Portugal Promotional Tourism

Veja o novo filme de Portugal e descubra a beleza da simplicidade num país autêntico, surpreendente e sedutor, onde a vida é saboreada a cada momento.

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Novos Rurais – Farming Culture

Novos valores que sustentam a procura da proximidade com a natureza e com a vida no campo.

Pensar o “rural” e o “urbano” a partir de um ponto de vista dos agentes sociais que realizam essa interação, rompendo com a dualidade inerente a essas categorias. Entre o ‘local’ e o ‘global’

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Taste Portugal | 2011 English

First, the sea and the land. Salt and sun. Then, the olive presses, granaries, wine cellars and fumitories. Bound by a people, a Country. Every day, at dusk, Portugal and the Portuguese, celebrate at the dining table.
The Taste Portugal Programme has in its mission to show the Portuguese unique gastronomy to a globalised world. To invite people to sample the authentic flavours of reinvented delicacies. To educate the palate for wines that have acquired a complex simplicity.

Portugal Invites You!

Cultural holiday in Alentejo, Portugal’s

Portugal has long been a favourite destination for British travellers. We love the food, we love the sunshine and we love the beaches. We also love the thrifty travel deals. But if you’re feeling a tad ‘been there, done that’ about Lisbon or the Algarve, we have a relatively undiscovered spot to recommend to you: the Alentejo region. Often referred to as ‘Europe’s best-kept secret,’ this spectacular area in the south-west is blessed with jaw-droppingly gorgeous coastline, gloriously expresive landscapes and is positively dripping in historical goodies just waiting for you to explore them. It’s also the most depopulated region in the country – making it the best place to go in Portugal if you’re craving a bit of isolation and serenity. So hang onto your sun hats history buffs, and get ready for the short break of a lifetime!

Évora, the region’s capital
With a rich history dating back over two millennia, Évora has recently been ranked as the second-most ‘liveable’ city in Portugal and is a lovely place to visit for a few days. Stroll around the well-preserved old town, noting the medieval walls. Wander through Giraldo Square. There are several sites to visit – the glorious Cathedral of Evora is one of the most important gothic monuments in the entire country. Saint Francis Church, with its mixed Gothic-Manueline styles, is well worth seeing for it’s beautiful Baroque chapels, one of which, Capela dos Ossos, is totally covered in human bones! If you like palaces, you’re spoilt for choice. Check out the former residence of Vasco da Gama. This palace is stunning – make sure to see the Renaissance murals. There’s also the Palace of the Dukes of Cadaval, parts of which date back to a castle that was burnt down in 1384, and the Palace of the Counts of Basto with it’s vibrant combination of architectural styles. Then there’s the Roman Temple, dating back to the 1st century! It’s thought that it was dedicated to the Cult of Emperor Augustus. The city’s most famous landmark and one of a kind in the country. Stay at the Pousada Vale do Gaio, who have rooms from £89.

Santarém, the city of churches
Thought to have been founded by the Romans in the 2nd century, and later became an important Arab cultural centre. King Fernando the 1st loved the city so much he requested to be buried there, and now lies in the convent of St. Francis. The city centre is just gorgeous. Those with an interest in gothic churches take note: there are more in Santarem than anywhere else in Portugal. Visit the site of the Old Castle of Santarem, or thePorto do Sol, and take in the wonderful view offered from the gardens. The city’s ancient defensive tower (theTorre das Cabaças) is well worth seeing, as is the Church of Saint John of Alporão. Find the Fonte da Figueira, a wonderful 14th century fountain. Then, it’s just a question of how many churches you can visit before they all blur into one! Treat yourself and stay in Hotel Lusitano, ideal for a romantic break. Maybe reward yourself with a massage? Your legs are bound to be aching after visiting all those churches…

Romance in Beja
Beja has existed since Celtic times. Julius Caesar renamed the city Pax Julia after he made peace with the Visigoths in 48 BCE.  Throughout its long history the town has seen more war than peace, but happily today it enjoys a serene existence high on a hillside. Your overall impression of the town will be inevitably shaped by its imposing 13th century castle. You can climb the 197 steps to see the view from the top of the keep. Just next door to the castle you’ll find one of the only remaining pre-Romanesque churches in Portugal. Today it houses a collection of Visigothic art. You could easily lose a few hours touring the Museu da Rainha D. Leonor with its baroque chapel and significant collection of Spanish, Flemish and Portuguese paintings. Romantics will love to learn that Beja is famous in Portuguese and French literary circles because of the discovery of love letters written by a 17th century nun, Mariana Alcoforado, to the object of her affections, the French officer Noël Bouton, Marquis de Chamilly who later became Marshall of France. Visit the window through which she first spied him walking in the garden. Stay at the lovely Hotel Rural Clube de Campo Villa Galé, a great option for families.

