What’s Cool about Central Portugal – Day 3 and 4

Portugal Confidential - What's Cool about Central Portugal Road Trip | 27-30 March 2012 with Turismo Centro de Portugal ( )

Day 3 - Castelo Rodrigo and Serra da Estrela (yesterday)
Olá Amigos – well, we are finally able to sit down for a moment and write about the road trip so far. Two situations have prevented us from updating: 1) limited Internet connection in the cool spots ...of Marialva ...and Castelo Rodrigo; and, 2) Silvia at Centro de Portugal has a jam-packed itinerary. So much to see and do….
First, we have to say a special thanks to Paulo at Casas do Cõro in Marialva. He played host to an amazing six course, fireside dinner at the Casas do Côro restaurant last night. Casas do Côro is a rural tourism hotel made from rehabilitated houses of the historic village of Marialva. It is tres chic, very relxing and MUITO FIXE. We will write more about Casas do Côro soon.
Day 3 started out with a trip to the new(-ish) Côa Museum. This cultural space is a contemporary structure built on top of the mountain in next to the Côa River. The museum provides information on the ancient rock engravings found in the region. After visiting the exhibits…tours are available of the actual rock engravings. You choose the route…and you decide if you want to walk or cycle.
After Côa, we visited the historic Castelo Rodrigo. Awesome mountaintop ruins of a castle that had been occupied by the Portuguese…and the Spanish. Surrounding the castle ruins is a very quaint village with cute cafes and shops.
Also at Castelo Rodrigo is Casa da Cisterna, a completely modern rural tourism hotel made from the village structures. Ana, the owner and manager gave us a tour. We’ll be writing more–and making reservations–soon.
Right now, we are on the mountain top of Serra da Estrela, staying at Casa das Penhas Douradas. Have to run now…João the owner is going to provide a tour….
Até logo

Day 4 - Santar and Coimbra
Bom dia! Day four begins with sunrise at Pehnas Douradas in Serra da Estrela. A gorgeous, sunny, cool windy morning in the moutains. We will start the day with breakfast at the restaurant in Casas das Penhas Douradas, then take a quick walk around the grounds to see the cool contemporary architecture in the morning sun.
Then, we head straight down the hill to the town of Manteigas. Here we will visit the factory where they make Burel. If you’re a shepherd, you’ll know that burel is a dense wool fabric that Portuguese mountain residents used to weave for clothing to stay warm and dry. Most burel factories are closed. however, Isabel Dias da Costa has revived the traditional fabric weaving…added a huge dose of color with some sophisticated modern design…to create very contemporary household products (e.g. carpets, blankets, pillows and more). More on this in future posts….
After our factory tour, we go back up the mountain and down the other side to vist the the wine tourism estate of Paço dos Cunhas de Santar. Portugal Confidential adores wine toursim, so this should be fun.
And, finally, back to Coimbra for one last look at the city for this roadtrip before we head back to Portugal Confidential Worldwide Headquarters in Vilamoura. We’ve seen A LOT in Central Portugal. We have many interesting stories and places to add to the website. We hope you’ll join return to see our progress. And, we hope to see everyone back in central Portugal very soon…
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Follow also us on our Pinterest board and on Twitter with the hashtags #CentroPC  ( @visitportugal, @PortugalCNFDTL, @aboutcentro )


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New Pousada de Cascais, Fortaleza da Cidadela

This luxury hotel, Pousada de Cascais, is set within the walls of the historical fortress, the emblematic 16th century Citadel of Cascais, in the centre of Cascais.
It is a place where ancient meets modern, and many of the rooms are dramatically set into the former barracks which makes each space a different experience, while others, more modern, enjoy spectacular views to the sea or over the huge internal patio spaces.

