Portugal’s Public Holidays

Portugal’s Public Holidays

Don’t get caught by surprise when planning and booking your holidays. Here is a list of Portugal’s public holidays and curiosities below.

Holidays in Portugal in 2017

Date Weekday Holiday Name Holiday Type
Jan 1 Sunday New Year’s Day National holiday
Feb 28 Tuesday Carnival/Shrove Tuesday Optional Holiday
Mar 20 Monday March equinox Season
Mar 26 Sunday Daylight Saving Time starts Clock change/Daylight Saving Time
Apr 14 Friday Good Friday National holiday
Apr 16 Sunday Easter Day National holiday
Apr 25 Tuesday Liberty Day National holiday
May 1 Monday Labor Day / May Day National holiday
Jun 10 Saturday Portugal Day National holiday
Jun 15 Thursday Corpus Christi National holiday
Jun 21 Wednesday June Solstice Season
Aug 15 Tuesday Assumption of Mary National holiday
Sep 22 Friday September equinox Season
Oct 5 Thursday Republic Implantation National holiday
Oct 29 Sunday Daylight Saving Time ends Clock change/Daylight Saving Time
Nov 1 Wednesday All Saints’ Day National holiday
Dec 1 Friday Restoration of Independence National holiday
Dec 8 Friday Feast of the Immaculate Conception National holiday
Dec 21 Thursday December Solstice Season
Dec 24 Sunday Christmas Eve Observance
Dec 25 Monday Christmas Day National holiday
Dec 31 Sunday New Year’s Eve Observance
What are the holidays celebrated in Portugal?

Portuguese Holidays Traditions

On Christmas Eve Portuguese families gather around the Christmas tree and the Crèche to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Catholicism is the main religion in Portugal. Thus, the Crèche is a very important part of the celebration. Traditionally, children are in charge of collecting materials for the Crèche.

What is Carnival in Portugal?

The Portugal Carnival is not completely unique. In fact, it is like many carnivals held around the world right before the beginning of Lent. You may have heard of Mardi Gras, held in Louisiana. The Carnival in Portugal is just like Mardi Gras.

What is Portugal Day?

Portugal Day, officially Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities (Portuguese: Dia de Portugal, de Camões e das Comunidades Portuguesas), isPortugal‘s National Day celebrated annually on 10 June. … The date commemorates the death of national literary icon Luís de Camões on 10 June 1580.


Best New Sushi Restaurants in Lisbon

Best New Sushi Restaurants in Lisbon

I love sushi and lucky for me and many of you sushi lovers out there, Lisbon is the perfect place to find this delicious cuisine. Find out the brand new sushi restaurants in Lisbon.

  1. Aron Sushi

aron sushi

Fresh, delicious sushi in this new cosy restaurant. Can’t think of a better place for a more intimate dinner. The sushi men, Aron Vargas, came from Brazil 16 years ago and immediately started working with one of the most renowned sushi chef’s in Portugal, Takashi Yoshitake. Today he has two sushi restaurants, this new one is right above a fishmonger so you can rest assured, the sushi will be very fresh. There are 9 lunch menus, sushi and sashimi combos (€35 for 30 pieces or €18 for 15 pieces) and you can also try the a la carte menu with names like o-toro, chutoro and akami.

Address: Mercado 31 de Janeiro, R. Engenheiro Vieira da Silva, Lisboa

Average dinner price for two*: €50

Book your table here. 

2. Kitanori Sushi Lounge

I’m always suspicious when the sushi price is low but in this case, the low sushi prices are inversely proportional to the fish quality. It’s fresh and it’s delicious. At this new restaurant, you can take a seat at the counter or you sit in one of the tables. 8 pieces of tempura go for €9,90, a meal for two can go up to €30 if you’re very hungry.

Address: Rua Barao de Sabrosa 315A, Lisbon 1900-091, Portugal

Average dinner price for two: €30

Book your table here.

3. Chiyome Sushi, Lisboa

The Chiyome Sushi is located in Belém, more specifically, inside the Associação Naval de Lisboa and has the best view of the Tagus river, as you can sit in the margins of the river while enjoying your dish. Prices for a sushi combo start at €17 for a plate with 15 pieces and go up to €57 for the chefs special with 50 different pieces. Every day there are different specials.

Average dinner price for two: €30

Address: Av. Brasília, Doca de Belém, Pavilhão ANL, Belém

Book your table here.

4. Nómada

sushi cone nomada

Crunchy cones stuffed with marinated tuna and Port infused caramelised onion, covered in sesame seeds and wasabi peas are one of the client’s favourites, but there’s more.  Prawn tempura with tartare mayo, white fish ceviche with tigers milk, chips and sweet potato pure… Should I say some more?

