THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL SECRET A Behind the Scenes Look at Portugal
Europe’s First Nation-State (That is where we get the gray hair)
is a province of Northwestern Spain, and is tied to Portugal’s origins.
Portuguese is derived from Luso-Gailico, a “corruption” of common
Latin. Today, the Galician language is very similar to modern
Portuguese, and in the 11th century the Galicia and Northern Portugal formed the fragile frontier of Europe with Moorish forces.
By 1090, a new state was created under Count Henrique.
It was called Portucale. Portus Cale referred to either the port town of
Cale (Gaia today) or Cale and its neighboring town. Today “Portus” is
known as Porto.
When D. Henrique died, his wife took the county of
Portucale. Their son, D. Afonso Henriques called his mother out in 1128,
just outside the capital Guimaraes at the Battle of Sao Mamede, and
replaced her as ruler. At this point Guimarães was the capital of
Portugal, a heavily fortified city north of Porto. The Minho River was
then, as it is today, on the border with Galicia, and the Moors held the
lands south of the Mondego River. Today, Guimarães is still one of the
country's most historic cities, its medieval streets are filled with
ancient monuments such as its castle, with eight 92 foot towers, built
in the 10th century to protect the population from attacks by the Moors.
Next, D. Afonso pushed the Moors back beyond the
Mondego River expanding his county. In 1139 D. Afonso won a legendary
battle at Ourique, defeating five Caliphs and declaring his nation’s
independence. By 1143 the warrior king’s new nation had won Papal
recognition. By 1147 he led his small army to victory, taking the city
What is the deal with “Portuguese?” Sounds like Russian??
is a derivative of Latin, and one of a few languages on the Iberian
Peninsula that grew up after the fall of the Roman Empire. One of the
first written works of Portuguese literature is the poem “Cantiga
d’Amigo” by Portugal’s second king, D. Sancho I.
The language began in what is today northern Portugal
and Galicia, but it was the first European language to be recognized as
official by the royal court. In 1288, King D. Dinis (1261–1325), created
the first Portuguese university and decreed that Portuguese be known as
the Portuguese language and officially used in place of Latin, a first
for post-Roman Europe.
Portugal’s Flag - Must be old?
not really. The Portuguese coat of arms is one of the oldest national
symbols in Europe. It is a shield of smaller blue shields framed by
castles and a globe. But the flag is 101 years old.
When D. Afonso Henriques inherited his father’s title
of Count of Portucale he took the Cross of Burgundy as his symbol, as
his father was from Burgundy. D. Afonso Henriques and his small army
defeated the armies of five Caliphs at the Battle of Ourique, but
popular belief is that the battle took place not in Ourique in the
Alentejo, but in nearby Castro Verde. The Remedios Church there is
filled with historical paintings of the battle, and at the Royal
Basilica there are azulejo panels that tell the story of the mythical
victory. Modern historians say both towns are too far south to make
sense, and some place the real battle at Alfafar.
Soon after the Battle of Ourique, the new Portuguese
coat of arms showed five small shields, which according to some
represent the five defeated Moorish kings, but others claim it was the
five wounds of Christ, with the six small bezants in each escutcheon of
the 30 pieces of silver used to betray Christ. Four hundred years later
the "coins" in each Quina would be reduced to five, adding up to 25, but the theory says to add the middle shield twice.
A change to the coat of arms came under Afonso III
1201-1279, who added a border of castles. Some say the arms of Castile
inspired this, but many argue the castles are actually the towns of
Mertola, Cacela, Tavira, Faro and Portimao and are the last five Moorish
strongholds to fall. The Algarve was Portuguese in 1249, and a treaty
in 1267 with Castile, solidified Portugal’s modern borders. The number
of castles has strangely varied over the centuries, and was fixed at
seven in the 15th century.
From the beginning, the colors of the nation had been
blue and white, but in 1910, when Portugal's last king was deposed and
the First Republic installed, the blue and white were replaced by green
and red. It was said that the green symbolizes either hope or the green
fields of Portugal, and red the effort or sacrifice of those who defend
the nation. Nice make-over!
Any Interesting Place Names? You betcha!
Portugal has its share of places with interesting names, which are often corruptions of ancient Roman or pre-Roman names.