 © Pousadas de Portugal
The Pousada de Cascais, Fortaleza da Cidadela, is a world in itself with restaurants, bars, arts shops, and indoor pool, wellness center, business centre and ample meeting and conference facilities. It goes without saying that all the rooms have air conditioning, multi channel Lcd televisions, wi-fi, safes, bathrobes and many other comforts.
 The Pousada is close to the centre of Cascais, beaches, shoppings, parks and museums. Not so far away is the Casino at Estoril, the surfer’s paradise at Guincho, and of course Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon.
 The Pousada de Cascais is a member of "The Leading Hotels of the World", a symbol that ranks the Pousada amongst the most luxurious hotels in the world.
The striking new Pousada is the creation of architects Gonçalo Byrne and David Sinclair while strictly committed to the goal to preserve and respect environmental sustainability, the heritage value of the site and the natural beauty of its surroundings.
The architect Jaime Morais is responsible for decoration of the Pousada de Cascais, and Gerald Luckhurst was the landscape architect.
Cidadela de Cascais, Avenida D. Carlos I
2750-310 Cascais
(+351) 214814300
(+351) 214820515
More info at Pousadas website

Source: Pousadas de Portugal


Lisbon is once again nominated for the World Travel Awards, in 5 categories in 2012

These 5 nominations for the World Travel Awards, also known as the “Oscars” of the travel and tourism industry, represent the most prestigious recognition of the excellence of the city of Lisbon as one of the best European leisure and business destinations.
Launched with the aim of acknowledging, rewarding and celebrating the pursuit of excellence in all sectors of the international travel and tourism industry across the Globe, the World Travel Awards are today the most prestigious and coveted accolade within this global business.
Each edition of the World Travel Awards cover more than 160 countries with votes cast by 213,000 travel professionals such as travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations, amongst others.

Lisbon nominations for the World Travel Awards 2012:
-Europe’s Leading Destination
-Europe’s Leading City break destination
-Europe’s Leading Cruise Destination
-Europe’s Leading Cruise Port
-Europe’s Leading Airport

The winners will be announced during the World Travel Awards 2012 gala ceremony to be held on the 6th October 2012, this year in Portugal, in the Algarve.

Click here for more info

Portugal's Rally kicks off today!

Come and witness the great skill and expertise of the world’s top drivers, who will be racing along the roads and tracks of Portugal, competing in the Portugal's Rally.

From 29th March 2012 to 1st April 2012


Programme: When and where things happen



What’s Cool about Central Portugal – Day 2

Looks like it’s going to be another amazingly beautiful sunny day in central portugal. So…first thing we’re going to do is go to the beach in Aveiro. Yesterday, we didn’t have enough time to see Costa Nova…so we have to make up for lost time and see this amazing stretch of beach before we depart to Viseu.
On the agenda today….we are going to take a walk around the historical center of Viseu, and probably catch lunch at the Casa Arouquesa restaurant.
We’ll spend the after noon at Quinta da Ervamoira. Then, really looking forward to seeing the historical village of Marialva.
We’ll finally drop our bags (and ourselves) at Casas do Côro for the night. This quaint hotel is made up of refurbished village houses in which guests can rent individual rooms for the night…or the whole house for the family. Dinner will be here too. Already hungry!
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Vote for Guimarães in the Final Round of foXnoMad's Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2012

Vote for Guimarães!

This is it! The Final Round of foXnoMad's Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2012: Championship / Sarajevo vs. Guimarães.

Voting in the Championship will be open until 11:30am US EST | 4.30pm / 16h30 WEST (Western European Summer Time) this Thursday, March 29th. FINAL RESULTS will be announced on Friday, March 30th.

Vote here:) for Guimarães!

Portugal Confidential - What's Cool about Central Portugal Road Trip | 27-30 March 2012

Portugal Confidential is on a road trip with Turismo Centro de Portugal to uncover what’s hip, trendy and cool in Coimbra, Aveiro, Viseu, Serra da Estrela and more.

Follow updates on VisitPortugal (
Facebook ,Twitter , and Pinterest) and Portugal Confidential social media.

What’s Cool about Central Portugal Day 1
Today, we will be in Coimbra, Aveiro and Costa Nova Beach!

And so, the road trip begins… Portugal Confidential takes to the rails and the road to see what’s cool about Central Portugal.

The kind folks at Turismo Central de Portugal have created an itinerary that includes old castles and boutique hotels, country wineries and trendy dining, as well as a few surprises.

