Portugal. Romantic settings

Monsaraz ©Turismo do Alentejo
Seek out new inspiration for romance, in Portugal. 

You're sure to discover a special élan in the country’s spectacular landscapes, historic monuments or preserved villages. 

Surrender to the charms of nature in the north and centre of Portugal that exude unique beauty at this time of the year, e.g. the white-capped mountains of the Serrada Estrela. Perhaps you prefer the plains of the Alentejo or the sunny beaches of the Algarve. And in the middle of the Atlantic, the islands of Madeira and the Azores harbour sites that will ignite your dreams.

Many castles have served as the setting for romance between knights and enchanted Moorish princesses and several gardens still preserve the memories of royal passion from the history of Portugal. Draw inspiration from these riveting tales and travel through time, staying in a Pousada luxury inn that served for many centuries as a convent or palace. 

Appreciate the Portuguese fine art of hosting visitors and prepare to be treated like a king.
Feel the rhythm of the cities and discover their special charms - old neighbourhoods, traditional shops or belvederes offering spectacular sunsets.

Experience other unique sensations for two: a relaxation programme in a spa, a river cruise or a balloon trip is all the more enticing when spent in the right company.

Come to Portugal and experience a great romance. We'll take care of the settings. Enjoy your stay!

More information about Romance in Portugal at:


Explore the Route of Vale do Lima Giants

4 Municipalities ... 4 Universal figures... 4 Corners of the world

Ponte da Barca:The Navigator, Fernão de Magalhães, lived between ~1480 and 1521, with origins in Ponte da Barca, organized and led several expeditions. He commanded the first trip circumnavigating the planet, proving that the earth is round.

Ponte de Lima:The Saint, Beato Francisco Pacheco, lived between 1566 and 1626, born in Ponte de Lima, he died a martyr in Nagasaki in Japan. Messenger of the Society of Jesus, he was one of the first Jesuit missionaries in Japan.

Viana do CasteloThe Discoverer, João Alvares Fagundes, lived from ~1460 to 1525, illustrious figure of Viana do Castelo, he was knighted the Royal House of D. Manuel I. He explored and discovered Terra Nova in the North Atlantic, an important fishing area for cod.

Arcos de Valdevez :
The Inventor, Padre Himalaya, invented the Pyreliophorus, the himalaite and performed scientific studies related to renewable energy. He lived from 1868 to 1933, born in Arcos de Valdevez, participated in the Universal Exposition in St. Louis.

Find more about at: 

Welcome to the land of Vale do Lima

Welcome to the unspoiled Lima Valley where you will find people warm hearted and full of joy.

You will be inspired by their culture and proud sense of tradition that finds expression in many different forms: their handicrafts, music and dancing, gastronomy, religious festivals and numerous creative and recreational activities.

Whether you travel as a lone pilgrim, with friends or family or in a group, you feel the unique alliance between nature and manmade landmarks.

The Lima Valley is crossed by the Lima River and integrates four municipalities: Arcos de Valdevez, Ponte da Barca, Ponte de Lima and Viana do Castelo.

Discover the identity, the emotions and the looming beauty of a land inspired by a host people who bring to the Vale do Lima the treasures of an environment of sympathy and safety.

Welcome to feel a deep experience...

The Lima Valley is strategically located between Porto and Galiza. With the advantage of facilities such as Porto Airport and the sea ports of Leixões and Viana do Castelo, the region provides an important access route that connects Porto with Valença and the Spanish border.

The Lima River is the backbone of this territory and the central element that has determined its destiny, from the mountains to the sea, traversing centuries of traditions and contacts with many different civilizations who have left their marks, shaping the picturesque beauty of the region and its unique culture.

The region has a rich patrimony and is endowed with unspoiled natural spaces: mountains, woodlands, streams and lagoons, river and beaches, and traditional picturesque villages.
The Lima Valley shows a pleasing harmony of its eco-systems and biodiversity: marine, fluvial and land - environmental diversity, nature conservation, heritage, architecture, culture, ethnography, handicrafts and gastronomy.

The Lima Valley has been awarded several prizes,  that distinguish the pioneering nature, hospitality, and the quality of Country Tourism. An example is the importance attributed by the European Commission in the study of rural tourist destinations – “Towards Quality Rural Tourism” – Integrated Quality Management of Rural Tourist Destination” and “Tourism for Tomorrow” – a prize awarded by British Airways.

During the last 30 years these elements have been integrated in innovative projects to pioneer a whole new concept in rural tourism and nature tourism in the Lima Valley under the banner of Turismo de Habitacão and Turismo no Espaço Rural with the initial driving force emanating from headquarters in Vale do lima.