In northeastern Portugal, on the Douro River facing
Spain, stands the 14th century town of Freixo de Espada á Cinta. This
name could mean, "An ash tree with a sword at its belt." It might be
named after the ancient warrior, Freixo. Some say the name is Visigoth
in origin, based on the word Espadacinta. Most likely, it is named for
King Dinis, as a warning that the town was well defended. In the Centro
Region of Portugal, five towns within a few dozen miles of each other
seem to have competition over their medieval castles. In the mountains
near the Spanish border are Castelo Mendo (Mendo’s Castle), Castelo
Branco (White Castle), Castelo Novo (New Castle), Castelo Bom (Good
Castle) and Castelo Melhor (Better Castle).
The Soul of Portugal, Wrought in Stone
guidebook to Portugal says that the great abbey at Batalha is not to be
missed, an architectural masterpiece that commemorates a military
victory in 1385. That is not 100 true. Yes, the great abbey began as the
fulfillment of a vow on the eve of battle, but it ended up being
something totally different than was intended.
First off, no one celebrates wars, as death and
suffering offer little in the way of hope and faith confirming imagery.
Batalha is a monument to courage, and what came after the Battle
Aljubarrota, as much as it is a monument to the passion for independence
that has always defined the people of Portugal. When King D. Fernando
died without heir, the majority of the nobility in Portugal was keen to
unite the crown with that of Castile. The merchants and commoners
recruited D. João, head of the Order of Aviz to lead an improbable fight
of continued independence.
Aljubarrota was a heroic last stand, and an attempt to
turn back a far superior Spanish force. Under D. João, and his army
commander, the recently sainted D. Nuno Alvares Pereira, the Spanish
forces were routed, and the Aviz dynasty soon set Portugal in a
direction that changed the course of world history. Within a generation,
Portuguese ships sailed the Atlantic and within a century Portuguese
commander Vasco da Gama sailed to India.
Today the fact that Portugal is a nation at all is
celebrated in the stone of the great abbey of Batalha. The great abbey
became a monument to what the nation could be, to the vision of its
people and kings and to the potential of its future. Still unfinished to
this day, the soaring gothic church remains elegant to visitors.
The real monument is the Chapter House, a vast
unsupported dome of 19 square meters that rivals the Roman Pantheon or
the Duomo at Florence. It is an unparalleled engineering feat by Master
Architect Afonso Domingues. Novelist Alexandre Herculano wrote that the
old master spent three nights under the newly completed Chapter House,
and not only did it hold, it survives today, 600 years later.
Today the dome is home to the tomb of the unknown
Portuguese soldier, marked with a village of honor guards, and a cross
for the battlefields of World War I where more than 30,000 Portuguese
American travel magazine, Travel + Leisure,
just released the results of the 16th annual readers’ poll, which
determines the crème de la crème of the world’s top hotels. Two of their
selections are located in Lisbon; Olissippo Lapa Palace and Four Seasons Hotel Ritz.
These Lisbon hotels were the only ones earning a top 100 spot in the
entire Iberian Peninsula. They ranked 31st and 99th, respectively. And
2nd and 10th as the Top Large City Hotels in Europe.
Save a week of your life for a detox at Vidago Palace,
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Featuring Michelin-Starred chefs at Vila Joya in Albufeira-Guia (Algarve) January 13 - 23, 2012. This
is a sole food festival in which only Michelin-starred chefs are the
participants. For the first time in the festival's history a luncheon
will be prepared on the Malhadinha Nova Vineyard and will give guests of
the festival an opportunity to bask in the atmosphere of one of
Portugal?'s most beautiful vineyards and farms. What the chef will be
serving is what is raised or grown on the property giving new meaning to
"farm to table" dining. In addition, there will be daytime festivities
for guests to partake of including golf tournaments, wine and spirits
tastings; workshops on Pata Negra and chocolate making, etc. There will
also be a Go-Kart Race - "The Battle of the Michelin Chefs," where the
masters will go head-to-head in a different type of competition. Travel
packages are available so guests can tailor their experience to their
own personal needs. Guests can choose between staying at the Vila
Joya or other hotels including CS Sao Rafael Hotel. The silver
package includes 3 days of events and dinners plus a round trip economy
class airline ticket, the gold package 5 days, and the platinum
package all 10 days. The gold and platinum packages include business
class tickets, spa treatments, and transportation to and from the
Queijaria Guilherme from Serpa (Alentejo) won a
national contest with cured sheep's milk cheese. Gold Medal in National
Competition for Traditional Portuguese Cheese is the recognition of
quality for the product launched last February by Queijaria Guilherme.
