UP Magazine by TAP Portugal releases essential guide about Guimarães 2012

“Guimarães, a deluge of culture”. This was the motto of the piece on Guimarães 2012 produced by the TAP Portugal monthly UP magazine.
With an essential guide entitled “10 Guimarães basics”, the magazine places particular emphasis on the city’s medieval soul, characterised by its churches, squares, streets and monuments, featuring also the wide range of excellent cuisine and handicraft choices which are sure to delight our visitors.
In a symbiosis of past, present and future, Guimarães celebrates culture in 2012 – a unique and singular culture that inhabits this city and pleases all those who visit.

To read the full article, click here:


International Chocolate Festival in Óbidos

Anyone with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the chance to take part in the International Chocolate Festival in Óbidos.
During several days the medieval town’s narrow streets will be transformed into genuine showcases of cakes and sweets that everyone can sample and purchase.
For younger visitors, the “Kids’ Chocolate House” offers recreational and pedagogical activities and a kitchen where they can prepare several recipes.
Adults can attend culinary classes where chocolate is always the base ingredient and also watch competitions involving professional pastry-makers, such as the “Chocolatier of the Year” and the “International Competition of Chocolate Recipes”, and also marvel at an array of chocolate sculptures – genuine works of art.

Place / Óbidos
Website /  -

Date: Friday, 02 March 2012 - Sunday, 25 March 2012


Birdwatching in Portugal

Did you know that Portugal is one of Europe’s finest birdwatching destinations? There is no other European country where it’s possible to see an iberian imperial eagle or azure-winged magpie amongst a total of around 330 species found in the country?
The wide variety of natural habitats, concentrated in this small territory, make it possible to drive quickly from high mountains to lush hills overlooking the sea, or from estuaries to cork-oak plantations. In the estuary of the River Tagus alone - only 20 minutes from Lisbon - it’s possible to observe 100 bird species in a single day!
While experienced “birdwatchers” are easily able to distinguish birds such as the great bustard, bittern or kestrel from rarer species such as the Rupell’s griffon and the reef heron, amateurs can enjoy an excellent way to appreciate the best of nature. To start with, book a trip with a specialized company. Bring some comfortable footwear and clothing as well as some binoculars to make sure you don’t miss any colourful bird hidden in the vegetation.
Some of the finest birdwatching zones are located in protected areas - that occupy 21% of the national territory. In the North it’s possible to take a cruise to enjoy the beautiful slopes of the River Douro, where Egyptian vultures build their nests. In the Tagus International Park, walking or bike-riding provide an excellent opportunity to watch black storks and griffon vultures perched on fossil-covered rocks.In the Algarve, take a break from swimming and sunbathing in order to discover the Ria Formosa or the Sapal de Castro Marim marshland - two important wetlands populated by flamingos and herons, amongst many other species.
Why not fly to the islands in the Atlantic Ocean? It’s well worth the trip because you’ll encounter birds that don’t exist in any other part of the world, such as the Zino’s petrel and long-toed wood pigeon in Madeira, or the Azores Bullfinch. The best birdwatching zones are Ponta do Pargo, Ponta de São Lourenço and islands of Desertas in the Archipelago of Madeira, or Pico da Vara in the island of São Miguel (Azores).
Whichever option you try, you’re sure to be amazed by the spectacularly beautiful landscapes, as you follow the flight of birds intersecting across ever-blue skies. For your own “perch” why not use choose a country holiday unit, or a fine hotel establishment and surrender to the charms of Portugal’s famous hospitalit.
Find more about Birdwatching in Portugal:

Brochure Birdwatching in Portugal - tourist guide: Brochure


Transavia begins flying between Eindhoven and Lisbon

Eindhoven is, from today, the second destination served in the Netherlands adding 4 weekly frequencies to the current 42 weekly to Amsterdam. Currently Amsterdam is served by TAP Portugal, KLM and Transavia.

The new flight between Eindhoven and Lisbon will be operated by Transavia 4 times weekly with a B737-700.
Holland is Lisbon airport’s 8th largest European market with almost 500.000 yearly passengers and Eindhoven will definitely contribute to the growth of tourism and trade between Portugal and the Netherlands.

New Route Announced Between Faro and Belfast for 2012 on announced a new route for 2012 between Faro and Belfast. The route will operate once a week on Saturdays starting from 26th May 2012.

Fares will start from just €47.49 (approximately £41) for one way including taxes. Flights are now on sale. For more information or to book visit


Porto airport with two more destinations from SATA

The airline SATA has announced on the 18th January, in Ponta Delgada (Azores), the launch of two new routes from Porto Airport to: Munich and Copenhagen!
Munich will be operated every Saturday, from the 31st March and Copenhagen will be operated every Thursday, from the 19th of April. Thus, this Summer Porto Airport network will offer 63 direct flights!

