Category: Portugal

Portugal to boost tourism with empty forts; Deutsche Welle

Portugal – Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications

The town of Elvas dominate the plains of southern Alentejo region near the border to Spain. But despite being declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012, Elvas receives few visitors. How to change this?

To try to change this, Portugal’s second largest hotel group, Vila Gale, is spending around five million euros ($6.0 million) to convert a former convent into a luxury hotel. Dozens of builders are working on the 17th-century whitewashed building, last used as a military court, to transform it into an 80-room, four-star hotel that is set to open next year. “We are convinced that with a quality hotel, tourists will stay in Elvas,” said Jorge Rebelo de Almeida, the president of Vila Gale, which was awarded a 40-year lease to operate the state-owned building.

Most tourists head to the Algarve, the capital Lisbon and the Porto region

Tourism has become a key driver of Portugal’s economy since 2014 when the country exited a three-year 78-billion-euro international bailout that imposed harsh austerity measures on its citizens.

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Portugal leases empty monasteries to boost tourism; AFP

Portugal – Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications

ELVAS (AFP) – The star-shaped walls of the hilltop town of Elvas dominate the plains of Portugal’s southern Alentejo region near the border with Spain.

But despite being declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 2012, Elvas receives few visitors aside from the occasional Spanish day-tripper.

To try to change this, Portugal’s second largest hotel group, Vila Gale, is spending around five million euros ($6.0 million) to convert a former convent into a luxury hotel.

Dozens of builders are working on the 17th-century whitewashed building, last used as a military court, to transform it into an 80-room, four-star hotel that is set to open next year.

“We are convinced that with a quality hotel, tourists will stay in Elvas,” said Jorge Rebelo de Almeida, the president of Vila Gale, which was awarded a 40-year lease to operate the state-owned building.

Tourism has become a key driver of Portugal’s economy since 2014 when the country exited a three-year 78-billion-euro international bailout that imposed harsh austerity measures on its citizens.

Source: Portugal leases empty monasteries to boost tourism – Khmer Times

11 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Portugal; Charity De Souza; Trips To Discover

Portugal – Historic Centre of Guimarães

Monsaraz

Nestled against the Portuguese-Spanish border, Monsaraz is a charming hilltop village that retains a quaint medieval atmosphere. You’ll find whitewashed houses that were built between the 16th and 17th century, while miles of beautiful countryside with rolling hillsides, olive groves and the river Guadiana awaits further exploration. Like an open-air museum, its ancient archways and stunning views over the Alentejo plains and Alqueva reservoir offers a tranquil escape from the big city bustle. Explore the walled village and discover the castle, shops and art galleries that dot the area, then visit a local restaurant to sample Alentejan cuisine and wines.

Sintra

A fairytale city with a rich history, Sintra is a popular day trip from Lisbon. You’ll find a picturesque landscape nestled on the foothills of the Sintra mountains, where steep cliffs drop down to the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll find an array of castles and palaces to explore, including the grand Pena National Palace and its colorful architecture and unique blend of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Islamic styles.

Source: 11 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Portugal

Europe’s World Heritage Wonders Entice; Emma Lee; Flight Centre Travel Blog

Portugal – Laurisilva of Madeira

Take a journey through time as you explore Europe’s most captivating UNESCO-listed sites.

The Dolomites, Italy

If soaring peaks and alpine meadows are your cup of tea, then the Dolomites will be, too. Considered the world’s most stunning mountain landscape, the Dolomites region offers the joys of a seasonal resort set against heartbreakingly beautiful scenery.

Eighteen peaks rise to more than 3,000m, their cliffs and slopes irresistible to rock climbers, skiers and strollers. Italian hospitality is at its best, with tantalising restaurants, traditional mountain chalets and wellness spas vying for attention.

Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood, Russia

An intriguing name and an origin literally steeped in the blood of Russia’s founding fathers are good indicators of what you can expect from this remarkable church.

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Madeira – A Destination for Micro-Adventurers and Sybarites; AboutMyGeneration

Portugal – Laurisilva of Madeira

Madeira is set to be a prime hot spot destination in Europe for the winter of 2017 and throughout 2018, with a host of recent openings, world-class restaurants and flight routes launching.

For the Micro-Adventurer – Nature Lovers, Fitness Fanatics and Thrill Seekers

‘Micro-adventures’ was named one of the top travel trends for 2017 and Madeira, otherwise known as ‘the islands of eternal spring’ fits perfectly; being just a short, three-and-a-half-hour flight from London and with direct flights from many airlines, including BA and EasyJet.

On the same latitude as Morocco, and with some of the most striking landscapes in Europe, akin to far-flung destinations such as Brazil, the Atlantic archipelago has a sub-tropical climate and dramatic mountainous terrain. Madeira has a unique eco-system and is one of the few places where banana trees grow next to vineyards.

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Top 10 Best Things To Do In Guimarães, Portugal; Andreia; Trip101

Portugal – Historic Centre of Guimarães

Guimarães is a city situated in the district of Braga, in northern Portugal. It is one of the most beloved cities in the country, both for its incredible historic town centre – listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 – and its friendly environment. Guimarães is proof of how a medieval settlement became a modern city in Europe and has plenty of reminders of that early history that still stand as imposing and striking as they used to be.

Guimarães is considered the place of birth of the Portuguese nation and is one of the richest places in the country, in terms of culture, history and art. If you’re visiting this beautiful city but you’re not sure where to start your journey, here are our best suggestions for things to do:

1. Guimaraes Castle: Guimarães’ most iconic place

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Authorities rubbish claims Terry Gilliam film set damaged historic convent; Alex Williams; PCR

Portugal – Convent of Christ in Tomar

Authorities in Portugal have rejected claims made by a television programme that a convent was damaged while Monty Python star Terry Gilliam filmed a movie there.