The company, founded ten years ago on the left bank of the river
Guadiana, also received Honorable Mention for Atabafado fresh goat
cheese in the contest "3 Days of Cheese." Both competitions are
conducted with blind tastings and the juries are composed of experts in
cheese. According to the notes of evidence "cheese bouquet delivers a
smooth, clean and slightly acidic. Its texture is creamy in the mouth.”
InsidePORTUGALtravel.com Turismo de Portugal A monthly newsletter of news for travel writers and editors
Ourique, PT – You have been reading a lot about Portugal these past few months, including the great article on Geres in National Geographic, and the piece on Evora in the New York Times to
name a few. However the question still remains, what exactly is
Portugal? Other nations in Europe have much stronger associations in the
mind of the American traveler – but as Barry Hatton points out in his
new book The Portuguese: A Modern History “Portugal is an
established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the
euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous
and largely overlooked country on the continent's south-west rim.” But
there is much more than meets the eye.....
*** INSIDE THIS MONTH'S EDITION ***
1. THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL SECRET
4. CONTACT INFORMATION
THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL SECRET
The REAL Portugal!
The year 2038 will mark Portugal’s 900th anniversary
as an independent nation. And, despite its misty nature, Portugal also
happens to be the closest European neighbor to America.
Among its many accomplishments, Portugal was the first
European nation to discard Latin in favor of its own unique language.
Portugal's borders have also remained stable for centuries, giving them
the longest-standing borders in Europe. But most importantly of all,.
Portugal was the first nation to build a global economy. Its sea-faring
explorations of the 1400s to 1600s opened up trade routes that reached
Brazil to the West, Africa to the south, and Macau and India to the
Today Portugal offers some of the most exciting new
buildings in Europe, from Porto’s Casa da Música to Lisbon’s new Casino
Lisboa and Two Portuguese Pulitzers architects that have renowned projects
around the country. Its restaurants and cafes serve bold new dishes
that combine traditional Portuguese cuisine with flavors of the other
regions once explored by Portuguese mariners, making it an ultimate
destination vacation for foodies. Portugal’s cities are also heavily
influenced by the cultures of the distant lands influencing their
cuisine, appealing to the history buff in every traveler.
So what defines Portugal? Start with its vast cork
forests, move on to discovering its ancient castles and forts, check out
its mighty cathedrals and abbeys, and explore its whitewashed towns and
vibrant cities. The traditional songs of Fado – the Portuguese version of the blues – thrive among a new generation of Fadistas, who are the singers that turn the melancholy melodies into art.
Visitors still fill the arenas for Portuguese
bullfights, where the bulls’ lives are always spared and the fighter
always approaches on horseback. Portugal’s islands – the Azores and
Madeira – also offer green landscapes and dramatic scenery, yet several
of their cities compete as hotspots with the best in Europe.
Yes, these are challenging times for the Portuguese –
no doubt. But we need to have some perspective; in 1580 a massive
Spanish army annexed Portugal following a lost battle in North Africa
that left the nation kingless and defenseless. Portugal went on to
regain its independence after two generations. In the first decade of
the 19th century Portugal faced not one but three invasions by Napoleonic armies, and turned back all three.
Today’s Portugal remains well seasoned with its past – and is best enjoyed in juxtaposition to an uncertain but endless future.
In Eça de Queiroz’s The City and the Mountains, he describes his first vision of Portugal:
“I awoke wrapped in a vast, sweet silence.
There was a station, perfectly still and clean swept, with small white
roses climbing the walls, and more roses in clumps in the garden, where
blooming mimosa flowers gave off their scent. A pale young man in a
honey-colored coat bent his cane on the ground as he watched the train
pensively. Overhead shone the deep rich and soft blue sky in which my
eyes were bathed.”
The 2011 travel and tourism competitiveness index,
put together by the World Economic Forum, places Portugal in the top 20
most competitive destinations for tourism andtravel investments for the
3rd year running.
A monthly newsletter of news for travel writers and editors
Bairro Alto, PT –
Top 10 free things to do in Portugal (well, according to us)
See the sights without spending a euro (or less than a euro!)
is a real delight with so many diverse and unique attractions that make
for the perfect vacation. And lots of them are free! So take a look at
our top 10 things to do for free (or almost free) in Portugal and enjoy
free days out for all the family, all year round. And, you can enjoy our
newly redesigned newsroom at: www.insideportugaltravel.com.
