Mediterranean diet wins UNESCO seal of approval

The Mediterranean Diet was classified intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO on Wednesday in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Mayor of Tavira, in Portugal’s Algarve region, told Lusa News Agency.

The decision was taken at the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Committee to Safeguard UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, where there is a Portuguese delegation, led by Tavira town council, which submitted the transnational application in conjunction with Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Spain, Italy and Morocco.

After Fado music was classified two years ago, Portugal is once again back on the list of Intangible and Cultural Heritage with the Mediterranean Diet and this is the first time that the Algarve region has seen its heritage recognised by UNESCO.

The Mediterranean Diet is a life style passed down from generation to generation, that includes productive practice, namely agriculture and fishing, ways of preparing, cooking and eating, festivities, oral traditions and artistic expressions.

The diet itself is poor in red meat and meat in general and rich in vegetables, pulses, some fish and dried fruits, olive oil and just a splash of red wine.

Mediterranean Diet

Note: taken from The Portugal News



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Hospital Lusíadas Porto (located at Boavista Avenue)

Hospital da Boavista in Oporto, Portugal

Hospital Lusíadas Porto (located at Boavista Avenue in Oporto) is part of Medical Port‘s network of highly differentiated health units in Portugal and a great option for your Medical Tourism experience.

Hospital da Boavista in Oporto, Portugal
Hospital Lusíadas Porto (at Boavista Avenue in Oporto, Portugal)

Hospital Lusíadas Porto has been certified by the Joint Commission International in 2012, keeping the certification since then due to its standards of quality, safety, outstanding client care, excellence and prestige services, making it a reference for all its clients.

Hospital Lusíadas Porto at Boavista Avenue is a modern infrastructure endowed with the most advanced technology as well as a solid and experienced team of health professionals operating in areas of reference such as, ENT, Plastic Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Urology, Nuclear Medicine, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, with a capacity of 18.733 surgeries per year and 54.780 inpatients.

Hospital da Boavista in Oporto, Portugal
Hospital Lusíadas Porto (located at Boavista Avenue in Oporto, Portugal)

Also available is a 24 hour emergency service, for both adults and children, which includes an Observation Unit and Recovery Room (Life Support Unit).

Hospital Lusíadas Porto (located at Boavista Avenue) has over 600 highly qualified healthcare professionals. Their aim is to innovate through their actions in order to offer their clients a friendly, trustworthy and welcoming environment, achieving excellence with dedication, both ethically and humanely.

If you’re considering having surgery or medical treatments abroad, visit Medical Port’s website for more information about procedures, hospitals and doctors available in Portugal.



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Gallery: Ancient and Modern Lisbon, Portugal

International Bellhop showcased Lisbon on their blog just yesterday with great pictures.

For travelers that want to see ancient cities and rustic countryside, but still want modern conveniences close at-hand, Lisbon is the best vacation destination that we can recommend.

Check them out.

Gallery: Ancient and Modern Lisbon, Portugal.

Belem tower in Lisbon



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Finding a Global Groove in Lisbon

Foto: Francisco Seco for The New York Times

What a great title for this article from The New York Times.

From Praça da Alegria to Travessa da Galé, stoping at Praça do Comércio and Cais do Sodré, the journalist discovered some hip spots in Lisbon showing us that Portugal isn’t just fado.

Over the last couple of years, innovative new music spots have been popping up around Lisbon, and defunct and departed iconic music venues have been rising from their ashes, literally or figuratively. From intimate supper clubs to warehouse dance halls, the new generation of hangouts is enriching the Portuguese capital’s sonic spectrum and expanding the array of places where music aficionados and bands of all stripes can converge. These days, a spin around town is a journey across continents and styles, from indie jazz to African beats to American retro rock to electronic experiments.

Foto: Francisco Seco for The New York Times
The club Vynil in Lisbon. Francisco Seco for The New York Times

The article gives you a pretty great starting point for a night out in the portuguese capital. You can read it in full here.



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Portugal as a Medical Tourism destination

Taking advantage of its privileged location in the old continent, being able to offer beach, country and city plans only minutes away from each other, its amazing weather and openness to welcome foreigners Portugal is now a strong player in the provision of Medical Tourism services.

The combination of a long tradition of high-quality touristic offers with state-of-the-art private medical infrastructures, available 24*7, with spotless facilities and private rooms, as well as highly qualified patient-oriented medical teams, fluent in different languages, are the basic ingredients for an high-quality Medical Tourism offer in Portugal.



According to the Portugal Health System Review 2011 report, from the European Observatory of Health Systems and Policies:

All residents in Portugal have access to health care provided by the National Health Service (NHS), financed mainly through taxation. Approximately one-fifth to a quarter of the population enjoys a second (or more) layer of health insurance coverage through health subsystems and voluntary health insurance. Health care delivery is based on both public and private providers. Public provision is predominant in primary care and hospital care, with a gatekeeping system in place for the former. Pharmaceutical products, diagnostic technologies and private practice by physicians constitute the bulk of private health care provision.

In the last decades many measures have been adopted to improve the performance of the NHS, including public–private partnerships (PPPs) for new hospitals, a change in public hospital management structures, the reorganization of primary care and the creation of long-term care networks.