Come with us to find what makes central Portugal so special.
Follow us on our Pinterest board and on Twitter with the hashtags #CentroPC ( @visitportugal, @PortugalCNFDTL, @aboutcentro )

Porto wins Best European Destination 2012 - European Consumers Choice

Congratulations Porto !
Great hot news! Porto won the 1st place on European best destination 2012 elected by more than 212.000 voters all around Europe. And Lisbon got a great 8th place so, still in Top 10.

20 selected towns were competing for the prestigious title of Best European Destination 2012. After a three weeks’ period of online voting Porto was elected the best European Destination 2012 and won the title ahead of 19 big european cities.
What a honour to Portugal. Portugal is becoming indeed a great trendy destination!

More info at European Best Destination 2012 Porto is one of the oldest tourist destinations in Europe and benefits from a privileged geographic location, complemented by a modern transport and communications network. The richness of its monumental and artistic heritage, Port Wine, numerous leisure facilities and its cultural attractions invite you to visit this contemporary and inspired city well-known for its hospitality.



Bille August and Jeremy Irons in Portugal to film Night Train to Lisbon

Night Train to Lisbon, a film based on the bestselling novel by Pascal Mercier, by Bille August starring Jeremy Irons, Mélanie Laurent, Jack Huston, Martina Gedeck, August Diehl, Bruno Ganz, Lena Olin, with Christopher Lee and Charlotte Rampling, a production of Studio Hamburg FilmProduktion and C-Films AG in co-production with C-Films (Deutschland), Cinemate SA and TMG - Tele München Group | Shooting March until May 2012

Check out our Pinterest board on the "Night Train to Lisbon"

"...there is something very magical about your country..." Jeremy Irons at the "Night Train to Lisbon" film Press Conference

Jeremy Irons at the "Night Train to Lisbon" film Press Conference speaking about his role in the film


Lisbon Airport: Changes at Terminal 2

Change of Premises for EasyJet and TAP, SATA and AeroVip Operations
From 20 March all TAP, SATA and AeroVip domestic operations will be transferred from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1. The last domestic flights to be processed by these airlines at Terminal 2 will be on 19 March.
Terminal 2 will continue to be a departures-only terminal, with a simplified service only for companies offering flights which do not need a specific infrastructure to process transfer passengers.
Useful information:
  • The EasyJet flight to Funchal will continue to depart from Terminal 2. This flight will be joined by all of EasyJet’s remaining operations which currently depart from Terminal 1. All EasyJet departures will be processed at Terminal 2. Arrivals of passengers on these flights will continue to be at Terminal 1.
  • New airlines will be transferred to T2 in the near future. Terminal 2 will not be exclusively for the use of EasyJet.
  • Terminal 2 will continue to be a departures-only terminal, with no parking facilities.
  • The free curbside shuttle between Terminal 1 Departures and Terminal 2 will continue to exist.
  • Valet Parking at Terminal 2 will no longer be available.
  • The air-side shuttle will cease to exist.
This change in operations will enable Lisbon Airport to maximize its capacity, and at the same time allow it to improve the quality of service to passengers who use the airport as a hub, in transit, since they will be processed in full at Terminal 1.
More info here

The Estádio da Luz will host the 2014 UEFA Champions League final

Good news for football lovers!
Lisbon will be the stage of the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final at the Benfica‘s Estádio da Luz, according to the announcement made Tuesday, 20 March, by UEFA’s Executive Committee.

© Sport Lisboa e Benfica

This will be the first time since the 1960s that Estádio da Luz will host a European club competition, although the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica did stage the final of UEFA Euro 2004.

More info

2012/03/20 the first online booking Golf Reservation Website

Bringing Portugal’s greens to the true golf lover, anywhere, any time,  is the official source for golf courses and points of interest, all over the country. 