*** INSIDE THIS MONTH'S EDITION ***
1. THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL SECRET Top 10 free things to do in Portugal
6. CONTACT INFORMATION
THIS MONTH'S TRAVEL SECRET Top 10 free things to do in Portugal
Castles – we have a lot… and they are super cool! In fact we have more
per capita than any other nation, and the vast majority are free. For
example, the Castle of Guimarães in a dominant position, overlooking the
Campo de São Mamede, this monument is connected to the foundation of
the Country of Portugal and the struggles of the independence of
Portugal, popularly known as the cradle of nationality. Among the many
free castles are the fortifications of Palmela, Lousã, Evora, Marvão,
Castelo Bom, Penela, Almeida plus many others. Portugal in the Middle
Ages was a crossroads of cultures, with hostile Moors to the south and
rival Spanish kingdoms to the east. Today, Portugal’s more than 150
forts and castles are persisting monuments to the nation’s will to be
independent. While larger and mightier countries were absorbed by
others, Portugal, with its proud castles and the soldiers who defended
them, evolved. Portugal’s castles are unlike their European
counterparts. The Portuguese learned the art of fortification from the
master builders of the Romans and the Moors.
#2 Cathedrals – The house of God is free, so the hundreds of
historic churches and cathedrals across Portugal are free (some may
charge to see the cloisters or sacristy). Here you can see a 1,000 years
of architecture with rich gold and silver, amazing woodwork and
sculpture, and the tombs of priests, warriors, kings, and everyday
people. Manuel I was crowned king of Portugal in 1495, during which his
reign kicked Portugal’s economy and expansion into high gear. Just two
years later – the same year that the explorer Vasco da Gama set sail for
India – King Manuel sealed his legacy with the construction of a church
in Setúbal. This project is seen as the birth of the Manueline
architectural style for which Portugal has become famous.
#3 Festivals - Festivals in Portugal are a popular way to celebrate
Portuguese religious and general holidays. From Lisbon’s Popular
Marches, to Coimbra’s celebration of the Saint Queen Isabel in July, to
the Sao Pedro Festival, late spring to fall, these ancient festivals and
celebrations are free to all. Attending a traditional festival (festa)
is a great way for any visitor to absorb some Portugese popular culture
and get to know the locals better.
Coimbra holds one of the biggest student parties in Europe. The
Queima da Fitas (burning of the ribbons) lasts for 8 days, one for each
University of Coimbra's colleges. There are open-air concerts, parades,
and many cultural events, for the public to enjoy. All this culminates
with a massive burning of the ribbons, symbolizing the end of the
student’s stay at the old university. The finale is held in a square in
front of the Romanesque city cathedral, with hundreds of students
signing and celebrating their entrance into the professional world. This
ancient academic festival is held to celebrate graduation at the
nation’s oldest university (founded in 1288). It takes place at the end
of the second semester, in early May.
In June, Lisbon celebrates its popular saints. Fun parades and
festivities liven the city’s nights in its historic center and
neighborhoods such as Castelo, Mouraria, Graça , Alfama, Ajuda and
Bairro Alto. Decorated with lanterns, colorful arches, and costumes, the
streets are filled with singing and dancing. Grilled sardines are
served on every street corner and basil pots are decorated with verses
dedicated to Saint Anthony, the city’s patron saint (and unlikely
#4 City Parks – From the sweeping vistas of the Sao Pedro de
Alcantara Park in Lisbon, to the charming and stylish paths of the
ancient Mata de Santa Cruz in Coimbra, to the breathtaking Garden of the
Episcopal Palace in Castelo Branco – Portugal’s hundreds of city parks
rich in heritage and monuments, are free. The handsome Garden of the
Episcopal Palace in Castelo Branco has a renaissance plan with baroque
decorations. It is one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Portugal
and contains statues of allegories, kings and zodiacal signs, arranged
around ponds, terraces and staircases.
#5 Beaches – with more than 500 miles of clean Atlantic coast,
Portuguese beaches are great, and beyond the swimming, surfing, and sun
– they’re free to the public. The Blue Flag is a symbol of
environmental quality and is awarded annually to beaches and marinas
that present themselves to be assessed against a strict criteria that
includes water quality; environmental information and education;
environmental management; and equipment, safety and services. Of course,
Portugal has more than 300 miles of sandy beaches, and some of the best
weather in Europe to enjoy them by. From the warm water of the Algarve,
to the healing sands at Porto Santo, Portuguese beaches are welcoming.
