Christmas Holidays in Portugal

No plans yet for your Christmas holidays? We have some suggestions for you!

With so many trips on offer and at such reasonable prices you're sure to find something appealing. What are you waiting for? Book your flight and in about two hours you could be landing in Portugal for a well-deserved break – Lisbon, Porto, Faro, the Azores or Madeira could be the start of your explorations...

At this time of year, the entire country comes to life with Christmas entertainment, starting with the lights that bring sparkle and colour to the city centres. Here you can enjoy shopping in the many shops and markets, watch choirs singing Christmas carols and sample some of the foods traditionally eaten at this time of year, such as Bolo-rei ("King cake"), "filhoses" (traditional deep fried sweet pastry sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon) or "rabanadas" (type of French toast). And once you've taken your first step in Portuguese gastronomy, you'll want to keep going! From sweet treats such as our famous “pastel de nata” (custard tart) to some of the best fish in the world, our cuisine features many hallmarks of the World Heritage Mediterranean Diet.

And what about some family fun? With an average of over 300 sunny days a year, winter here can sometime seem more like spring, with sunshine up and down the country and temperatures rarely dropping below 10ºC. Days like this make you want to explore the streets of Lisbon on foot, or walk up to the castle or some other viewpoint to admire the view over the rooftops and the River Tagus. But a tram ride is fun and so too is a visit to the monuments and museums, many of which have cosy tea rooms where you can recharge your batteries. From Belém to the Parque das Nações there's loads to see. And outside Lisbon, places like Cascais, Estoril, Sintra and Mafra should definitely not be missed. 

If you hire a car, a short drive will take you from Lisbon to Ericeira, Peniche or Nazaré, well-known for their waves that attract surfers of all levels. Other options include UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Tomar, Alcobaça, Batalha and Coimbra. If you point your GPS southwards, the Alentejo region has many not-to-be-missed sites, including Évora, Elvas, Marvão and the huge Alqueva lake. 

In the opposite direction, the northern city of Porto, famed for the wine that takes its name, has its own special charm. This granite city, where old monuments contrast with the contemporary architecture of Serralves or the Casa da Música, has a great deal worth seeing from Ribeira to Foz. Perhaps you could take a boat trip along the river and discover the marvellous scenery of the Douro Valley. Even farther north there are other cities which should also not be missed, such as Guimarães, Viana do Castelo and Braga. Or the well-preserved natural surroundings in the Peneda-Gerês National Park and the Trás-os-Montes region, synonymous with authenticity and tradition. 

If you are heading to Faro in the Algarve, you can admire the beauty of the uncrowded beaches or play a round of golf on one of the region's many courses. Other options might include boat trips, bicycle rides, a relaxing spa or some lively nightlife. If your preference is culture, there is plenty to be explored in Faro, Lagos, Sagres, Silves and Tavira, for example. 

With direct flights to the Azores, there are no more excuses for not getting to know this mid-Atlantic archipelago. There are nine completely unspoiled islands to visit at a leisurely pace. Start with São Miguel and discover all the tones of green in its landscapes and lakes, or with Ilha Terceira where Angra do Heroísmo is a landmark in terms of architectural heritage.  

And then there is Madeira, a favourite destination for New Year festivities. The entire island is decorated with myriad multi-coloured lights and a huge fireworks display heralds the New Year, attracting cruise ships and visitors from all over the world. Another big surprise is the climate. The temperatures ranging from 20ºC to 25ºC are ideal for appreciating all the charm of the local landscapes. Can you think of a better way to start the New Year?

More information at: 


Portugal Michelin Stars 2016

Yesterday evening Michelin announced the Michelin stars 2016 for Spain and Portugal.
The guide maintained 14 restaurants in Portugal with the Michelin Star. Although the L'And Vineyards (Montemor-o-Novo, Alentejo) from the Chef Miguel Laffan has lost the star, there was a new entry in this list, the restaurant Bon Bon (Carvoeiro, Algarve) from the Chef Rui Silvestre.  Despite the changing of their Chefs in the middle of this year, the restaurants Casa da Calçada (Amarante) and Fortaleza do Guincho, managed to keep their stars. 

Portugal has in total 17 stars on 14 chefs in restaurants all over the country. 

