This year’s hottest destination? Portugal, says “Boston Globe”

Portugal’s attractiveness reached the other side of the Atlantic. The Boston Globe emphasises how a small country like Portugal has a varied range of offerings, “good food, rich history, great views and temperate climate”.

A couple stands while looking at the city of Lisbon
Lisbon

 

Lisbon is described as a city that “looks less like a national capital than an unusually large Mediterranean village”, where one can still witness people drying their clothes out in their windows and merchants drying their fish in the sun. The article points out places like Rossio square with its “majestic fountains”, the Commercial Square (Praça do Comércio, in Portuguese) representing the historic connection to the sea, the nightlife at Cais do Sodré, the street art booming throughout the city, Belém and its famous pastries.

Porto downtown

300km north, the city of Porto is pictured as “handsome and elegant”, with granite structures “packed on the hilly landscape and covered with colorful tiles”. The D. Luis Bridge, resembling the Eiffel tower architecture, the beautiful tiles of S. Bento train station, right in the heart of Porto, the Harry Potter inspiring bookstore Lello and McDonald’s – yes, McDonald’s – in Porto downtown are some the must-sees mentioned.

Between the days spent in Lisbon and Porto, the article recommends a pit stop in Óbidos, “a picturesque walled town with winding streets” and Sintra, the Unesco World Heritage Site, with the colorful and unique Pena Palace deserving all the attention, though Sintra has much more too offer and definitely worth the visit.

This is not the first time that Portugal gets compliments from the other side of the Atlantic north. A few examples: New-York based magazine “Travel + Leisure” chose Portugal as 2016 “destination of the year”; US News featured Lisbon as a perfect place for retirement; Financial Advisor Magazine also made Portugal a top choice to retire abroad.

Portugal is the country to go in 2017

Already thinking of where to go next year? According to Huffington Post, Portugal is the country everybody will be visiting.

Douro Region

To support this claim, Huffington Post gathers the latest ranks that put Portugal on the top, like Travel + Leisure’s choice for Portugal as “destination of the year”, referring to Portugal as “hotter than ever”, and Lonely Planet nomination of Azores, “the next Iceland”, as one of the best regions in the world to visit next year.

The article emphasizes the city of Lisbon, which is becoming more and more trendy, not only as a place to visit but also live and retire.  Algarve, the Minho region and the lesser-known yet fancy Comporta are also highlighted.

The number of tourists visiting Portugal has been increasing for 4 years in a row. One of the highest growing rates is registered among American tourists. Portuguese airlines company TAP has 23 flights per week to the USA, three times more than last year. Additionally, this month TAP has been nominated the best European company flying to this country by Global Traveler magazine.

To sum up, as Huffington Post puts it “Portugal, the destination of your most stunningly beautiful dreams.”

Still not convinced? Read previous articles about Portugal:

 

Brand “Portugal” on the rise

World renowned personalities, a widely spoken language, modern infrastructures and a business friendly environment are some of the aspects that Huffington Post points out as the reasons of Portugal’s bright momentum.

By U.S. Mission Photo by Eric Bridiers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
U.S. Mission Photo by Eric Bridiers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The recent election of Portuguese António Guterres as United Nations General-Secretary is the most recent evidence contributing to increase the reputation of Portugal.  As the article puts it: “Guterres’ ascension to the world stage provides an opportunity for Portugal to embrace and promote the shared values and leadership qualities he exemplifies”.

Portugal’s influence is also increasing on different areas. This year’s victory in the European Football Championship was a deserved reward for the country’s achivements in terms of football. The country has also many ambassadors in other fields as well, like the world renowned neurocientist António Damásio, fado singer Mariza, chef José Avillez, among many others.

Furthermore, Portugal has been able to attract many international companies to its territory and it is seen as a technological advanced nation while Lisbon increases its reputation as a good start up ecosystem. This year, this city is hosting the prestigious Web Summit – “Europe’s Largest Technology Marketplace” that will receive renowned guest speakers and thousands of attendees from all over the world.

This hasn’t been unnoticed, after all, Portugal is receiving more and more tourists every year, the country remains one of the most peaceful countries in the world and is referred as a good destination for retiring abroad and for long term health care. Contact us for more information!

Cardiovascular diseases

All the organs in the body are important, but the heart certainly deserves a special care. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 75% of CVD deaths occur in low and middle-income countries.

Cardiovascular diseases refer to disorders related to the heart and blood vessels. In the UK, every 7 minutes, somone suffers from a heart attack and around 160,000 people die from heart and circulatory diseases every year. In Portugal, in 2012 there were over 30 000 deaths due to cardiovascular diseases.

The following image describes the different cardiovascular diseases:

Cardiovascular diseases: coronary heart disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle; cerebrovascular disease – disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain; peripheral arterial disease – disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs; rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria; congenital heart disease – malformations of heart structure existing at birth; deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs.

In any of these scenarios, an early detection and management on an existing condition are essential. If you would like to know more about the status of your heart, Medical Port has a special check-up that focuses solely on the heart. Check the image below or send us an email for more information.

