SATA Rallye Azores 2013: 25-27-April

The Azores SATA Rally will be hosted along some of the most beautiful roads in the island of São Miguel.

The Azores rally has been held for over 40 years and is one of the most important legs in the ground stage of the National Championship. Its rankings contribute to the European Rally Cup organised by FIA (the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile).

This competitive event begins at the Portas da Cidade (gates of the city) of Ponta Delgada and is a genuine tourist itinerary, passing through some of the most emblematic sites in São Miguel such as the Lagoon of Sete Cidades, thus demonstrating some of the island's beauty.

To download the programme click here.

More informationa at:



Infoboard in Porto Airport

The welcome desk for all arriving passengers in Porto Airport, “Infokiosk”, has now an “Infoboard”. This is an online information system concerning public transports that connect the airport to the region main cities, and is located close to the luggage claim area exit.

With this new system, the airport provides information to its passengers, in real time, about the next public transports departures, namely, buses, metro and shuttle to Porto, Braga, Guimarães and Vigo cities, thus improving their experience while exiting the airport.

General contact: |Tel.: +351 22 9432400 | Fax: +351 22 9484597

Flight Information:Tel.: +351 22 9432400

Source: Ana Aeroportos

Easter in Portugal

Experience Easter in Portugal, celebrating spring with family and friends.

Come to Braga at Easter and enjoy the festive atmosphere during the Semana Santa (Holy Week). Attend the Ecce Homo Procession on Good Friday, led by the Farricocos (barefoot men in tunics with hoods), one of the most peculiar parts of the Portuguese religious tradition.

If you’re in the Castelo de Vide region in the south, you’ll experience a very different Easter celebration, one with Jewish origins. In the morning of Easter Eve, the region’s shepherds invade the town centre to have their flocks of sheep blessed.At night, during the Vigília Pascal (Paschal Vigil), people ask for forgiveness in secret, reminiscent of the Jewish Yom Kippur. At the end of the mass, all those present bring cowbells that ring the Cortejo da Aleluia (Procession of Alleluia) through the town.

Easter is the perfect time to try specialities of Portuguese cuisine. After the fasting of Lent, the best delicacies are eaten, such as roast kid, lamb stew, meatballs, buns, chocolate and almond eggs. Just a few of the delicious dishes you can try.

Folar da Pascoa Recipe:
2Kg of flour
500g of sugar
40g of baker’s yeast
2 eggs
2 lemons
1 tsp. Cinnamon
Warm Water
- 2 Hard boiled eggs

Empty the baker’s yeast in a little bit of lukewarm water, let it develop a bit.Combine eggs and lemon zest and mix well. Add the flour with the sugar, cinnamon and a bit of salt. Slowly add it to egg mix.Knead very well with mild warm water until the dough comes together and off your hands.

Let it rise and then form the folars into large, round balls, (about 6-8in. around) flattened a bit (make sure to reserve some dough for the crosses).Put one or two hard-boiled eggs into the center of each folar, and cross two strips of dough over the eggs and one wrapped around the cross.

At this point you can let it rise once more for an even fluffier bread. Brush egg yolk over the folars and bake it on medium heat about 200C or 350F for 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: Recipe by Andrea Smith for Catavino



Portugal won 4 Europa Nostra Awards

The 2013 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage Europa Nostra Awards were announced and Portugal won 4 Prizes:)

In the Conservation Category:
- Lyceum Passos Manuel, Lisbon, Portugal
- Chalet of the Countess of Edla, Sintra, Portugal

In the Dedicated service Category:
- Foundation Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS), Lisbon, Portugal

In the Education, training and awareness-raising Category:
- SOS Azulejo Project, Loures, Portugal

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards celebrate excellence in cultural heritage conservation, ranging from the restoration of buildings and their adaptation to new uses, to urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, archaeological site interpretations, and care for art collections. Moreover, it highlights research, dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals or organisations and education projects related to cultural heritage. The awards are supported by the European Commission in the framework of the Culture Programme.