Average dinner price for two: €60

Address: Av. Visconde Valmor, 40A, Lisboa

Book your table here.

5. Miss Jappa

Chirashi sushi

It’s right in the centre of Lisbon, in Bairro Alto more precisely. At the helm of the restaurant is the only Portuguese certified by the All Japan Sushi chef Anna Lins. At this restaurant, you can try a mix of the old and new sushi cuisine. The chirashi at the moment is highly recommended.

Average dinner price for two: €40

Address: Praça Príncipe Real 5 A, Lisbon 1250-184

Book your table here.

6. Japonês-ritz at the Ritz

This restaurant is what happens when you get the freshest of fish combined with the skills of some of the countries’ best sushi chefs. The new restaurant at the Ritz has only 18 seats available so book in advance. The menu is mouthwatering, with options ranging from the most traditional dishes to fusion or Nikkei.

You can try the tasting menu for €69 a person, lobster with spinach and yuzu and truffle vinagrete is included in the menu or if you prefer to go for the weekday lunch where you can have the executive lunch for €39 per person, the price includes a saké negi or saké maki temaki, 18 pieces of sushi and sashimi, a dessert and a drink.

Average dinner price for two: €100

Address: Ritz Four Seasons Hotel Lisboa, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 88

To make a reservation: 213811400

*average prices for two include: 2 appetisers + 2 mains + 2 beverages + 1 dessert

Hope you enjoy all or at least, some of my suggestions. Are there any other restaurants I should know about? I’m all ears. Let me know in the comment section!


5 Cheap 5 Star Hotels In The Algarve In 2017

5 Cheap 5 Star Hotels In The Algarve In 2017

With a mild and sunny climate all year round, the Algarve is one of Portuguese’s favourite beach destinations. But that’s not all you’ll find this region. As described by Lonely Planet: “The alluring coast of the Algarve receives much exposure for its breathtaking cliffs, golden beaches, scalloped bays and sandy islands. But ‘sun, surf and sand’ is far from the end of the Algarve story; there’s no shortage of other attractions – activities, beach bars (and discos), castles (both sand and real), diving, entertainment, fun…” So hurry and book your next summer holiday, I’ve selected the best and cheapest top 5-star hotels where you can stay in the Algarve.

1. Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa for €775


If you book right now you will still be able to get the patio suite which includes a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed and a big living room, two bathrooms and a terrace with splendid sea and mountain views.

The Macdonald Monchique Resort & Spa has four different restaurants with options ranging from the typical petiscos (Portuguese tapas) to a pizzeria and even a fine-dining restaurant specialised in fish and wine. If you prefer you can also sit and enjoy one of the two pool bars or relax with a more exotic drink at their cocktail bar.  The hotel has a gym and a spa and there are activities which they can arrange for you, like jeep safaris, bird watching, boat cave trips, dolphin watching and horse riding. If you have children there’s also a kids club. The best part of it all? You can book it now for €775, a week, for two.

Price for 1st week of July: €775 | £668 | $868

Location: Monchique

Book it now, pay it later.

2 – Penina Hotel & Golf Hotel for €1,077


This 5-star resort is in Portimão, one of my favourite cities in the Algarve. It still keeps the Portuguese essence of the Algarve with its typical cafes and restaurants, with our strip filled with cotton candy and popcorn sellers, the henna stalls, the caricaturists. But then, there’s also the Irish pubs, the international cuisine, the boat tours.

If you want to enjoy this eclectic city mix of old and new, you should stay in the Penina Hotel and Golf Resort.  There are 3 golf courses on the grounds of the hotel, a swimming pool, a spa, a kids club, 5 restaurants with Portuguese, Italian and international cuisine, 4 bars serving cocktails from where you can relax and admire the amazing sea views. This hotel is 5 minutes away from Alvor beach.

Book it now, pay it later.

Prices for 1st week of July: €1,077 | £928 | $1,207

Location: Portimão

3. Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel  Spa for €1,642


You can stay in a room, a suite or an apartment at this 5-star hotel in Albufeira. At the Grande Real Santa Eulália Resort & Hotel Spa, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re planning to go on a family holiday or a couples holiday.

There are 4 restaurants on location with an array of different cuisines. There’s also 4 outdoor swimming pools plus 3 for children, 3 swimming pool bars, a Spa and a kids club with music, games and entertainment for children of all ages. In the summer there’s also a disco called Le Club where some of the world’s best DJs come to play.

Price for 1st week of July: € 1,642 | £1,415 | $1,840

Location: Albufeira

Book it now, pay it later.