Cardiovascular check up

Additionally, adopting healthy habits, as described in the previously article  is also advisable, as smoking, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, overweight and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors.

Sources: WHO   Heart UK   Revista Factores de Risco

Portugal receives 23 “World Travel Awards”

Best beach destination, best island destination and best cruise destination were some of the highlights for Portugal at this year’s “World Travel Awards” for the European region.

Every year, Portugal’s tourism offer gets more and more recognition. This time, the country got 23 awards at the “World Travel Awards”, a considerable increase comparing to last year’s 14 awards. Algarve gets the prize for “best beach destination” for the second year in a row, while competing against places like Cannes and Sardinia. Madeira reconquers the “best european islands” award, after having won in 2013 and 2014.

Check the image for the highlights:

a map of Portugal displaying the awards won at the World Travel awards

Multiple portuguese hotels received many distinctions such as, best beach resort, best all inclusive resort, most romantic resort, best boutique hotel, best family resort among many others with a total of 14 awards. Additionally, enterprise Douro Azul was awarded the prize for best river cruise company.

These awards come after multiple recognitions, as Portugal continues to increase its reputation as a trendy and safe travel destination.  The number of visitors continue to increase, as well as Portugal’s readiness to receive more people. If like many others, you are planning to visit or even move to Portugal, let us take care of your healthcare needs. We offer a full booking service, tailored to your needs. Visit our website  or contact us. 

5 reasons to love eating out in Lisbon

Forbes contributor Ann Abel provides a dozen of reasons to love Lisbon, “a postcard-picturesque city”. Safety and affordability, architecture, historical landmarks, its welcoming inhabitants are only some of the charms of this city. But the food scene deserved a special remark from the author. We picked 5 things from her list when it comes to eating (and drinking) out:

Mediterranean diet meal

José Avillez: This internationally renowned chef offers you many options around Lisbon. This article emphasizes the restaurant Belcanto, winner of two Michelin stars since chef Avillez renovated this 50-year-old restaurant, back in 2012. Bairro do Avillez, a recently opened multi-concept place that includes a traditional grocery shop, multiple choices for traditional Portuguese “fast food”, seafood and wine, is also mentioned in the article.

Palácio do Chiado: an 18th century palace now hosting seven restaurants and one bar, where the possibilities are multiple: eating traditional Portuguese food, sushi, burgers or simply enjoying a drink. All of this while admiring the unique architecture of this building.

Time Out Mercado da Ribeira: another multi-concept place, managed by the well-known magazine Time Out. There is a wide range of offer you can choose from, including dishes by some prominent Portuguese chefs, like Henrique Sá Pessoa.

Cervejaria Ramiro: if you are looking for a more traditional place with “white paper over tablecloths, wood paneling that likely hasn’t been updated since the place opened in the ’50s”, as Ann Abel describes it, and you love seafood, this may be your place.

Ginjinha: after the gastronomy route, you may want to finish with this liquor, a “Portuguese brandy infused with sour cherries and cinnamon”.

You can check Forbes’ full list here.

Read more about Lisbon:

US News explains why Lisbon is a perfect place for retirement

Esquire magazine names Lisbon one of the coolest cities in Europe

What do in Lisbon in one day, by Yahoo Australia

Looking for sunny and safe holidays, tourists turn to Portugal

As some common holidays destinations like France and Turkey deal with the threat of terrorism, the number of tourists in Portugal increases. While this country remains a good choice regarding safety, the government has also worked on improving security measures.

Vista da ponto 25 de abril a partir de um terraço com uma mesa decorada com flores e com um copo de vinho.

Bloomberg points out that Portugal, along with its neighboring country Spain, is already registering a growth in the number of tourists who are seeking sunny destinations. It comes in the aftermath of multiple terrorist attacks in France and the failed coup d’etat in Turkey, a nation now facing internal conflicts in addition to the already existing terrorism threat.

Tourism represents about 10% of Portugal GDP. In 2015, hotels registered over 16 million guests and 70% of those were foreign. The number of British and German visitors increased the most. Algarve, Lisbon and Madeira were the most sought-after regions.

Investment in the future

Bloomberg quotes the Portuguese minister of Economy, Miguel Macedo Cabral, who says that the country is working to promote different segments to attract more tourists, not only during summer, but year-round. The government is also looking to expand tourism to other places in the country.

Portugal ranks 5th in the 2016 Global Peace Index by the Institute for Economics and Peace, climbing 6 positions compared to the previous year. Yet, in the light of the terrorism events in Europe, the government has also invested in improving measures in airports and common tourist destinations.

However, this is not the only index where Portugal gets an honorable place. It is the 12th out of 207 countries in the KOF Index of Globalization for 2016. The Portuguese health care system ranked 12th in the world by the World Health Organization. In fact, Portugal has some of the highest rates when it comes to available hospital beds and number of physicians. You can learn more about Portugal and the Portuguese health care by visiting our site.

