Portugal: another year being awarded by World Travel Awards

This year, Portugal has won another important award: it was elected for the third time in a row as the Best Touristic Destiny in Europe by the World Travel Awards. In the last year (2018), the country received 36 awards by World Travel Awards, this year a total of 39 went to Portugal. Read the full article to know the more important awards that the country won this year.

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Portugal: Europe’s Leading Destination 2019

Since 2008, Portugal has been acquiring distinctions from World Travel Awards in various categories. This year, it was considered Europe’s Leading Destination and Europe’s Leading Tourist Board. It is not the first time that the country receives these awards and it was already recognized as Europe’s Leading Golf Destination. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal, was always a touristic destination, specially for English people, but lately, Lisbon and Oporto have been the centre of attention for welcoming foreigners from all over the world. The main reasons for this popularity might be its pleasant weather, the 3000 sun hours per year, the 850 km of beaches bathed by the Atlantic sea, and the fact that is a place located near several European capitals.

Lisbon: Europe’s Leading City Break Destination 2019

In the words of HuffPost, “Lisbon is becoming more and more popular as a travel destination and for good reasons – it’s cheap, it has nice weather, great people, delicious food and lots of things to see and do.” It’s easy to find many articles highlighting Lisbon as the ideal place for living and visiting. Lonely Planet describes it as a city with Gothic grit and glamour. The article also enhances the trademark seven hills that are spread across the cityscape like lofty guardians of colour and history, which are so well appreciated by tourists. As well, the collection of terraces known as “miradouros” (viewpoints), a web of views over Lisbon, the Tejo river and beyond, is another city’s famous attraction. World Travel Awards has been awarding Lisbon in several categories, this year the city was considered Europe’s Leading City Break Destination and Europe’s Leading City Tourist Board.

Passadiços do Paiva: Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2019

Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark), located on the left bank of the Paiva River, in Arouca municipality, in the north of Portugal, was awarded this year Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction and Europe’s Leading Tourism Development Project. It is not the first time that the geopark receives an award from World Travel Awards: the place where visitors enjoy a journey embracing biology, geology and archaeology has been awarded since 2016. The park is an ideal option for nature lovers, it is a long walkway composed of 8 km, surrounded by natural landscapes with brave waters downhills, quartz crystals and endangered species in Europe.

The Algarve: Europe’s Leading Beach Destination 2019

Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark), located on the left bank of the Paiva River, in Arouca municipality, in the north of Portugal, was awarded this year Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction and Europe’s Leading Tourism Development Project. It is not the first time that the geopark receives an award from World Travel Awards: the place where visitors enjoy a journey embracing biology, geology and archaeology has been awarded since 2016. The park is an ideal option for nature lovers, it is a long walkway composed of 8 km, surrounded by natural landscapes with brave waters downhills, quartz crystals and endangered species in Europe.

Madeira Islands: Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2019

It is the seventh year in a row that Madeira Islands are awarded by World Travel Awards, being considered, in some years, the World’s Leading Island Destination. This year, the archipelago was awarded Europe’s Leading Island Destination. The paradisiac islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, 700 km far away from the African coast’s East and 450 km far away from the North of Canarias Islands, which makes this archipelago the southernmost location in Portugal. The most famous islands’ attractions are the tours to watch dolphins, the dive practicing, the walking to see watch the falls, and the biggest variety of parks and gardens.

Portugal is the country to go in 2017

Already thinking of where to go next year? According to the 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 growth 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 as 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:

 

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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The Washington Post’s financial guide to retire abroad

Following our previous blog post about why Americans should retire to Portugal (click here to read it), we are now sharing an article from The Washington Post with a financial guide to retire abroad.

