Portugal: Christmas Events

Christmas in Lisbon by ATL
In most towns and cities there are Christmas lights in the historic centres inviting the population to take a look at their city with the Christmas spirit. Christmas markets, concerts and a variety of shows are organised with special attention being given to activities for all the family. Here are some events planned for this season.

Christmas Concerts
- In the city's historic neighbourhoods, the Christmas season is celebrated with concerts in churches and in the most important monuments

Nativity Scenes
- A Nativity Scene competition will liven up the shop windows in Rua Augusta, in downtown Lisbon, but it is worthwhile visiting the historical nativity scenes from the 17th and 18th centuries. You can see them at the Estrela Basilica, in the Mártires Basilica, at Lisbon Cathedral and at the National Museum of Ancient Art, by the sculptor Machado de Castro, at the National Tile Museum, made by António and Dionísio Ferreira, in the 17th century, at "Igreja do Sacramento" and at "Igreja da Anunciada" in "Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte".
The collection of Nativity Scenes of the wife of the President of the Republic is also well-known, and can be seen each year at the Museum of the Presidency of the Republic.

FIL, Parque das Nações 3rd to the 7th of December
http://natalis.fil.ptUm grande mercado de Natal com várias áreas temáticas, um programa de eventos alusivos à época e o maior Parque de Diversões indoor do país, a FIL Diverlândia.

5th of December to the 6th of January
Very close to Lisbon, the town of Cascais decorates itself during this season and once again promises to have a Big Wheel, with a view of the sea, a big attraction this Christmas.

Óbidos Vila Natal
5th of December to the 4th of January
www.obidosvilanatal.pt1 hour away from Lisbon, Óbidos is a medieval town which is worth visiting. During the month of December, it fills with light, colour and fantasy and becomes "Vila Natal", with Santa's House, shows, games, ice rink, bouncy castles and much more entertainment for the whole family.

From the 28th of November, in addition to the usual lights, which will be centred on Avenida dos Aliados, Rua das Flores and Torre dos Clérigos, the city of Porto will have a lot of entertainment, 2 ice rinks (Praça D. João I and Rotunda da Boavista) and a large Christmas Market at Praça da Liberdade.

Terra dos Sonhos (Land of Dreams)
Santa Maria da Feira, 4th of December to the 4th of January
www.terradosonhos.com30 km from Porto, you can visit the theme park of Terra dos Sonhos (Land of Dreams) in Santa Maria da Feira, where you will find many characters and stories of childhood imagination, such as fables, legends, fairy tales and the charm of Christmas, which always grab the attention of all.

8th of December to the 5th of January
www.penelapresepio.comAbout 30 km from Coimbra, the city of Penela will have the usual Animated Nativity Scene, one of the largest historical recreations of the sort in the country. Those who visit Penela can also see the traditional nativity scene of Espinhal and the Museum and the Roman Town of Rabaçal.

More information at

Christmas Shopping in Portugal

Christmas in Funchal, Madeira Islands by Turismo da Madeira 
Do you already have your Christmas list for family and friends? The Christmas season is great for a mini holiday in Lisbon or Porto as it is not very cold and there are still some sunny days. This is great for going for a walk in the city and starting to do your Christmas shopping.

The streets are filled with lights and the decoration changes over the weeks with stars, balls of different colours, Christmas trees, and other decorations and traditional nativity scenes. The fact that it gets dark earlier, as we are already in winter time, is a good reason to get to know a livelier city. And the historic centres are places of excellence to find the last trends in fashion and great ideas for Christmas presents.

Make the most of the promotions from airlines and hotel Christmas programmes which always have special offers during this season.

Unique Chistmas presents for all
We suggest Portuguese souvenirs which can be found in the usual shopping areas: quality clothing, shoe brands that can be found around the world, bags and accessories made of cork (the latest trend) or articles made from pure wool from the centre of Portugal, in sackcloth. And you can of course choose the small Christmas markets, fairs and sales where you can always find a unique gift for everybody.