Operation details:

Week Frequency
Starting date

Bookings already available at


Porto will host the Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series 2012

The 2012 Extreme Sailing Series™ continues its award-winning Global Tour with the Act 4 being staged between the 5th to 8th July in Oporto, making its debut in Portugal.

Watch the 2012 promo video:

The Extreme Sailing Series is an international inshore racing circuit bringing together the best skippers on the planet - from Olympic medalists to round-the-world record holders - competing against each other in state of the art 40-foot catamarans.
The crews, racing identical speed machines, battle it out on short courses set very close to the shore and at the heart of cities, in order to bring the action to the public, who sometimes stands less than 5 meters away from the boats!


Eurostars opens hotel in Douro: Hotel Eurostars Rio Douro Hotel And Spa 4*

Eurostars, hotel chain from the Hotusa Group, has just opened a new Eurostars Rio Douro Hotel & Spa.

The Eurostars Rio Douro is set in an excellent location, half-way between the city of Oporto and the terraced vineyards where the grapes that will become world-famous Port wine flourish and grow.
A brainchild of architect Joâo Pedro Serôdio, the hotel is configured as a kind of tribute to the typical terraced vineyards, worked on by man through the centuries on the Douro river banks. The Eurostars Rio Douro Hotel & Spa is a daring bet for the most contemporary architecture.
The hotel comprises 42 modern rooms with fantastic daylight illumination and panoramic vistas over the blue serpentine waters. The rooms are designed in a refined minimalist, contemporary style. The Eurostars Rio Douro also provides a spa with an indoor swimming pool, sauna and all types of massage and beauty care treatments.
Amongst other facilities, the Eurostars Rio Douro has a marina with capacity for 26 moorings, a panoramic restaurant serving local cuisine, 3 cafeterias (reception/spa/marina) and a gym.
Due to its location, approximately one hour?s drive from Oporto, the Eurostars Rio Douro offers an unbeatable option for holding meetings and corporate training sessions. The hotel provides two meeting rooms with capacity for 120 persons.
Accesses are 100% adapted for disabled persons or those with reduced mobility


Lisbon Airport welcomes new Emirates flight to Dubai

Lisbon Airport welcomes new Emirates flight to Dubai Lisbon Airport (ANA) welcomes today’s announcement from Emirates Airlines that it will begin a new daily Lisbon-Dubai service from 9 July.
The new long-haul service will be the first direct link to the Middle East and will facilitate further connectivity into India, China, Eastern Africa and Australasia, a key strategic goal for the Lisbon Airport.
Emirates will operate daily flights to Dubai from 9 July with a Boeing 777-200ER operating in a three-class configuration, offering passengers a choice of 12 First class seats, 42 Business class and 220 Economy class travel. It will also give its Emirates SkyCargo business a direct service to Lisbon, as it will offer cargo capacity on every passenger flight with a capacity of 16ton. The new Lisbon-Dubai flight will have a daily departure from Lisbon at 17.55 arriving in Dubai at 0435 the following day. The return flight leaves Dubai at 0915 with a scheduled arrival in Lisbon at 14.45.
Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, serves 121 destinations in 72 countries. From its industry leading hub in Dubai, the airline operates more than 1,200 departures per week to destinations in six continents. With a fleet of 169 modern aircraft, Emirates has a world-renowned reputation for service excellence, endorsed by hundreds of international awards.
More information at  Website source: RouteLab ANA


Azores is in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 Calendar

The Azores will host next year, on June 20 and July 21, a stage of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, bringing together the elite of the diving world.
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is death-defying high diving into water from heights of up to 27m.

Photo © Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

Once in the air, the divers have approximately three seconds to coordinate their acrobatic movements before they hit water at around 85km/h.

The Azorean stop will take place on the islet of Vila Franca following an application supported by the Government of the Azores, through the Regional Secretariat of Economy.
From 27 metres high and reaching speeds of up to 85kph, the world's best divers will compete head-to-head in seven stops between June and September in Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the Islet of Vila Franca nature reserve with only the sea for interruption.
On your visit to Vila Franca do Campo, one of the archipelago’s key tourist centres, visit the islet of Vila Franca.
Located around one kilometre off the coastline, the islet came about following the collapse of a former volcano. Classified as a Nature Reserve, it is almost circular in shape but broken by a sea entrance through one section of its perimeter.
The crater walls are home to much local vegetation. Within, the beauty is compounded by the crystalline waters of the natural swimming pool that features its own stunning beach. The Vinha da Areia Beach is excellent for bathing and is equipped with all the facilities of a modern water-park.
To the south of the Islet stand two volcanic rock peaks used for nesting by the many marine birds that visit the island. Getting there is easy with a regular summer ferry service between Vila Franca do Campo and the Islet.


