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MAGAZINE PARA PROFISSIONAIS Nº 370

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Come and discover the charms of this country Come and discover the charms of this country

Tourism professionals meet at BTL 2019

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the best bestof of portugal


The Best of Portugal

Algarve The kingdom of the Portuguese summer It was there that, back in the 15th century, the Portuguese set off on the epic journey that led them to discover other peoples and cultures… and it is in the Algarve that we cheerfully welcome many of our visitors.

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here is no shortage of high quality beaches. Sandy beaches stretch as far as the eye can see, framed by golden cliffs, virtually deserted islands marking the boundary between Ria Formosa and the sea, and small coves sheltered by the rocks. The ocean, that covers every shade of blue, is mostly calm and warm, inviting you to long swims and to indulge in water sports. And there are also the mountains, where people live in harmony with nature and maintain traditions that they love to share. And the cities. Silves and Lagos preserve traces of its Arab past since the time of the Discoveries. More cosmopolitan Portimão and Albufeira are bustling towns, day and night. Tavira is a showcase for traditional architecture and Faro, the gateway to the region, deserves a long stop to discover its beautiful historic centre. If you are hunting for relaxation, you can experience various treatments in the spas and thalassotherapy centres and in the Monchique Thermal Baths. There are also many internationally acclaimed golf courses where you can enjoy a spot of exercise. And hotels, tourist villages, resorts, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. 

Diretor Francisco Duarte Chefe de Redação Sílvia Guimarães Editor Silva & Rocha Editores, Lda

direção, redação e publicidade Rua Jaime Batalha Reis, nº 1C- r/c C 1500-679 Lisboa Telfs.: 21 7543190 • e-mail: viajar@silroc.pt Fotografia Arquivo, Fotolia

Publicidade Carlos Ramos Telfs.: 21 7543190 • e-mail: carlos.ramos@silroc.pt Impressão Jorge Fernandes Lda

Tiragem: 7 000 exemplares Depósito Legal: 10 534/85 Registo no ICS: 108098 de 08/07/81 ProprietáriA: Ana de Sousa Nº Contribuinte: 214655148


The Best of Portugal

and the eastern end close to Vila Real de Santo António, which differ widely among themselves. The majority have the high safety and quality conditions recognised by the European blue flag symbol, with amenities that promise fun and sports. Many beaches are beautiful, offering idyllic settings for more romantic moments, and others are close to nightlife spots, sought after by those who must have some music and dancing on their holidays. But there are also almost deserted beaches, where nature is preserved

You can use footpaths and cycle trails to get to know the region, such as the Algarve Way inland or the Vicentine Route along one of the best preserved coastal stretches. Boat rides are another ecological way to observe fauna and flora.

White sand and blue sea From long sandy beaches protected by golden cliffs to small bays nestled between rocks, the Algarve has beaches to suit all tastes. What they have in common is the offer of a perfect holiday in the sun. What are the ingredients of this offer? A mild climate, with sunshine for about 300 days a year. A clear sea, warm and calm most of the days. And fine white sand, an invitation to relax that can’t be ignored – it’s as simple as laying on a towel in the sun to get a tan to die for or building sandcastles by the sea with the children. There are about 200 kilometres of beaches between the south-west coast near Aljezur

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practically in a wild state. There is a large number of beaches accessible to people with mobility problems and many even have facilities that allow everyone to enjoy bathing in the sea. And there are also beaches reserved for naturists, and others that are so little known that they have areas where naturism is tolerated. The most pristine beaches are on the Costa Vicentina, in contrast to the central area, between Lagos and Faro, where you will find cosmopolitan beaches, as a result of the


“To eat and to cry for more”

higher number of hotels and many high quality resorts. The Ria Formosa Natural Park is a quiet reserve, an area of calm waters dotted with islands, water channels and lagoons, which mark the transition to the east, where the sea is warmer and more serene and the sand swathes are very extensive. Almost all the beaches have restaurants and bars in which to relax and enjoy a refreshing drink when the sun is bearing down, taste the freshest fish in the region or sit to enjoy the sunset, with the sun dipping into the sea. The perfect finish to a day well-spent. The Algarve is also ideal for sailing, even if you don’t own a boat, since there’s always the option to rent one or to join the cruises that explore the beauty of the coastline.

Best golf destination in the world Repeatedly considered to be the best golfing destination in the world by magazines devoted to the sport and by international associations of specialist tour operators, the Algarve lives up to this distinction by maintaining an unrelenting quality. With an ideal climate that lets you play throughout the year and a wide variety of almost four dozen courses, the region is a golfers’ paradise. Most courses are located in protected areas, with stunning views. They are internationally recognised for the quality of their facilities, and have been designed by prestigious players and legendary champions such as Sir Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore, Arnold Palmer and Ronald Fream. On top of all this, there are excellent golf pros, a varied network of hotels and good accessibility, ranging from direct air links with many destinations in the world to easy transfers between Faro airport and the various resorts. True tests to the technical capabilities of even the most accomplished players, who have to put their strategies to the test, many of these courses are host to important international tournaments, such as the Algarve World Cup or the Cup of Nations. The Portugal Masters is part of the PGA European Tour and has been held at the Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura since 2007.

But the Algarve is also for beginners. There is a wide range of Golf Academies with an international reputation spread across the region, where you can take your first steps or improve your golf technique.

Cycling and walking, a good way to discover the best of Nature If you enjoy cycling and walking, then visit the Algarve and discover the vast network of routes and trails on offer in the region. Not only will you have an unforgettable experience but you are sure to have the sun for company because the Algarve has sunshine almost all year round. As a result, the climate is very pleasant, especially from September to June, the best months for cycling and walking. And as an added bonus, the scenery is very varied: winding trails through hills and valleys inland; a steep on the almost completely unspoiled western coast; and to the south and east, flatter routes alongside the seashore or in the tranquil settings of the Ria Formosa and River Guadiana. Among the top choices for you to try are four major routes that interconnect with each other, allowing you to explore the entire region: Rota Vicentina, Via Algarviana, Grande Rota do Guadiana and Ecovia do Litoral. Cyclists or walkers taking any of these routes will discover a challenge appropriate to their fitness level, since there are stretches of varying degrees of difficulty.

The very freshest fish and seafood coming from the sea are the main ingredients in the Algarve cuisine. They are joined by vegetables and fruits whose flavours the sun has made sublime, and their combination provide the elements for a dining experience that you will never forget. Start with what the ocean provides. Seafood: clams, oysters, and cockles cooked on a griddle or in a frying pan are delicious. Some plain barnacles on a beach on the Vicentina coast, razor clam rice, whelk bean stew, clam xerém (stew with maize meal) and seafood açorda (bread casserole) are other examples to make the mouth water. One much sought-after recipe is for clams in a cataplana, a traditional dish whose secret is in using this clam-shaped copper pan of Arab origin, which retains all the flavour and aroma of the food cooked in it. To stimulate the palate, there’s nothing better than a pinch of salt from the region, especially the “cream” of the salt – salt flower. In addition to the many restaurants where you can taste these specialities in the summer, there are seafood festivals in Olhão and Faro, near Ria Formosa, where it is most abundant. But any fresh fish, slowly grilled to perfection over charcoal, the way the fishermen do it, can be a genuine food of the gods. There are other dishes such as carapaus alimados (skinned horse mackerel) and grilled sardines that you can eat everywhere but which have a special reputation in Portimão. They are delicious dripping on bread or accompanied with a montanheira salad, made with tomato and oregano to add that special taste. From tuna steak or on a skewer in Tavira, to octopus, which in Santa Luzia is cooked in various ways —stewed in wine, breaded, grilled, with rice or simply baked in the oven – as well as the delicious squid and cuttlefish, the Algarve is the expert in these menus.