Portuguese cuisine also has products of excellence which are a great source of inspiration for Christmas presents: wines, olive oils, preserves (traditional industries that currently have gourmet specialties), sweets, jam or dried fruit. And during this season, traditional sweets are a temptation! You must try the Bolo-rei (King's Cake), "sonhos" (traditional deep fried sweet soft pastry normally eaten at Christmas), "rabanadas" (type of French toast) and "filhós" (traditional deep fried sweet pastry sprinkled with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon).

While shopping, roast chestnut venders on the streets are always a good excuse to take a break and try this seasonal delicacy.

And why not give a trip for the New Year in Portugal?

The Christmas season is also favourable for musical programmes and a lot of entertainment in the historic centres. Have a look at the list of events in,  which will be updated with the most recent events and suggestions for your next visit to Lisbon or Porto.

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas! 

More information at

Madeira: New routes and frequencies on Winter 14/15

Norwegian has started two weekly frequencies from London Gatwick to Madeira Airport. 

From Germany, Germania has added a route from Munich to its network to Madeira Airport. Flights every Sunday, since November 2nd.

Later on this winter season, Easyjet will start two weekly frequencies from Manchester and Edinburgh, beginning in mid February 2015.

Again from Germany, TUIfly will start a weekly flight from Munich to Madeira, next February.


Vueling to begin flights between Barcelona and Faro in summer 2015

The towns of Faro and Barcelona are going to become connected by Vueling from next summer, announced the Spanish airline. The debut flight will take place on the 20th of June from Barcelona's El Prat airport, were Vueling has it's main base in Spain and will operate with two weekly frequencies. 

The low-cost airline, part of IAG group, is providing the new air link to the Algarve's capital, which will enhance the travel of tourists from Catalonia, a community of 7.4 million people, to the Algarve.

"This route is a great indicator for next summer, especially now that the Spanish market is growing in the Algarve: the first eight months of the year rose by 26.4 percent in room nights and 28.5 percent in the guests », says the president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), Desidério Silva, who believes there is a possibility for the route to extend to a year round operation​.
Between June and September 2015, the route will operate  with departures on Tuesdays and Saturdays, which will also bring an advantage of "bringing the Algarve closer to the hub of Barcelona, connecting to Vuleing's network of destinations" considers Desiderio Silva.

With the link to Faro, for which it is possible to purchase tickets in, the Spanish company will ensure 143 routes from El Prat next summer.

Source: Algarve Tourism Board

The Portuguese Fado singer, Carlos do Carmo, was honored with the Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award Grammy

The Portuguese Fado singer Carlos do Carmo was honored with The Latin Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award  last November 19th at the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino as part of the 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards celebration.

It is the first time a Portuguese artist is awarded this prize that distinguishes legendary figures of world music whose legacy magnifies the universal cultural heritage.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards is presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy's Board of Trustees to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording during their careers.

Grammy para Carlos do Carmo from Candidatura Fado on Vimeo.

"Hailing from Portugal, singer Carlos do Carmo is one of the greatest fado singers of his time. His mother, legendary singer Lucilia do Carmo, played a great influence in her son's career, which has lasted more than 50 years. While fado has been the core of his music, do Carmo's distinctive manner of singing due to the special timber of his voice along with his personal affinity for French pop balladry and Brazilian bossa nova mixed to create an unmistakable and definitive style distinguishing him as one of the most iconic voices of Portuguese music. 

Among his vast repertoire of songs, he is most recognized for “Lágrimas De Orvalho" "Lisboa Menina E Moça" and "Canoas Do Tejo." Carmo has received international acclaim and has performed to sold out crowds in landmark venues such as the Olympia in Paris, Alte Oper Frankfurt or the Royal Albert Hall in London. 

He played a key role in making Fado part of UNESCO's World Heritage Cultural Patrimony via his countless concerts, recordings and participation in director Carlos Saura's 2007 film Fados. He continues touring actively.” as described by the Academy.

Source: Latin Grammy and Museu do Fado 

EasyJet opens 4 new routes for Spring 2015 from Porto airport

Easyjet announced 4 new routes for Spring 2015 from Porto airport, where the company will set up its second Portuguese base.

