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.

World Travel Awards conquered by Portugal

Portugal has been mentioned as a leading destination for vacation in many articles and placed in the top of various rankings. This year, the World Travel Awards distinguished the country with several awards in different sections.

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Photo credits: Bengt Nyman

Portugal conquering hearts

2018 is definitely the year of Portugal as an unmissable touristic place. World Travel Awards awarded Lisbon as Europe’s Leading City Destination 2018 and Portugal as Europe’s Leading Destination 2018.

Also, it is the third time in a row that Lisbon receives the award of Europe’s Leading Cruise Port 2018 and many Portuguese resorts and hotels conquered a prize in World Travel Awards this year. Regarding places hidden in the countryside, Madeira Islands were awarded as Europe’s Leading Island Destination 2018 and Passadiços do Paiva (Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark) as Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction 2018.

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Lisbon: the chosen place for a visit and for the stay

Lisbon has been in the top of the last rankings as a city break for tourists. The Telegraph explains the main reasons why Lisbon is such a desired destination, considering its restaurants, gastronomy, architecture, street art and closeness to the beach. There are other curious facts about the city: it is one of the world’s oldest ones, it is marked by Portugal’s role in the Age of Discovery and it gets more sun than anywhere else in Europe.

However, Lisbon is just not a city for a quick visit. Very recently it became the home of some celebrities: Monica Belluci, Michael Fassbender and Christin Louboutin bought their apartments in the typical neighbourhood of Alfama while Madonna is in the city’s spotlight because of her struggle to buy her ideal Portuguese house.

What really matters when moving abroad

The living cost, the sun and the quality of life are surely crucial factors that bring so many foreigners to Portugal. Nevertheless, when choosing this country to visit or to settle, there are two essential factors that strongly influence this decision: it is a safe destination and it has one of the few good healthcare systems in the world, as stated by the World Health Organization’s Director-General.

 

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Have you taken your child to the pediatrician this year?

August celebrates children’s Eye Health month and Safety. Now it’s the perfect timing to get a pediatric consultation and ensure all is well with your children, just before school starts again. Medical Port can help you book a pediatric consultation while you are enjoying your stay in Portugal.

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that over 40 million children under 5 were overweight, a number that tends to rise in all regions. Among teenagers, risky behaviors like alcohol or tobacco use, a sedentary lifestyle, unprotected sex and violence are some of the factors that can put their health at risk, with consequences for the future.

Society, parents and other carers should work together so that children can be first properly informed and followed to grow in a healthy way. A routine visit to a pediatrician is a good start to predict risks and promote a healthy lifestyle.

What can you expect from a visit to the pediatrician? Medical Port has prepared an infographic that covers the most common issues that are evaluated during a pediatric consultation, including physical, behavioral and development aspects.  If you want to know more about getting a pediatric consultation, visit our website.

 

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Best places to live: what makes Portugal so special?

Members of InterNations, an international expat community, put Portugal among the top ten places to live by weather. But this country has much more to offer than the sunniest continental european capital.

An image of the city of Lisbon, on a sunny day

Some countries value good weather more than others, but the majority has spoken: Portugal deserves the 10th place on the list, when it comes favourite places to live because of the weather conditions. Over 14 000 people living in 195 countries participated in the survey. Costa Rica, Cyprus and Greece make up the top three on the list.

Besides the weather, 62% of expats who participated in the survey rated their personal safety in Portugal as very good, which is 20 percentage points above the global average. Portugal also ranks third as the “Most Welcoming Countries” and fifth in “Quality of Life” and “Ease of Settling in” indexes.

If those are not enough reasons to start thinking about moving to Portugal, environment lovers will love the next one. Portugal got an hororable 7th place in the Environmental Performance Index. This ranking developed by the Yale University analyses the States’ environmental policies. Did you know that earlier this year, Portugal ran for four straight days on renewable energy coming from wind, solar and hydro-generated electricity?

If we are changing your view about Portugal for the better, you are not alone. International perception of Portugal is up for the third year in a row, according to a report by the consultant “On Strategy”. Economic potential and social context were the fields that registered a greater increase. As Portugal becomes a more and more known touristic destination, the reputation among foreigners tends to increase. Additionally, Portugal remains a stable and safe destination, while other typical destinations are facing some political instability or the threat of terrorism, as we have talked about before.

 

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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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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.

 

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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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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.

 

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Trips to Douro in Portugal according to international press

The North of Portugal has been gaining a lot of attention for the past few years. It’s biggest city, Porto has been featured in news outlets all over the world. Associated to a trip to Porto is always a trip to Douro, the wine region that is an UNESCO monument.

The Telegraph calls it a trip to the heart of Portugal following the Douro River from Porto to the Spanish border were the reporter found some of the most authentic things Portugal has to offer. In the words of Stanley Stewart, the journalist from the Telegraph who took the trip “the Rio Douro, the River of Gold, is one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe, and the journey upriver one of the most scenic routes on the continent.

Recently another renowned publication, Travel Weekly wrote about what they called “a chic stay in Portugal wine country” suggesting places to see the Douro River beyond the cosmopolitan city of Porto and where food and wine compete with the astonishing views of the Douro valley for the first place in travellers minds. Like many travellers do, the reports stayed at a property that besides producing their own wine, also offer a luxury stay and great food. And they describe Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House, as “(…)an oasis of flat turf where guests could amble between indoor and outdoor public spaces, relax at the swimming pool and, most definitely, sample a fine dining experience — outdoors, weather permitting — built around fresh, local foods and wine made from the property’s own grapes.

The exposure Douro is getting in the press is increasing the tourists’ curiosity for the region, making Porto and Douro a must see in 2016.

Read the entire articles here:

Travel Weekly

The Telegraph

 

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