Check here the full list of results for Portugal Michelin Stars 2015:

- Belcanto (Lisboa), José Avillez 
Ocean (Armação de Pêra), Hans Neuner
Vila Joya (Albufeira), Dieter Koshina

Casa da Calçada (Amarante), Vítor Matos - 
André Silva
Eleven (Lisboa), Joachim Koerper
Feitoria (Lisboa), João Rodrigues
Fortaleza do Guincho (Cascais), Vincent Farges - Miguel Vieira
Henrique Leis (Almancil), Henrique Leis
Il Gallo d’Oro (Funchal), Benoît Sinthon
- Pedro Lemos (Porto), Pedro LEmos 
São Gabriel (Almancil), Leonel Pereira 
Willie’s (Vilamoura), Willie Wurger
Yeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia), Ricardo Costa
Bon Bon (Carvoeiro) / Rui Silvestre New

Source: Michelin


Arcolisbon - International Contemporary Art Fair: from 26 to 29 May 2016

IFEMA takes its ARCO Brand to Portugal, with the organisation of the International Contemporary Art Fair: ARCOlisbon. Organised by IFEMA, it will be held from 26 to 29 May 2016, in Lisbon.

Portugal, one of ARCO’s long-standing allies, has been chosen for this new project by IFEMA as one of the most attractive cultural hotspots with an increasingly dynamic market. Portugal, and its growing art market, is the destination chosen by IFEMA for the organisation, beyond our borders, of the first contemporary art fair under the ARCO brand. Thus, ARCOlisbon will come into existence in 2016, from 26 to 29 of May, in the Fábrica Nacional da Cordoaria, located in Belém, with the participation of 40 international galleries selected by the recently appointed Organising Committee.

Hence, using a format of limited dimensions, honing in on the Outstanding Artist concept, ARCOlisbon will provide the perfect moment to present artists who dialogue with Portuguese creators and reflect the natural connections with Spain and Brazil, and with the different scenarios to have sheltered artists who were fundamental for the definition of Portuguese art. In short, a series of influences and connections that have persisted over the years, that ARCOlisbon will give a voice to while raising their profile.

On creating ARCOlisbon, the intention is for it to be held annually. It will be open to the public from 26 to 29 of May and will dedicate its opening day (25 May from 6pm on) to international professionals and collectors, including the selection that will make up the guest Collectors’ Programme which is planned.

Find more information at:

Source: IFEMA 


Portugal‬ considered the World's Best Golf Destination for 2015

For the second year in succession, ‎Portugal takes the title of World's Best Golf Destination in the 2nd Annual World Golf Awards ceremony that took place last Saturday 7th November in the Conrad Algarve Hotel.^

Portugal also won the title of Europe's Best Golf Destination 2015, after winning the same title in 2014 and in the Word Travel Awards for Europe in 2013 the title of
Europe's Leading Golf Destination. 

World Golf Awards serves to celebrate and reward excellence in golf tourism, world class courses and golf destinations through their annual awards programme .World Golf Awards™ is part of World Travel Awards.


The 2016 Web Summit will take place in Lisbon. Good choice!

Choices 2.0 
The Web Summit, one of the biggest and most influential events for entrepreneurship, technology and innovation in the world, has chosen to move for the first time since 2010. And chose
Portugal for its next editions in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The 2016 Web Summit will take place in Lisbon. Good choice!


Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival 2015

The Lisbon& Estoril Film Festival celebrates Cinema as an artistic creation, setting light, above all, on its capacity to embrace each artistic field and on the fascination it exerts on the other arts.

Since 2007, the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival has established itself as one of the biggest cultural events in Portugal. For its 9th edition, running in 2015 from November 6th to 15th, the festival is getting ready to gather, once more, the best of what is being done in the world of cinema.

Every year, LEFFEST innovates, while preserving its essence: by paying homage to major personalities through retrospectives or full presentations and, meanwhile, giving voice to rare filmmakers who kept their production unscathed by the pressures of the movie industry; by exposing creations of artists whose works are prominently associated to the industry and at the same time opening new paths and audiences to the production of new talents.

Experiences and reflection is what the LEFFEST provides both on the Silver Screen – with an eclectic program that covers the best cinematographic productions, both acclaimed and emerging – and Live, through numerous artistic expressions, concerts, performances, masterclasses, debates and lectures.

In 2015, LEFFEST will be counting, as since its first edition, on the presence of international stars and key-players of Arts, Cinema and Literature who will share their experiences and visions with the audience.

With this ambitious aim and program of the highest order, handpicked by a team who lives and breathes cinema everyday, Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival will again put Lisbon, the Estoril Coast and the whole country on the world’s film festivals’ circuit.

Find more information at:
Source: Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival and Turismo de Lisboa

ComingOut Exhibition: Bringing the museum onto the streets

Until January 2016, don´t miss the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga Exhibition ComingOut, Art on the streets.

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga exhibits 31 masterpieces from its collection, featuring high quality, full scale reproductions with wooden frames and catalogues, just as in the exhibits of any museum in Chiado, Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real.

With free entry, all visitors can share their experiences on social networks via the hashtag #ComingOutMNAA