The new routes are Manchester, Bristol, Nantes and London (Luton). Flights will begin in the Spring but reservations can be made starting today. The airline will also improve the schedule of all its existing flights from Porto. In total, the company will connect Porto to 9 European cities.

According to company data, the new base in Porto planned for March 2015, with two stationed A320, is an 80 million euro investment and will create 80 jobs.

Passenger business and leisure needs will be fulfilled by the new direct air links to the UK and France. Easyjet already flies to London Gatwick from Porto and passengers now have a second option within the UK capital. Luton is a 30 minute train ride from St. Pancras International.


Eat & Shop: Lisboa launches a new card with discounts

Lisboa Eat & Shop is the new card created by the Lisboa Tourist Association (ATL) to promote and publicise the gastronomy of the region while offering discounts in traditional commerce.

The personal and non-transferrable card is valid for 72 hours and gives discounts of between 10% and 20% in more than one hundred Lisboa Tourist Association partners, including craft, antique, travel equipment, fashion, footwear, sports and design shops, and also in Fado restaurants where one can enjoy traditional Portuguese gastronomy and listen to the song which is classified as World Heritage.

The card can be purchased online at or at tourist information offices for six Euros. 

Lisboa Eat & Shop joins the already existing Lisboa Card, a pass with discounts of up to 50% in Museums, Monuments and many other locations of tourist interest and free access to public transport.

Further information and the list of shops and restaurants associated with this initiative can be consulted at card


Wine & Flavours Film Festival Competition

A good wine always has an interesting story behind it, and a good movie too. The Wine & Flavours Film Festival, taking place from 28th to 31st of January at the Lisbon Hotel and Tourism School, wants to find new filmmakers!

Submit your short film under the theme "Wines and Gastronomy" and you may win the Best Portuguese Short Movie Award and the Short Movie Grand Award! Lights, camera, cheer ;)

Find more information about the Short Film competition here

Portugal Michelin Stars 2015

Yesterday evening Michelin announced the Michelin stars 2015 for Spain and Portugal. The guide has added two new restaurants in Portugal, making in total 17 stars on 14 chefs that are spread in restaurants through the country.

In 2015, Portugal gained one more two stars restaurant, the "Belcanto" in Lisbon, from the popular chef José Avillez  and finished the list with a total of fourteen Michelin stars, two more than last year.

New on the list for 2015 is Pedro Lemos, Executive Chef for his namesake restaurant in the Foz do Douro area of Porto. Regaining a star after a one-year absence is São Gabriel in Almancil, Algarve, with the Chef Leonel Pereira.

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

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

Casa da Calçada (Amarante), Vítor Matos
- Eleven (Lisboa), Joachim Koerper
- Feitoria (Lisboa), João Rodrigues
- Fortaleza do Guincho (Cascais), Vincent Farges
- Henrique Leis (Almancil), Henrique Leis
- Il Gallo d’Oro (Funchal), Benoît Sinthon
- L'And Vineyards (Montemor-o-Novo), Miguel Laffan
- Pedro Lemos (Porto), Pedro LEmos - New
- São Gabriel (Almancil), Leonel Pereira -  Regaining the star 
- Willie’s (Vilamoura), Willie Wurger
- Yeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia), Ricardo Costa

Source: Michelin 


Algarve Launches ‘GOLF4ALL’ with new Disabled Golf Open

The Algarve, Europe’s leading golf destination, will mark the launch of its new ‘golf4all’ campaign by hosting a new international disability golf tournament in November.

Europe’s leading impaired golfers will compete in the European Disabled Golfers Association (EDGA) Algarve Open – where the winner of the 2014 EDGA Premier Series Order of Merit will be crowned – at Pestana Vila Sol, November 18-23.

The event will be a centerpiece of the Algarve Tourism Association’s (ATA) new ‘golf4all’, which seeks to showcase the Algarve as a fully-inclusive tourism attraction for golfers of all ages and abilities and for tourists from across the globe.