Finding and booking a round couldn’t be easier, leaving the challenge for your game.
Golf online, any time.
• New to Portugal – the first online booking system of its kind
• Experience some of the finest golf courses in Portugal
• Benefit from exclusive prices and promotions
• Book as many courses as you like at any time
• Discover all the local attractions
• Simple Search System, at the click of a button
• Unrivalled golfing options and availability

It’s easy. It’s fast.
It’s your first stop for playing Portugal


Vote for Porto or Lisbon for European Best Destination 2012 - ECC - European Consumers Choice

For the third year consecutively the ECC- European Consumers Choice is inviting everybody to select this year's best European destination.
Between a selection of the 20 most visited European destinations, Portugal has two cities on this raceJ. Porto or Lisbon could be European best city destination for 2012!

So come on, vote
here and make it happen!

Find the results on ECC's website and on their Facebook from 27th March.

For the first edition of the Best Destination 2010, the wonderful city of Lisbon was selected by european consumers as the most beautiful place to go for a trip or a week.
Discovering Lisbon A scenario combining the grandiosity of its history and a vanguard path toward its future, Lisbon is endowed with unique natural beauty and fascinating tourist attractions, which are intensified by the city and surrounding region’s diversity and quality.
Let us begin by talking about the city and the majestic Tagus River, its faithful partner which, together, have witnessed and been shaped by many centuries of colourful events. Portuguese discoverers departed on their caravels from Belém, sailed down this river's calm waters and then plunged into an infinite ocean on a quest to discover the New World. They shared the language, many other aspects of our culture and even life. As fittingly phrased by the poet “...with wit and skill.”
The magnitude of their achievements “over uncharted oceans” and of Portugal's power in the 16th century is reflected by the Monument to the Discoveries, the Belém Tower and the magnificent Jerónimos Monastery on the Tagus River banks. These wonders attract thousands of tourists yearly, both Portuguese and foreign, whose awe for the Belém of Discoveries embarks their imagination on a trip through history.
It’s a short “hop” from here to the historic centre. Downtown Lisbon has much to see, either by foot, on the famous 28 streetcar or, for example, on a rented environmentally friendly vehicle, some of which were especially designed for touring the historic quarters’ fascinating labyrinths.
Dominated by the São Jorge Castle, Lisbon is known for its seven hills teeming with buildings of simple but extraordinarily beautiful architecture, many of which have been tastefully restored. These quarters have attracted a new set of dwellers, particularly a younger generation and many artists for whom Lisbon is their muse.
The historic quarters are, in fact, a must see for many good reasons. Narrow streets whose opposing roofs nearly touch one another, squares crowded with revellers during the popular saints festivals, colourful stalls of street hawkers who yell out lively and witty sales pitches boasting the quality and freshness of their products make these quarters irresistibly charming.
These quarters are the setting for Lisbon’s emblematic music: Fado, particularly amateur Fado that is on the loose, vagrant and sung nearly until dawn. Renowned singers and youths breathe and live Fado, because Fado has always been in their soul or, rather, from the time they were born.
Alfama, Mouraria, Madragoa, Bairro Alto…, so many and so few quarters to visit make it hard for tourists to plan an itinerary, and thus the best choice is not to miss any of them.
During your walk, suddenly, on turning a corner, on discovering a quaint resting place, you come across one of the many scenic viewpoints to be found throughout Lisbon, a sort of window revealing a surprising and magnificent city scenario. You then understand that, no matter how often you return to one of these viewpoints, you’ll always discover something new, a detail which you had not yet perceived. Lisbon’s light, along with its unique heritage, is one of the main reasons you’ll always be discerning something new. This is the "City of White Light," an inspiration for artists and poets who have immortalised it in their paintings and writings.
Congratulations Lisbon!