Vilamoura

Garden Hotel The Vilamoura Garden Hotel is set 5 minutes by free shuttle from the beach in the heart of the Algarve. Surrounded by Europe’s finest golf courses, sandy beaches stretching for as far as the eye can see, the award-winning Vilamoura Marina and a 200 hectare Nature Park.

59 Guestrooms, at 20 minutes from Faro International Airport. 1 a la Carte Bistro and 1 Lounge Bar. Pool and free shuttle to the magnificent Falésia Beach and to Vilamoura Marina. Next door to the 7 Seven Spa, the largest and best equipped in the country and Pinhal Golf Course and only a few minutes from other championship courses.


FACILITIES 24/7 Fitness Center Keep fit in the well-equipped gym for a full cardio, fitness and circuit training workout. Cardio machines, multi-stations, free weights and a revitalizing sauna are at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We care about your health and wellbeing. Business Center A space for your enjoyment always available with computers, printers and all the equipment required to keep in contact. Guest Services  Room service from 5.00 pm to 11.00 pm  In room Tea&Coffee facilities  Free shuttle to Falésia beach, the Vilamoura marina and Golf courses  Free Wi-Fi  Convenience Corner - snacks, drinks and toiletries  Free covered parking

GASTRONOMIC EXPERIENCES Garden Café (80 seats) Elevate the palate to other sensations or enjoy a lighter meal in our à la carte bistro. Also serving buffet breakfast which you can enjoy out on the sunny terrace overlooking the pool (seasonal). Tapas Lounge Bar Savour a superb selection of beverages paired with Algarvean-inspired tapas in a casual and vibrant ambiance.

Rua de França, Lote 3.5.11• 8125-615 Vilamoura • Algarve • Portugal T. (+351) 289 304 333

www.vilamouragardenhotel.com E-mail: reservations@vilamouragardenhotel.com


Com uma localização privilegiada no centro do Algarve, entre Vilamoura e Albufeira e apenas a 300m da praia, o Balaia Golf Village impõe-se pelo seu estilo, distinção e conforto. Perfeitamente integrados em vastos e cuidados jardins, destacam-se 6 complexos de piscinas, que incluem as exclusivas para crianças, uma piscina exterior aquecida. Ainda a realçar os 4 campos de ténis com profissional residente, um parque infantil e um health club com ginásio, jacuzzi, banho turco, gabinete de massagem e piscina aquecida, bem como, uma área para a prática de bowling, um driving range e um campo de golf executivo de 9 buracos e academia de golfe.

Balaia

Golf Village Os restaurantes “A Varanda “ e o “Le Club” ambos com magníficas vistas panorâmicas, oferecem menus requintados que podem ser degustados numa atmosfera elegante e tranquilo.

No Balaia Golf Village, poderá usufruir de dias inesquecíveis, quer procure a calma que os espaços envolventes lhe proporcionam, quer prefira o bulício das zonas próximas mais cosmopolitas.

O website www.balaiagolfvillage.pt permite, a quem o visita, visualizar tudo o que o resort oferece.

Sitio da Balaia, Apartado 917 • 8200-912 Albufeira | Algarve | Portugal t. +351 289 570 200 • f. +351 289 501 265 • e. reservas@balaiagolfvillage.pt


At the heart of the Algarve, between Vilamoura and Albufeira and just 300m from the beach, Balaia Golf Village stands out for its style, distinction and comfort. In a perfect integration with its extensive and well maintained gardens, there are 6 swimming pool complexes, which include children’s pools, a heated outdoor pool. 4 tennis courts with professional resident, a children’s playground and a health club with gym, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, massage cabinet and heated pool. Also to be highlighted the bowling area as well as a driving range and a 9-hole executive golf course and golf academy.

The restaurants “A Varanda” and “Le Club” with magnificent panoramic views offer exquisite menus that can be tasted in elegant and calm ambiance. At Balaia Golf Village, you can enjoy an unforgettable time, whether you seek the tranquility that the surrounding spaces offer you, or prefer the “hustle and bustle” of the closer cosmopolitan areas.

The website www.balaiagolfvillage.pt allows visitors to view all that the resort has to offer.


The Best of Portugal

Alentejo

Where Nature and sky are in perfect fusion

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he vastness of the landscape is dotted with cork oaks and olive trees that withstand time. Here and there you find a walled town, such as Marvão or Monsaraz, or an ancient dolmen to recall the magic of the place. Around the hills, low, whitewashed houses stand on small knolls, castles evoke battles and conquests and the yards and gardens are witness to the Arab influences which shaped both people and nature. In the Alentejo the power of the land marks the time and cities like Elvas and Évora, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, show the tenacity of the people. Perhaps this is the reason that culture and spirituality take on a singular character here. These memories of the past are also shared by other cities, such as Portalegre and Beja, and in the former Jewish quarters, particularly in Castelo de Vide.

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The plains that extend as far as the eye can see start close to the river Tagus. While to the north, the pace is set by the green of the flatlands, further south the landscape combines with the sun, the heat and a slower pace of life. This is the Alentejo.

The flat land makes hiking and cycling easy, though horses are also part of the landscape. You can combine these rides with birdwatching and, in dams such as Alqueva, with the tranquility of the water or stargazing. But you must also explore the coast. The landscape here is hilly and rugged, with small sheltered coves between the cliffs, many of which are ideal for surfing. You will also breathe the scents of the countryside here, the aromatic herbs that season the fish, seafood and other regional fare to be accompanied by the region’s excellent wines. Indeed, the entire Alentejo lives according to the rhythm of the earth.

From Troia to Sines by the coast You can reach Troia via Alcácer do Sal or by ferry from Setúbal, crossing the River Sado estuary. On arrival, the Troia peninsula

offers much to be explored. You can play golf, have surfing lessons, walk along the beach or watch the dolphins. You can also wander about to discover the region’s cultural heritage, such as the Troia Roman Ruins which actually reveal how the area was already rich in natural resources two thousand years ago. After Troia, Comporta is a much appreciated spot for a family beach outing and has some good restaurants. This is a paddy field area, so rice-based dishes are an unmissable specialty. Until Sines, the coast is an unbroken strip of sand, with pleasant beaches such as Pinheirinho and Galé. In Melides and Santo André, depending on your wishes


Alentejo wine route and preferences, you may choose between the sea beaches and the lagoons. These are great places for canoeing and windsurfing. Sines is one of the most important cities on the Alentejo coast and is an industrial port and a cape as well, making it a natural stopping point for visitors to the region.