Tony Bennett, president of the EDGA, said: “To have a partner such as the Algarve Tourism Association supporting the EDGA Algarve Open is very important for the successful delivery of what is the first European level tournament for golfers with impairment to be held in Portugal.

“The event is part of the ‘golf4all’ campaign and as a resident in the Algarve I can vouch, not only for the quality of the facilities that can be found in this region of Portugal, but also for the warm and friendly reception that the players are sure to receive.

“We at EDGA are looking forward to a great event in November and one which will sit on both our and the Algarve’s calendar for many years to come.”

The ‘golf4all’ campaign has also been launched through ATA’s new social media channels –  and  – which have already attracted  more than 2,500 fans since their launch at the end of September.

A range of exciting ‘golf4all’ initiatives are planned throughout 2015 to further embellish the campaign, which aims to highlight why the Algarve is one of Europe’s most popular, welcome and inclusive golf destinations.

It will target every unique type of golfer: from disabled golfers, to juniors, seniors and golfers from ‘minority’ backgrounds – both male and female. The campaign will also aim to reach golfers of all ability levels, from beginners, to casual players and experienced golfers.

A spokesperson for ATA said: “We are tremendously excited to be launching the ‘golf4all’ campaign, and especially thrilled that we are doing so with the announcement of the EDGA Algarve Open.

“The Algarve is not only Europe’s number one golf destination, it is also one of the most welcoming and inclusive destinations anywhere in the world – that is something we are very proud of, and something we wanted to highlight to people with the ‘golf4all’ campaign.

“We hope to play our part in growing the game of golf, and embellishing the destination experience for the myriad golfers that head here for sunshine golf each year.”


Portugal named world's best destination for golfing in 2014


Portugal has taken the title of World’s Best Golf Destination at the inaugural World Golf Awards.

Hosted by the same group that hosts the World Travel Awards, known as the Oscars of the travel industry, the World Golf Awards took place last November 15th at the Conrad Algarve and saluted the best golf destinations, courses, and resorts in the world.
The two categories won by Portugal - ‘Best Golf Destination in Europe’ and ‘Best Golf Destination in the World’ - were "largely due to the excellence of the golf courses in the Algarve" admitted the judges.
With 80 golf courses, many of them set against ocean views, dramatic cliffs, white sand dunes, lakes and mountains, Portugal was singled out as the best in golf tourism.
Popular among golf pros and host to major events on the professional circuits including the European Tour, many of the courses are designed by architects like Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore and Arnold Palmer.
A mild year-round climate also makes Portugal a popular golfing destination.
World Golf Awards managing director Chris Frost said: “Tonight has been a tremendous success and it has been an honour to welcome so many key players from the global golf hospitality industry here to Conrad Algarve for this inaugural Gala Ceremony. My congratulations go out to all out winners, this is recognition you so richly deserve.”

He added: “This is just the start of the journey for World Golf Awards. We will return to Conrad Algarve next year for the Gala Ceremony 2015 and I look forward to greeting many of our nominees from this evening in 12 months time.”

The presentation of the awards was the centrepiece of a three-day itinerary for the event, which saw guests enjoy some of the world-class facilities on offer at the famous Quinta do Lago Resort. Among the highlights was a chance to play on the newly renovated Quinta do Lago North Course, awarded
 Europe's Best New Golf Course.

For the full list of winners, including regional winners across the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia visit

Source: World Golf Awards


Portugal wins five Condé Nast Johansens 2015 Europe & The Mediterranean Awards for Excellence

Last night, on the 33rd annual Awards Dinner, Condé Nast Johansens has reveled the the winners of the 2015 Europe & The Mediterranean Awards for Excellence, and Portugal has won five prizes.

The five winners were:

- Best Newcomer:  Casa da Calçada, Amarante, Porto & Northern Portugal

- Best Dining Experience: The Yeatman Hotel, Porto, Porto & Northern Portugal

- Best for Meetings: Myriad by SANA Hotels, Lisbon & Tagus Valley, Portugal

-Readers' Award: SANA HOTELS, Portugal, exclusively:

Source: Condé Nast Johansens