Portugal's Rally: 29th March to 1st April 2012

Come and witness the great skill and expertise of the world’s top drivers, who will be racing along the roads and tracks of Portugal, competing in the Portugal's Rally.
The Portugal’s Rally is the fourth stage of the International Automobile Federation’s (FIA) World Rally Championship, and it is expected to be one of the most hotly disputed events of the season on the European continent.
The route taken by the rally, which overall is almost 1.565 kilometres, combines fast open stretches with more technical and challenging tracks. The event takes place mainly at the Algarve but has a competitive stage in Lisbon, at Belém historic area, and its closing ceremony will be held at the Algarve Stadium.
Date: Thursday, 29 March 2012 - Sunday, 01 April 201
Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2012


Bille August returns to Portugal to shoot the film “Night Train to Lisbon” with award winning actor Jeremy Irons

From 19 March the Danish filmmaker who filmed around here part of “The House of the Spirits” in the ’90s, returns to film “Night Train to Lisbon,” the adaptation of the bestselling novel by Pascal Mercier, Jeremy Irons and Charlotte Rampling.
Bille August, director of “The House of the Spirits”, film adaptation of the novel by Isabel Allende, will return to Portugal to shoot. And it brings the actors Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Christopher Lee and Bruno Ganz.
The Danish filmmaker begins tomorrow in Bern, Switzerland, shooting the film “Night Train to Lisbon”. From 19 March the team will be filming in Lisbon, told Lusa Portuguese co-producer, Paul Trancoso. Nicholas Breyner, Adriano Luz, Beatriz Batarda, Philip Vargas and director Joaquim Leitão are some of the Portuguese players entering the film.
“Night Train to Lisbon” is a co-production between Portugal, Germany and Switzerland and has a budget of eight million. The book by Pascal Mercier, pseudonym of Peter Bieri, a philosophy professor at the University of Berlin, tells the story of a Swiss professor who, after meeting a Portuguese woman, moves to Lisbon to follow the path of Amadeu de Prado, a physician and poet who fought against the dictatorship of the Estado Novo.
When the writer was in Portugal to launch the novel for years lamented the Daily News: “I want to separate very well the book of the film. I have little doubt that they can make a movie of this book, but the rights were sold … They changed the characters, plot, atmosphere, everything … “The Epsilon in March 2008, the plot was well described by José Maria Oliveira:” After a mysterious encounter with a Portuguese woman in a night of rain, Raimund Gregorius, 57, professor of Latin, Greek and Hebrew in Bern, discovers a book by a Portuguese poet and doctor, Amadeu de Prado, who had been persecuted by the dictatorship. This work, ‘A goldsmith of words’ transforms the life of the quiet professor who catches the night train to Lisbon in search of the author. Amadeu died in 1973, but does not detract from Gregorius and starts a tour of the city, looking for traces of life of a man who rallied the anti-fascist resistance, whose writings inspired person, still haunt many people. “And he added:” Through the reports of Amadeu family and former political prisoners, there are many elements of national historiography: Salazar, the PIDE, the Tarrafal and the Portuguese Youth. “
At that time, Paul Trancoso read the novel and realized that the plot “could lead Lisbon to the world,” he told Lusa. Portuguese then contacted the publisher who published the book, Don Quixote, “to see if the film rights would be free” and then made known to the Swiss producer, involved in making the movie, Portuguese interest in participating in a possible co-production.
The shooting will end in Lisbon May 4 and will include filming in various locations around the city. On Sunday, March 18, there will be a press conference in Lisbon, which will be attended Jeremy Irons, Nicholas Breyner, director Bille August and producers. Trancoso Paul believes the film will be “fantastically good for the image of Lisbon outside the country.”

Check out our Pinterest board on the "Night Train to Lisbon"


Spot TV Algarve – Aerlingus

Aerlingus your gateway to the Algarve.

The airlines AerLingus offer flights from Dublin, Cork and Belfast in Ireland to Faro Airport in the Algarve, Portugal .

You can book your flight at 

Bairro Alto Hotel is the "Best Small Hotel" in Europe

Bairro Alto Hotel has just been awarded "Best Small Hotel" in Europe and simultaneously "Best Small Hotel Portugal" by the "International Hotel Awards 2011 ", an international award recognizing the excellence of this five star hotel.
Opened in 2005, Bairro Alto Hotel, which describes itself as the first contemporary "boutique hotel", was designed to represent the fusion of old and new. A member of Turismo de Lisboa, the hotel is located in Praça Luís de Camões, nº 2, in the heart of Bairro Alto, a fashion district and traditional meeting point of intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries.
An integral part of the "International Property Awards" that became official 18 years ago, these awards are recognized as a symbol of excellence throughout the global industry and aim to distinguish the best professionals and projects in the hospitality industry worldwide.

