Thomson Airways starts flying from Birmingham to Porto Santo

Thomson airways has started flying from Birmingham to Porto Santo, with a weekly flight.

This seasonal operation will last until the end of September and is the third direct connection from The UK to Porto Santo Island, after London Gatwick and Manchester.

The UK market is the largest foreign source market at Porto Santo Airport, with a market share of 22%.

In 2014, the passenger flows from the UK exceeded 23 thousand passengers and this new operation is expected to raise this number by 3 thousand more passengers.

Passengers arriving at the first flight yesterday were greeted by the airport team with Madeira Wine and local flowers.

You can find more information about Porto Santo Island here:
- Porto Santo
Source: Route Lab by ANA_Aeroportos de Portugal


Volvo Ocean Race'15: "Sea You Soon" in Lisbon

Volvo Ocean Race (Lisbon Stopover 2015), the biggest around the world regatta and one of the three major international sailing events, returns to Lisbon from May 25 to June 7

Fans can see firsthand the magnificent Volvo Ocean Race sailboats at Doca de Pedrouços.

This historical site where Caravels once set sail on the Discoveries is now home to the Race Village complex, which features a special free entry entertainment program.

The Race Village opens at 11am (May 25 to June 1) and 9am (June 2 to 7) and closes every day at midnight except last day (4pm).

Free entry.

Programa | Program

25 Maio | May
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
22.00h - Banda da Armada + Banda da Armada (música/music)
26 Maio | May

Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
20.00h - Prana (música/music)
 22.00h - Frankie Chávez (música/music)
27 Maio | May
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
20.30h - Banda Os Cantores Improváveis (música/music)
 21.30h - Ala dos Namorados c/ João Gil (música/music)
28 Maio | May
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
20.00h - Brass Wires Orchestra (música/music)
 21.30h - Capitão Fausto (música/music)
29 Maio | May
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
20.00h - Custódio Castelo Trio c/ Rão Kyao (música/music)
 21.00h - Carminho (música/music)
30 Maio | May
Race Village (09.30h » 01.00h)
13.30h » 16.50h | Academy - Team Racing
 16.15h » 17.00h | Academy - Team Racing Final | MC needed
 20.00h - Vencedor do concurso Making Waves (música/music)
 21.00h - Miguel Araújo (música/music)
31 Maio | May
Race Village (09.30h » 01.00h)
10.00h » 13.30h | Academy - Team Racing
 16.15h » 17.00 | Academy Team racing - Final
 21.00h - Rui Unas ft. DJ Van Breda (música/music)
 23.00h - Carolina Torres DJ Set (música/music)
01 Junho | June
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
20.00h - For Pete Sake (música/music)
 22.00h - Carlão (música/music)
02 Junho | June
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
20.00h - Ana Free (música/music)
 21.00h - Mikkel Sonaldo (música/music)
03 Junho | June
Race Village (10.30h » 00.00h)
21.00h - Banda B.leza (música/music)
 22.30h - Sara Tavares (música/music)
04 Junho | June
Race Village (10.30h » 01.00h)
13.00h - Practice race starts | on water
 15.00h - Pro-Am Race 1 starts | on water
 20.00h - Souls of Fire (música/music)
 22.00h - Bezegol com convidado especial (música/music)
05 Junho | June
Race Village (10.30h » 01.00h
 13.00h - Pro-Am Race 2 starts | on water
 14.00h - Pro-Am Race 3 starts | on water
 21.30h - Zé Pedro DJ Set (música/music)
 23.00h - The Legendary Tigerman DJ Set (música/music)
06 Junho | June
Race Village (09.30h » 02.00h)
12.20h - Sailors Parade starts
 14.00h - In-Port Race starts |on water
              - In-Port Race prize-giving | Main Stage
 23.00h - Blasted Mechanism (música/music)
07 Junho | June                                          
Race Village (09.30h » 16.00h)
12.00h - Sailors Parade
 14.00h - Lisbon to Lorient leg start | on Water


Come celebrate the feasts of São João, the most revered saint of Porto, held on the night of 23rd June.

All over the country, June is the month of Popular Saints (Santos Populares). At Porto, São João de Baptista is the celebrated saint. The sacred and the profane go hand in hand, joining together to create the city's biggest festival of the year. 
Get involved in the festivals and get to know the soul and the people of Porto, through the unique experience of living the festival that characterizes it the best. For that, we are going to show you the history of São João, so that you get to know the symbols in their full extent, and so that during your visit you have a feel for the celebrations you'll get to see all over the city.

Sacred and Profane

São João Baptista is a "Holy Saint", being celebrated on the streets and in full by people. The first references of festivals in his honor come from the 14th century, the involvement of the Portuguese has been since always marked not only by the force with which they adhere to the festivals, but also for their effort in organizing the initiatives that make Porto's festivals.

The festival of São João Baptista is also the summer solstice festival, marking the solar course peak and inheriting all of the symbols characteristic of a festival with pagan origins. Religious expressions are narrower nowadays, summed to the interior of sacred spaces, where folk's memory is materialized - the church and chapels - and the altars, in honor of the saint.

