Month: Mar, 2018

Wild boar, chicken, pork or goat cheese ice cream are just some of the flavors of the mount range that will be highlighted for the 15th consecutive year in seven restaurants in Cachopo, Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo and Tavira.

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Between 6 and 22 April, the Serrana Gastronomy Festival takes place in the restaurants of Caceres, Cachopo, O Constantino, Monte Velho, Herdade da Corte, Quinta do Marco and Taberna Barriga, in Santa Catarina da Fonte do Bispo, and Monte Baleeira , in Tavira.

At the disposal of the adherents are also soups, salads, cheeses and sausages, as entrees, and rooster, lamb, venison, cooked with grain, main dishes. Well accompanied by regional wines, the meals do not end without sweet potato pie, coffee and fig mousses, honey cake or period fruit.

Besides the fantastic flavors, the participants are also able to gain a stay in the Herdade da Corte, Quinta do Marco Rural Hotel or Agricultural Pension, as well as an activity of tourist animation.

Algarve is preparing to mark three important regional events that marked the year 1918 with program of activities. Four conferences and an exhibition will take place between April and November in the municipalities of Faro and São Brás de Alportel.

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The year 1918, precisely a century ago, was marked by pneumonic flu, the inauguration of the San Carlos Carlos Vasconcelhos Porto and the end of World War I. “There are, in fact, 100 years of three things that mark us in our regional and local history. We joined efforts and there was an immediate adhesion of the various entities around this proposed conference cycle, “said Alexandra Gonçalves, Regional Director of Culture.

With regard to Health, there will be three conferences: ‘The Pneumonic Flu – Investigation’, on April 13 in Faro, ‘Institutions and Architectural Heritage: A Century of Hospital Architecture in the Algarve, on May 30 in Faro and’ Commemorations of the Centenary of the San Carlos Carlos Vasconcelos Porto ‘, on September 8, in São Brás de Alportel. Also in this village, the exhibition ‘Spaces and Personalities connected to Health in the municipality of São Brás de Alportel’ will be open from June 1st.

‘The End of World War’ is the title of the conference held on November 9 in Faro to mark the conclusion of the first major conflict on a global scale. Alexandra Gonçalves stressed that there are “particularities of history that must be made known to the population,” so that “the mistakes of the past are not repeated” and that “there are clues that allow us to face questions that arise in the future.”

Francisco George, former Director General of Health, and Fernando Rosas, historian, are two presences already confirmed at the conferences to be held.

Every Easter Sunday, men wielding artistic torches scream in unison, “He is risen as he said, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.” Every year, São Brás de Alportel relives the ancestral Procession of Hallelujah

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The preparations begin a year earlier with the collection of field flowers in the Algarve countryside. São Brás de Alportel is decorated in a meticulous and artistic work with a kilometer of flowers. To the windows and balconies, residents put bedspreads to honor the procession’s passage. To the religious tradition, the flavors of São Brás de Alportel’s traditional sweets and the best of local handicrafts are joined.

The tradition of the Flower Torch Festival, held annually in Easter Day, has a religious character, but it also marks one of the most significant moments in the Algarve: the expulsion of English troops commanded by the Duke of Essex, who sacked the city of Faro in July of 1596, by the confraternity of the unmarried young men.

At that time, the confraternities were obliged to carry a lit torch or lamp and, later, to lack of wax, they carried sticks painted and decorated with flowers. The Procession of Aleluia began to be realized in the first years of century XVII in São Brás de Alportel, becoming one of the most important religious manifestations of the region.

Now, the men carry the flowering torches and form two wings to form the procession through the streets of São Brás. Only men can carry the torches, since the confraternities were only composed of men.

Even with a more unstable weather forecast, the Algarve remains the destination of choice for the Portuguese to spend a mini-vacation at Easter. Albufeira, Vilamoura and Sotavento are the most sought after regions.

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Across the Algarve, the average hotel capacity is around 80%, up from what it was in the last year. Desidério Silva, president of the Tourism Region, explains that “the Algarve has strongly invested in greater diversity as an alternative to the sun and the beach.”

But not only the Portuguese are heading for the South. The new tourist products, more appropriate to this time, make the difference in attracting other audiences, “like the US, Brazil, Scandinavia or France,” says Dora Coelho, director of the Tourism Association of the Algarve, which underlines the importance of being an alternative “against our main market which remains the United Kingdom.”

Although the weather remains unstable and some rain is expected, the Sun must wait for the entire Easter weekend and maximum temperatures approaching 20 degrees, according to forecasts by the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere.

Praia da Falesia, in Albufeira, is the best beach in Portugal and the 12th best in the world. The travelers who posted their opinion on the ‘TripAdvisor’ website do the choice. The preference also contributes to Albufeira being in the top-3 of the preferred national tourist destinations.

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The choices were revealed in the annual ‘Traveler’s Choice 2018’ ranking based on over 60 million traveler ratings. Praia da Falésia is described in the specialized website as “the most beautiful beach in the Algarve, stunning view, calm and crystalline waters, contrast of colors between the orange shades of the cliffs and the bluish tonnes of the sea!”. The beachside rails are also appreciated.

In the national top-5 there are only Algarve beaches. Next are Dona Ana, in Lagos, Rocha, in Portimão, São Rafael beach, also in Albufeira, and Marina in Lagoa, respectively.

Worldwide, Praia da Falesia is in 12th place in a ranking dominated by beaches in the Caribbean. In European terms, only the beach of la Concha in Spain and the beach of Elafonissi in Greece appear at the forefront of the Algarve beach.

The good results of the beaches of Albufeira clearly contribute to make this place one of the three best to visit in Portugal. The Algarve city comes after Lisbon and Madeira and in front of Porto, Portimão and Lagos, respectively.