4. Ria Park Hotel & Spa for €1,568


It’s between Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, the uber fashionable area of the Algarve, that you’ll find the Ria Park Hotel & Spa. This hotel has its own private beach, Praia Garrão. The hotel has a lagoon-style swimming pool, a restaurant serving Portuguese contemporary cuisine with chef Gerhard Poz at the helm. There’s a health club, a spa, a live sized football court and two tennis courts in the hotel. If you love gold, the famous Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago and Oceanico golf courses are very close to the hotel.

Prices for 1st week of July: €1,568 | £1,352 | $1,757

Location: Vale do Lobo, 20 minutes from Faro’s Airport

Book it now, pay it later.

5. Pousada Palácio de Estói – Small Luxury Hotels of the World for €1,350

palacio estoi

And finally, this beautiful amazing hotel located in Estói, a village far from the hustle and bustle of Algarve’s main towns.

This hotel used to be a XIX century palace and you can still find the luxury of other times in the architecture, the paintings and antique furniture. If you book it now you will be able to get a balcony with a view.

Prices for 1st week of July: €1,350 | £1,164 | $1,513

Location: Estói

Book it now, pay it later.



Top 4 Cheap Brunches in Lisbon – All Below €14

Top 4 Cheap Brunches in Lisbon – All Below €14

Every now and then it’s great to have a more exuberant brunch but other times it’s nice to just sit in a cosy cafe and have a more authentic homey experience. With the following suggestions not only you can have a different perspective on the Portuguese lifestyle but you will also be able to save since you’re combining breakfast and lunch for less than €14. And with no further delay here are our top 4 cheapest brunches in Lisbon.

1.  Minha Cozinha in Campo de Ourique

This brunch is served as a buffet and it’s delicious. You can fill your plate as many times as you want with scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, different types of bread, croissants, pancakes, yoghurt, cereal, quiches, juices and, the best part, a selection of homemade cakes, just like the ones in the picture.

Price: €14, children from 3 to 6 years old €7

Brunch Times: Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays fr0m 11am to 1.15pm and from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Address: Rua da Infantaria 16, 63A, Lisboa.

Facebook page. Telephone: 213880941

2. Eric Kayser

Eric Kayser’s cafe speciality is traditional, additive free, french bread. And for only €9 you can try some of their loaves when you try the brunch at either their new cafe in Amoreiras or in Parque das Nações. Le Brunch, it’s what they call it, includes a warm drink, which can be a coffee, a latte, a cappuccino, tea or hot coffee. And then freshly squeezed juice plus croissants, pain aux chocolate and a cinnamon bun or apple strudel. There’s, of course, different kinds of bread and butter, fruit marmalades or honey, fruit salad, Kayser eggs or scrambled eggs with salmon or prosciutto.

Price: €9

Brunch Times: From 10 am to 16 pm,

Address: Amoreiras Plaza – Rua Professor Carlos Alberto da Mota Pinto, 1070-374 Lisbon

Alameda dos Oceanos 1341,1990-083, 1990-083 Lisboa

Facebook Page. Telephone: 21 192 7894

3. Kaffeehaus

You can sit here and read a magazine or read the latest news over a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Or take a friend and choose one of the brunches on offer. Prices vary but they’re all below the €12 mark.

This Austrian cafe was where I first had tried a brunch and it’s one of the first in Lisbon that ever even had that option. It’s very popular and its different variations start at €8,60 for the Wiener Frühstück. It includes Austrian bread, a croissant, a mini chocolate and cream came, jam, Nutella, honey and butter and then there’s the Wir sind Kaiser, which you can have for €11,90. This one includes a Viennese sausage with a Salzburg stew sauce, scrambled eggs, bread and butter. There’s also vegetarian options.

Address: Rua Anchieta, 3, Lisbon

Telephone: 210956828

Brunch Times: Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays from 11am.

Prices: €8,60 to €11,90

4. The Decadente

It’s a hostel, that used to be the residence of the swiss ambassador in Portugal, but it’s also a famous restaurant and now it’s a great brunch destination if you’re ever wondering in Bairro Alto. Every Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to 4pm you can have a brunch that includes a roasted turkey sandwich with mushrooms, cherry tomato and eggs. Homemade oat waffles with caramelised apple, spices, salted caramel and vanilla foam. Greek yoghurt with crunchy muesli and dark chocolate zest, bread, juices, coffee.  There’s also a menu for kids and gluten-free and vegetarian options.

