Top 5 Pet-Friendly Hotels in Portugal

When you have a pet it can be complicated to decide on a whim to go for a long holiday or even for a little weekend break. That’s why I’ve decided to make a list of some of my favourite pet-friendly hotels in Portugal. Start planning your next trip with your little furry friend with some of these suggestions.

1. Novotel Porto Gaia

Pet Friendly Hotel
Pet-Friendly Hotel in Vila Nova de Gaia

Enjoy all that Porto has to offer without leaving your pet behind. Novotel Porto Gaia is also great for an escape with your children, there’s a video game area, indoor and outdoor playgrounds and also two swimming pools. Oh and in case you’re still wondering if you should make a booking, in the summer the hotel hosts barbecue parties by the pool, how awesome is that?

If you book your stay at Novotel Porto Gaia today, you can get a room for 5 nights for €344.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

2. Topazio Mar Beach Hotel & Apartments

Pet-friendly hotel in Albufeira
Pet-Friendly Hotel in Albufeira

Summer has been very shy this year but there’s bound to be some sunny spells, so pack up your bags, pick up your treasured pooch and head to the Algarve. At Topazio Mar Beach Hotel & Apartments in Albufeira, you can enjoy some sunny days by the pool with your 4 legged friends by your side. Book today and pay only €166 for 5 days.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

3. The Noble House in Évora

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Pet-Friendly Hotel in Évora

I love going to Évora, it’s close to Lisbon, only an hour and a half away by car, it’s full of history, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site, it’s a lovely university town with many bars to explore and amazing Alentejo typical restaurants to try. And did I mention the wine tours? Évora is home to some of the biggest and best wineries and vineyards in Portugal. So, what are you waiting for? Book a stay at The Noble House and enjoy this city in the company of your “better half”. The price for 5 days in November is €308.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

4. Clube Borda d’Água

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Pet-Friendly Hotel in Albufeira

Clube Borda D’Água in Albufeira is only 20 metres away from Oura Beach so you can either go to the beach or relax in one of the many swimming pools at the club. At Borda D’Água you can stay in an apartment with a big terrace or balcony, perfect for your pet. Each apartment can accommodate 4 people which means not only you can take your pet with you but also travel with some friends. Book your hotel today and pay only €200 for 5 days.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

5. Vale Paraiso Natur Park

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Our next suggestion is Nazaré, a city known for being one of Portugal’s most popular seaside resorts. Only a mere 1-hour drive from Lisbon and on the silver coast Vale Paraíso Natur Park is a camping park in the middle of nature. But fear not, if camping is not for you, you can always stay in the wooden cabins or apartments spread around the park. If you book now, a wooden cabin with a double bed, bathroom, balcony, kitchen and dining area is only €201 for 5 days.

Book it now before the prices increase or save the link and make the decision later.

 

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Top 10: Best Boutique Hotels in Lisbon

Are you looking for a chic and stylish luxury hotel where to stay on your next Lisbon holidays? Look no further. Here is a curated list of the most charming boutique hotels in Lisbon.

1. Lx Boutique Hotel

Guests say:The rooms were spacious and clean and I loved the decor of the hotel. The location is also amazing – it’s right down the block from Time Out Market which is foodie heaven. I also enjoyed the complementary pastel de nata in the evening.” 

2.Heritage Avenida da Liberdade

Guests say“Such a relaxing stay! Staff were all friendly and helpful. Room was lovely. Great choice of breakfast food. Tea, coffee, muscatel and port available all day for free! Good location within walking distance of city centre attractions. Not cheap but definitely worth it.”

📍Location 💵 Prices

3.Memmo Princípe Real

Guests say:“A gem of a hotel in a great district of Lisbon. Excellent design and the view over the city stunning. All the staff were excellent, friendly and very attentive also recommending and booking some lovely restaurants for us… Ate dinner at the hotel which good. Breakfast was great with a wide choice of lovely fresh fruit, pastries, cheese, meats etc as well as cooked options. The room was superb – a wonderful surprise as had been given an upgrade at no extra cost to a premier room which was really spacious overlooking the city with French windows in the bedroom and sitting area as well as the bathroom! Can’t wait to return ….”

