Portugal is one of the hottest emerging destinations in Europe. American travel jumped by more then 20% this year in terms of overnights and visitors (January to July), TAP launched two new gateway cities from the US, United kicked off DC-Lisbon flights, and Delta announced it will offer a new nonstop from JFK. Hotels are opening by the dozen – so obviously we have too much “new” news to squeeze into one newsletter – so let us share a few fun new offerings in Portugal.
365 Algarve provides residents and visitors a (re) discovery of the Algarve – through the arts, spaces and ideas – and increased regular cultural offerings, throughout the year; being able to go to more than a thousand performances, ranging from music, dance, through the animation of the heritage and the visual arts.
365 Algarve is an invitation to travel throughout the Algarve region, because in the most unexpected places visitors will find an exhibition, a concert, a performance, a festival, an artistic fusion or the possibility to taste the best of local cuisine to the sound of a guitar or an accordion.
Algarve: Faro Boutique Hotel
The new Faro Boutique Hotel with 38 rooms and suites in downtown Faro, Algarve, has just opened.
Leixões (Porto): Casa da Arquitetura to open in 2017
In the spring of 2017, a major international exhibition marks the opening of the new “Casa da Arquitetura”- House of Architecture, in the former home of Alvaro Siza in Leixoes. In all, the house will have 4,700 square meters of exhibition space with an auditorium, library, bookstore and shop.
Tomar (Centro): Agartha, Boutique Hotel – Retreat and Wellness Centre opens
The Agartha, Boutique Hotel – Retreat and Wellness Centre is now open, 80 minutes north of Lisbon in the beautiful Portuguese village of Monchite. The Agartha (referred to as the mystical the center of the earth) is just a short 12 minute drive from the medieval city of Tomar, famous for its World Heritage Convento do Cristo, the Templar Knights and its quaint cobble stoned streets. The Agartha is less than half an hour from the Shrine of Fatima.
Lisbon (Alfama): Jewish Museum to open in 2017
After the opening of the first Jewish Hotel in Portugal – Belmonte Sinai, a Jewish Museum is coming to the city capital. The project involves the City of Lisbon and the Jewish Community of Lisbon, and it is set to be completed by 2017. The museum will open in Alfama – home to the city’s Jewish quarter in the Middle Ages, and the architect Grace Bachmann will be in charge of its design.
Lisbon: MAAT opens
A new urban ultra modern museum has just opened on the River Tejo, in Lisbon. The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), by the Fundação EDP, aims to become one of the main cultural spots of the “new Lisbon.”
With ultramodern lines, the new project is signed by Amanda Levete – an award winning architect – and has been compared with a big shell. The ceramic front and the ramp will allow peaceful walks on the roof of the building, overlooking the Tagus River and all the cultural areas of Belém.
MAAT will focus on contemporary culture, by combining visual arts and the media, architecture, science and technology. The new Fundação EDP museum will have about 23,000 square feet dedicated to exhibits and leisure.
Porto: Time Out Market to open in historic train station
The famed São Bento station will host restaurants, bars and shops when the successful Time Out Market concept from Lisbon’s Mercado da Ribeira comes to Porto. São Bento is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and is known for its breathtaking tile panels.
There will be about 2,200 square meters of open space with seating for 500 and fifteen restaurants, four bars, four stores, a coffee shop and an art gallery. The opening is scheduled for the second half of 2017. And, the space will house mainly local businesses. The goal is to repeat the success of the Ribeira Market and attract the top Porto chefs and eateries.
Algarve: 5-Star Hotel to open in Vila Real de Santo António
Vila Real de Santo António will get its first 5-star hotel in 2017, with the redevelopment of a historic hotel. Nira Hotels & Resorts group will revive the historical Guadiana Hotel located on the riverfront. The Hotel Guadiana was a landmark in the early twentieth century and was designed by the architect Ernesto Korrodi. It was built between 1918 and 1921 and opened in 1923. The City of Vila Real de Santo António plans to transform the historic downtown to a destination in terms of tourism, setting into motion an ambitious project to convert three Pombaline buildings into inns. The city was built across the Guadiana River from Spain in the 18th century, and its design mirrors Lisbon’s Baixa.
Other Algarve hotel openings:
Salema Beach Village – Just opened
The newest resort from NAU Hotels & Resorts group is located in Praia de Salema, Vila do Bispo. Set in a unique location, in the hills just in front of Praia da Salema offers 114 two or three room villas with superb ocean views.
Pestana Algarve Race Hotel & Resort 5* – Just opened
Located near the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA) race track , this is the first 5-star hotel to open in Portimão in half a century.
Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort with new soccer school.
Located in Lagos just launched the Cascade Football Academy by Estima Sports – soccer academies for children and teenagers hosted in the resort during the summer months where they can train on their soccer skills.
Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel – To open in January 2017
The old Hotel Porta Nova in Tavira is now under the AP Hotels & Resorts group. The hotel will open with a new name ‘Maria Nova Lounge Hotel’.
Tras-os-Montes (Norte) 2 New hotels in 2017
The Portuguese group, Premium Hotels, will invest EUR 10 million in 2016, a new hotel in Bragança and a hotel update in Chaves with an opening in 2017.
The new Premium in Bragança will be opened in 2017, offering 60 rooms, a spa and conference room. Premium Hotels will rebrand and renovate the Hotel Aquae Flaviae as the Premium Chaves, a luxurious three-star hotel with a total of 166 rooms.
Fátima: 100 the Anniversary of the Miracle of Fátima
Portugal’s Sanctuary of Fátima is a symbol of the Virgin Mary and one of the world’s most important religious sites. A major tourist attraction for pilgrims from all over the world that come here every year, especially between May and October. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit in 2017. The Sanctuary of Fátima annually welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors. On the Fátima calendar May 13th (the first apparition) and October 13th sees a rise in the number of guests visiting the Sanctuary – built on the site of the first apparition – and the place where the three children lived in Aljustrel, a village located around 1.5 miles away.
Porto: Climb the Arrábida Bridge
Now open, anyone can climb the 262 steps of the arch on the Arrábida Bridge, the last bridge over the Douro before the Atlantic. Besides getting a close look at this Edgar Cardoso designed monument that opened in 1963, the Porto Bridge Climb offers a unique view of this lovely city.
Rua do Ouro, 680 (Massarelos), Porto
Web: portobridgeclimb.com. Price: 9.50 euros
(Monday to Friday); 12.50 euros (weekend and holidays)
LISBON: New Berardo Museum to open in 2017
A new Art Nouveau / Art Deco museum in Lisbon’s Alcantara district will open in 2017 featuring the private collection of Joe Berardo.
Joe Berardo founded several private museums in Portugal, including the Berardo Collection Museum, in the Centro Cultural de Belém, as well as the Quinta dos Loridos in Bombarral, the Underground Museum in Sangalhos, and Monte Gardens on Madeira.