#6 The Cacilheiro (95 cents) These orange boats that go from Lisbon
to Cacilhas cost a mere 95 cents, and offer some of the most
breathtaking views of Lisbon from the river – they may not be free, but
for that kind of money, they might as well be.
To quote an old song:
Sailing on a trail of foam,... there, the
cacilheiro goes by on the Tejo in freedom... and the Lisbon's streets,
without a hurry,... took a round-trip ticket to it.
Bairro Alto, here and there, sailing in a toy-like boat Half of Lisbon
waits on the margin's asphalt,... but the longing, in advance, drifts
#7 Museums on Sunday and Holidays until 2 p.m. – Many public
museums are open at no charge on Sundays and Holidays – here are just a
few, but check out this site for a full list. Plus children under 14
years old free and there is a 50% discount for seniors.
Museum Abade de Baçal - Bragança
Museum Alberto Sampaio - Guimarães
Museum de Aveiro
Museum dos Biscainhos- Braga
Museum of Ceramics- Caldas da Rainha
Museum de D. Diogo de Sousa- Braga
Museum Ethnographic Dr. Joaquim Manso - Évora
Museum de Évora
Museum de Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior - Castelo Branco
Museum Grão Vasco -Viseu
Museum of Guarda
Museum of Lamego
Museum Monográfico de Conímbriga - Condeixa- a-Velha
Trolley 28 runs its way
through historic Lisbon beginning in Graça then diving to the river.
Cost is a mere 2.50 Euros (or buy a one day Carris/metro ticket for 3.95
Euros) and you pay the fare directly to the driver. Lisbon’s #28
trolley crosses the city from east to west, climbing away from the
center through the narrow cobbled streets and steep gradients of the
Bairro Alto, Baixa, and Alfama districts. The small vintage trolley
navigates tight turns past markets, restaurants, and churches and the
like. You can get off in the Graça neighborhood and catch a #37 bus to
the Castelo de São Jorge, where you can enjoy views of the whole city.
Running of the bulls on Terceira, where the popular “touradas à corda”
that are held in the streets. Part of life on this Atlantic isle since
the 16th Century, the “touradas à corda” (literally “bullfights by
rope”) are held by local Terceira villagers from April/May to late
September. In these events, similar to the “Running of the Bulls <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_of_the_Bulls>
”, a bull is let loose from the town’s square (or other open space)
with a very long rope around its neck. Courageous people then attempt to
provoke the animal and get close to it while avoiding being gored
(resulting in many examples of humorous provocations, fearless attempts
and the occasional injury or mayhem). Some “touradas à corda” also do
away with the rope entirely or become semi-aquatic (when the bulls chase
the participants off a dock). Following these “games” the animal is
eventually retrieved and a festival will begin.
#10 Levadas on Madeira - The Levada "Walks" are walking trails
along the maintenance paths beside the Levadas. Although the Levadas
were constructed primarily for agricultural/industrial use they are just
as important for tourists and local people who want to enjoy outdoor
adventure activities inaccessible by car. Madeira levadas are famous
worldwide and are one of the main reasons why people go there. And, they
offer some fantastic scenery through the Laurisilva forests -
indigenous to the island.
Madeira being a volcanic island is mountainous. This combination of
tropical climate and mountainous terrain makes it a perfect location
for all types of walks, hikes and trekking. Some easy, some more
challenging and sometimes thrilling walks & Madeira hikes can be
found all over the island.
United Continental Airlines will offer between May 28 and
September 6, 2011 an additional flight between Lisbon and Newark Liberty
International Airport in New Jersey. With the new route, the airline
will connect the two cities on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturday, flights
departing Lisbon at 12:30 p.m. arriving in Newark at 3:30 p.m. the same
day. The return flight leaves Newark Liberty on Mondays, Wednesdays and
Fridays at 10:10 p.m. and arrived in Lisbon at 10:15 a.m. the next day.
The flights will be operated on a Boeing 757-200 with 175 seats, 16 in
BusinessFirst cabin and 159 in economy.
de Portugal are now offering three or five-night Circuit Deals, where
guests can explore the region without the stress of multiple bookings.
Travelers can pick from five different regions for their circuit, all of
which offer the culture, food and beauty unique to Portugal. In the
North circuit, known as the “cradle of the Portuguese nation,” guests
journey from Viana do Castelo all the way through to their fifth night
at Porto. Along the way there’s the Guimarães Castle, the breathtaking
Trás-os-Montes, coastal beaches, and local dishes like the famous fried
pork, Rojões à moda do Minho.