See here the 2013 Awards Winners

Lisbon ranks second in the European Best Destinations 2013

With 12,2% of the votes, for achieving to be listed three years running in the European citizens’ top ten preferred destinations, Lisbon, is the runner up (with only 439 votes behind the winner, Istambul).

The European Consumers Choice is an independent non-profit-making organisation based in Brussels that rewards the best holiday destinations in Europe. Using Eurostat’s annual tourism data and experts’ professional advice, a central jury selects 20 towns to compete for the “European Best Destination” title.

European citizens vote online to select their preferred destination and the town which receives most votes (over a period of 21 days) is awarded the trophy for best European destination (Lisbon 2010, Copenhagen 2011, Porto 2012).  It’s impossible for a city to be elected “best destination” twice over a period of two years.

The destination which obtains the greatest number of votes, will receive the “European Best Destination” trophy and permission to use the logo "Best European Destination" for communications, advertising, websites etc.

Lisbon is an illuminated city. The almost constant presence of sunshine and the River Tagus transforms the Portuguese capital into a mirror of a thousand colours - highlighting the city’s unique architecture and beauty.

There are so many things to see and do in Lisbon that visitors have access to a wide array of different experiences.

As we walk through Lisbon - whose history spans back thousands of years – we find streets filled with heritage monuments, and characteristic neighbourhoods where the city first developed and can still be experienced at its most genuine level.

Visit Lisbon of the River Tagus, whose riverfront is dedicated to leisure activities and links the monumental zone of Belém with the modern area of the Parque das Nações

Have fun in Lisbon, where nightlife continues till dawn.

Practise sport in Lisbon - with excellent golf courses and beaches close at hand.

Experience calmer moments in Lisbon in the city’s parks, gardens, belvederes, cafés and esplanades.

Or simply enjoy the pure pleasure of being in Lisbon, through its gastronomy, luxury hotels, spas and shopping centres .

Lisbon. A personal experience.

More information about Lisbon:
- Lisbon's official website
- Lisbon on Facebook
- Lisbon on Twitter



Thomas Cook promotes Madeira on board flights

Until next April, passengers on flights operated by British tour operator Thomas Cook will have the opportunity to read a six-page article about the Madeira Islands in its in-flight magazine.

The article, written by British journalist Robina Dam, is illustrated with photos by photographer Tim White, also British.

Every year Thomas Cook carries thousands of passengers all over the world, making the promotion of this destination on its routes an important move.

The British market continues to be one of main source markets of tourists to the Autonomous Region.

Click here to read the article.

Source: Turismo da Madeira


Rota Vicentina video wins international prize at Berlin’s ITB

On the 7th March the Rota Vicentina promotional video – Two Steps to Freedom – won the Golden City Gate award at the Berlin ITB - the word biggest tourism fair.

Rota Vicentina - Full Version 5m30s from Rota Vicentina on Vimeo.

The video was first presented in 2012 during the launch of the Rota Vicentina, a long distance route which is being implemented between Santiago do Cacém and Cape St. Vincent. To date the video has achieved over 55 000 views. The Rota Vicentina project is promoted by the Casas Brancas Association in partnership with the Almargem Association, all the local councils of SW Portugal, Regional Tourism Institutions of the Alentejo and Algarve and the Nature Conservancy Institute, among many others public and private partners.

The video aims to communicate the essence of the project. It’s a sensory experience associated with the immense potential of the region, one of the most beautiful and best preserved costal areas of southern Europe. Great hiking experiences through different landscapes and paths along the coast and through the countryside, typical food, local inhabitants, tourist facilities, identity and freedom -are some of this video's ingredients. But the most valuable element is its authenticity, which guarantees every visitor an experience with the potential to be as exciting as that of the film’s main character.

The characters – including the leading actor – are local people who offered their services to this community project.