Nature lovers find themselves in heaven Along the west coast, you can set off to discover Rota Vicentina. You will be accompanied by the ocean between jagged cliffs and, at times, you will be presented with seemingly endless fields of wild flowers. There cannot be a better suggestion for a walk… This long hiking path stretches for nearly 400 km along one of the most beautiful and best

preserved coastal areas of Europe. There are two main trails and eight circular routes to amaze us with their wonderfully diverse landscapes.

Relax at Alqueva, the Great Lake The Great Lake resulting from the Alqueva Reservoir provides the perfect place for spending a few days relaxing and in good company. We are talking about one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, built on the River Guadiana. It has a 250km2 reservoir and covers five Alentejo municipalities, with many points of interest. The right bank offers the castles of Juromenha, Alandroal, Terena, Monsaraz and Portel, and

on the left bank, Mourão and Moura provide spectacular viewpoints over this reflecting pool. The lake has brought an amazing environment to this region. Where once there were fields of olive trees, cork oaks and holm oaks, today there is water and renewed life, with optimal conditions for outdoor activities and for water sports such as sailing, waterskiing and wake-boarding, or for invigorating trips by canoe or kayak.

A wine producing region with a long tradition, the Alentejo boasts wines that will surprise you for their excellence, aromas and colours as unique as the landscape and the cuisine. Besides the Alentejo Regional Wine, which is found all over the region, wine producers are spread across 8 areas bearing a designation of origin – Portalegre, Borba, Redondo, Reguengos, Vidigueira, Évora, Granja/Amareleja and Moura, which allows for a diversity of choice anywhere in Alentejo.

Évora, a book of Portuguese art history The best way to see the city is on foot, walking through its narrow streets lined with white houses, discovering along the way the monuments and details that reveal the history of Évora and its rich heritage. Judging by the calm, welcoming surroundings, one easily sees why this city, which dates from the Roman era, was chosen by the kings of Portugal in the 15th century to serve as their residence, a fact that contributed to its development and cultural importance in the following centuries. It was in fact due to Évora´s long history and its urban center, typical of the 16th to 18th centuries, that has been preserved to our days that lead UNESCO to classify the city as a World Heritage site.

Take a photo at the Roman Temple of Diana, with over 2000 years old, and is the ex-libris monument of Évora and is one of the most important historic ruins in the country, built during the time of Caesar Augustus. Afterwards, head on to Church of São Francisco, one of the striking features of the facade is a church porch with arches of different styles – a typical example of the “marriage” between Gothic and Moorish style found in so many monuments of this region in Portugal. Inside, visitors can see the strange Bones Chapel, built during the Filippine period (17th-century). The pillars and walls are completely covered with bones. From here go to Sé Catedral de Évora, the largest medieval cathedral in Portugal, with Gothic features and used as one of the main temples of the Marian cult.


Lisbon

The capital of emotions Lisbon is a city that makes you want to go exploring, to discover whatever might appear in every neighbourhood, on every street. It is a safe and friendly city, relatively small but with so much to see. It is an ideal place to spend a few days or as a starting point for touring the country.

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isbon is Portugal’s capital and the hub of a multifaceted area that appeals to different tastes and senses. In a city that has been influenced by many different far-off cultures over time, there is still a village feel in each historic neighbourhood. Stroll through the Pombaline grid of streets in the Baixa district that opens on to the Tagus in Praça do Comércio, then follow the river to discover some of the city’s most beautiful parts: the monumental area of Belém with its World Heritage monuments, the mediaeval quarters and the latest contemporary leisure spaces, such as the Parque das Nações. If you continue to the mouth of the river, you will understand why we say that Lisbon is the centre of a vast resort. Along the coastal road you’ll find beaches and beach resorts that combine villas and hotels from the begin-

commodation for all tastes, it is hard to escape the Lisbon region on a visit to Portugal.

Lisbon by a topic or a theme

ning of the 20th century with marinas, terraces and excellent golf courses. Further, along the coast you’ll come across world-renowned surfing beaches, but also the palaces scattered across the cultural landscape of Sintra, a World Heritage Site. The wide variety of landscapes and heritage is always close by, whether to the north or south of the capital. With beaches, natural parks, cultural routes and ac-

You can choose a topic or a theme to explore it. The range is wide: Roman Lisbon, Manueline, Baroque or Romantic Lisbon, literary Lisbon, the Lisbon of Bohemian nightlife, the city of Fado. And there are also very different ways of exploring: by foot, by tram, by segway, by hop-on-hop-off bus, in a tuk tuk, seen from the river on a boat trip or from the other side, after crossing the Tagus on a cacilheiro ferry... the suggestions are endless. However, there are some essential sites that simply cannot be missed and are always on the list. Like the historic Alfama and Castelo districts, with one of the most fabulous views over the city and the river. You must go from downtown towards Belém, the neighbourhood of the Discoveries, with the Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery, both World Heritage. But also with the original Coach Museum and the modern Belém Cultural Centre. Oh, and don’t forget to taste the delicious pastéis de nata (custard tarts)! The new part of the city cannot be forgotten either. Be it to visit some key museums such as the Calouste Gulbenkian, in the north, or continuing along the river, the National Tile Museum. Carry on to the Parque das Nações (Park of Nations), the port area 


10 things to do and see in Lisbon

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Climb to the Castle of São Jorge and stroll through Alfama Anyone coming to Lisbon and not going to the Castle of São Jorge will have surely missed an unforgettable moment. It is the highest point in the city, set amongst the most typical of neighbourhoods. A unique opportunity to feel and understand the city’s relationship with the river Tagus. Listen to Fado Whether or not you like the style of music, dinner by candlelight listening to fado in Lisbon is unmissable. Consider yourself lucky and do stop, if you hear it sung while strolling through some street in Alfama, Mouraria or Madragoa. This style is the so-called fado vadio, or amateur, sung when someone gets the urge to sing, with the guitars simply joining in. Go to Terreiro do Paço The largest square in Lisbon and also one of the most iconic symbols of the city and its rebuilding after the great earthquake of 1755. Currently, it mostly offers a very pleasant walk along the river in the late afternoon. It is also a very beautiful view from the river as you pass on a boat. Go up in the Santa Justa elevator You cannot miss it when you pass it while ambling through the downtown district. It offers enviable views over this old part of Lisbon, and it is a privilege to travel in this elevator designed by Ponsard, a disciple of the great master of iron works, Gustave Eiffel, more than a hundred years ago. Take a tram ride The tram is a common means of transport for locals, but also one of the best ways to travel through the historic neighbourhoods. It looks good on any photo, and the sound of the trams running on their rails is one of the most characteristic of the city. The no. 28 is the best known, but there are others… Visit the Jerónimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém Lisbon has two unique monuments which are World Heritage Sites. They are two jewels of the Gothic Manueline style that easily impress. Apart from the vaults carved in stone that are a remarkable piece of engineering, the wealth of decorative elements linked to maritime aspects and the voyages of the Navigators is fascinating. Taste a pastel de Belém This is a highlight of Portuguese cuisine and its recipe is a closely guarded secret that makes them unique. Not to be missed! A sweet pastry that Lisbonites like to eat along their coffee. Visit the Oceanarium in the Parque das Nações The Parque das Nações is a success story in the revitalisation of an industrial area, with a privileged location on the river. It is worth visiting the Oceanarium, one of the largest in Europe, where you can appreciate the flora and fauna of the various oceans of our planet. Visit the National Tile Museum and the Coach Museum These two museums are unequalled anywhere in the world. One tells the story of the tile in Portugal from its first uses on 16th century walls to the present day; the other has an unrivalled collection of carriages, with fine examples from the 18th century, exuberantly decorated with paintings and gild work. Dine in Bairro Alto Lisbon is also known for its very lively and busy nightlife. After an afternoon shopping in the elegant Chiado district, there’s nothing like a late afternoon at one of the viewpoints of Santa Catarina or São Pedro de Alcântara, then staying for dinner in the Bairro Alto.

