Lonely Planet: Portugal among the top destinations for 2018

The country comes third in the Lonely Planet ranking. This is just another of many international recognitions portraying Portugal as a desirable tourism destination.

Cascais, Portugal
Cascais, Portugal
Related: Portugal is the country to go in 2017

Already thinking about where to go next year? Lonely Planet, reknown worldwide for its travel guide books, places Portugal in third place in the top ten countries to visit next year. Last year, Lonely Planet had already featured Azores as one of the must visit regions for 2017.

The largest travel guide books publisher describes Portugal as “a dynamic center for art, culture and cuisine” along with the countries natural wonders, such as over 300 Blue Flag beaches and biosphere reserves. Check the full ranking

An established and awarded destination

a map of Portugal displaying the awards won at the World Travel awards
Related: Portugal receives 23 “World Travel Awards” – 2016

This recognition comes after multiple others throughout the last few years and emphasizes the international appraisal of the country potential. Last month, at the World Travel Awards, Portugal got 37 “tourism oscars”. It was the most awarded country in Europe, gathering nearly 30% of the awards, including the prestigious Europe’s Leading destination along with the Leading Beach destination – the Algarve and Leading Cruise Port – Porto de Lisboa.

 

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Midyear review: Portugal’s still on the rise

Portugal continues to give positive signs of economic growth and increases its attractiveness for foreign investment. Tourism remains a boost to the economy.

A welcoming country for tourists


Portugal came 4th worldwide in for most tourist-friendly destinations in the latest ranking from the World Economic Forum, providing quality touristic infrastructure and services to visitors and internal and international security.

This country is recognized as one of the safest in nations in the world. According to the latest quaterly report from the European Travel Commission, safety is one of the main concerns of tourists when choosing where to go, and Portugal is among the fastest growing destinations in Europe.

Therefore, tourism remains one of the main highlights. The country as a whole as well as different cities and regions have been receiving multiple awards. Read more: Portugal is the country to go in 2017 

Impressive economic recovery and foreign investment

During a recent visit to Portugal, Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, congratulated Portugal on the impressive economic progress that the country achieved after the crisis, emphasising the growth of foreign investment and the role of tourism.

Indeed, Portugal’s attractiveness is increasing among investors. The report from the consultancy firm EY (part of Ernst&Young) reveals that Portugal is one of the European countries attracting higher investment intentions. The social stability, workers’ qualifications and labour costs are the three most attractive aspects for investors.

The report defends that Tourism and the Information Technology field will be key sectors for the development of the Portuguese economy. It also emphasizes the startup environment, which is considered as good as in other developed European countries, while having room for improvement. Read more: Brand Portugal on the rise

 

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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.

 

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Porto: Best European Destination 2017

Nominated three times and three times winner, setting a new record. The city of Porto is once again the Best European Destination.

The city of Porto.
The city of Porto.

Never has the choice of the winning city been so unanimous among travellers from all other the world”, that’s how the annoucement of the winner starts. With votes coming from over 170 countries, Porto was the first among 19 destinations that included remarkable european capitals like Paris, Rome or London in the competition pomoted by the European Consumers Choice, an organization of consumers and specialists.

Thinking of coming to Porto in the future? Here are some of the highlights:

Torre dos Clérigos: The icon of the city of Porto. After climbing nearly 250 stairs, you will be rewarded a unique 360º view of the city.

Serralves: Fundação Serralves hosts an impressive modern art museum, surrounded by 18-hectare gardens where you can also find see some artwork by contemporary artist along with the plants and trees.

Casa da Música: “Casa da Música” means “House of Music.” An internationally praised building with modern, futuristic architecture, home to music and other events that will surely impress you.

Douro river & wine warehouses: Visit the port wine warehauses at the other side of the Douro river, in the city of Gaia, and take the oportunity to gaze at the colouful houses fitting in each other, with the beautiful D. Luís bridge also within your view. All this while enjoying a glass of Port.

Francesinha: Not the healthiest option but it can’t hurt once in a lifetime. A sandwich with multiple layers of meat, covered in cheeses and soaked in a beer sauce, ranked among the best sandwiches in the world.  And if you want to know more about Porto gastronomy, stay tuned! Anthony Bourdain is currently in the city shooting an episode of his CNN travel and food show “Parts Unknown”, which means we will be seing more of this side of Porto in the future.

Are you visiting o living in Porto and want to also take some time for your health? Medical Port’s network of partners extends to this city as well, offering multiple speciality consultations, a large variety of check-ups options and fertility specialists. Visit our website or contact us for more information

 

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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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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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