The Rota Vicentina aims to establish the SW Portugal as an international nature tourism destination, contributing to a truly sustainable development, able to protect this region's great environmental, cultural and natural values.

The project has already been awarded other prizes, including the “Welcome to Portugal” award given by LIDE, the Merit Award by the British Guild of Travel Writers and the Innovation award from “Portugal Trade Awards” Publituris.

The project and the region have captured the attention of the international press which resulted in
several stories and articles that can be read on the project’s blog

The project promoters expect to launch the official Rota Vicentina website (
by the end of March and to officially inaugurate all of the sections yet to be opened (all in the Algarve region) during this Spring.

More information at:

Source: Rota Vicentina

Portugal: Where all else is forgotten

Want to try out something new and break with routine – why not spend a few days away from home: the perfect solution awaits you in Portugal!

Make the most of the Easter mini-holidays and discover Portugal with the whole family together!

You'll find many excellent reasons for taking a short break - fleeing from routine and stress and basking in a gentle climate that is the perfect place to recharge your batteries. A wide array of options awaits you, united by the same underlying motto: relax!

Now you know, you only need 3 or 4 days and all this awaits you... in Portugal!

With so many good suggestions, why delay any longer? Book your trip to Portugal now…we’ll be waiting for you with open arms!

Check out our e-Brochures here (in Portuguese; English; Spanish; German; French; Italian and Dutch) for helping you to organize your trip to Portugal.


Lisboa by Tram

If you would like to get to know Lisboa’s hidden secrets, without the slog of climbing its seven hills on foot, then take a ride on the no. 28 tram. This is the ideal way of discovering some of Lisboa’s most interesting historical sites.

Starting from Martim Moniz, the no.28 heads in the direction of the Graça neighbourhood, past São Vincente de Fora Church which is worth a visit due to its imposing tiled facade. Behind the Church is Campo de Santa Clara, where the “Feira da Ladra” market is held every Tuesday and Saturday and you can buy and sell everything.

The tram continues through Alfama, passing by some of medieval Lisboa’s most picturesque streets and squares such as Rua das Escolas Gerais and Largo das Portas do Sol. The latter is a beautiful belvedere overlooking the river with Sao Jorge’s Castle above. Descending towards the downtown

Baixa area, the no. 28 goes past the city’s cathedral, the Se de Lisboa, with its austere Roman façade and by Santo António’s Church, the city’s favourite saint.

As you go down past the busy Rua da Conceição, its worth getting off in the heart of this Pombaline downtown area, commissioned by the Marquis of Pombal, following the 1755 earthquake. The tram now starts to climb again along the elegant Chiado hillside, stopping almost in front of the famous cafe A Brasileira; in Largo do Chiado, where the statue of Fernando awaits your company. Along this ride, it’s worth noting the architecture of the buildings whose facade are adorned to the rooftops with tiles, often Art Nouveau. The main highlight on the way to the Estrela is the Parliament building, house in the former Sao Bento Convent, at the top of an imposing staircase. So now, you know why this tram is known as the “tourists’tram”.

Source: visitlisboa

Portugal: Pilgrimage routes (with video)

Whether driven by an act of faith or the simple pleasure of walking, explore the several routes of soul-searching in Portugal! If you are Catholic and devoted to the Virgin Mary, you’ll find many Marian sanctuaries and forms of worship. Fátima, where the Holy Mary appeared to the three shepherd children, is the most important place of worship. It is known as the town of peace and nobody, believer or not, can be indifferent to it.

There are many routes to follow but the pilgrimage route leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, that has been linking important places of worship since the XII century, represents a strong sign of European cultural identity. Join the pilgrims coming from all over the world to walk the Portuguese Route to discover the country’s historical heritage and be in communion with nature.