Take a break
If all that history gets too much for you, we suggest you take a break from everything and head to Porto Côvo, a real retreat from the world. After a day or two spent in this tiny fishing village, you’ll feel totally rejuvenated. Self-catering accommodation is very popular here, with some great cottages and holiday apartments on offer. If you want a hotel, stay in the eco-friendly Porto Côvo Hotel Apartamento. Spend your days exploring the pristine beaches nestled between tiny coves. And from here you’re ideally placed to visit Vila Nova de Milfontes, a lovely little city with a wonderful view over the river. Hop on a boat and take a day trip to Pessegueiro Island. Hike through the Parque Natural da Serra de São Mamede, a gorgeous nature park that also houses some lovely medieval villages. One of the nicest things to do along this coastline is join a horse-riding tour.Equestrian Escapes offer 3-night itineraries. You’ll need to be at least an intermediate rider, as you’ll be riding 4-6 hours a day on Lusitanos and Lusitano/Portuguese crosses. Follow trails alongside gorgeous beaches and wind-swept coastal tracks. Unforgettable.

Don’t forget to eat
Food in Portugal is pretty spectacular. The Alentejo region produces its own cheese, wine, smoked hams and sausages. Sample them all, why don’t you?! Don’t come home until you’ve eaten at least one pastéis de nata(custard tart), some bolo do caco (amazingly delicious garlic bread), bacalhau (dried salt cod) and broas (a kind of sweet potato cake).

When to go
The region receives most of its rain between late autumn and early spring. If you can’t take extreme heat, avoid visiting mid-summer. The climate is very dry and temperatures reach up to 40 degrees Celsius.

New ways to explore Portugal – Secret Portugal

There are plenty of places to explore in Portugal away from the main resorts, from the clifftop castles of the Douro valley to the spectacular coastline of the Algarve’s lesser known beaches

Douro river and valley, Portugal

Northern Portugal

Tourists heading straight to Lisbon or the Algarve are missing out on northern Portugal, home to the Douro valley, remote mountains, medieval hilltop villages and clifftop castles. Start a visit to the region in Porto, a lively mercantile city with a Unesco-protected old town. Stay in Ribeira, a maze of narrow streets with a buzzing nightlife – 6Only is a stylish, recently converted B&B close to all the main sites. After a fix of city life, head further north to the edge of the Peneda-Gerês, Portugal’s only national park. Stay in Casa Do Rio Vez, an old millhouse by the river Vez. Swim with the otters and go hiking in the Soajo mountains.
 Seven nights’ B&B from £234pp, based on two sharing, with i-escape.com, including three nights at 6Only and four at Casa Do Rio Vez. EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies from London Gatwick to Porto, from £48 return

Coastal drive

Portugal has nearly 2,000km of coastline, with wild beaches giving way to sheltered coves, dramatic cliffs and charming fishing villages. Explore as much as time allows in your own cool camper van – a brand new road van converted into a quirky little camper, with a customised comic book-style paint job. You get a welcome pack with all the essential – map, soap, tea bags – plus you can order optional extras. So if you want to bike, surf or barbecue en route, the company will provide you with the necessary gear. They’ll also point out the best locations for rock climbing, watersports, horse-riding or whatever activity takes your fancy. “Free camping” (sleeping in your van by the beach, say) is tolerated in quiet areas, excluding the Algarve where it is illegal.
 Camper van hire from €55 a day, sleeping three, with Portugal Sport and Adventure (+351 910 668 600, portugal-sport-and-adventure.com). Van collection/return is in Lisbon

Wine tasting

A wine-tasting tour of Portugal is a great-value alternative to France. The Taste of Portugal website is a brilliant resource for anyone planning an independent trip. The site features guides to Portugal’s 10 main wine regions, which produce surprisingly diverse styles, including young green wine, aromatic alvarinho, reds from Ribatejo and, of course, port. There are several suggested itineraries within each regional guide, focusing on wineries but also pointing out restaurants, culture, wildlife and festivals. So the guide to the Setúbal peninsula (rotavinhospsetubal.com), just south of Lisbon, highlights the local speciality – chicken stewed in its own blood, delicious – as well as the prettiest old chapels in the area. Hire a bike to wobble your way around your chosen region.
 See Taste of Portugal (taste-portugal.com) for more details. Cycle hire from (cycling-rentals.com) costs from €20 a day, or from €45 for three days’ hire

Alternative Algarve

If the hordes of tourists descending on the Algarve every summer have so far kept you away, it might be time for a rethink. Beyond the main beach resorts is a vast, unspoilt area that receives few visitors and, with its spectacular coastline and varied landscape, is great for a walking holiday. UTracks has a new self-guided trip this year taking in the best of the region, from pretty Silves to laidback Sagres, staying in family-run hotels in traditional villages. BA is launching a new flight from London City to Faro on 7 June, making it even easier to get to the Algarve.
 UTracks (0845 241 7599, utracks.com) offers an eight-day walking holiday from £690pp, including accommodation, meals, maps and baggage transfer, but excluding flights (flights can be booked on request). BA (britishairways.com) has flights to Faro from £128 return



Faro while capital Algarve


Faro while capital Algarve is the point of arrival and departure of the vast majority of visitors. Headquarters of the Municipality, capital of Province, has a dynamic that is not governed by the seasonality typical of summer or winter.

A major centre of trade, hotels, restaurants, schools, transport and a whole range of infrastructure which give you a natural life.

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