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Collette Vacations Introduces New Garden Tour in Portugal

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 00:00

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U.S. tour operator Collette Vacations, in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s foremost gardening charity, has today released a complete line of new tours presented in its first-ever RHS Garden Holidays brochure.

Featuring a selection of carefully designed horticultural-themed travel packages with destinations around the world, the RHS Garden Holidays will inspire all, from the greenest of gardeners to more experienced horticulturists, with visits to exclusive gardens, private or expert tours of exceptional public and botanical gardens, and the chance to see many plants in their natural habitat.  The tours are also rich in cultural highlights, making them of equal appeal to any non-gardening travel companions.

The brochure contains a total of 11 tours, with departures for certain itineraries starting as early as May 2013.

Page 19 - Portugal’s Gardens featuring the Azores and Lisbon – 10 days, 15 meals, from $2,249: Fly to the Azorean island of St. Michael, the largest of the nine volcanic islands that form the archipelago of the Azores. Visit a local pineapple plantation and learn about the various stages of growth and the horticultural methods involved in making them so sweet. Experience a private tour of the Antonio Borges Botanical Gardens, the largest and most verdant municipal garden on St. Michael. Tour Terra Nostra Park, which is home to the world’s largest collection of camellias. In Lisbon, visit Queluz Palace and Gardens, often called the “Versailles of Portugal,” where an expert horticulturist provides a private tour. Join landscape architect Gerald Luckhurst on a private tour of the gardens at Quinta de Regaleira, one of Sintra’s most elaborate private estates. Departures: May – September 2013.

Each tour is accompanied by one of Collette’s expert tour managers, with local guides also being used where appropriate.  In addition, some departures will also be accompanied by an RHS horticulturist, such as a Curator or specialist in their field.


Alentejo Welcomes unprecedented tourism project in the arenas of riding and bullfighting

Sunday, 03 February 2013 00:00

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The village of Montoito, in the Alentejo, is the home to a tourism project considered unprecedented in Portugal: one dedicated to the world of horses and bullfighting, an investment of more than 700 thousand euros. The Lusitaurus Equestrian and Bullfighting Center is set on a small farm in Montoito near Redondo. The owner of the center, António Martins, calls the project "unprecedented" in Portugal, and that this market segment is "not yet explored" in the country.  "It's an area with little or no competition and as the horses and bulls are quite entrenched in Portugal’s culture, so we decided to focus on this aspect," he said. The Lusitaurus Center will offer all kinds of equestrian activities, such as riding lessons, workouts for riders, lessons in bullfighting on foot, Forcado training (the art of bull wrestling) equestrian touring and horseback riding. The space is equipped with a swimming pool bar, restaurant and eight apartments with 10 rooms. “This is bold investment that is unique,” Martins said.


Surf in Portugal

Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

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The world woke up this morning to read about the how the biggest wave ever surfed was in Portugal, and it came with a photo of Nazare that made your jaw drop. A vast wave loomed off the coast, and there was surfer on it.

So, to our colleagues in the media, we though we would offer you a quick briefing on why Portugal is the next big surfing destination… Not just that we have 450 miles of clean Atlantic coastline, but some surfing beaches that are out of this world… read on.


Top 10 surfing spots from Expedia

Northern Portugal in the Cortegaça region offers true surfing paradise, quality surfing, great atmosphere, and is just perfect for those people looking to escape crowded conditions further south. You fly to Porto for this region. Lisbon area is the heartland of Portugal surfing stretching all the way down to Peniche. You fly to Lisbon for this region. Finally the Algarve, has a very mild climate with solid surf often with offshore morning breezes are extremely common. Fly to Faro for surfing in the Algarve.

* Best time to surf: beginners april - august, pro surfers/big waves Nov-Feb

* Ideal for: those seeking some culture too or wanting a less crowded wave.


Madeira - Sitting alone in the Atlantic, 350 miles west of the Moroccan city of Casablanca, Madeira stands defiantly in the way of any swell coming out of the North Atlantic. It is an extremely picturesque rich cultural island, rising sheer out of the ocean, and generations of local people have moulded its cliffs into an amazing system of fertile terraces full of flowering trees. The surf of Madeira is an experience to be cherished with powerful uncrowded waves offering a real chance to test your skills to the fullest with the full force of the Atlantic. The surf break at Paul Do Mar is a fast hollow right hand point break.

* Best time to surf: October to April

* Ideal for: Intermediate and advanced surfers only


Best Bet in February: Portugal

Surfline's expert forecast team breaks down the best places to surf by month and region.

Peniche: one the world's best and hollowest beach breaks, showed its colors and went absolutely ballistic for this year's Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Heavy locals, gnarly takeoffs and punishing wipeouts will challenge any barrel-hunting surfer to the max. (But it's worth it.)