Another important part of pilgrimage history in Portugal is the life of the Sephardi Jews.Hidden for centuries, this community is now recognised for its historical and cultural heritage and the important contributions they made to the development of navigation, medicine and economics. While you’re on the road, visit the churches and the sanctuaries, veritable museums! Admire the golden wood-carved altars, the “azulejos” (decorated majolica lining the walls) and the sacred art, royal icons of the culture of the Portuguese people.

During your journey to Santiago you’ll discover many other manifestations of worship celebrated with pilgrimages and feast-days all over the country. Take part in a festival and start on your spiritual journey of peace, joy and self-discovery.

See others routes of Pilgrimage in Portugal here



Cataplana is a famous Portuguese seafood dish, popular on the Algarve region. It is also the name of the special cookware used to prepare the dish that was introduced to the southern Portugal region during the Moorish occupation in the 8th century AD.

Traditionally made of copper, it is shaped like two clamshells hinged at one end and able to be sealed using a clamp on either side of the assembly. It allows you to cook in a healthy and easy way and has an astonishing presence at the table.

More recently some of the new Chefs have embodying the different trends of modern Portuguese cuisine and created new Cataplana recipes like starters, vegetables, fish and shellfish, meat and even desserts. The result? Brilliant recipes that combine tradition and innovation.

More information about Portuguese gastronomy and wine at:


Contemporary art exhibition by Joana Vasconcelos at Palácio da Ajuda

Joana Vasconcelos is one of biggest portuguese artists ... pretty soon at the Palácio da Ajuda some of its main works will be exhibited ... March 23 until August 25.

In the various palace rooms of Palácio da Ajuda, visitors can see works like the giant women’s shoes “Marilyn” (2011), made from traditional Portuguese cooking pans and “Red Independent Heart” (2005) and “Black Independent Heart” (2006), made of plastic spoon, side by side with some recent works never exhibited in Portugal, as the Lilicoptère, Perruque or War Games.

Everyday: 10h to 19h00 - Except Saturday: 10h to 21h00
Closed on Wednesdays


More information at:



Madeira Film Festival 2013: April 15 to 21

Madeira will host the second edition of the Madeira Film Festival, a ground breaking project at an environmental level, promoted by the Scottish director Aitken Pearson. This event will promote various initiatives associated with arts, education, ecotourism, and solidarity purposes.

The Madeira Film Festival organisation fervently believes there is no better place in the world to stage a film festival than on the piquant Island of Madeira and there is no better place on Madeira to stage a film festival than in glorious Reid’s Palace Hotel and the Municipal Theatre in Funchal.

The crux of the Madeira Film Festival is to pay homage to the resilience of Madeira’s endemic Laurissilva Forest by screening a slate of films which may deliberate a connotation with the natural world in some fashion, films which are expansive, unsettling and profound,films which will hopefully impinge upon the viewers imagination.

One of the most effective measures that can be implemented in order to raise awareness of the Laurissilva forest and subsequently it’s preservation is through the undisputed persuasive strength of audio- visual communication. The aspiration of the Madeira Film Festival is to become one of Europe’s foremost film festivals, by sheer virtue of location there exists an inherent capacity to attain this.

Madeira is an island (35 miles long and 13 miles wide) situated in the Atlantic Ocean some 300 miles from the coast of Africa and 600 miles from the Portuguese mainland. An autonomous region of Portugal, Madeira offers a sub-tropical climate due to its geographical position and mountainous relief.

The flowers and trees of Madeira blossom fervently during early Spring, especially the Jacaranda trees as they flower profusely boasting a deep, rich purple colour. The end of April is indeed a wonderful time of year to visit Madeira.

This event will feature a number of celebrities from the world of cinema and music.

This festival will present environmental films divided into several categories, which will be evaluated by an international panel of judges.

For more information:

Braga: Holy Week Festivals

Experience Holy Week in the ancient city of Braga, in the region Porto e Norte.

The city is decorated with motifs related to the occasion and the passos, street-side altars, are filled with flowers and lights, complementing the sumptuousness of the churches.