Plan a retirement abroad requires careful planning and many places can be cheaper than the United States.
The financial guide from The Washington Post includes the following topics that prospect retirees should take into account before making the decision:

  • Easy residency programs for foreigners – In Portugal, the Golden Visa residency program makes it easy for foreigners to buy property and establish residency in the country with tax benefits
  • Cost of living and lifestyle – “(…) in the Algarve region of Portugal, named the most attractive place to retire abroad by Live and Invest Overseas, a retiree could live on $1,410 a month, including $600 for rent.”
  • Healthcare – Medical Port can help you with this. We have special healthcare solutions for foreign residents in Portugal that have health insurance or not. The For Health card is a solution for those foreign citizens who live in Portugal and have healthcare needs that aren’t usually covered on health insurances.
  • Bank accounts – It is advised to keep a bank account in the home country and another in the country where you are retiring.
  • Social security – Portugal is one of the countries where American citizens can move and still receive their social security benefits.
  • Pay taxes – Retirees will still need to pay taxes in the United States.
  • Buy property – While some countries make it hard for foreign citizens to buy property, others – like Portugal – make it easy like any other national citizen would.

Spend the retirement years in a foreign country is an exciting idea for many Americans who look for better weather, affordable cost of living and the opportunity to experience a new culture.

Portugal is becoming increasingly popular as a retirement destination and has received for the past few years the top places on the best retirement abroad rankings (click here to read more about it).

To learn more about Medical Port’s solution for healthcare for foreign citizens in Portugal, the For Health card, click here.

Read the full article on The Washington Post, by clicking here.

 

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Where Americans should retire?

Financial Advisor magazine says Portugal should be the first choice for Americans to retire, outside of the United States.

As life expectancy grows, the number of retirees of wish to spend their retirement abroad rises. For those Americans who dream of retiring abroad, the choice of the ideal place may be difficult to make. Proximity to the home country, cost of living, language, safety and climate are some of the aspects prospect retirees must take into account when choosing their retirement spot abroad.

Financial Advisor magazine says Portugal, specifically the Algarve region should be the top choice for Americans to retire and there are plenty of reasons to support this statement: “Portugal, takes top honors, thanks to its low cost of living, low cost of real estate, great weather, established expat community, new retiree residency program and endless options for how to meaningfully fill the days and evenings.

The magazine article adds another two very important reasons why Americans should chose the Portugal for retirement:

  1. English is widely spoken which makes it possible to live in Portugal and speaking only in English – this may be especially advantageous for older people who don’t want to learn a new language.
  2. Portugal is “one of the safest places on earth right now” to live and also to visit as a tourist.

Portugal has been considered for the past few years as one of the best places to retire abroad and the Algarve region was named twice as the best region to retire in the whole world. Click here to read the latest news about why Portugal is a great place to retire.

For Americans Portugal holds another advantage: it is the closest European country from the United States and daily 6-hour flights can take Americans to Portugal.

Read the entire Financial Advisor article, here.

 

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Tourists from the United States are traveling to Portugal as never before

Portugal has seen a great increase in American tourists in 2015 and the numbers continue to rise in 2016.

Travel Pulse magazine highlights that Americans are among the top nationalities that most recently visited the country. That is why the Portuguese Tourism board set the promotion of Portugal in the United States as a priority. The Portuguese Tourism Board believes that the satisfaction that American visitors get from visiting Portugal is the greatest drive of new tourists, since those who enjoyed their time will tell family and friends to plan a trip too. Also the value for money and the proximity to North America are likely to drive the interest of tourists.

Portugal’s capital Lisbon, offers world-class luxury hotels at affordable prices when compared to other European capitals and flights from New York City to Lisbon take around 7 hours or less. Travel Pulse adds:

One sign of the country’s soaring popularity is the fact that it’s nearly impossible to narrow down five must-see locales within this small country. The Azores are a must, Porto can’t be missed as the birthplace of port wine, the Algarve is mesmerizing and Lisbon is the country’s cultural hub – but there’s so much more.

The increase in American tourists in Portugal can also be explained by an increase in overall tourism in the country. In 2015 a record number of foreign tourists stayed in Portuguese hotel, more than 10 million visitors came to the country, according to Portuguese National Statistics Institute. The fact that Portugal is a safe destination right now is also making the number of tourists to rise and 2016 is already expected to break new records.

Read the full Travel Pulse article here.

 

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Portugal in the top 10 best countries to retire abroad

Once again, Portugal is in the news as one of the best places to retire abroad.

During the first days of 2016 were revealed two important rankings regarding the best places to retire abroad: one from Live and Invest Overseas and another from International Living. Both rankings highlight Portugal as great place to retire abroad, as they did for the past few years.