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ing down the cliff, also boasts a salt water swimming pool, and a narrow beach that is swallowed up at high tide. It is one of the most scenic spots and well worth the trip, as is Praia da Adraga between the cliffs. To complete the tour of the Sintra coast, you must visit the westernmost point of the continent of Europe, Cabo da Roca, “where the land ends and the sea starts” and let yourself be carried away by the view and the power of the sea.

Cascais and Estoril coast

examples from the 16th century, when tiles began to be used in Portugal. After a gentle stroll along the narrow alleys, past shops selling regional products, we suggest a visit to the Palácio and Quinta da Regaleira. This is a 19th century palace, although it looks older, boasting impressive decorations laden with Masonic references. Very close to the entrance to Regaleira, is Seteais, an 18th century palace, currently converted into an hotel. The gardens are worth a visit and from its belvedere you can see Pena Palace, Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) and the sea in the distance…

A ride along the beaches

which was completely rebuilt for Expo ’98, the 1998 World’s Fair. It is now an important recreational space with a new urban landscape.

Discovering Sintra Sintra, the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted it Word Heritage Site status. Whatever you plan, and if you just want to visit Sintra in just One-day itinerary, a good suggestion is always to start from the historic centre. On the main square, you will see Vila Palace with its two distinctive cone-shaped chimneys, which are useful landmarks for helping you find your way back to this spot. From the late 14th century, it was a summer resort for many Kings throughout the history of Portugal. Each room is decorated differently, and has its own history to be learned; its interior is also a surprise since it is a veritable tile museum, with

The golden sandy beaches of the Sintra coast, close to Lisbon, are very popular and offer excellent restaurants to relish a fish meal and a good, refreshing white wine, like Colares, for example. While Praia das Maçãs is more appreciated for sunbathing and swimming in the sea, sportsmen prefer Praia Grande where various national and international surfing, bodyboarding and skimming competitions are held. There is also a salt water swimming pool for those who prefer a calmer “sea”. Azenhas do Mar, with its houses cascad-

On your way to Lisbon again, in the afternoon, Cascais and Estoril, or the coast north of Lisbon, became one of the most cosmopolitan and touristic places in Portugal ever since King Luís I chose the bay for his summer residence in the late 19th century, and you should visit them. The mild climate and an annual average of 260 rainless days were surely strong reasons for his choice and for the most affluent families of the time to follow the royal family and set up their villas and mansions there. It’s worth going on a stroll around town to get a feel for the atmosphere of that period. To get there, follow the waterfront road from Lisbon to Cascais or take the train. It’s a very scenic route, always hugging the River Tagus and the busy beaches of the Estoril coast. En route, you will pass various forts erected to defend the capital, providing crossfire with the Bugio Fort, right in the middle of the river mouth, between Santo Amaro, on one side, and Trafaria, on the opposite bank.


The Best of Portugal

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Center of Portugal Nature and heritage perfectly combined

In the interior of the country, there are mountains and villages of granite and schist. By the sea, fishing villages and cosmopolitan beaches with water sports set the pace of the day. And everywhere centuries old heritage proudly displays the history of the region.

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ome of these places are so important for humanity that they have been included in the UNESCO list of world heritage. This is the case of the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha, the Convent of Christ in Tomar and Coimbra University (the oldest in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe). But there are other unique features that are well worth discovering. For example, the historic villages and castles that defended the nation’s borders. The Schist Villages and the towns of whitewashed houses, like Óbidos, a treasure within walls. The cities, where modernity is combined with tradition – Coimbra, the university city, Aveiro between the Ria and the sea, and Viseu, Guarda and Castelo Branco, in which the stone architecture retains traces of an immemorial past. Serra da Estrela, the highest peak in mainland Portugal, is the star of the mountains, with its endless landscapes and glacial lagoons. But there are also the Lousã, Açor and Caramulo ranges, where you can discover nature by

In the heart of Portugal

hiking or by bike. Here you can also try rock climbing, abseiling, rafting or canoeing, for example in the Naturtejo Geopark, a preserved area where several species of birds and animals live. The crystal clear waters that rise from the thermal springs balance the body and soul. And the beaches! River beaches surrounded by forests and coastal beaches open to the Atlantic ocean, provide certain freshness on hot summer days. They are also well known spots for surfers from around the world, who come for the perfect waves in Peniche, and even the giant waves in Nazaré. But if your propose is to rest and have moments of well-being, there’s nothing better for a breather and an escape from routine than a stay at a thermal baths. And in Centro de Portugal there are many to choose from…

Come and discover the “heart of Portugal”. Over the centuries, this zone – the cradle of Portuguese identity – has served as a vital cultural crossroads and the setting for key historical facts. We propose an itinerary that includes three of Portugal’s most important monuments classified as world Heritage sites by UNESCO – the Monastery of Alcobaça, The Convent of Christ and the Monastery of Batalha. Linked to key episodes in Portuguese history, these exquisite monuments combine various architectural styles. The oldest, the Monastery of Alcobaça, was founded by Portugal’s first king, and pertained to the Order of Cistercians, which played an essential role in Portugal’s agricultural and cultural development. The Convent of Christ – where one can still sense the mystique of the Knights Templar – located next to the castle built in 1160 by the Military Order, that chose Tomar as the bastion for defence and expansion of the territory conquered from the Moors. The Monastery of Batalha – a mas-


Portugal: the authenticity of its people and a proud 900-year long history. There are twelve in total, and to discover them, we suggest a route that starts in the only place where there is no castle to visit – Piódão. The village sits on a slope hidden in the wilds of the Serra do Açor, and maybe this was why it was not necessary to fortify it. The visit involves a long walk because there is no other way to pass through these narrow stre-

church, which still has some panels attributed to Grão Vasco, an important 16th century painter. The historic centre of Trancoso is surrounded by mediaeval walls and has a Jewish quarter where Hebrew symbols can be seen engraved on the stones of the houses. Marialva was an important military post in the Middle Ages, and Castelo Rodrigo preserves the ruins of another fortress with the marks of a history of struggles and betrayals. Seen from the air, the walls of Almeida form a twelve-pointed star that you can cross from one end to another. This solid defensive structure was built in the 17th century transforming a mediaeval village into a stronghold. In Castelo Mendo, another fortified village, figures can be found representing the mayor who gave his name to the village, and his wife, carved in the stone of two houses. Belmonte, austere in its granite architecture, was the birthplace of the navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil in 1500,

terpiece of late Gothic architecture – pays testimony to the affirmation of Portuguese independence against the powerful Kingdom of Castille.