Don't miss the churches and chapels that evocate São João Baptista, and enjoy the art and testimony of renowned national and international masters artistic expressions. Places like the Church of S. Francisco, the Church of the Convent of São João Novo, the Cathedral, the Clérigos Church, the Almas Chapel (The Souls' Chapel) and the Church of São João da Foz. 

Don't miss any of these places!

The Symbols of Porto's Festivals

During the festivals of São João, we see bonfires, sweet basil, leek and little hammers a bit all over the city.

The bonfires of São João are lit in the streets by groups of residents and friends that show their bravery as they jump over them, and have purifying virtues, keeping health, marriage and business in view. In the evening and night of São João, dew water is holy, with a divine power that cure diseases, gives beauty to the youth and encourages love. This night, the dew is felt with clarity. Nowadays dew is a part of the festival ritual itself.

Basil is the most popular type of aromatic herb. It can get basil at any downtown street, either for decoration or for a gift. They are sold in pots adorned with a small flag, attached by a wire, with a popular quatrain allusive to the festival. As for the leek, it became the quintessential symbol of Porto's São João Festivals. Leek is used at the longest night of the year, to touch and offer its scent to passersby, wishing good luck and good fortunes in life.

At downtown, at the stalls where men tout and sell traditional sweet basil, cloves, lemon balm and leek, there's also the modern little hammers. Made of plastic, they produce a sound very unique of this festival. They are indispensable for the friendly "aggression" that happens among revelers. They are harmless, save for the ubiquitous laughing and grinning they give to the festival!

During this time, streets are packed with ornaments and festive illuminations, snacks stalls, outside dances, and amusements. Everything, so that people celebrate a popular São João, a reveler of joy and gatherings.

With regard to gastronomy, during the night of São João folks usually eat green broth with bread, lamb or grilled sardines, pepper salad and, for the dessert, custard. On the morning of the 23rd of June, people drink cafe latte and eat bread with butter. The idea of certainty about the origins of this tradition isn't anything else than a mirage. Some say that the use of lamb or goat is due to this animal's presence in the images of São João, an allusion to God's lamb. As for the sardines, they may have been added for being cheaper and plentiful by this time of the year.

Despite the fact that the holiday falls in the 24th of June, and as in previous years, the festival invades the city, kick started during the month of May, its initiation taking place on the 23rd of the same month.

Furthermore in May, the Serralves em Festa is a cultural event you can't lose. Music festivals are also in the schedule, with NOS Primavera Sound, which takes place from the 4th to the 6th of June, chiefly featured amid a younger public. The Caixa Ribeira Festival, between the 12th and 13th of June, brings to Porto the most renowned names of Fado, in the unique scenery of Ribeira do Porto. Music continues with the Concertos da Avenida, staring names such as Rui Veloso, D.A.M.A, Deolinda, among others.

The pinnacle will be, however, the night of the 23rd of June. At midnight there's a firework show, the fireworks of São João, one of the reasons why people are in the streets. Everyone follows towards Ribeira, joining thousands of people on both sides of the Douro river. In the festivals' program there's still enough time for competition, present in the traditional Regata dos Barcos Rabelos, on the 24th of June, from Douro's mouth to the D. Luís I bridge.

The festivals are over by the 4th of July, with the "rusgas" and São João's great fair.

If you are coming to Porto between May and July, be sure to make the best of the Santos Populares, especially the 23rd of June night. Get to know the folks of Porto and live an unforgettable night. Find out the best places to stay at Porto and contact us so that we can help you make the perfect plan to celebrate São João at Porto.


In June, don´t miss the Festivities of Lisbon 2015

With a whiff of summer in the air, the Festivities of Lisbon offer a welter of entertainment activities that will invade Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods, luring lure thousands of people into the streets. 

Santo António - Lisbon’s patron saint - overseas the city’s festivities that reach their highpoint on the evening of June 12, with a procession of popular marches through the Avenida da Liberdade. On the afternoon of June 13, a procession in homage to the popular Saint - who is believed to foster marriages - winds its way through the streets around the Sé cathedral and provides a special religious flavour to the festivities. 

Evenings are animated by traditional festivities in Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods - from Castelo to Mouraria, Graça, Alfama, Ajuda and the Bairro Alto - with lots of music and dance to the rhythm of popular songs. Decorated with coloured globes and garlands, the city’s streets are invaded by the smell of roasted sardines and sweet basil accompanied by paper carnations and paintings that allude to Santo António.

June is the main month of these festivities, but they also extend throughout the summer, including a wide variety of events such as fado, jazz and other musical performances, fado in the city’s trams, cinema and theatre festivals, sports events and exhibitions. 

More information at:


From May 22 to 31, don´t miss the Video Mapping - Lisboa, city of the sea

"Lisboa, City of the Sea" is a multimedia spectacle which shows the close links between Lisboa and the Sea.

From the era of the Discoveries to sailing competitions, the calls of the fishwives to the fishing boats, from architecture to leisure activities, the city's pace of life is intertwined with the waves that lap upon its shores.