The Yeatman Wine Hotel in Gaia offers guests the experience of
the spa wine therapy, or Vinothérapie, by Caudalie. The first spa wine
therapy in Portugal promises to surprise by concept, in perfect harmony
with the wine-themed hotel, offering a unique and engaging look into the
culture and pleasures of wine. The Vinothérapie spa offers ten
treatment rooms with a variety of massage rituals, body and facial
treatments, scrubs and baths. With full sunlit rooms and a view of the
Douro River, one can choose treatments such as the plunge bath barrel
with water enriched by micro fragmented grape juice, or exclusive
massages like the Wine Maker’s massage, which replicates all the stages
and rituals of winemaking.
The Festa dos Tabuleiros is a colorful festival that enlivens the
streets of Tomar just once every four years. This July 2nd through 11th,
the festival returns as one of the oldest and most popular cultural and
religious celebrations to take place on the Iberian Peninsula. The
highpoint of the festival, whose origins date back to the 17th century,
is an afternoon parade of girls carrying trays at head height stretching
some 5 km across town. Other events throughout the festival include the
Boys' Parade, Crown Parade, Butler Parade and the unveiling of several
Tomar streets emblazoned with brightly-colored paper flowers.
New hotels for 2010/2011 in Portugal Dozens of new hotels make Portugal a rising star
Aveiro, PT – InsidePORTUGALtravel.com Turismo de Portugal A monthly newsletter of news for travel writers and editors December/Dezembro 1, 2010 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What’s old and what’s new? Well Portugal is considered Europe’s oldest nation (we turn 900 in 1139 or 43! That’s a lot of candles!!) But hey we had a good year – double-digit growth in U.S. travelers – now our 9th biggest inbound market – and our 6th biggest spenders. So, we must be doing something right. Certainly, all those articles you guys wrote did not hurt one bit – or the awards our hotels won… But as we look at 2011 – we wanted to recap some of the new hotel highlights for 2010 – read on. Oh, a Happy December 1st – on this day in 1640 Portugal declared its independence, ending 60 years of Spanish dominion, and reestablished itself as an independent nation. We have been going strong ever since!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LISBON REGION
Lx Boutique Hotel – Lisbon The Lx Boutique Hotel is the newest inn in Lisbon, located in the Cais do Sodré district and minutes away from Chiado and Bairro Alto. The grand opening is set for this fall, after an investment of around seven million euros. The hotel has 45 rooms, each with a theme related to Lisbon, from the Tejo Persona (Fernando Pessoa lived in the building for some time, and it was the once famed Hotel Bragança), Fado, Seven Hills and Bairro Alto. With its great location near the historic districts of Lisbon, it is ideal for those looking to discover the city. The hotel will feature a restaurant whose menu includes Sushi and other dishes. It is also possible that the brand will be extended to other hotels, since the concept fits within the historic districts of Lisbon. The main channel of unit sales will be the Internet, with the final site available next month. The official estimate is that 90 percent of bookings are made through this channel. http://www.lxboutiquehotel.pt/ <http://www.lxboutiquehotel.pt/>
Hotel da Estrela - Lisbon The Hotel da Estrela, first hotel of the Lagrimas Group in Lisbon and a new hotel for the School of Hospitality and Tourism of Lisbon, has opened on October 26th, 2010. Located in the Campo de Ourique, in the historic Palácio dos Condes de Paraty, this building is a redevelopment of the former School Machado de Castro. The four star project, designed by architect Miguel Cancio Martins, includes 19 rooms with three meeting rooms, a restaurant/bar, a garden and an event space. The training aspect is one of the points highlighted in the draft, and part of the staff will be final year students. http://www.hoteldaestrela.com/en/ <http://www.hoteldaestrela.com/en/>
Oitavos Hotel - Estoril Coast – Lisbon Region The Oitavos, a new luxury hotel, opened on September 1st 2010 just 20 minutes from Lisbon. The hotel features 142 guest rooms, a golf course built around sand dunes and saltwater swimming pools. This nature-inspired property is located on the family owned Quinta da Marinha estate, within the Sintra-Cascais National Park. The new hotel also has a conference center, which can accommodate up to 300 people, plus five additional meeting and boardrooms and catering for up to 150. http://www.theoitavos.com/ <http://www.theoitavos.com/>