Historical villages Historical villages of granite and schist preserve memories of ancient conquests and traditions and are remarkable for their landscapes, their heritage and for the friendliness of the people who live there. Perched on the top of mountains, they can be spotted from afar by the tall towers of their mediaeval castles. That is why they were strategically aligned along the border. The kings and lords of the land knew this would mean they could sleep more restfully. But they were sometimes mistaken. Moors and Christians, Spaniards and Portuguese, all tried to take them for themselves and so each one has a very ancient history or a tale to tell. Today they are peaceful and preserve in the street cobbles and the stone of the houses the real

ets that wind between the houses of schist. In Linhares da Beira, in Serra da Estrela, the highlight is the castle built on a plateau, providing a lookout point over the horizon. But you must also see the Romanesque parish

and welcomed Jews expelled from Castile in the 15th and 16th centuries, and there is still an active community that attends the synagogue. At 760m above sea level, Sortelha sits on a rocky escarpment that forms a ring surrounding the village. The view from the castle tower is breathtaking. In Castelo Novo, which has some fine examples of manor houses, the Town Hall, and Jail and the Baroque style D. Joao V Fountain are notable. In Idanha-a-Velha you can see the ruins of the ancient Egitânia and the Visigoth cathedral. Right next door is Monsanto, which has been called the “most Portuguese village in Portugal”, an award that is commemorated by the silver rooster on top of the Lucano Tower.


Almourol Castle

The best of

Center of Portugal Nature

in the Center of Portugal The Centre of Portugal has countless surprises for nature lovers: mountains, protected spaces, unique fauna and flora, beaches and breath-taking landscapes. If you are a fan of nature you will not be indifferent to the diversity of this region. Delight yourself with the unique animal species and let yourself be carried away by worlds of almost primitive nature through mountains and protected areas. Natural scenery guardians of lakes and caves and many other surprises that the Nature of Centre of Portugal offers you. The Natural Park of Serra da Estrela is more than a simple place of leisure during the winter months: it is a place with a natural unmissable beauty that will please flora, fauna and spectacular landscapes of lakes and waterfalls lovers. It deserves to be visited regardless of the season. Visit, a little further north, the Serra do Caramulo, one of the purest areas of the country and enjoy several places of natural treatments for lung diseases. Portugal is a country that has different fauna and flora species and the Centre of Portugal proves this natural diversity. Some of these examples are the oak and holm oak forests of the Sicó Mountain or the Buçaco forest, which, though much smaller than most of the great European forests, has a wide variety of species. The natural caves of Centre of Portugal such as the Caves of Mira de Aire, the largest ones in the country, will amaze you.

In the Tejo International Natural Park, the animals and plants are the kings and queens of the deep valleys and the silence of nature. In the Natural Reserve of Serra da Malcata, each step you take will be an opportunity to find rare animals and an unshakable serenity. Let us not forget the Naturtejo Geopark where 16 geomonuments can be explored between valleys and hills at the edge of Tejo River. Whether birdwatcher or fauna or flora observer, the Centre of Portugal will surely surprise you: start at once your journey in the best of nature.

Historical Village | Piodão

Heritage

of the Center of Portugal Strolling through the Centre of Portugal leads us to relive traditions of the past through local festivities. It helps us to remember the formation of the kingdom by D. Afonso Henriques, just as if we have known him. It let us enter into medieval villages and castles on the top of the hills with incredible views over rivers and mountains. Here, the bread is baked in the communal oven and only birds’ chirping is allowed. Around Serra da Estrela central massif, the 9 mountain villages are surrounded by


Schist Village | Cerdeira

Serra da Estrela

the Lousã and Azor mountains, the Tejo and Zêzere rivers, the 27 schist villages and in the Beiras region, the 12 historic villages, each one different from the other, invite you to a rural and, at the same time, romantic journey through the region, with the right to an overnight stay and regional gastronomy tasting. Who can resist the Serra’s cheese, sausages, meats, olive oil, honey, convent sweets and fruit produced throughout the region? Have you ever tasted cherries from Fundão? The historic and cultural heritage is

Convent of Christ | Tomar

Caves of Mira de Aire | Porto de Mós

absolutely unforgettable, whether talking about castles like Almourol in the middle of the Tejo River, forts or museums, bridges, mills, archaeological sites, pillars, public buildings, fountains, towers, tile panels, gardens, manor houses, universities, and much more. Find peace and tranquillity in the Sanctuary of Fatima, where it is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherds. Experience calmness when visiting monasteries, some of them classified World Heritage by UNESCO, convents where different religious orders used to lived, including the Templars and gilded churches. Chapels, hermitages and the paths that take us to Santiago de Compostela are some of the references of the region. Do not forget to visit the synagogues where the Jewish community, which found refuge here, met to pray, live and study, especially in the historic village of Belmonte. The University of Coimbra, the Convent of Christ in Tomar and the monasteries of Batalha and Alcobaça, all of them classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, can be an amazing start the adventure of discovering the Centre of Portugal. One of the treasures of this region is certainly its wide gastronomy and wine offer that, due to the location of its vineyards, results into very peculiar aromas and flavours. The richness and diversity of this region awaits you! Centre of Portugal, a country within a Country!

Bussaco Palace | Luso

www.turismodocentro.pt www.facebook.com/turismodocentro


Porto and the North The authenticity of a country

It was in Porto and in the North regions that Portugal was founded in the 12th century and the Portuguese became a people and a nation.

P

orto, a World Heritage city, is the gateway and departure point for a journey across the natural and cultural diversity of the region. It is known for the Port wine which is shipped all over the world, but also for a heritage which combines ancient churches and monuments, such as the Cathedral and the Church of São Francisco, and modern buildings, such as Casa da Música and the Serralves Museum. And also for its School of Architecture which bred names like Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura, both winners of the Pritzker Prize. The region is crossed by the River Douro which enters Portugal between the ravines and mountains of the interior to flow through the entire World Heritage landscape where the Port and Douro wines are produced. It is from there that the wine is sent to the lodges at Vila Nova de Gaia, as the cruises touring the region make their way upriver. In this area of mountains and natural parks, the region’s heritage is seen in its castles,

such as the one in Guimarães, considered the birthplace of Portugal in the 12th century, and the shrines and churches which are stage for pilgrimages during the summer. You will find the Baroque architecture of Northern Portugal in its stone and gilded carvings side by side with rural chapels. In its cities, which retain a human scale, such as Viana do Castelo, Braga, Lamego, Chaves and Vila Real, and in

the manor houses and stately halls, you will find the genuine Portuguese people; people who like to share their table, their customs and traditions. In Porto and Northern Portugal, the joy and gratitude for all we have can be experienced in the most spontaneous way.