Let yourself be guided by the compass needle that revolves around the cardinal points of ancient compasses in a dizzying journey that transports you to different historical and contemporary eras, representative of this intimate connection Lisboa shares with the sea.

From May 22 to 31, in Terreiro do Paço (Metro station: Terreiro do Paço), at 9.30pm, 10.30pm and 11.30pm. 

Duration: 15 minutes

Free entry
More information at:


Riders from 5 nationalities will be competing in 2* show of Ponte de Lima, from 5-17 May

Riders from Spain, France, UK, Sweden, Brazil and Portugal will be competing next weekend at the CSI Ponte de Lima

This 2 star show will distribute a total amount of  49.000 euros (prize money). The show is taking place in EXPOLIMA an excellent show ground with one of the best facilities from Portugal, 200 meters away from village main place.

In charge of the jumps will be the prestigious Spanish course designer Javier Trenor Paz for the first time in Ponte de Lima.

CSI Ponte de Lima is part of Ponte de Lima - international Equestrian Destination, a project from the municipality, that together will several other equestrian events, will establish the city as one of the most important regarding the Equestrian Sport in Portugal.

The excellent weather conditions all over the year are for sure an attraction for horse lovers and general public to visit Ponte de Lima and their Equestrian events.

Find more information at:

Ponte de Lima Horse Fair


The historical train returns between June and October

Riding on the historical train is like travelling back in time. 

The route runs along the bank of the river Douro, between Régua and Tua, on a unique trip back into the past through beautiful landscape that is classified by UNESCO as World Heritage.


One-day programme leaving Régua at 15:22 and returning at 18:32 with a stop at Pinhão, and then on to Tua and back. On-board entertainment with regional singers and musicians and a toast with a glass of Port. You can also try the Régua candies, a tradition for everyone who comes to this part of Portugal.

You can buy just the historical train trip, or you can op+t to buy a Combined Package, which includes a return trip from anywhere in the country on Alfa Pendular, Intercidades, Regional and Oporto urban trains.

Dates and times for the 2015 edition:

Saturdays, between 6 June and 31 October 2015.
Sundays, between 16 August and 4 October 2015.
Outward: Régua 15:22>Tua 16:37

Return: Tua 17:20> Régua 18:32

Historical train (Régua - Tua)

Incluides: Historical train journey Régua/Tua and back.
Adult €35
Children €15 (5 to 12 years old inclusive)

Packs (Historical train + journeys all over the country – return)

Information and bookings

Ticket offices
Online ticket office*
Customer care line (707 210 220)*
Requests for information:

The combined packages are only sold at ticket offices.

* Seats attributed randomly. If you want to choose your seat, buy your ticket from a ticket office.

Tickets can be bought up to 60 days in advance

More information at CP website

Volvo Ocean Race – Lisbon on the route of the round-the-world yacht race

From the 25th of May to the 7th of June, Lisbon will once again be a stopover on the transatlantic leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15. This is a great opportunity to see the world's top sailors and to get to know the city.

For 14 days, the Pedrouços Dock will be welcoming one of the most important sailing events in the world. Lisbon is the only European capital on the route of the competition, which is being held for the 12th time. 

Lisbon was an obvious choice when you consider what a close connection Portugal has had with the sea for many centuries. Belém, the competition venue, is in itself symbolic of the period of the Discoveries, as the setting-off point for the great Portuguese sailors, such as Vasco da Gama (15th century). But the competition is also an opportunity to visit and become acquainted with two monuments classed as UNESCO World Heritage, the Torre de Belém (Belém Tower) and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery). 

In this historical quarter, you can also visit the Museu dos Coches (National Coach Museum), which from May onwards will be housed in a new building designed by architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha; the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries); the Museu Nacional de Arqueologia (National Museum of Archaeology); the Museu de Marinha (Maritime Museum); and the Centro Cultural de Belém (Belém Cultural Centre), which houses the Museu Berardo (Berardo Museum), with its impressive contemporary art collection.

From Belém, it takes no more than half an hour by car or tram alongside the river to reach the city centre. The "Baixa", "Chiado", "Bairro Alto" and "Alfama", where the Fado Museum is to be found, as well as the Castelo de São Jorge (St George's Castle) are the city's main attractions and are a must for any visitor to Lisbon. A good way to see the sights is to choose one of our suggested itineraries.
At dinner time, the riverside setting of the huge Praça do Comércio Square, the "Chiado" or the "Bairro Alto" are a good choice, because of the vast array of restaurants, lounges, open-air terraces and viewpoints offering panoramic views of the city.

But the Pedrouços Dock will also be very lively during the event. A "small city" is to be set up in the surrounding space and there will be activities to entertain visitors of all ages while they admire the yachts and rub shoulders with the world's top sailors. The competitors set off for Lisbon from the port of Newport, in the United States, on the 17th of May and will subsequently leave Lisbon for Lorient on the French coast, where they are expected to arrive between the 9th and the 12th of June.

For more information about the Volvo Ocean Race, see