Portugal’s Key Public Health Indicators are well above European average according to the World Health Organization, namely life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at age 60 and neonatal mortality rates, reinforcing the quality of the Portuguese Healthcare system. As an example, the mortality rate has declined more than 0.8 percentage points since 1975. This trend reflects both an improved access to an expanding health care network and a continuous political commitment, and leads to improved living standards and increasing investment in health care.

All hospitals belonging to the NHS are in the public sector, reporting to the Ministry of Health. Private sector hospitals, where 3 major groups have 80% of the market share, operate under their own management policies.

Additionally, Portugal has around 4 physicians/1000 inhabitants – a value well above the European average – trained by demanding Medical Schools, where just top students are allowed to attend.

Further more, in Portugal 30% of the population is fluent in English, 20% in French, 10% in Spanish. These percentages are considerably higher in the services sector and especially in the health care sector, where the medical bibliography is mainly accessible in English and French.

In line with the Portuguese hospitality, the country’s medical teams give the personal and human care patients need. They have the vocation and make the time for it.

Besides analyzing major trends on health indicators in Portugal, another curious marker of the country’s performance are, naturally, blogs, in which foreigners living in Portugal share their experiences. Living In the Sun, the blog of a British citizen living in Portugal states that “by conducting adequate research and ensuring that you have gone through the correct processes, you can be sure that you will receive the same high quality health care that you are used to getting in the UK. The Portuguese health system is very efficient and has an extremely good reputation for standards of care, so you will certainly not be jeopardizing your health by moving here!”.



Just to highlight the most recent ones:

  • Lisbon was awarded Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2013 by the World Travel Awards;
  • The magazine “Condé Nast Traveller” elected Portugal the best destination to travel in 2013;
  • The guide “Lonely Planet” classified Oporto and the Douro Valley as the first destination in Europe to be visited in 2013;
  • TripAdvisor website visitors elected Lisbon as the best city in the world for its quality/price relationship;
  • The British journal “The Telegraph” named the Alentejo region as “the paradise for food lovers” at the beginning of 2013;
  • Portugal won the prize for the best golf destination in Europe in 2012 and was elected as the best destination for golf holidays by international travel agencies in the scope of the Travel Agent Choice Awards.


When it comes to Medical Tourism decisions, we want, first of all, to be sure about the quality of the healthcare provider’s infrastructures and teams. But there is much more beyond this. In Portugal, patients are having their medical treatments in one of the safest countries in the world – 18th out of 162 in the Global Peace Index 2013 of the Institute of Economics & Peace –, whilst hosted by highly professional medical teams that hold the warm and humane touch that characterizes Portuguese nature.

In Portugal, patients can take advantage of the country’s warm and sunny weather, where mild winters allow outside treatments, combining the sun’s healing capacities with advanced medical programs. And shortly after, one can choose to play golf, go to the beach, do exquisite river cruises, or go on a shopping spree, in one of the safest and language-savvy countries in the world. All together, this configures a safe and very attractive ecosystem for Medical Tourism in Europe.


If you considering healthcare abroad, visit Medical Port’s website for more information about procedures, hospitals and doctors available in Portugal. You can also use our contacts page.



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Sun and soul in Portugal

Ilha de Faro ("Faro's Island), Portugal

Faro: Fascinating history, fine cuisine make picturesque city a unique getaway

Elisa Mala from the Canadian “The Province” just published an article uncovering Faro, the Algarve’s capital.

The initial paragraph makes you want more about the city, don’t you think?

Nestled on the southern coast of Portugal, Faro is the heart of the country’s Algarve region, where cerulean waters and mouth-watering cuisine rival those of the French Riviera or Italy’s Amalfi coast.

Ilha de Faro ("Faro's Island), Portugal
Ilha de Faro (Faro’s Island), Portugal

You can read the full article here.



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Europe, boosted by Spain, Portugal and Greece, records best tourist season in years

Ericeira, Portugal

Despite the economic crisis, Europe remains a favourite destination, the European Commission said in a recent statement, states the “The Portugal News” in its website.

International tourist arrivals in Europe grew by five percent during the first half of 2013, with best results recorded in Central and Eastern Europe (up nine percent) and Southern and Mediterranean Europe (up six percent).

Tourism in Portugal grew 8 percent, a healthy growth.

Praia das Maças, Sintra, Portugal
Praia das Maçãs, Sintra, Portugal

You can read the full article here.



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Finding some sleepy beauty along Portugal’s coast

Salema, Algarve

Rick Steves just wrote a great article for the Seattle Times about his “favorite stretch of Iberian coastline”, the Algarve.

The Algarve was once known as Europe’s last undiscovered tourist frontier. But it’s well discovered now, and if you go to the places featured in most tour brochures, you’ll find it paved, packed and pretty stressful. Still, there are a few great beach towns left along the coast, perfect for soaking up rays from May through early October.

Salema, Algarve
Robyn Stencil/Rick Steves’ Europ

Rick made a point of revisiting his favorite hideaway, the little fishing town of Salema.

You can read the full article here.



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