📍Location 💵 Prices

4.Palacete Chafariz D’El Rey

Guests say: “The staff were amazing! Helpful every minute. Breakfast was superb! Beautiful remodelled historical home. Lots of restaurants just steps away. Excellent showers and rooms. Comfortable beds.” Rhonda USA USA

📍Location 💵 Prices

5. AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado

Guests say: “This was by far one of the best boutique hotels I have ever stayed in. The staff especially Bernardo and Luisa was fantastic! They were so attentive, professional, accommodating and helpful that they made our experience in Lisbon amazing. They set up a bunch of activities for us which certainly made our trip. The hotel bed was the most comfortable hotel bed I have ever stayed in-overall BEST!!!!” Jennifer 🇺🇸 USA

6. As Janelas Verdes

Guests say: “Beautifully clean everywhere. Very hard working helpful staff. Reception always more than helpful. Breakfast fantastic, particularly the fresh fruit salad every day. Good size rooms with everything that we needed. Good size bathroom too and immaculately clean. Well stocked honesty bars. Great view from the library. I really couldn’t find fault. Thank you AJV.” Philip 🇫🇷 France

📍Location💵Prices

7. Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel

Guests say: “If I could give six stars out of five I would. The little extras such as pastries, pancakes and popcorn in the lobby various times was a nice touch. And the free walking tour was the highlight of our short stay.” Adrian  United Kingdom  United Kingdom

8. Solar do Castelo

Guests say: Solar do Castelo is located within the walls of Lisbon’s historic castle. It is mostly an old building constructed on the site of the castle’s original kitchen. Our room very comfortable, clean with a view to the inner walls of the castle. The welcome bottle of champagne was much appreciated. The breakfast area was a nice place to relax with a nice view of the courtyard where peacocks and peahens pose. The smorgasbord breakfast included juice, cereal, fresh fruits, yoghurts, cold meats, cheeses as well as bacon, eggs and sausages. A great start to each day! All of the staff were friendly and helpful. It is only a short walk to Alfama, Graca and Baixa areas. Solar do Castelo Hotel is an excellent accommodation that is both stylish and relaxing.” Colin 🇦🇺 Australia

📍Location 💵 Prices

9. Valverde Hotel

Guests say: “The location is fantastic, the staff couldn’t do enough to help, and were very courteous, the restaurant staff were very attentive, the breakfast was very good.” Marie 🇦🇺 Australia

📍Location 💵 Prices

10. Torel Palace

Guests say:Everything was very good. Very helpful stuff, good location and beautiful view of the city. Good quality bath products and comfortable bed. I loved their restaurant – really advise it to try. The “Cave” restaurant has a degustation menu, which is 60 Euro per person and it was really an incredible experience:)” Leyla 🇮🇹 Italy

Top 10 Best Tours, Excursions and Activities in Lisbon

I’ve recently travelled to Rome and since I was only staying for a few days I wanted to avoid wasting any time queuing to get into the main touristic spots. While researching for tickets online I ended up discovering the best app from where to buy skip-the-line tickets. No queues, no endless waiting in the cold. As soon as I returned to Portugal I started looking for a similar service in Portugal, and there it was. The same service I used in Italy. An app and website dedicated to selling tickets for Portuguese tours, excursions and activities.

Check out the 10 top tours recommended in every guide about Lisbon now accessible at the tip of your fingers. Most of the tickets can be cancelled in the 24h before the trip, also, after buying the tickets on your phone, all you’ll have to worry is showing up since your phone voucher is usually enough.

  1. Book a private airport transfer for only €18.50

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Start your holiday hassle free with this private transfer.  This is a 45-minute service (usually you can get everywhere in Lisbon in 20m), the car can fit up to 3 people and there’s also have a bigger car available if you’re travelling with a bigger group. Book your private driver here.

2. Take an exciting walking and tram tour through Lisbon’s iconic neighbourhoods for €18

 

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Take a tour through Lisbon’s most famous and historic neighbourhoods. The tour starts in Bairro Alto and lasts 3-hours, you will walk and also take one of the famous city trams. Tickets for the Lisbon Essential Tour: History, Stories & Lifestyle can be bought here.

3. No sweat tour around Lisbon with an electric bike for €35

 

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Discover the city of 7 hills at the “helm” of an electric bike. Cruise with comfort around Lisbon’s hilly neighbourhoods and have fun discovering the city. You can book your ticket for Lisbon: 2.5-Hour Hills Tour by Electric Bike here. There’s also a tour on a sitting down segway if you prefer something even more relaxing.