In Porto and the North of Portugal, in accordance with tradition, the Easter celebration of the Resurrection marks the end of Lent and a return to traditional gastronomy - such as oven-roasted kid, sponge cake, almonds and port wine.

To ensure you don't miss any of the events, here is the full agenda for Holy Week in Braga:

  • March 23 - Transfer of the Statue of “Senhor dos Passos” (Our Lord of the Stations of the Cross)
  • March 24 - Procession of the Stations of the Cross
  • March 27 - Procession of the Virgin of the “donkey”
  • March 28 - Ecce Homo procession
  • March  29 - Procession of the Burial of the Lord
  • March  30 - Easter vigil and Procession of the Resurrection
  • March  31 - Easter Sunday Solemn Mass and Easter visit
To download the Brochure click here.

More information about the Holy Week in Braga here:


New Alentejo promotional film: Time to Be Happy

Turismo do Alentejo launched a new promotional film that not only stands out in image, but whose soundtrack is signed by the Portuguese Oscar-nominee Nuno Maló.

Inspired by the slogan “Alentejo, time to be happy”, the six-minute spot shows the numerous emotions that tourists can experience in the region, through the main characters of an extraordinary adventure whose starting point is the pursuit of happiness.

Like a fairytale, the promotional video shows Alentejo in the eyes of Tempo, a Golden Retriever who unexpectedly flies alone in a hot air balloon and, at the same time, experienced by its owner, a tourist that while desperately searching for its loyal friend, crosses through out the region and gets involved in an unforgettable experience.

Like a short film, the audience is transported through moments of action, adventure, excitment, joy ou beauty, numerous emotions that describe Alentejo, an unique and genuin region, marked by strong features.

Starring the British actress Ela Clark, the filme was produced by Flavour Productions and directed by Eduardo Sousa and Tito Costa. The film will be translated in eight different languages.

Source: Turismo do Alentejo

New site

Now you can discover the landscapes and the natural heritage of the Algarve from your seat.

The new site  has special information on birdwatching and distance paths which provide you fabulous walking routes. The site it´s written in Portuguese and in English

Have a look :)

Source: VisitAlgarve


Lisbon Returns for two more Editions - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

Lisbon will build on the success of the city's outstanding Volvo Ocean Race debut last year by hosting the race in each of the next two editions.

The Portuguese capital staged a groundbreaking stopover in 2011-12 and will be back on the route for the 12th edition in 2014-15 and again for the 13th in 2017-18, Volvo Ocean Race COO Tom Touber announced on 1 March 2013.

The boats will reach Lisbon in 2015 after setting out from Newport, Rhode Island and crossing the Atlantic back to Europe. The sight of Lisbon's iconic 25 de Abril bridge will be familiar as well as welcome, with the city reprising its role as the Transatlantic Destination from the 2011-12 Race, when the boats arrived from Miami.

"What Lisbon achieved in the last Race was remarkable when you think that the city was making its debut," said Race COO Touber, who made the announcement at the Torreão Nascente in Portugal's historic capital.

"Lisbon is a great port city and the people came out in their thousands to welcome the sailors as their own. The Race Village was a hive of activity, with everyone coming together to give the stopover a distinct Portuguese feel. It was a truly great success and we can't wait to come back."

Mayor of Lisbon, António Costa, added, “Welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race to Lisbon for its next editions will again represent a great opportunity to promote the culture and heritage of Lisbon on a global scale.

"This will be an important landmark for the City as a privileged stage for great events. In addition, the event will also give us the opportunity to promote regular sport among our population, in this case directly related to sailing, a sport with great tradition in the country and one of the few in which we have a rich background in terms Olympic athletes.

"It is in the best interest of the city of Lisbon to create the best conditions possible in order to continue hosting the Volvo Ocean Race in Lisbon.”

Lisbon is the eighth Host Port to be announced for the 2014-15 Race, which already has three confirmed and publicly announced teams with more than 18 months to go before the start.

Source: Volvo Ocean Race