Fine manor houses, country homes and farms have been restored and preserved along with the improvement of local amenities and natural environment to provide comfortable and safe tourist accommodation under the brand names Solares de Portugal andAldeias de Portugal .

ADRIL – Associação de Desenvolvimento Rural Integrado do Lima
Praça da República | 4990-062 Ponte de Lima
Tel. +351 258 900 600 | Fax. +351 258 900 609 | 

Casas Brancas: The New Project

The Casas Brancas Association has just launched a new project to be implemented by April 2015, called " Casas Brancas - Rede de Turismo Criativo ". 

The project aims to strengthen the Casas Brancas network starting with their creative capacity and capacity to sustain the identity and cultural values of the Alentejo and Vicentine Coast.

The aim is to develop and provide commercial consistency to new products and services in the network, which integrate agents, cultural values and the heritage of the region. The project is clearly geared to the international market, which is becoming more and more aware of the real attractions of this coastline, its culture, traditions, nature, history, creativity and innovativeness.

In addition to the development and consolidation of the services offered within the network, the project foresees the development of materials that enable new and effective tools to spread the word about the work of this creative tourism network. Furthermore a Manual of Good practices will be produced which will inspire and guide other entrepreneurs and potential investors in the region.

Creative tourism is a very innovative concept, internationally recognized as the new generation of tourism, which looks for more immersive and specialized ways to make the best use of a region and the economy of experience and is already widely implemented in the tourist industry.

Casas Brancas has been around since 2002 and includes about 60 micro-entrepreneurs in the region (accommodation, restaurants and activities) joined together in a network for the improvement of their services and the integrated promotion of those services and the values of the region. 

In 2011 it got started with the development of the Rota Vicentina  in partnership with the Almargem Association and various public entities within the region which culminated in the creation of the Rota Vicentina Association, which is now responsible for the management of the route and that project. 

This is foreseen as a third stage of life for Casas Brancas, with a clear focus on its greatest strength, which is the networking and the appreciation of the region's identity. For the management of Casas Brancas, "betting on cultural and patrimonial values linked to innovation, authenticity and creativity will be the best investment the tourism sector can make at this point, particularly in a region as rich as the southwest of Portugal. More than the quantity and size of investments in culture, it is important to enhance existing features, articulate them, give them shape and value and ensure their quality. Principally to integrate them into a single circuit that can sustain them, which is tourism".

Contacts:Travessa do Botequim, nº 6, 7630-185
For issues concerning the Association: (+351) 96 298 31 08
Tel/Fax: (+351) 283 327 669
To contact by email, please click here

Solares de Portugal: Special places to stay!

Solares de Portugal is a unique concept that was introduced  to promote quality tourist accommodation in houses of character “Turismo de Habitação” and, at the same time, preserve the rich legacy of Portugal’s architectural and cultural heritage.

It is important to emphasise that Solares de Portugal are not hotels or guesthouses. They are privately-owned stately manor houses, elegant country homes and rustic farmhouses. Some of them were once in decline but today they are restored to their former glory and are open to guests who are treated as part of the family.

 The Solares represent centuries of Portuguese history and culture. The majority of the   grandiose 17th and 18th century houses are still in the ownership of the descendants of the founding family.

The owners will greet you with a warm welcome and during your stay share their knowledge about local places of interest, regional gastronomy, festivals and traditions.
 Situated in some of Portugal’s most picturesque locations the Solares de Portugal nestle within large estates surrounded by style gardens, vineyards that produce delicious in-house wines, fruit orchards and woodlands.

Leisure facilities on offer include horse-riding, tennis, walking, a swimming pool, and games rooms. Meeting rooms and conference rooms are also available in several houses. In the evenings, the best of regional cuisine and wines are on the dinner table.

The Solares are arranged in three distinct groups and each house is inspected and certified according to strict criteria to ensure a high standard of comfort and hospitality.

More information about the Solares de Portugal at:
- Digital Brochure
- Reservation on-line
- Prices
- Information in Portuguese here
- Information in English here

- Information in German here
- Information in Spanish here

- Information in French here
- Information in Italian here


From 15th to 17th of May don´t miss the SATA Rallye Azores

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.

More information at: Rallye Azores


Madeira starts new promotion campaign

Madeira Tourism has launched an online campaign with the aim of promoting the region as an all year round destination and to highlight the recent recognition as Europe’s Leading Island destination, by the 2013 World Travel Awards. 