Address: Rua São Pedro de Alcântara 81, 1250-238 Lisboa

Telephone: 21 346 13 81 | Email: reservas@thedecadente.pt

Brunch Times: Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 4pm

Prices: €13, €6 euros for children


5 Best Brunches In Cascais in 2017

5 Best Brunches In Cascais in 2017

Going for brunch is one of my favourite Sunday activities and since I moved back to Portugal I’ve happily made it my goal to try and find the best around where I live. If you’re in Lisbon but want to take a small trip to coastal town Cascais, then you should definitely try one of these fabulous brunches. If you’re staying in Cascais or close by, lucky you!

1. Oasis Restaurant in Hotel Cascais Miragem

Inside the beautiful Cascais Miragem hotel and by the pool is where you’ll find Oasis Restaurant and the divine brunch they serve on Sundays. There’s a selection of food for all tastes, seafood, vegetarian cuisine, soup in small shot glasses, appetisers inspired by world cuisine, a cheese and charcuterie section. And, there’s even an area with mains which you can select from the hot bar. And if you didn’t think this was mouthwatering enough, there’s a dessert section which was for me the highlight of this brunch. For those warm summer days don’t forget to ask for a table outside.

Drinks Included: Sparkling wine, juices, coffee, tea and water

Price: €29 | Children up to 12 have a 50% discount

Schedule: Sundays from 12.30pm to 3pm  | Bookings: +351 21 006 0600 | Address: Av. Marginal 8554, 2754-536 Cascais

Click to find out more.

2. La Terraza – Grande Real Villa Itália

This is one of the best-known brunches in Cascais. You’ll have to take a taxi or perhaps even get a bike to get to this hotel since it’s a bit far from the centre but it will be worth it. You’ll find lots of variety on this brunch, I mean, lots and lots of things to try. Portuguese bakery, cheese tables, appetisers, small dishes with different delicacies and also a sushi bar and a pasta and risotto section with a live show cooking station with a chef who will cook specifically for you. Make you sure you arrive on an empty stomach when you get to the beautiful Grande Real Villa Itália Hotel.

Drinks Included: Water, juices are free. You’ll also get a welcome glass of sangria.

Price: €28, free up to 4 years old,€12.50 for children from 5 to 11 years old.

Schedule: Saturdays and Sundays from 12.30pm to 4pm.

Telephone: +351 213 199 150 | Email: reservas.lis@hoteisreal.com | Address: R. Frei Nicolau de Oliveira 100, 2750 Cascais

Click to find out more.

3. Lobby Lounge at the Intercontinental Estoril

An amazing sea view is the first thing that you’ll savour as soon as you get to the wonderful brunch this 5-star hotel prepares for you every Sunday. On the tables, you will find a wide range of cold salads, meat dishes, several fish specialities, sushi and fresh tartar, sausages and cold meats, traditional Portuguese fried food, vegetarian cuisine, desserts and also a live cooking station.

Drinks: Selected drinks, welcome cocktail.

Price: €29 per person, children from 4 to 12 have a 50% reduction.

Schedule: Sundays from 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Telephone: +351 218 291 100 or +351 931 125 339 | Email: barbara.mendonca@ihg.com | Address: Avenida Marginal, 8023, 2765-249, Estoril

Click to find out more.

4. The Albatroz Restaurant At The Albatroz Hotel

Red or white wine, whichever you prefer will be served throughout the brunch. Convinced? If you this didn’t win you over then imagine this. You sitting in front of the best panoramic view of the Atlantic ocean in the Albatroz trying one of the best brunches of Cascais.  The incredible view will make food degustation even more exciting. I loved everything about this brunch, the lovely salads, there was so much variety and they were all so different. The delicious entrees, quiches, the different meat and fish courses, the desserts, oh I almost forgot, the overflowing glasses of red.

Drinks:  Wine plus a selection of other drinks included.

Schedule: Every Sunday, between 12h00 and 16h00.

Price: €29

Telephone:+351 214 847 380 Address: Rua Frederico Arouca 100, 2750-353 Cascais

Click to find out more.

5. Glass Terrace at the Sheraton Cascais Resort 

This brunch has been called the king of brunch. It all starts with the location, it’s inside the Sheraton Cascais Resort, located in the very exclusive and secluded Quinta da Marinha. Then it’s the food, absolutely divine and finally the party/picnic vibe. In the summer you can use the hotel’s swimming pool for free plus there’s a DJ and a kids club. Brunch will be served inside the Glass Terrace restaurant but also in the lush gardens of the hotel, right by the pool. Waffles, brownies, crepes, eggs, croissants, hash browns, world cuisine, barbeque with a selection of meats that go from picanha to chicken, rosbif, turkey sausages and also fish. For children, there’s a hot dog buffet, mini-pizzas, burgers and a variety of sweets, like gummy bears, an ice cream cart and even a popcorn machine.

