Traditional Carnival festivities take place in this region in the towns of Alcobaça, Almeirim, Sesimbra, Nazaré, Samora Correira (Vila Franca de Xira) and Caldas da Rainha. In Leiria/Fátima, masked children and adults take place in carnival parades from Sunday to carnival Tuesday. In Torres Vedras, political satire is expressed in parades of costumed characters and allegorical floats.

In Podence, the Caretos de Podence invites youngsters for parades from Sunday to Tuesday. They wear tin masks and colorful multilayered costumes of red, green and yellow wool. In the Lazarim (Lamego), local inhabitants wear heavy hand-made wooden masks that testify to the wealth of craftsmanship that can be found in Lazarim. The town of Viana do Castelo has a huge parade and street parties. In the Centro Region, Estarreja stages a celebration characterizes by its floats, richly decorated with flowers. The towns of Nelas/Canas de Senhorim host four parades: Bairro da Igreja and Cimo do Povo (in Nelas); do Paço and do Rossio (in Canas de Senhorim). The city of Óvar holds the largest festivities in this region, with costumes, masks, decorations and floats, all followed by religious processions when the Lenten season begins and Easter approaches.

In the Azores Islands, Carnival festivities are held throughout. At Ponta Delgada and Angra do Heroísmo, dance and carnival troupes parade in costume. On the island of Graciosa, large groups of all ages march in parade in colorful costumes. On the island of Terceira, dance and theatrical performances, called “Danças de Entrudo” take place, often with 30 or more different groups participating.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New wine packages started to be offered by Selected Wineries

Selected Wineries Company started recently offering great quality packages that combine the best hotels, wineries, vineyards, and other interesting activities in Portugal to help visitors to take part in unique experiences. 1 day or longer programs are available or if you prefer you can also make your own program. For more information visit their own website at

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lisbon's New MuDe - Design and Fashion Museum set to open downtown in late 2010

Lisbon’s new Design Museum is one of the world’s leading museums of 20th century design and several critics see its collection as the best in Europe. It opened in 1999 in Belem Cultural Center and closed in August 2006 to reopen in the heart of the city. It will re-open in Rua Augusta (Baixa neighborhood) by the end of 2010. The museum will be housed in the previous Head Office of a Portuguese bank (BNU) and will be renamed the Design and Fashion Museum or simply MuDe (which also means “change” in Portuguese). The design collection consists of works by some 230 designers representing trends in design from around the world. There are works by design icons such as Phillipe Starck, Charles Eames, George Nelson, Arne Jacobsen, Paul Henningsen, Vener Panton, Masanori Umeda, Henning Koppel, and Tom Dixon, and includes almost 200 design classics embracing innovative furnishings, glass, and jewelry from 1937 to the present. And for the first time the museum will also feature Portuguese businessman Francisco Capelo’s fashion collection made up of 1200 couture pieces, including a famous Jean Desses gown that Renee Zellweger wore to the 2001 Oscars and Christian Dior’s landmark 1947 New Look.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Escorted Contemporary Art Tour in Lisbon

Episode Travel with Art is offering a tailored escorted trip to the new and exciting art galleries of Lisbon with encounters with curators and leading figures in Lisbon’s thriving contemporary art scene. These tailored tours give insight into an artistic world as attractive and original as it is alive and allow participants to meet interesting artists that are living and working in Portugal- and go on visits to landmark museums and collections, aw well as selected galleries, private collections, artist studios and temporary exhibitions. All this is built on the latest developments in the Lisbon arts world and provides a perfect introduction to a city with a unique character, fascinating neighborhoods and the most intimate of art scenes. Episode travel also offers a tour on Contemporary Architecture in Lisbon. For more information about other interesting packages visit

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where to stay while visiting Portugal - top accommodations

Portugal definitely is a wonderful and unique country to discover. One of the biggest questions that lots of people face when choosing to visit Portugal is: where to stay? Portugal offers so many nice and diverse options in terms of modern infrastructures and personalizes ways of accommodations such as guesthouses, charm boutique hotels and pousadas. The hard part will be to how to choose. Here are some great and sincere suggestions:

Pousadas de Portugal offer a network of more than 40 unique boutique, charming and luxury lodgings located in former historic sites, such as castles and manor houses, throughout Portugal, from Minho green and rustic valleys to the Trás-os-Montes luxuriant mountains, or to the Alentejo golden plains and the Algarve coast with its fine sand and warm waters. Check for year round specials and other promotions targeted to families, visitors age 55 and older with a 40% Discount on standard rates and affordable 4 nights + car rental passport packages.