Porto in a few days On a brief visit to Porto, there are some places that cannot be missed. In the words of many visitors, this city has something mystical that is difficult to describe and which varies according to the place, time of day and light. Whatever it is, it certainly has to do with its people, known to be generous and easygoing, as well as the River Douro and its heritage on both banks, with its bridges and monuments, the tiles, the flowering balconies and the shopping streets. The historic centre of Porto and the River Douro on the Gaia side, where the Port Wine lodges are located, are classified as World Heritage. S. Bento Station, with its atrium lined with tiles, is an ideal starting point. Just ahead is the Cathedral, not to be missed, whose precinct offers the first view of the river, the cascading houses and the opposite bank. From there


Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (table wines and Port wine), produced on its hillsides, also end up, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. None will leave you indifferent. Following a route between the viewpoints that offer the best views, you need to cross the river from north to south and back again. But along the way you can admire breathtaking landscapes over the river and visit vineyards, towns and villages until you reach Miranda do Douro, the point at which the river enters Portugal.

you descend by foot and mediaeval streets to Ribeira, with its café terraces and picturesque corners. It’s worth staying a little to get a flavour of the atmosphere and take in the river with the D. Luís Bridge and the opposite bank, before going on a cruise under Porto’s six bridges. Once you’ve seen the outline of the cascading houses and church towers, you will want to see the gilt interior of the Church of S. Francisco. Nearby, you can see more tilefronted churches and monuments, and visit the Palácio da Bolsa (former Stock Exchange palace). The tram leaves from next to the river for a trip that goes to Foz (the mouth of the Douro), where you can take a stroll and fill your lungs with the sea air. Avenida da Boavista starts here, and not far away is Serralves, with its gardens to stroll or rest in and its contemporary art exhibitions. The museum is the work of Álvaro Siza Vieira, one of the foremost architects of the Porto School of Architecture, and winner of the Pritzker Prize. The architecturally imposing Casa da Música, with its full programme of cultural events, is on Rotunda da Boavista, an area that is good for shopping. There are also good shops to be found around Avenida dos Aliados. In between

are the Crystal Palace gardens, with another panoramic view of the river. It’s worth climbing the Clérigos Tower for a different view of Porto. Immediately nearby is the Lello bookshop that inspired some of the Harry Potter stories.

The Douro Valley Easily called the enchanted valley, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer.

Start at Vila Nova de Gaia with a visit to the lodges where Port wine is aged. Here you will get to know this wine a little better, taking the opportunity – how could you do otherwise? - to taste the precious nectar. And you can still see the old rabelo boats on the river, the vessels that carried the wine from the quintas where it is produced to the mouth of river, before the various dams that made the river navigable were built.


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Cuisine with so many flavour Porto and Northern Portugal, where the founding of the country was begun, are known for the honest and genuine character of their people and their tradition of hospitality. Among its attributes is a rich cuisine, accompanied by the region’s excellent wines, like Vinho Verde, unique worldwide, and is an excellent reason to explore the region. It is a region of good grazing for the cattle that are bred here. The native breeds such as Barrosã, Mirandesa, Maronesa and Arouquesa have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) classification, as do Terrincho Transmontano lamb and Barroso kids. Pork is also available in regional varieties, not only in quality sausages but also dishes sush as rojões (braised pork chunks), sarrabulho (pork rice cooked in pig blood) and Porto-style tripe, perhaps the most famous dish of the northern capital. There is another dish too, made on the basis of a sandwich, that is a true institution: the francesinha. Back to pork, it should be noted that this mountainous region, especially in the Northwest, is the largest area for breeding the bísaro pig. The sausages from Chaves and Mirandela are famous for using traditional manufacturing methods. The alheira sausage of Mirandela and Miranda do Douro is highly appreciated but has the peculiarity of not being made with pork, since it was intended for the Jewish population that lived here in the Middle Ages. You can buy them all in the Vinhais Smoked Meats Fair.

classified as a World Heritage Site, and the attached Museum in Vila Nova de Foz Coa. The Douro Wine Region Valley, up to Barca de Alva, is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.

The most pure of Nature

In Peso da Régua, the Douro Museum will provide a different perspective on the region and wine growing. Not far away, on the south bank, is Lamego, one of the most beautiful cities in Northern Portugal, located at the base of an immense blue and white tiled flight of steps leading to the Shrine of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios. In Pinhão, right by the river, the railway station is a must-see to admire its ancient tiles dedicated to the cultivation of vines. Before arriving in Pocinho, you can make a detour on the south bank to visit the castle of Numão and enjoy the view over the skyline. A little further to the east is the Vale do Coa Archaeological Park, an open-air rock art gallery,

The Peneda-Gerês National Park, in the far Northwest of Portugal between Upper Minho and Trás-os-Montes, is the only Portuguese protected area classified as a such. It is a world apart in which human activity and nature are harmoniously integrated, preserving ancient values and traditions clearly evident in the village communities of Pitões das Júnias and Tourém. The lush vegetation in all shades of green includes a forest of holly, the only one in Portugal, and endemic species such as the Gerês lily, which brightens up the fields with its shades of violet-blue. Rivers and streams flow through the Peneda, Soajo, Amarela and Gerês mountain ranges, which comprise the park, rushing down in waterfalls and then spreading out into reservoirs. Landscapes are, in fact, breathtaking. You might sometimes manage to spot a roebuck (the Park’s symbol) or its predator, the Iberian wolf. More common are the ponies, small wild horses that run free in the mountains. You may also come across the Barrosã breed of cattle or the dark-haired Castro Laboreiro dogs, guarding the herds that move to the rhythm of the seasons, between the mild and the wintry.


Meet the oldest vineyards of the world, were the famous Port Wine is produced, and have an unique and memorable experience that you will never forget. Visit the valley, taste one of world’s best wines, learn and participate in the process of the wine making and feel how a simply wine tasting may turn on all your five senses. The Portuguese gastronomy and the local people with their many curiosities to share, will enrich your experience and make it genuine.

Lamego Hotel & Life

is in the heart of Douro Valley and you can feel the region in the many details of the Hotel, in a modern and clean design that will make you feel comfortable like you were at home, as well as our staff provide personalize services like you were part of the family.

It is the only 4 stars Hotel in the region that is inside of a Quinta and has outdoor and indoor heated swimming pools, sauna, Jacuzzi Turkish bath, Health Club. In Vista Alegre Restaurant you may find the traditional Portuguese gastronomy, regional tapas and the best wines of Douro valley, conciliating with sculpture details of the ceramist Cátia Pessoa and the view of the typically Douro’s mountain and valley.

www.lamegohotel.pt +351 254 656 171 | Reservations: reservas@lamegohotel.pt


FeelViana Sport Hotel

With a sophisticated concept of leisure and comfort, FeelViana Hotel is a pioneering and innovative project, resulting in the perfect fusion of nature and well-being, relaxation and evasion, sports and adventure. FeelViana Sport Hotel is a haven of contemporary design with unique architecture, where wood is the key player.

Perfectly set in the vast pine forest of the Cabedelo beach, it breathes the sea, the mountain and the river that surround it. In this exceptional scenario, a bold, unique and exclusive space is born, bringing along a new way of enjoying the Nature, relaxing, practicing sports and feeling the unrivalled charm of Viana do Castelo.