 

 

 

US News explains why Lisbon is a perfect place for retirement

Affordable and safe, a cosmopolitan city with good weather and nice beaches. As the dollar gets stronger, you should really consider Lisbon as a retirement destination, says US News.

A couple stands while looking at the city of Lisbon

We have mentioned in the past how cool Lisbon is and innumerous reasons to move there. While places like Algarve have already made the headlines as a top destination for retirement abroad, Portugal’s capital should not be forgotten. Here are the top reasons to retire in Lisbon, as US News points out:

Touristic attractions: as one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, this city offers multiple outstanding places to visit, such as Jerónimos Monastery, Tower of Belém and Praça do Comércio.

A charming city: as US News puts it, “Lisbon offers the same Old World cosmopolitan flavor” as other better known European capitals, but with good weather, and pleasant, clean beaches.

Affordability: Lisbon is one of the most affordable capital cities in Western Europe. The quality of life you get compared to the cost of living is unmatchable.

Healthcare: Lisbon ranks high also when it comes to healthcare quality, and counts with some of the best health specialists in Europe. Plus, medical care is considerably more affordable in Lisbon than in the USA. Language is not a barrier: most doctors and medical staff speak English. If you are considering visiting or moving to Portugal and want to better understand how to access healthcare services, we can help.

Safety: Portugal stands as one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world. Even in its capital, crime rate are low.

Language: There is an established English speaking community in Lisbon, and English is the second most spoken language throughout Portugal.

Cultural and recreational activities are also mentioned by US News, and moving to Portugal is now easier thanks to the Non Habitual Regime and Golden Visa status. You can read the full article – that concludes by describing Portugal as a “welcoming haven”.

There are many other unique characteristics that render Lisbon a great choice for foreign retirees. Keep visiting our blog to learn more.

Esquire magazine names Lisbon one of the coolest cities in Europe

A recent article on Esquire magazine states “Why Lisbon is one of the coolest cities in Europe” to visit right now and why it shouldn’t be underestimated.

The article recommends places to visit and things to do that aren’t likely to be in other city guides.

According to the magazine: “Lisbon does distinct districts beautifully, with the formality of the central Praça do Comércio (created after the earthquake of 1755) flanked by the winding lanes of the Alfama, the city’s centre under the Arabic occupation of Iberia, and the once-seedy and now achingly cool dockyard area of Cais do Sodré.”

The best places to stay are Bairro Alto and to eat there is the renewed Mercado da Ribeira for a relaxed lunch, and Belcanto the two Michelin star restaurant owned by the Portuguese chef José Avillez to learn how the former colonies influenced the Portuguese cuisine and provide a unique dining experience.

The magazine advises visitants to appreciate the street art all over the city, highlight the works of Portuguese street artist Vihls. For those who want to explore further, they can from Lisbon go surfing in Cascais (about half an hour) or to hang out on the beach in Comporta (about an hour south of Lisbon).

Lisbon city guide by Esquire Magazine
Lisbon city guide by Esquire Magazine

Readers are advised to visit Lisbon because “There might not be a cooler city in Europe at this precise moment (…).”

Click here to read the full article on Esquire Magazine.

What do in Lisbon in one day, by Yahoo Australia

Yahoo Australia guide to visit Lisbon if you only have one day

Yahoo Australia’s reporter Gemma Nisbet was in Lisbon and wrote an article with the best spots for those travelling to the Portuguese capital for the first time. She called them the “abundant charms of historic Lisbon” as she went in a day trip through the city and its surroundings.

The day trip starts at Parque Eduardo VII, where travellers can appreciate some of the best views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. Descending towards the riverside, there is Avenida da Liberdade described as “(…) we’ve travelled down the leafy Avenida da Liberdade — opened as a public garden in 1886 and now an elegant thoroughfare lined with designer boutiques.” This avenue is in fact one of the most iconic places to see in Lisbon due to its luxury offering in century old restored buildings. By the riverside Yahoo reporter saw 25 de Abril Bridge that resembles San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries are must see landmarks of the city and they symbolize the great era of the Portuguese Discoveries. The next stop is the Jeronimos Monastery, another mark of the Discoveries full of maritime ornaments and reminders of those times.

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon

When visiting Lisbon in a short trip it is important to visit another points of the area like Cascais and Sintra: two cities just a short drive (or train ride) from Lisbon. In Cascais the reporter visited the marina and the pier area where fishermen still fish and then headed to Sintra to visit its most famous spots: castles. Sintra has plenty of them. The National Palace was the first. What the journalist adds about Sintra is “(…) Looking over the multi-coloured buildings of the town, the gardens and trees, and the romantic remains of the Moorish castle crowning the hill, I can see why Lord Byron called Sintra a “glorious Eden” when he visited in 1809.”

The reporter was aware that the trip was short and compressed so that all the most beautiful spots were visited and she was accompanied by a tour guide that made sure all the most curious details about Lisbon and its monuments were conveyed.

To read more about the Yahoo Australia reporter trip to Lisbon, click here.