Live and Invest Overseas, considered the Portuguese region of the Algarve as the number one region in the world to retire abroad.

This distinction is awarded to the Algarve for the 3rd year in a row. The Algarve, in the south of Portugal is known for its white sand beaches, low cost of living and large expat English-speaking communities. The Algarve is considered a paradise in Europe where the sun shines all year round with mild temperatures.

International Living put Portugal in the 10th place this year. The country drops one place from last year, but still makes the top 10. Once again categories where Portugal received high scores were Infrastructures, Healthy Lifestyle (this category was added this year), Climate and Cost of Living.

Over the last few years Portugal became a popular destination for foreign retirees. Helped by tax benefits programs – the Non-Habitual Regime for European citizens and the Golden Visa for other nationalities – moving to Portugal was never so attractive to foreign citizens from around the world.

For those considering retiring in Portugal and concerned about their health, Medical Port developed the For Health Card. This card offers discounts in consultations and medical procedures even those that aren’t normally covered by health insurance. For Health cardholders that also have health insurance can benefit from using both when recurring to health services.

 

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AFAR magazine names Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination

According to AFAR travel magazine, Portugal was the most visited non-US location in 2015 and is the 5th must go destination for 2016.

AFAR analysed the most searched terms and cities for trip planning in 2015 by their website visitors and compiled the list of the most visited places. Portugal is number 2, only followed by the American city of New Orleans.

NY Daily News magazine published AFAR’s list and here is their opinion about Portugal: “The major draw of the country is the beautiful Algarve’s beaches featuring bright blue-green waters and interesting rock formations. The hilly capital of Lisbon is known for its café culture and bars and restaurants. Bacalhau (white cod), Pasteis de Belem (custard cups) and Caldo Verde soup are mainstays in Portuguese dining and a must-eat if visiting the country.

AFAR recently released their January/February 2016 issue which contains the “The Top 10 Destinations on Our 2016 Travel List” and Portugal is number 5, and these are the reasons why: “Portugal is heating up as a cultural hub. Foodies are flocking to the capital city of Lisbon, which is radiating with exciting new culinary experiences. In addition, the city is getting a swanky new port hub to support the building river cruise traffic. Porto has quickly emerged as a top art scene and the central coast 200-mile stretch between the two cities is becoming loved by beachcombers. Locals and newcomers alike are breathing new life into Portugal’s smaller villages. With these experiences, Portugal truly has something for everyone.

All these reasons make Portugal the most popular non-U.S. destination of 2015 and probably 2016.

Read the full articles here: NY Daily News  and AFAR.

 

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Portugal named in the top 10 great retirement spots for golfers

U.S. News gathered the list of the best retirement spots for American golf lovers to retire abroad.

Those who like to golf usually look for a retirement spot where they can practise their skill and live a comfortable life. U.S. News writes: “Many people dream of spending their retirement years lining up the perfect putt while enjoying the grass and sunshine. Golf generally helps you get plenty of exercise and fresh air and provides opportunities to meet other golfers and make new friends.”

Those retirement ideal spots can be found abroad, where the cost of living is cheaper than the United States. According to U.S. News, Quinta do Lago, in the Algarve, Portugal is the 8th best place to retire for golf lovers:

“Portugal’s Algarve receives top marks in every category of importance to retirees, including cost-of-living, climate, infrastructure and residency options. In addition, this region is dense with golf courses, including Quinta do Lago. With three award-winning championship golf courses, – the North, South and Laranjal – excellent practice facilities and the only Paul McGinley Academy in Europe, Quinta do Lago makes this corner of Portugal a golfer’s dream retirement choice.”

Great retirement spots for golfers, U.S. News
Great retirement spots for golfers, U.S. News

After being recently named the best region in the world to retire abroad, the Algarve is getting the attention of the press all over the world as we wrote in a previous post (click here to read it). In the Algarve (as well as in the entire country of Portugal) the sunny weather attracts many expats who enjoy the Mediterranean style food, the reasonable cost of living and the overall quality of healthcare and other important services for expats living in Portugal.

The other countries in the top 10 of the best retirement spots for golfers are: Nicaragua, Italy, Vietnam, Thailand, Argentina, Mexico, France, Dominican Republic and Ireland. Click here to see the full list.

 

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