FEELVIANA SPORTS

CENTER

At FeelViana Sports Center, we propose the practice of sports such as Kitesurf, Windsurf, Stand Up Paddle, Surf, Sailing, Trekking, Trail Running and Bike Tours (rental and classes or experiences). We also have a Pumptrack, a Wake Park, a well-equipped Gym as well as Yoga, Pilates & Streching classes. Plenty of options to please everyone: family, friends and kids… fun, action and adventure is guaranteed! | Kitesurf | Foil Kite | Stand Up Paddle | Surf | Windsurf | Sailing | Biking | Running | Trail Running | Trekking | Pumptrack | Wake Park | Gym | Yoga, Pilates & Stretching

Rua Brás de Abreu Soares 222 • Cabedelo Beach 4935-159 Viana do Castelo • PORTUGAL

45 minutes drive from Porto International Airport, with many direct flights from all main European cities


FEELVIANA SPA Inspired by the sea, the FEELVIANA SPA brings the strength, serenity and vitality of sea life to indoors, where we provide treatments with organic seaweedbased products. A sanctuary for contemplation, it is the right place to recharge your energy and immerse yourself in absolute relaxation. It is a site for evasion and well-being that will make you escape routine and reconcile with yourself. | Massages and Treatments | Indoor Swimming Pool | Sauna and Turkish Bath

With 46 Rooms (of which 15 Suites) and 9 Bungalows, FeelViana is a space of comfort right in the Nature. In addition to the FeelViana Sports Center, the hotel also comprises a wonderful Spa (with an Interior Pool, Sauna and Turkish Bath), a well-designed and functional Business Center, a Lounge Terrace, an Outside Pool, a Gym, a Kids Club, a Pumptrack, a Wake Park, a Beach Bar & Sports Station and excellent Restaurants.

FEELVIANA RESTAURANTS RESTAURANT A classic but bold menu, with traditional products reinvented by our Chef. Creative and delicious dishes to enjoy in the comfort of our glazed room, with the dunes and the Atlantic in the background, or in the terrace over the sand.

+351. 258 330 330

www.hotelfeelviana.com

TAVERN A more relaxed suggestion, based on diversity and tradition, but always with the Chef’s twist. Snacks, boards, smoothies, salads, toasts and small dishes ideal to socialize and to share. Comfort food served non-stop between 12h30 and 23h00, ideal for a late lunch or for a relaxed sunset in our Lounge.

info@hotelfeelviana.com


The Best of Portugal

Azores

Where the blue and green are kings

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Mother Nature has created a land full of natural beauty, ready to be explored, in the blue immensity of the Atlantic Ocean: the Azores.

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o the East, on the island of Santa Maria, the warm white-sanded beaches are inviting, and the vineyards covering the slopes like an amphitheatre resemble giant staircases. São Miguel, the largest island, is seductive with its Sete Cidades and Fogo Lagoons. The power that emanates from the earth is felt in the geysers, hot thermal waters and volcanic lakes, as well as in the tasty “Cozido das Furnas” slowly cooked inside the earth. In the Central Group, the islands of Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, Faial and Graciosa are set harmoniously in the deep blue sea, where whales and dolphins can be spotted, to the delight of visitors. On Terceira, the World Heritage town of Angra do Heroísmo, as well as its festivals, is steeped in history. Faial is the cool blue of the hydrangeas, the marina painted colourfully by yachtsmen from all over the world and the extinct Capelinhos volcano, which resembles a lunar landscape. In front is Pico, a mountain that emerges from the sea, with vineyards planted in black lava fields, a unique culture that also has World Heritage status. On São Jorge, the highlights are the Fajãs and the cheese, a unique speciality with an unmistakable flavour. Graciosa, graceful in both name and appearance, is an island of green fields covered with vineyards that contrast with its peculiar windmills. In the Western group, on the island of Flores, the beauty of the natural waterfalls and lakes carved out by volcanoes is dazzling. The tiny island of Corvo has a broad, beautiful crater at its centre, and attracts many species of

birds coming from both Europe and America. These are the Azores. Nine islands, nine small worlds that have as many similarities as differences, but where the friendliness of their inhabitants is shared by all.

Nine Islands, one Geopark The Azores originated as a result of the 1766 volcanoes that are to be found in this archipelago, nine of which are still active. The Azores Geopark was born out of all this natural wealth, as part of the European and Global Network of Geoparks. Its aim is to promote and protect the geological heritage of the archipelago. The Azores Geopark is unique worldwide because it offers 121 geosites scattered

throughout the nine islands and surrounding marine area, mirroring the vast volcanic geodiversity of the archipelago. There are nine islands, but only one Geopark! In the subsoil there are nearly three hundred volcanic cavities in the form of caves, grottoes and crevices. On the landscape, there are dry calderas, lakes in craters, fumarole fields and hot springs. Underwater geothermal sources are found out at sea. The majestic mountain of Pico, whose cone is still intact, seems to protect all these geological riches. As a testimony to the power of nature, the archipelago’s volcanic history is impressive for the diversity of the region’s geological heritage that reflects a geological memory of 10 million years.


a powerful fortress designed to protect and dominate. Get to know the history told by its monuments, by the art treasures that have been cherished over the centuries. These are three good reasons that will turn your visit to Angra do Heroismo into a unique experience and a wonderful journey through time. In the city, be sure to visit the Igreja do Santíssimo Salvador da Sé, or Sé de Angra (Cathedral), the Igreja da Misericórdia (Church), the Convent and Church of São Francisco, the Convent and Church of São Gonçalo, the Town Hall, the Palácio dos Capitães Generais (Palace), the Monument of Remembrance, the Castle of São Sebastião, the Castle of São João Baptista, the Angra Museum and Monte Brasil. Please, don’t miss out on this visit!

São Miguel, so intuitive The island of São Miguel is the largest in the Azores, forming the Eastern Group of the Archipelago together with the island of Santa Maria, 81 km away. Its settlement began in 1444 in Povoação and then Vila Franca do Campo, the island’s first capital, which was later moved to Ponta Delgada, currently also the seat of the Regional Government of the Azores. Overlooking a natural bay, the city of Ponta Delgada has a rich history and architectural heritage. The Portas da Cidade (City Gates) are the perfect starting point for exploring the city. They are quickly identified by their three arches that link the sea front area and the Praça da República. Note the typical architecture that emphasises the contrast between the white walls and the details in basalt, embellished with lacy iron balconies. Its most iconic monuments include the 15th century Church of São Sebastião, the Church of São José and the Church of São Pedro, and the Convent and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Esperança — that is where the image of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (the Lord Christ of Miracles) is worshipped, the

former Jesuit College, the Palace of Sant’Ana (housing the Presidency of the Regional Government), the Carlos Machado Museum, the Fort of São Brás, the Town Hall, and also the renovated Micaelense Coliseum and well preserved Micaelense Theatre. A walk by the sea to the Marina will take you to the “Portas do Mar” where in addition to the cruise ship pier, you can enjoy an ocean swimming pool and an area with several bars, all providing some very pleasant moments of leisure.

Angra do Heroísmo Associated to the Discoveries during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Angra do Heroismo, located in Terceira Island, is the example of the creation of a city closely linked to its maritime function and was an obligatory port of call of the fleets of Africa and the Indies. In 1983, UNESCO classified it as a World Heritage Site. Stroll through the grid of streets reflecting the new world brought by the Renaissance and that the Discoveries set in Angra, a city bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, born for trade and navigation. Visit the dark walls of


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Madeira The charming Portuguese islands

Right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are a haven of natural beauty. The exotic colours of the flowers stand out from among the blue sea and the emerald green vegetation; this is an archipelago where two thirds are a protected area and where the largest Laurissilva forest in the world is located.