The National Day of Historical Centers will be marked on March 28th, but from this Saturday you will be able to discover its secrets through various guided activities.

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In Faro, there are two guided tours this Saturday from the Arco da Vila. Free and unplugged tours are held at 10:30 am and 4:15 pm and last for one hour.

Portimão connects activities dedicated to young people with its history and holds for the third time the Urban Sketchers Meeting, which takes place throughout the weekend. The goal is to put all lovers of this art to draw the city.

If visiting the monuments of Silves on the 28th will be welcomed by historical figures. Do not believe? In the Castle of Silves, the host will be King D. Sancho I, in the Misericórdia Church will be the Queen D. Leonor, in the Sé Cathedral receives the visitors the Bishop D. Jerónimo Osório and welcomes the Municipal Museum of Archeology Diogo de Silves, discoverer of the Azores. There will also be several throughout the day open to all visitors.

That the Portuguese dishes and appetizers are appreciated inside and outside, it is already known, but now Portuguese gastronomy reaches another level. In 2018, the best national recipes will be chosen and the Algarve competes with diverse recipes that go from the sea to the mountains.

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“The time has come to elect some of the patrimonies most appreciated by the Portuguese: Gastronomy associated with Wines and Touristic Routes. Let’s vote the pleasure of being at the table and also the pleasure to go there, to get there, to be there. This is why eating, drinking and walking through tourist routes, enjoying the best that life has to offer us “says Luis Segadães, president of the 7 Wonders.

Algarve applications have already been presented to the competition and the proposals extend from the sea to the mountains and they all contemplate the proper accompaniment of local wines. Lagoa leads to ‘good death’ sardines, corn potatoes, full squid, beans with cabbage, and salting meats. Culatra Island suggests spider-fish breaded and fish and seafood ‘cataplana’.

From Tavira comes a table that could only pay homage to its most important gastronomic heritage: the Mediterranean diet. Ria Formosa clams, fresh tuna steak stew, octopus roe salad or oyster rice with sparkling wine are some of the suggestions. Cataplana with sea urchins and limpets, guide chicken, horse mackerel and wild boar are the proposals of Albufeira.

The process is similar to previous contests. The proposals will be analyzed by a jury that will select a total of 49 pre-finalists, seven for each region of Portugal, which includes the Algarve. Then the public will again vote for the best proposal of each region. While the contest is taking place, it is best to go try all the dishes!

Algarve is world renowned for being one of the most pleasant regions to visit. Of course, the region is particularly in this category in the Portugal City Brand Ranking of 2018, recently published by Bloom Consulting, with five municipalities in the top-25 national.

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Without major surprises, Albufeira is the favorite destination of the Algarve to visit, although it has fallen from fourth to fifth national position, by direct exchange with Cascais, in the region of Lisbon. Immediately after Portimão, who maintains the sixth position.

Faro remain in 11th position, although at regional level they have moved up to the lowest place on the podium in direct exchange with Tavira. In this ranking that analyzes the 308 Portuguese municipalities, the city of Sotavento is the great surprise to have fallen seven positions, stopping this year in 16th place. Still, according to the international consultancy, in the research on the tourism category, “municipalities that are in the 14th to 18th position are separated by only one tenth of a score.”

The top-25 national does not end without the presence of Lagos, which maintains its 22nd position in the ranking.

The regional ranking is sorted as follows: Vila Real de Santo António, Silves, Olhão, Aljezur, Castro Marim, Vila do Bispo, Lagoa, Monchique, Alcoutim and São Brás de Alportel.

The festivals held last year won four awards at the Iberian Festival Awards. Festival MED was the great winner when conquering the award of Best Medium-Sized Festival of the Iberian Peninsula.

This was the second consecutive year that the event taking place in the historical center of Loulé won in this category, confirming its importance in the cultural panorama. In addition to this, the MED also won the prize for Best Tourism Promotion at national level.

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“In Loulé, we have a festival very popular and very appreciated by those who visit us. Every year, we try to get ahead, doing better and better “, emphasizes Vítor Aleixo, Mayor of Loulé.

In the ceremony that took place on Thursday, at the Lisbon Forum, Festival F, in Faro, was distinguished by the performance of Miguel Araújo, in the category Best Portuguese and / or Spanish Performance, at national level.

The BPM Festival, which was held for the first time in the summer of 2017 in Lagoa and Portimão, also won the category of Best New Festival of Portugal and Spain.

The rural beauty of Tavira is the stage for a different festival that takes place over three weeks in Quinta Braz. Portugal Contact Gathering takes place from September 2 to 23 with the participation of many artists.

“He is invited to spend three weeks with his family in full contact in a private country house near the Algarve coast”, can be read in the official page of the event. “We will live, eat and dance together in a rural environment between hills and the sea,” says the organization.

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The Festival starts on September 2 for a week in which the festival is invited to prepare the space, in a conviviality that ends on the 9th. The following week, from September 10 to 16, the Portuguese Contact Festival is held with the presence of teachers Portuguese and foreigners, musicians who will perform live and cooks who will prepare local food.

The presence of Kira Kirsch (Germany), Vega Katri Luukkonen (Findândia), Pedro Paz (Portugal), Andrea Scheel (Mexico), Howard Sonenklar (Portugal), Marielle Gerke (Germany), Kabeção (Portugal), Dolores Dewhurst -Marks (United Kingdom), Baltazar Molina (PT), among many others.

The last week of the Festival, from 17 to 23 September, is dedicated to the natural elements of therapy, through exercises on the beach. “An evolutionary journey from water, to land & onto the dance floor!,” the organization adds.

Registration is already open. Fans can bring their own tent or rent one on the premises or choose to book a room. All information is available on the organization’s website.