Altis Avenida –Lisbon The Altis Avenida is a charming new hotel right in Restauradores Square, in the historic heart of Lisbon’s city center and the main shopping district. All 72 rooms are equipped with the very latest technology and designed with an elegant 1940’s décor, maintaining the original combination of styles, fabrics and furniture. The hotel is a place where the past, present and future meet in a glamorous and sophisticated atmosphere. The bar and restaurant on the top-floor provide a magnificent view over the city and is the ideal meeting place for those looking for the true feel of Lisbon. http://www.altishotels.com/HotelMenuContent.aspx?ID=6 <http://www.altishotels.com/HotelMenuContent.aspx?ID=6>
Inspira Santa Marta – Lisbon This four-star, green-designed hotel is right in the heart of downtown Lisbon. It provides prime comfort and hospitality, intertwined with the latest in wellness and sustainability. Feng Shui reflects the mood and is the main theme of the hotel. Located just off of Lisbon's main Avenida da Liberdade, the hotel has a total of 89 stylish guest-rooms designed around Feng Shui themes such as earth, fire, and water. The restaurant features Mediterranean cuisine and show cooking, all made with freshly prepared ingredients. Inspira Santa Marta opened on March 15th, 2010. http://www.inspirasantamartahotel.com <http://www.inspirasantamartahotel.com/>
International Design Hotel – Lisbon This 4-star hotel opened in March 2009 at Rua da Betesga, in Lisbon. Urban, Tribal, Zen and pop are all design themes exhibited by the hotel’s unique rooms. The hotel is located on one of the eldest streets in Lisbon, Betesga, whose origins go back to the 15th Century. http://www.internacionaldesignhotel.com/
Altis Belém Hotel – Belém – Lisbon A new “boutique hotel” in Belém by the Altis Group, known for the quality, sophistication and professionalism of its hotels, is preparing to open a new hotel in the Lisbon area. It is located near the Bom Sucesso docks, an important tourist area of Lisbon. This new, luxury boutique hotel features 42 high quality rooms, and a restaurant serving the very best of Portuguese cuisine. Hotel Altis Belém will also feature a bar and terraced café, spa and several meeting rooms, offering a diversified range of services and facilities.
New Champalimaud Foundation Office opens This Foundation supports individual researchers and research teams working at the cutting edge of medical science. Designed by famous Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The Champalimaud Center for the Unknown, will focus on cancer research, and offer a neuroscience program.
Porto With 6 New Hotels Six new hotels, restaurants and museums are among a few of the new offerings from the Grand Harbor, located around the World Heritage Center. Hotels include the five-star The Yeatman, the four-star Teatro, the Intercontinental Hotel, the hotel Star Inn Porto, the under-construction four-star Inspira Flores Hotel, and Carris Porto Ribeira.
Hoteles Rail - Porto Hoteles Rail, a Spanish Hotel Chain, will open a new four-star hotel located in the heart of the historic center and close to the Douro River. It will feature approximately 90 rooms, with a business-meets-modern concept, comfortable and clean accommodations, and a good price and location. The investment will help to create over 300 jobs in the area, and the project itself is a part of a focus on the recovery and reuse of historical buildings in Porto. The hotel will be completed by February 2011.
Vidago Palace - Vidago Celebrating its Centenary this year, the 70-room and suite Vidago Palace officially opened in October and reclaimed its place as one of Europe’s great historical resorts. Located within a 250-acre estate, an hour from Porto, Vidago Palace has been extensively renovated and restored over the last two years. Embracing its Belle Epoque heritage, Vidago Palace is a majestic Portuguese country house with all the services of a world-class luxury hotel.
The Portuguese company UNICER, owners of the Vidago Estate (and the eponymous mineral water brand) commissioned GLA Hotels to oversee the renovation, reopening, and management of the hotel. The brief was two-fold: to restore Vidago Palace to its former glory and to create a fitting emblem for Vidago mineral water, the source of which lies within the estate.