4. Sail in Tagus River on your own private boat for €35

 

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Relax in the Tagus river with a drink while your skipper tells you all about Lisbon’s history. You might even get the chance to direct the boat and trim the sails under the careful guidance of your guide. This is a 2-hour tour, and it’s €35 person. Book your ticket here.

5. Ticket and Skip-the-line in the Pena Palace for €11.50

 

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Skip the lines and discover one of the best-preserved medieval royal residences in the world, Palácio da Pena, which stands on the top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. “The palace is a hedonistic mix of vividly painted terraces, decorative battlements and mythological statues, all of which stand in stark contrast to the lush greens of the forests that encircle Pena.” Reserve your tickets now.

6. Sintra: Wine Tasting Tour, Regaleira & Monserrate Experience for €34.50

 

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If you’re visiting Lisbon for a few days you should definitely take a day to visit Sintra and enjoy its many wonders. Included in this tours price is the hotel pick up, skip the line tickets, a guide who can speak your language and a visit to a wine cellar, where you’ll get the chance to do some wine tasting. You will also be taken to one of the most emblematic parks of Sintra: the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira with its wonderful lakes, caves and gardens. All combined you can buy this tour for €34.50. Interested? You can buy it here.

7. Tasting Lisbon Flavours During an Evening Walk Tour for €84

 

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Get out of the beaten track with this culinary journey around Lisbon’s most typical neighbourhoods. Sample delicious Portuguese specialities when you buy your Lisbon: 4-Hour Culinary Evening Walk.

8. Discover Some of the Best Street Art in Lisbon for €34

 

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Take a private guided tour around Lisbon and discover today’s most innovative urban street artists. See graffiti and sophisticated murals, and look at some of the best street art in Europe. Book your tour here.

9. Pub and VIP Club Tour for €15 

 

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Make friends while taking part in one of the biggest pub crawls in Lisbon. Party at some of the city’s best bars and clubs, skip the long lines to all venues and enjoy the free drinks. A local guide will take you on a 5 hours trip you will never forget. This experience includes a 1-hour open bar for beer and sangria, plus drinking games and entry to clubs and bars. Reserve your tour here.

10. Knights Templar Day Tour from Lisbon for €64

 

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Portugal – This week in the news

Here’s a look at the main headlines about Portugal this week.

Portugal tourist arrivals spike 12 pct to new record in 2017

“The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal rose nearly 12 percent last year to a record 12.7 million people, contributing to the once-bailed out country’s strongest economic growth since 2000, official data showed on Wednesday. Tourism and all travel-related revenues account for about 10 percent of Portugal’s gross domestic product, which expanded 2.7 percent last year. The tourism sector is also a key source of employment and big component of exports of services.”

Algarve returns to Lisbon for BTL tourism fair

“The Algarve will be promoting more than “sun and sea” at Lisbon’s BTL tourism fair being held between February 28 and March 4. Nature, outdoor activities and sport, gastronomy and wines, and culture are just some of the “tourist products” that will be showcased at the popular annual event by the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA).”

Ryanair expects Easter week strike in Ireland or Portugal

“Ryanair expects staff to strike during Easter week in either Ireland or Portugal, chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday, as talks with some of the airline’s unions over formal recognition and improved conditions faltered.”

Portugal says it wants Jews and Jewish investment in country

“The Jewish communities have had crucial roles in the Portuguese history, namely Pedro Álvares Cabral, who discovered Brazil, and in the United States, the oldest synagogue, Shearith Israel, located in New York, was founded by Portuguese Jews. This is why we have created a special law to grant Portuguese nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews, and we have been experiencing a very high demand.”

Lisbon and Portuguese Resort Spots on the Rise

“Portugal, like several other European countries, has been going for gold in the last few years. Golden visas, that is… The program yielded more than €3 billion (US$3.8 billion) in Portuguese investments as of the end of last year, according to the Foreigners and Borders Service. Brazil, China and South Africa are the top three nationalities attracted through Portugal’s golden visa program, according to government statistics.”

Algarve Tourism Board slams extension of oil drilling licence

“The Algarve Tourism Board has spoken out against the extension of a licence allowing drilling for oil off the Vicentine coast.”