More info at

Bairro Alto Hotel in Lisbon - Charming Boutique hotel in the heart of Lisbon:


The stars route 2012

Following the success of the “Stars Route” in the previous editions in 2010 and 2011, the gastronomic festival will be repeated in 2012. Porto Bay Hotels & Resorts, Hotels & Emotions, Altis Hotels, Vila Vita Parc, Vila Joya, Casa da Calçada, Fortaleza do Guincho, The Yeatman e Tavares will join hands this year in a tour promoting the outstanding cuisine of Portugal, with a total of 9 events, 3 more than the previous year.
The “Stars Route 2012” stars on the 16th March and goes until November, from the North to the South of Portugal and passing through Madeira island.
The Chefs Aymé Barroyer, Albano Lourenço, Benoît Sinthon, Dieter Koschina, Hans Neuner, José Cordeiro, Ricardo Costa, Vincent Farges and Vítor Matos will host various events which promises to offer exclusive and exceptional culinary experiences . ..
Each event will count with the presence of invited international chefs. The common denominator for the Chefs is belonging to the elite circle of excellence recognised by the Michelin Guide. Thus, at each event, the host Chef will receive another two, all with Michelin stars, to prepare as a team a tasting menu incorporating some of the distinguished dishes from the famous guide, while also seeking out the richness of flavours and products from each Region.
Besides “Il Gallo D´Oro”, the starting point for the Stars Route, the following restaurants will also take part in this edition: the “Arcadas Restaurante” , at Quinta das Lágrimas, (Coimbra); the “Fortaleza do Guincho” (Cascais); the “Largo do Paço Restaurante”, in the Casa da Calçada (Amarante) ; the “Ocean” in the Vila Vita Park Hotel (Algarve); the “Vila Joya” (Algarve); “Feitoria” in the hotel Altis Belém(Lisbon); “The Yeatman”(Oporto) and “Tavares”(Lisbon)
A true itinerant culinary festival that will offer the opportunity for the gastronomic lovers to enjoy and taste the best things done in Portugal.
-  IL GALLO D’ORO // 16-17, 20-21 march // The Cliff Bay . Funchal cliff-bay-funchal
- TAVARES // 20-21 April // Lisbon Tavares -20-21-april-lisbon-info
ARCADAS // 04-05 May // Quinta das Lágrimas . Coimbra ARCADAS-04-05-may-quinta-das-lagrimas-coimbra-info - OCEAN // 19-20 May // Vila Vita Parc . Algarve OCEAN-19-20-may-vila-vita-parc-algarve-info
- THE-YEATMAN // 14-15 June // The Yeatman Hotel . Porto THE-YEATMAN-14-15-june-the-yeatman-hotel-porto-info
- VILA JOYA // 19-20 October // Algarve VILA-JOYA-19-20-october-algarve-info 
- FORTALEZA DO GUINCHO // 16-17 November // Cascais FORTALEZA-DO-GUINCHO-16-17-november-cascais-info

More information about The stars route 2012  at

Last year video from The Stars Route 2011 at The Cliff Bay, Il Gallo d'Oro in Madeira Island


Lisbon Half Marathon

The Lisbon Half Marathon will be taking place in March over a course that takes runners across the 25 de Abril bridge and offers them some beautiful panoramic views over the city.
This race covers a distance of 21,097 metres from its start at the toll booths on the opposite bank of the River Tagus to the finishing line in front of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Belém.
It forms part of the Official Calendar of the Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS) and its competitors will include some of the world’s top athletes.
Included in the programme for the Half Marathon and starting at the same time as the main event is the Mini-Marathon, which covers a distance of 7,200 metres and is open to all those who wish to participate, being essentially more of a social event than an actual competition.
If you’re in Lisbon, come and join in this festival of sport, which last year reached a world record number of 36,000 participants. And take advantage of this great opportunity to cross over the 25 de Abril bridge on foot, appreciating the magnificent view that it offers over the Portuguese capital.
Place: Lisboa

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