World's 50 best surf spots - CNN January 2012

Carrapateira, Portugal: This lovely left-hand Euro break, with plenty of shelter from the rocks, can reach up to three meters during mid-high tide but best of all it’s usually empty. If you run out of steam, there’s always the nudist beach just along the coast. Getting there: Fly in to Faro Airport, which is around 80 kilometers away, rent a car at the airport or get a taxi.

Pedra Branca Ericeira, Portugal At this sublime surf spot situated 48 kilometers north of Lisbon on the Atlantic coast, you’ll find a sleepy fishing village-cum-surfer town with six kilometers of stunning beach including the sandbar Sao Lorenzo and the epic Pedra Branca reef break. Come here to charge one of the best waves in the county. Getting there: Fly into Lisbon and drive or cab it 32 kilometers to this choice surf spot in west Portugal.

Survey says: Ericeira is Portugal’s new surf destination

Ericeira is one of the best places to surf in Portugal, according to a new study by the Instituto Arcane for the European Surf Industry Manufacturers. The study asked approximately 4,200 people in seven European nations to rate their top surfing destinations and of those, 6.2 percent named Ericeira as the best place to surf, surpassing well-known surf destinations like Hawaii. Despite being a popular tourist destination in the summer, Ericeira has maintained a laid-back atmosphere. Located north of Lisbon on the Central Coast, the town’s white washed houses adorn the seaside cliffs, which offer visitors a bird’s eye view of the fishermen coming and going from the harbor below. Each year, thousands visit this town to enjoy the sandy beaches, beautiful, warm weather and great seafood cuisine.

By the way -Ericeira, 1st in Surfing in Europe and the 2nd World

Ericeira was recognized by the U.S. Save the Waves Coalition as the Best Place to go Surfing in Europe and 2nd in the world (after Malibu). The region submitted the application to the Save the Waves Coalition in October last year, in order to ensure the protection of natural resources and enhance the international recognition of its heritage. “Ericeira is such a diverse surfing coastline, it has something for everyone,” said WCT professional surfer Tiago Pires, who grew up surfing there. “There are big waves, small waves, expert waves, and beginner waves. I love this area, and I’m glad to see it get the recognition it deserves, as well as a tool to help better protect it.”


Azores are a fast emerging Surf Mecca

The waves in São Miguel range in size from approximately three to five feet in the summer and up to 15 feet in the winter. The surf in the Azores is powerful and uncharted. In addition, some of the best surf spots in the Azores provide surfers with little to no crowds.

Due to the Azores’ location, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, there are always plenty of waves. The islands sit on top of the Mid Atlantic ridge, a large underwater volcanic mountain chain. Although the ridge runs the entire length of the Atlantic, it only surfaces in a few locations. One location it surfaces is the Azores.

The annual temperature of the Azores is 14 degrees Celsius, with an average summer temperature of 24 degrees Celsius. The islands have a temperate climate, with some fluctuations in weather patterns.

The Azores are an archipelago of Portuguese islands located approximately 1,500 kilometers from Lisbon and 3,900 kilometers from the east coast of North America.


For more information about these and other top surfing spots in Portugal such as beaches located in Espinho, Matosinhos, Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, Peniche, Nazare, Ericeira, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril. Costa da Caparica, Sines, Odemira, Aljezur, Sagres, Lagos, and Tavira check


Fado has online guide

Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:00

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A year after having been declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, Lisbon’s song will feature an online guide dedicated exclusively to this musical genre.

 Featuring on the Fado Museum website - - the Online Fado Guide will allow users to browse performance venues of professional and amateur Fado in Lisbon, enabling a virtual visit of the Fado Museum, Amalia Rodrigues Foundation, Fado Houses, guitar crafting workshops, fado events in the city, among other initiatives.

The creation of this guide is part of the plan to safeguard Fado’s application as Intangible World Heritage submitted to UNESCO and will allow much greater access to the the universe of Lisbon’s song, from anywhere in the world.

There are also other ongoing Fado promotional activities, such as an archive network to digitalize Fado phonograms, which should be completed in 2014, and the reclassification of fado houses of Lisbon.

 With the elevation of Fado to Intangible Heritage of Humanity and the growing public interest in this unique musical genre in the world, the Fado Museum, home of Lisbon’s song, has seen its number of visitors rise by 60 percent.


Path of Salinas Traditional - Castro Marim

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 00:00

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In Marshland Nature Reserve of Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António, there is a footpath that in just two kilometers reveals the secrets and traditions of the "white gold" in the region: the salt. A rare example of harmony between human ingenuity and the power of nature, this hidden gem is right in the heart of one of the most important habitats of national birds.

There is a legend that tells the story of Algarve Gilda, the Nordic princess who became ill because she missed the snow. Her lover, the King of Chelb (current city of Silves) planted thousands of almond trees so that when they were in bloom, they would give the feeling of snow.

Among the houses of the village and the Guadiana, from above one can also see a surprising and geometric white robe made ​​of crystalline sea salt. This occurs in season, which begins in early spring and extends inland into the summer.


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  • Fodors' 25 PLACES TO GO IN 2013: The AZORES

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