Why Portugal Is A Top Choice For Foreign Investors

“Where else could I have all this? In February?” asked the retired Swiss investment banker sitting inside Fabrica Coffee Roasters on Lisbon’s Rua da Flores, gesturing towards the sunny street outside. In 2016, he and his wife joined a steadily increasing trend of expatriates taking up Portuguese residency and bought a villa just outside Lisbon. Over coffee and pasteis nata, he described winters spent sailing and playing tennis, wining and dining, enjoying music, art and shopping and golf on the championship courses at Penha Longa in the Sintra foothills and Oitavos Dunes (see picture). And, he added, almost as an afterthought, it helped that Portugal’s tax regime was so attractive.”

Portugal launches new film, TV rebates in bid to lure Hollywood

“With its grand castles and churches, picturesque cityscapes and long coastline, Portugal boasts the kind of scenery of that would make a Hollywood location scout salivate.”

“Staring out across the Atlantic from the westernmost point of Europe is a surreal experience only situationists can appreciate. Inspired by philosopher Guy Debord’s 1950s artistic movement dérive, we set off for a three-day escape in Portugal’s verdant, moody and culinarily phenomenal Sintra region.”

 

23 Concerts You Must See in Lisbon 2018

Concerts in Lisbon 2018

Here is a list of some of the best concerts happening in Lisbon this year.

February 2018

1 February – Metallica Wordwired Tour (they seem to be sold out but you can still try and check OLX for last minute tickets)

3 February – Black Mamba (you can buy your ticket here)

March 2018

8 March – Nick Kershaw (you can buy your ticket here)

22 March – Bob Dylan and His Band (you can buy your ticket here)

23 March – The Script (you can buy your ticket here)

29 March – Benjamim Clementine (you can buy your ticket here)

30 March – Machine Head (buy your ticket here)

April 2018

10 April – 30 Seconds to Mars (find tickets here)

23 April – Arcade Fire (find tickets here)

27 April – Marylin Manson (find tickets here)

May 2018

12 May – Niall Horan from One Direction (buy your ticket here)

18 May – Sam Smith (tickets can be purchased here)

20 and 21 May – Pink Floyd Roger Waters Us + Them (tickets can be purchased here)

20 May – The Jesus and Mary Chain (tickets available here)

30 May – Enrique Iglesias (tickets here)

June 2018

19 June – LCD Soundsystem (your tickets can be bought here)

28 June – Shakira (tickets here)

July 2018

1 July – Leny Kravitz Raise Vibration Tour (tickets can be bought here)

2 July – Ozzy Osbourne (get your ticket here)

13 July – Iron Maiden – Legacy of the Beast (tickets can be found here)

September 2018

16 and 17 September – U2 Experience + Innocence Tour (tickets for the 1st day are sold out you can still get tickets for 17th September – Tickets will go on sale 2nd February here)

29 September – Status Quo (tickets can be bought here)

October 2018

2 October – José González (buy your tickets here)

 

Podence – A Carnival like you’ve never seen

A Carnival party you will either love or hate

Deep in the North of Portugal, traditions are still being kept and this is one of the oldest. From 10th to 13th February, some of the bachelors of Podence, also known as the Caretos of Podence, take over the village and distribute mischieve everywhere they go. If you want to discover one of Portugal’s oldest traditions this really is a party you should try to be part of.

10 facts you didn’t know about Caretos of Podence

1. This is a Celtic tradition which has been going for hundreds of years.

Carnival Podence

2. Caretos usually appear when you least expect.

Carnival in Portugal 2018

3. They walk in groups.

Carnival Podence

4. They’re totally unpredictable.

Head Caretos

5. They whistle and shake their bell rattles while they spread mayhem around the village.

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6. “Robbing” people’s wineries, tricking the unsuspected, shaking single girls, are some of the things they love to do.

7. In the past, Caretos would throw ash and manure to people as well as whip people with pig bladders but don’t worry, these days they are very tame.

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8. Their faces are a representation of the devil.

Mask Podence

9. At the end of the three days, two giant effigies will go up in flames, not before the “marriages” between some of the single people in the village.

10. Back in the day, Caretos would break down doors in order to get to the single girls and shake them. Single girls would either have to hide or dress as matrafonas the only people exempt from the Caretos passion.

Where to stay:

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Casa do Avô César: A rustic and comfy accommodation a mere 10 km away from Podence.

 

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Casas de Campo da Quinta Entre os Rios: You can instead choose to stay in a traditional house in Mirandela, a city known for its cuisine (try the alheiras), and beautiful landscapes.

 

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Quinta Rota d’Oliveira: Stay in the countryside, in a 17-century house, completely renovated, and with the most idyllic views around you.

More info:

Discover the whole party program here.