The renowned Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza Vieira was presented with the challenge of the spa’s restoration. The contemporary design is in striking contrast but sympathetic to the classical style of the Palace, featuring tremendous marble tiles set against sleek white finishes. http://www.vidagopalace.com/ <http://www.vidagopalace.com/>
The Yeatman - Porto The Yeatman opened its doors in September as the first five-star hotel in the Portuguese city Vila Nova de Gaia. All the rooms overlook the spectacular 'Ribeirinha' Porto and are decorated in a classical style. The construction of The Yeatman began in May 2006 by the Fladgate Partnership. It is committed to protecting the environment, and devotes half of the property to elegantly crafted gardens including an olive tree more than 1300 years old, a butterfly garden and endangered plants attracting an array of bird species. The hotel is perfectly integrated into the landscape, mimicking the slopes of the Douro River. It offers a total of 82 rooms, as well as the master suite hotel that is separated from the rest of the building and can be accessed from the garden. http://www.the-yeatman-hotel.com/
CENTRO DE PORTUGAL REGION
Casa da Insua This 5-star boutique hotel is a converted 18th-century, baroque-style manor in Penalva do Castelo. Located to the southeast of Porto, the hotel opened in July of 2009. With its magnificent façade and impressive gardens, it is ideal for both business and leisure travelers with 21 rooms, 9 suites, and three one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments. On-site facilities include a restaurant, a museum, reading and game rooms, a chapel and a wine-tasting room. The hotel also has a selection of rooms and spaces available for meetings and other events. Prices include breakfast. http://www.casadainsua.pt/ <http://www.casadainsua.pt/>
Casa das Penhas Douradas Located at the heart of Serra da Estrela National Park, this charming hotel features some additional new rooms totaling 18, a spa, restaurant, heated pool and bikes. The rooms are wood birch-paneled with large windows and verandas, offering a stunning view of the mountains. Each room has an LCD television, a DVD player, and an iPod player, providing a home-away-from-home atmosphere. Casa das Penhas Douradas is located just minutes away from the airport yet it is a place of rest, comfort, and tranquility. Prices include breakfast http://www.casadaspenhasdouradas.pt/ <http://www.casadaspenhasdouradas.pt/>
Vila Galé Coimbra
The city of Coimbra will see a new Hotel Vila Galé Coimbra opened on April 1st 2010 (and was officially inaugurated on April 17th) with 4 stars. This hotel is located in Coimbra historical center, overlooking the Mondego river and also has a 700m2Satsanga space. http://www.vilagale.pt/ <http://www.vilagale.pt/>
Martinhal Resort Martinhal Resort was officially inaugurated on September 16th, 2010 in what is being touted as Portugal’s first high-luxury family resort in the Algarve town of Sagres. Located on the rocky, southwestern point of Portugal, Sagres is where the first caravels were launched during the Age of Exploration. Today, the town boasts breathtaking views of the Atlantic, many of which can be seen from the Martinhal Resort’s houses, cottages and luxury villas. The theme at this five-star resort is “Barefoot Luxury,” and the staff continually aims to provide a relaxed, yet unparalleled experience. All rooms have private terraces with ocean views. The on-site restaurant, O Terraço, sits atop the pavilion and offers guests the option of enjoying a simple coffee or a full gourmet meal while overlooking the sea. The resort also features bars, another restaurant and a business center. Those who enjoy the outdoors will have plenty to do, whether it is lounging by one of the resort pools, picking up a game of tennis or working out at the gym and spa. Nature enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the protected lagoon, which is part of the Costa Vincentina Natural Park. http://www.martinhal.com/ <http://www.martinhal.com/>
Real Marina Hotel & Spa Real Marina Hotel & Spa is a luxury resort overlooking the Ria Formosa, a protected natural reserve. Contemporary yet traditional, the hotel caters to both the leisure and business traveler with a full use of facilities for each segment of the market. Accommodations include 132 double-rooms and 12 suites, all tastefully furnished and filled with modern conveniences such as Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, mini-bar, safe-deposit box and cable TV. Facilities also include two restaurants, two bars, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools (including a children’s pool), and secure garage parking. One of the hotel’s main features is its spa where guests can relax in the Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath or enjoy a work out in the gym. http://www.realhotelsgroup.com <http://www.realhotelsgroup.com/>
Longevity Wellness Resort Monchique – Condo Hotel – Algarve Region The Longevity Wellness Resort Monchique opened in March 21, 2010 and was officially inaugurated on July 24, 2010 as being a green facility with a focus on wellness and relaxation. Properties here are a mix of vacation homes and rentals. The development is in the Algarve's mountain around the picturesque town of Monchique, with both mountain and coastal views. It will have 195 one-bedroom apartments with amenities such as outdoor and indoor swimming pools, restaurant and bars, driving range and putting green, library, cinema, and the Longevity Anti-Ageing Spa. http://www.longevitywellnessresort.com/ <http://www.longevitywellnessresort.com/>