Solares de Portugal is a network of more than 96 manor houses, family homes, and stately houses that offer a personal “touch" lodging option where houses have been arranged into three distinct groups: Casas Antigas (Manor and Stately Houses), Quintas e Herdades (Country States and Farms) and Casas Rústicas (Cottages and Rustic Houses). Each house has also been individually inspected to ensure the highest standard of quality and hospitality. Many of these Solares have played host to same family for hundreds of years and often date back to the 17th and 18th Centuries. Prices for a Double room start at 65 Euros per night. Solares de Portugal also offers several activities and itineraries of Ecotourism, such as “Portugal- Gardens of Eden”, riding horse or bicycle, mountain, hiking, observation and study of the flora and fauna, birds watching or discovery endangered animals such as the Iberian Wolf, the “Garrano” horse or the “real” eagle.

Casas no Campo offers lodgings at splendid total independent rural estates and rural homes where the rustic touch prevails. Casas no Campo offers a perfect option for a relaxing, comfortable and private vacation in a homelike and rustic atmosphere where is possible to listen the birds singing and the water flowing in the streams and see amazing landscapes and feel the fresh of the mornings far away from the big cities. Price per night for 2 persons starts at 50 Euros.

Aldeias de Portugal is a website that allows reserve a stay at typical Houses of Soajo and Lindoso's villages and to better experience the Portuguese northern countryside by finding the

traditions, the cuisine and the culture of these villages located at Peneda-Gerês National park. Prices start at Another option in terms of villages are Aldeias de Xist

o (slate villages) and other villages that were turned into unique places to stay.

ARTEH® – Hotels and Resorts is a soft brand hotel chain, dedicated to Marketing, Promotion and e-Distribution of exclusive Collection of Luxury and Charming Boutique Hotels and Resorts located in Portugal (and other countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Brazil, etc). All of their properties are well-known by the richness of their history, the beauty of their surroundings, the character of their architecture, the style of their décor, the comfort of their rooms, the quality of the service and unique experiences provided to their guests. Many of the hotels and resorts listed offer golf and spa services throughout Portugal. Every month great value promotions and special packages offers of the ARTEH® Hotels become available online, at their website. There is even an option where is possible to search the Best Available Rates online.

MaisTurismo is one of Portugal's leading travel publishing groups that is best known for publishing the annual Portugal Hotel Guide (print, online and in CD-ROM format) that is number one in the market since its launch 21 years ago since it provides a detailed list of most of the properties that are available in Portugal. This guide is also adopted by the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP) as its official source of hotel information in Portugal, including the Atlantic islands of Madeira and the Azores. Search is available by hotel category, lodging accommodations, regions and by types of services provided. MaisTurismo also publishes the Meeting & Convention Planner's Guide to Portugal, a high-quality annual directory of meeting venues in Portugal is a very useful tourism portal that offers a very interactive way to discover Portugal and all the wonderful experiences, attractions and suggestions in terms of where to sleep, eat, play, be pampered, what to taste and what to drive. With the slogan “We love Portugal”, Wonderfulland helps tourists create their own itineraries to discover Portugal and offers a selection of services, including charming accommodations, tasty food, sports, culture and other leisure activities. is an online hotel guide that features some of the most charming and authentic Portuguese small hotels, pousadas and other luxury places to stay while travelling in this small but incredibly diverse country – Portugal. Search is available by regions, towns, hotel name, price, type of property, interest, amenities and type of activities.

Besides all of these there are a huge number of villas and apartments to rent plus affordable state managed youth hostels (Pousadas da Juventude) and privately owned hostels, house swap and Couchsurfing. If visiting Madeira Islands maybe Quintas da Madeira can be another great option in terms of accommodations.