Portugal's Douro Valley Sustainable Tourism Initiative

The Douro Valley Region coalition has partnered with the National Geographic Society to capture the history and heritage of Portugal’s Douro Valley through an interactive Web site and print map.
Portugal’s Douro Valley MapGuide, created through a collaborative process with local organizations, will highlight the natural, historic, and cultural assets unique to the area.
In this partnership, our region benefits from National Geographic's considerable map-making expertise. But the project could not work without input from people like you who know what makes this place truly unique and noteworthy.


Ryanair’s new routes bring more passengers to faro in summer 2012

Ryanair has once again shown its commitment to the Algarve region by increasing its Faro operations as of March this year.
The five new routes that the airline has announced will provide the Algarve region with more connections to important markets, bringing tourists from Germany, France and Italy.
The new destinations available from Faro from the start of the IATA 2012 Summer will be Karlsruhe (Baden-Baden), Leipzig, Nantes, Marseilles and Milan. Two flights per week will be on offer for each destination (see below for schedules), which represents an estimated total of over 115,100 seats.
The Irish company Ryanair tops the rankings for airlines at Faro. Its operations are expected to represent a total of 34 routes, with over 1,500,000 seats altogether. In 2011 this airline operated 32 routes in Faro and transported 1.5 million passengers.
Karlsruhe (Baden-Baden) – Wednesdays and Saturdays from 28 March
Leipzig – Tuesdays and Saturdays from 27 March
Nantes – Mondays and Fridays from 26 March
Marseilles – Tuesdays and Fridays from 27 March
Milan (Bergamo Orio al Serio) – Mondays and Fridays from 26 March

Website Source:

TripAdvisor travelers ranked Reid's Palace in Funchal among the 25 best hotels in the world!

The Reid’s Palace Hotel in Funchal, Madeira has been classified as in the Top 25 globally by The Traveller’s Choice 2012 of TripAdvisor.

See here the list:
Find more about Reid’s Palace Hotel at


Alentejo Website Improved

The Alentejo Tourist Board unveiled its new-look site on the last 2nd of January with a series of upgrades and added features.

Located at, the site is accessible in English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Portuguese and enables Internet visitors the chance to create itineraries and share them with friends on Facebook and other social networking sites.

With its colourful landscape, wide open roads and dazzling whitewashed villages, the Alentejo region is considered one of the most picturesque parts of Portugal.

Occupying nearly a third of the mainland, the province is at its loveliest in spring when storks build their nests on roof-tops and the region becomes carpeted with flowers.

At the heart of the region, the walled city of Évora is the Alentejo’s largest city and serves as a very good base from which to explore the many outlying towns and tourist areas.

Other highlights include Elvas with its Manueline cathedral and the ancient towns of Estremoz, Portalegre, Montemor-o-Novo, Monsaraz and Mértola.

Events calendar for February and March 2012

Check out page/Tab of Events calendar: updates for the mothes of February and March 2012.

For more updated information see “Major Events” area


Hotel Tryp Lisboa Aeroporto Under Construction

A new hotel with 170 guest-rooms is scheduled to be operational at Lisbon’s Portela Airport by spring 2013.

Costing an estimated €15 million to develop, the purpose-built property will be 13 storeys high and cover a total area of 15,000 square-metres.

Its opening will follow the unveiling of the airport’s new Metro railway extension of the red line from Oriente station.

Facilities at the Hotel Tryp Lisboa Aeroporto (as it will be called) will include a restaurant, bar, a modern health club and spa with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, three meeting rooms and parking for 130 vehicles.

More details at


Hotel B&B to Open in Évora

A new low-budget hotel is currently under construction in the Alentejo city of Évora.
Located in the historic centre, the hotel is costing 4 million euros to build and will have 81 guest-rooms.

An additional feature will be the preservation of the façade of Évora’s original bullring.
Following some ongoing excavation work due to be completed in March, building will start in spring and will take between 10 and 12 months to complete.
The hotel is the second Portugal property for French company B&B whose first unit opened recently in the northern city of Porto.

With 125 rooms spread across six floors, the Hotel B&B Porto is a modern two-star unit located in the former Águia d’Ouro cinema building located just off Praça da Batalha in the city centre.

More details at