This campaign is intended for online media focusing on UK and German markets. Other countries will also be targeted such as Austria, France, Belgium, The Netherland and Scandinavia.

Under the slogan " Madeira, all year round ", this multi-platform campaign kicked off on January 2nd, for 24 hours, on the day that the British population returns to work after the Christmas holidays, hence Madeira hopefully makes a massive impact on all web visitors that accessed to YouTube in the UK. 

A 30-second video of Madeira was displayed, incorporated in a banner Masthead type, which occupies the entire width of the YouTube homepage. The Masthead links to the Madeira Tourism YouTube Channel, where visitors find many videos about the destination. 

This same campaign was repeated on January 7th on Youtube Germany.

The Masthead will be also be complemented by a display and Search Engine Advertising ( SEA ) campaign as from February, which will cover the other markets mentioned. The display campaign begins with an action of great impact (Blast Display), in which over a very short period of time, the Madeira ads will be displayed on hundreds of premium and niche websites on Google affiliate networks, generating destination awareness.

Additionally, a Madeira microsite will be created, where visitors can find general information and content specifically related to Nature, Wellness, Touring, Culture and Landscape. 

Other campaigns will run on TripAdvisor UK and Germany for at least six months. By displaying advertisements of Madeira to targeted audiences according to their profile of research on TripAdvisor, visitors will be directed to Madeira landing pages, created to support the campaigns.

The Masthead Madeira can be seen at this link.

More information about Madeira at:

Source: Associação de Promoção da Madeira


Lisboa recommended by International Congress Members

View Nations Park ©ATL
International congress members regard Lisboa as the best city to hold conferences and recommend the Portuguese capital as a tourist destination according to a survey by the Lisboa Tourism Observatory.

The studywas conducted among individuals who attended congresses in the Portuguese capital, of which 45.9% ranked the probability of a return visit as very likely.

Regarding the profile of the international Congress member the survey indicates that the Spaniards are the most prominent nationality, the majority of the participants being males ( 57.8%), primarily in the 36 to 45 years old age group for men and from 26 to 35 years old for women.

In general, the congress members are professionals with university qualifications. Transportation, Congress Registration, Accommodation, Trips and Food are key components in the expenditure incurred by participants who, on average stay in the Portuguese capital for 4.1 days.

The Lisboa Tourism Observatory survey was based on a sample of 912 interviews of international Congress members in the months of May, June and September 2013.

Source: LisboaInside


Optimus Alive is one of the "The 10 most exciting overseas 2014 festivals" according to Gigwise

According to the website Gigwise, considered  the No.1 music website in the UK, Optimus Alive is one of the "The 10 most exciting overseas 2014 festivals" .

On their top ten list for 2014, you can read that "Last years Optimus was one of the best festivals of the summer. This year will see the Arctic Monkeys, Imagine Dragons, MGMT, Chet Faker, The Black Keys and Caribou play out in Portugal"

If you're a music fan, in July don't miss Optimus Alive! and the chance to see performances by some of the top current bands, in an event that combines music and art.

Further than music, Alive! Includes the distinctive feature of a space dedicated to urban art, where new fine artists create works using recycled materials.

Against the backdrop of the Algés Maritime Promenade, in front of the River Tagus, the Optimus Alive! has a prime location for those who want to enjoy all night through, since it is also next to the train station that connects Algés directly to the bar and discos areas of Lisbon and Estoril coast.


Lisbon was considered by Conde Nast's Jaunted the 2013 destination of the year

Every year Conde Nast's Jaunted website gives the Jaunted Travel Awards —The Jauntys - and in the category of "The 2013 Destination of the Year is..." the award went to the city of Lisbon.

According to the Jaunted site:
"We learned a very valuable lesson very early on in our journey through Portugal: The fact that a city/town/country has been on the map forever in no way means that it has been discovered.

From our first steps through the streets of Lisbon, the Portuguese city upon the hill, it became clear that Americans have,for whatever reason, been ignoring Portugal. Even the most basic of observations we made were raising the eyebrows of our colleagues and friends back in the States—a good example being that Lisbon looks just like SanFrancisco.
As a result, we put together some basic travel packages to help you get to know the city, including the five words you'll want to know before your visit and a compact neighborhood guide. We also spent some time in the south, learning to surf in the small town of Sagres and taking a wild drive along the rocky coastline.

This spring, we'll be headed back to Portugal to check out Porto and the Azores, a group of adventure travel-oriented Portuguese islands just a four-hour flight from Boston. While we have learned that expectations are the devil when it comes to travel, we can't help but have high hopes given how much we enjoyed our first jaunt through the country."