Schedule: Every Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 PM
– Kids Club from 12:30 to 4:00 PM, for children ages 4 to 12

Price: €35 per person, 17,5€ for children up to 12 and free for children under 5.

Telephone: 351 910 351 109 | Email: brunch@sheratoncascais.com | Address: Rua das Palmeiras, 5, Cascais

Find out more here.

Are there any other brunches I should know about? Did I miss any of your favourite places for brunch? Let me know in the comment box!


Top 5 Best Discount Websites in Portugal

Top 5 Best Discount Websites in Portugal

Just like Groupon, Living Social or Yipit in the US, Wowcher, HotUkDeals in England or even Dailydeal in Germany, Portugal has plenty of discount websites where you can find incredible deals on hotels, spa treatments, restaurants, museums and many other things.

Here are some of the top discount websites Portuguese use the most.

  1. Odisseias – This is one of my favourites. The design is really clean and the website user-friendly. There’s plenty of great offers on Odisseias but I would recommend you start with the last one I bought that took me to one of the best 5-star hotels in Lisbon. A spa package that includes a 3-hour use of the swimming pool, a foot scrub, a 45-minute massage by the hands of an angel and tea at the end. All for €39! You can find the deal here.

2. Goodlife – This website offers a bit more variety in terms of types of deals including offers on courses, household items and even fashion. Goodlife has a customer service chatbox so you can also book with the help of someone. They have a very interesting deal right now. For €69.99 you can get a 2-hour sailing trip around Tejo in Lisbon, for up to 4 people. The deal includes a prosecco bottle. You can find this deal here.

3. Mygon – This is another of the deal websites I use frequently. The best thing about it is that you only pay after using the experience. Right now you can book a tour around Lisbon for two in a Go Car complete with a GPS and a virtual tour guide for only €17. You can check it out here.

4. Lifecooler – You can buy these deals in supermarkets and specialised stores or go to the website where you can buy specific deals. On offer now, a discount in one of my favourite restaurants in Portugal. On offer a lunch or dinner for two, with a sea view at the Terrace Restaurant in Praia Grande, Sintra. The meal includes the couvert (bread, olives, patê), entrées, main dish and desserts all for €39,90 instead of €85.

5. Voucher Sapo – The biggest Portuguese search engine also has a voucher discount website. Go for a small break to the Algarve and Spend two nights in Carvoeiro, Algarve, in Suites Alba Resort, a 5-star hotel, with a direct access to the beach and spa access. It used to cost €172,59 and it’s now €118,75. Find it here.

In case the language barrier is making it hard, you can just translate the whole address on Google Translate. The website will be translated into English in a few seconds.


5 Essential Outdoor Sports Gear Items For A Portuguese Adventure

5 Essential Outdoor Sports Gear Items For A Portuguese Adventure

If you like sports and adventure then Portugal is the right destination for you. Make your trip to Portugal even more fun with some of these items which you can get on Amazon.co.uk.

1. Inflatable Kayak – Wherever you go in Portugal, you will for sure be very close to either a river, a lagoon, a beach or a swimming pool. And this is why you should definitely bring one of the coolest items on Amazon at the moment. An inflatable kayak complete with paddles! On sale for £90.26 and it's from Intex.

2. Hiking GPS – If hiking and trekking are your thing, the Garmin eTrex 20x Outdoor Handheld GPS will be your best companion on these adventures. Its bright colour display is easy to read under any lighting conditions, it's waterproof and has a long battery life. It costs £157.13.

3. Action Camera Ultra HD Camcorder – If you're into action sports and like to keep track of your progress and study your techniques, nothing better than packing your own 4K Sport Action Camera Ultra HD Camcorder. The resolution is 4 times better than HD, it's got a wireless wrist remote control, a long battery life, built-in wifi & HDMI and it's waterproof. Perfect for capturing your surfing or swimming moves. At the moment on Amazon, it costs £59.99.

4. Gold Travel Bag – Some of the best golf courses in the world can be found in Portugal. So, if you're visiting us and travelling with your clubs by plane, don't worry about the handling of your precious gear by the baggage handlers. With the Macgregor Men's VIP Deluxe Wheeled Travel cover your clubs will be safe. The wheels make it easy to carry and the extra padding around the top will protect your clubs. It's going for £39.95.


5. Snorkel Face Mark – This snorkel mask has an 180 ° view, perfect for adults or children who want to snorkel without having to worry about having salty water on their faces while trying to breathe through the mouth. The Vapercombo has anti-fog and anti-leak technology and it comes with a waterproof bag for your phone so you can take pictures in the water. It costs £32.80 on Amazon.