Claims that the shoot left chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the Convent of Christ in Tomar have been dismissed by the country’s General-Directorate for Heritage.

Reacting on Facebook, Mr Gilliam said: “Whoa!! Let’s call a sot (sic) to this ignorant nonsense. I think the Conveto di Cristois one of the most glorious buildings I have ever seen.

“Everything we did there was to protect the building from harm… and we succeeded. Trees were not cut down, stones were not broken.”

The programme, by the public broadcaster RTP, came after Mr Gilliam used the 12th century convent for upcoming adventure sci-fi film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.

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Former Monty Python star dismisses reports of damage to Portuguese UNESCO convent; The Portugal News

Portugal – Convent of Christ in Tomar

Former Monty Python star and film director, Terry Gilliam has denied allegations that a famous Portuguese convent was damaged during the shooting of Don Quixote, telling people to get their facts straight “before howling hysterically”.

A report by public broadcaster RTP suggested recent filming for ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’, being directed by Gilliam, left behind chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar in central Portugal. Filming is said to have taken place between 24 April and 10 May.
The movie spearheaded by Gilliam is a co-production of Spanish film company Tornasol, Belgian Entre Chien et Loup, French company Kinology, and the Portuguese Ukbar Films.

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Terry Gilliam finally finishes Don Quixote – and denies damaging Portuguese convent during its filming; Guardian

Portugal – Convent of Christ in Tomar

British director’s 17-year quest to film his take on Cervantes’ deluded knight is at an end, but not without controversy as he rejects report its filming damaged Portuguese Unesco world heritage site.

The filmmaker Terry Gilliam has denied allegations that a famous Portuguese convent was damaged during the shooting of his long-delayed take on Don Quixote, telling people to get their facts straight “before howling hysterically”.

A report by the Portuguese public broadcaster RTP suggested recent filming for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote left behind chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar, central Portugal.

The convent, once a stronghold of the Knights Templar, is classed as a Unesco world heritage site. The Portuguese government is investigating the claims.

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Highlights For A Spectacular Portugal Road Trip; Dan & Casey; A Cruising Couple

Portugal – Historic Centre of Guimarães

We’ve said it before, and we don’t hesitate to say it again, some places are just better explored by car. Whether it’s our honeymoon road trip across the USA, cruising around Costa Rica with the top down on our Jeep, winery hopping in Chianti region of France or gawking at the Fjords in Western Norway, having your own set of wheels adds a whole new sense of freedom while traveling. And Portugal was no exception.

While it is possible to reach some of the main cities by train, we much prefer the freedom of being able to go where you want, when you want, and there are plenty of spectacular destinations to explore throughout Portugal that would have been virtually impossible to get to without a car.

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10 Best Places To Visit In Portugal If You’re Young And Broke; Lloyd & Yaya; Hand Luggage Only

Portugal – Convent of Christ in Tomar

Oh HELLO land of stunning beaches, fairy-tale castles, buzzing cities and devilish little custard tarts! Portugal is an absolute gem of a country, a vibrant mix of old and new. If you’re broke AF, but still want to hit up Europe this summer, then Portugal has everything you need. Not only is the food incredible and cheap, the hostels are amongst the best in the world and consistently come up trumps at our annual hostel award based on your reviews. And with so many stunning beaches and hiking opps you’ll hardly spend a penny when you’re there.

So what are the best places to visit in Portugal? From the mainland that hugs the Atlantic Coast to the remote islands of the Azores, there really is an incredible piece of Portugal for everyone that you’ll no doubt end up falling in love with.

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World Heritage Day: what it is and why is it important?; Taran Bassi; Metro News

Portugal – Convent of Christ in Tomar

World Heritage Day, celebrating international monuments and sites, is on April 18.

The event is marked globally, and each year there’s a theme – this year it’s sustainable tourism.

It’s been chosen to tie in with the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

World Heritage Day is all about raising awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving various sites around the world that have achieved world heritage status.

It’s a chance to inform everyone about the efforts involved to protect and conserve, and just how vulnerable these sites are.

What is a World Heritage site?

A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space which requires special protection.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Portugal; World Atlas

Portugal’s devout Christian past is evidenced by the many places of worship on the list from the country. Laurisilva, meanwhile, is one of the largest laurel forests on earth.

Portugal is a unitary semi-presidential state located in the southwestern parts of Europe. It borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The capital of the country is at Lisbon which is also the largest city. Portuguese is the official language while Mirandese is a recognized regional language. The Portuguese are the predominant ethnic group in the country making up 96.3% of the country’s total population. The country has its public cultural facilities. It has fifteen UNESCO word heritage sites making it 17th in the world according to the number of sites.

UNESCO world heritage sites in Portugal

Alcobac Monastery

The Alcobac Monastery a medieval Catholic monastery located in Alcobaca municipality.

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Tomar’s remarkable place in World History – Portugal; Carolina Matos; Portuguese Amarican Journal

Photo: Portuguese American Journal

At about one-hour drive north of Lisbon, the town of Tomar occupies a special place in the history of Portugal and the world. Built inside the walls of the Castle of Tomar, one of the finest examples of 12th Century military architecture, the original medieval town was established in 1159 on land granted by the first King of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques, to the Order of the Knights Templar which foundation dates back to around 1118.

Source: Travel: Tomar’s remarkable place in World History – Portugal

Just my cup of tea: An island-hopping adventure in the very verdant Azores; Stephanie Cross; Daily Mail

Photo: Bob Krisl

Most people would fail to plot the Portuguese archipelago on a map but they’re missing out, says Stephanie Cross after she explores islands where the landscape veers from a desolate, dusty, black moonscape to every shade of green.

Source: Just my cup of tea: An island-hopping adventure in the very verdant Azores