T

he springtime temperature, felt all year round, cries out for open air activities. You can go for a walk along the network of levadas (irrigation channels), visit the city of Funchal and discover the heritage associated with the Discoveries or roam freely around the island. Boat rides are an excellent way of admiring the coastline from a different perspective. In such a naturally welcoming environment, balance and well-being are taken for granted. Madeira offers various tourist complexes and accesses to the sea with prime conditions for leisure boating and scuba diving. The island of Porto Santo, in particular, is the ideal place

to escape from stress and undertake a thalassotherapy programme, or a beach holiday combined with a spot of golf. Popular feasts, which take place all year round, are opportunities to appreciate traditional gastronomic flavours and see Madeira partying, especially for the Carnival parades, the Flower Festival, the Atlantic Festival and, above all, the end-of-year fireworks display.

Living Nature in Madeira One of Madeira’s greatest tourist attractions is its exuberant, diverse vegetation, whose combination of both tropical and Mediterranean influences produces a patchwork of

plants that are rich in shades of green, and of various shapes and sizes. The Madeira Natural Park was created in 1982 to preserve this vast natural heritage, a worldwide rarity. The park is classified as a Biogenetic Reserve, and in it you can find a unique range of flora and fauna, with some rare species such as the Orquídea da Serra (Mountain Orchid), unique in the world, and also large trees belonging to the Lauraceae family – the Madeira laurel, the bay tree and the Madeira mahogany, as well as shrubs, ferns, moss, lichens and other small plants typical of the Laurissilva forest. Some of these tropical and subtropical plants were introduced into the Island in the 18th and 19th centuries, by British merchants who made their fortunes from the Madeira wine trade and chose the Monte, Camacha, Santo da Serra and Jardim da Serra neighbourhoods to set up their quintas. The cooler and more humid climate in these areas, closer to English weather conditions, made them ideal for the plants to adapt. Alongside its natural beauty, Madeira has another no less surprising beauty to offer: its great network of irrigation channels – the Levadas. These waterways are a living reminder of the titanic effort of past generations to distribute the abundant water that flows from springs at the top of the mountains amongst the slopes and valleys. They cover several protected areas including, most importantly, the Madeira Natural Park and the Funchal Ecological Park.


Most of the trails are quite accessible, but there are varying degrees of difficulty, so you are advised to consult professionals in the field and specific publications on the subject, and use suitable equipment. Surrounded by steep, almost inaccessible cliffs, the Desertas Islands are the last sanctuary in the Atlantic for the monk seal, the world’s rarest seal. Also uninhabited, the Selvagens Islands are considered a bird sanctuary. The best way to visit these reserves is to take a boat ride with one of the many leisure companies that organise tours of the archipelago. You can also explore the coastal area’s majestic cliffs, pebble beaches and natural rock pools, which bear witness to the island’s volcanic origins. Or you can take a ferryboat or a plane to Porto Santo to enjoy the several kilometres of golden beaches. The Island of Porto Santo is a haven of gold and blue, where the pace of everything is tranquil, inviting relaxation and rest. Right in the Atlantic Ocean, Porto Santo, 11km long and 6km wide, has been long dubbed the Golden Island, for its extensive, stunning 9km-long beach of fine and silky sand, bathed by turquoise waters. The clima-

te in Porto Santo, mild all year round, with a sea temperature ranging between 17ºC and 22ºC, makes this island always attractive, even in the winter.

Simple gastronomy The simple cuisine of the Madeira Archipelago portrays the soul of a simple, yet generous people. Right in the Atlantic, the fish such as black scabbard fish fillets and tuna steak, is tasty, and is prepared in the traditional way, accompanied by crunchy fried corn. The octopus and seafood, including limpets, periwinkles and many others, is also delicious. As for meat, the most traditional dish is the famous beef kebab on a bay stick, which gives it an unmistakable flavour. Home-made couscous, wheat soup and wine- and garlicmarinated beef are also highly sought after.

Discovering Funchal No matter what time of year, its mild climate makes Funchal the ideal destination for a short break. There are many places to visit in this 500-year old city, several of which are unmissable…

The best way to visit the Funchal’s historic city centre is to do it by foot. The tour begins at the Gothic Cathedral, built in the 16th century. Upon entering, look up to admire the precious alfarge ceiling (an Iberian decorative multiform style) in cedar wood carved in the Mudejar style. Visit also the Collegiate Church, whose sober facade hides an interior rich in 17th century gilt woodwork, altar pieces and tile panels. On the opposite side of the Largo do Município, in the former Bishop’s Palace, is the Museum of Sacred Art, the core of whose collection is Flemish art of the 15th and 16th centuries, evidence of the trade contacts with Flanders, to which sugar cane grown on the island was sold. Tasting this and other local flavours at the Farmers’ Market provides plenty to occupy the senses: from exotic fruits to traditional delights such as bolo de mel (honey cake), you mustn’t forget also the craft shops, the flower sellers wearing traditional costumes and the lively fishmongers’ stalls. Go on to the old town, to the São Tiago Fort, which houses the Museum of Contemporary Art. Find out the most appreciated products in the region in the Embroidery and Wine Museums. Here you can learn all about the beautiful pieces of delicate lace, and the fortified wine that gained fame in the 17th and 18th centuries, when it was highly appreciated in the European courts. To finish this tour, we suggest a visit to the village of Camacha, just nine kilometres from Funchal, well known for its wicker crafts and folklore. A highlight is the traditional dance of the region – the animated “Bailinho da Madeira”, whose rhythm is marked by the “brinquinho”, a curious piece of handicrafts made of castanets, ribbons and wooden figures.


BTL 2019 BTL in 2018 registered 77,000 visitors, which confirms an increase compared to the previous year, a growing tendency year after year. Particularly during the first three days, which saw 39,000 professionals establish new businesses and partnerships, representing an increase of 1,112 professionals compared to last year. During the weekend, 38,000 visitors made the most of the exclusive promotions and discounts available at BTL. “As BTL 2018 was in fact a showcase of the current and future state of the national and international tourism sector, we are able to confirm the vitality and importance of Tourism for the economy and the daily life of the Portuguese people. The feedback we received from both the pros and the public could not be more positive, which further raises the bar for BTL 2019.”- refers Fátima Vila Maior Director of trade fairs at FIL and BTL Coordinator. One of the main focuses of the 30th edition was the BTL Lab&Trends area,

13th to 17th March 2019 dedicated to innovation in the sector. The first edition involved 20 startup and 10 tech companies. This area was also used for startup and tech company pitches, four Talks during which topics related to trends, innovation and the future were discussed, with guest speakers and a large audience. In 2019 we reinforce BTL Lab & Trends. The Hosted Buyers programme involved more than 400 international buyers from 39 markets, nine more countries compared to 2017, which held more than 3,273 pre-scheduled and scheduled meetings with companies present at BTL. Noteworthy partnerships with TAP, Turismo de Portugal, APAVT, partner hotels and Grupo Barraqueiro added to the success of this programme. Organised by FIL, the AIP Foundation, BTL 2018 was attended by 42 international destinations, including Morocco, Egypt, Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Brazil, participating for the first time or returning to mark their presence at the fair.


Viajar Magazine - The Best of Portugal - Out 2018  
Viajar Magazine - The Best of Portugal - Out 2018  
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