Holiday pound stretches furthest in Bali and the Algarve

May 27th, 2014

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Swings in the pound and local price changes makes Bali the cheapest destination with the Algarve best value in Europe.

Bali has emerged as the best value holiday destination for British travellers this year, as a strengthening pound helps budgets stretch further in most resorts and cities.

Holiday costs for Britons were down in 70pc of the 44 destinations surveyed in the Post Office Travel Money report, with prices falling by up to 30pc.

Bali is the cheapest holiday destination overall, with a typical basket of holiday goods costing £31.48 compared with £115.06 in New Zealand, the most expensive destination surveyed.

The Portuguese Algarve came out as the cheapest destination in Europe, with a basket of items costing £35.37.

The survey showed that although the pound was slightly weaker against the euro compared to last year (-1.9pc), prices have fallen 18pc in the Algarve. Conversely, Spain was the only country to record a significant price increase, with meal costs rising 22pc on the Costa del Sol. This pushed Spain’s basket of goods to £39.14, pushing Spain into sixth place.

Paul Havenhand, head of travel at Post Office, said: “We urge cost-conscious holidaymakers to include a comparison of exchange rates for all the destinations they are considering before coming to a final decision. This is likely to make a positive difference to the overall cost of a holiday.”

He added: “At the moment sterling is stronger against three quarters of the top Post Office holiday currencies.”

Resorts are cheaper in Cyprus, Greece and Italy, the survey found, although Italy remains the most expensive destination in Europe with a basket costing around £81, twice as much as Portugal.

The basket includes items like an evening meal for two, a cup of coffee and sun cream.

Popular destinations this year are likely to include South Africa, Vietnam, Burma and Qatar, the Post Office said.

Post Office Travel Money Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer:

Story from: The Telegraphy

Best European countries: Portugal wins Readers’ Choice vote

May 26th, 2014

 

Algarve

Portugal Tops With Readers

USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for ‘Best European Country,’ voting was heaviest for one nominee in particular.  Portugal has apparently stolen the hearts of our readers as it secured the lion’s share of votes.

Portugal is less iconic than other well-known countries, but it offers a wealth of opportunities to travelers: charming villages, great food, fascinating regional music, cultural opportunities, a beautiful coastline and even world-class surfing.

Italy and Austria landed solid in second and third, while a mere 47 votes separated 4th place finisher Germany from Spain in 6th place.  The (very large) United Kingdom, with no language barriers for Americans and a wealth of well-known landmarks, took 5th place.

The biggest surprise? Iceland, which trumped Greece, Norway, and several other more exotic countries, to land in the top 10.

The full list of winners in the ‘Best European Country’ contest category for 10Best Readers’ Choice is as follows:

  1. PORTUGAL
  2. Italy
  3. Austria
  4. Germany
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Spain
  7. Ireland
  8. France
  9. Iceland
  10. Switzerland

Congratulations to all the winners.  Wondering where to take your next trip?  This list makes a fabulous overseas bucket list.

All nominees were chosen by experts in the Travel Industry. Thus, the other 10 nominees also deserve some consideration. They were  Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.

Story from : USA TODAY 2014

Dutch squad prepares World Cup in Lagos

May 26th, 2014

 

Robben

The Algarve is once again elected by the Dutch national football team for conducting an internship destination before a big international event, revealed the newspaper “Algemeen Dagblad”. According to the publication, the Oranje team will be in the region from the 20-27 of May, before the start of the World Cup football in Brazil.

The Algarve has many municipal and private practice fields and some of them are within hotels and resorts and provide great conditions for any sport throughout the whole year this fact makes the Algarve an usual destination stages of major European football teams during low season.

The Cascade Resort in Lagos has been chosen to host the Dutch national football team for a week-long training period before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The runners-up of the last edition in South Africa will be fine-tuning their tactics for the competition between May 20 and 27. And Coach Louis van Gaal will feel very much at home in the Algarve as he owns a property in Vale do Lobo.

The Netherlands will face Spain in the first game of the ‘ Worldcup 2014 ’ on 13 June. The choice of Algarve was due, according to the newspaper”Algemeen Dagblad”, similar climate to that expected in Brazil.

It was already known that the Netherlands national team had chosen the Algarve, but only now was it announced that the Cascade’s Performance Football Academy will be its host.

Algarve tourism chief Desidério Silva had already praised the decision back in December, deeming it “excellent news” for the Algarve.

The resort is delighted, stating that “with this prestigious football team, the Cascade Resort and Performance Football Academy is closing a very successful football season.”

Since its opening in 2011, the resort has received top-class squads from all around the world, such as Zenit St. Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen and Spartak Moscow.

It will be the second time the Dutch squad practises for a major competition in the Algarve, after having chosen the region to prepare for the Euro 2004 held in Portugal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

England squad back at Vale de Lobo

May 15th, 2014

 

Vale do Lobo

 

The England football team again is off to the Algarve, viewing it as an ideal training ground as the squad prepares for the World Cup.

The Football Association said that Vale do Lobo has been chosen for a five days session between 19 and 23 May.

The president of the Algarve Tourism Board, the omnipresent Desiderio Silva, said today “this is great news for Vale do Lobo, for the Algarve and for Portugal,” and noted that the decision definitely puts the destination high on the list of top training venues.

The resort’s management also expressed delight at being selected for a second time, the first was in 2006, for the training of the England team, and hoped the players “will take advantage of all the amenities and services at Vale do Lobo.”

The arrival of the bulk of the England squad is scheduled for Monday but some players are arriving early as they have property in the area and will get in some relaxation over the preceding week, or indeed use the time to get over injuries such as Wayne Rooney who is already in Vale do Lobo.

Story From: http://www.algarvedailynews.com/news/2309-england-squad-back-at-vale-de-lobo

World-leading car manufacturer BMW chose the Algarve to unveil its brand BMW’s hot new series.

May 14th, 2014

 

BMW GoldBMW

BMW chose the sunny Algarve, to bring a group of journalists to stage in the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão,  two of its newest and hottest  models: the fifth-generation M3 and the 4-series-based M4, which replaces the previous M3 coupé.

Review:

“Both of these M-cars are hysterically fast, engaging and outrageously good to drive. In other words, worthy M-successors.”

2014 BMW M3/M4 specifications

On sale: June 2014 Price: £56,175/£56,635 Engine: turbocharged, petrol, 2979cc, six-cylinder Power: 425bhp @ 5500-7300rpm Torque: 405 lb ft @ 1800-5500rpm Transmission: 7-speed M DT Fuel: 32.1mpg CO2: 204g/km Acceleration: 0-62mph, 4.1sec Top speed: 155mph

Accomplished Austrian chef puts Algarve on the fine-dining map

May 1st, 2014

The WORLDS´S 50 Best Restaurantsvila_2014_rest_1

The only restaurant in Portugal to feature among The World’s 50 Best list, Vila Joya has also become a destination for international chefs, who attend its annual International Gourmet Festival.

The restaurant at this luxury spa and beach resort on the Algarve, overlooking the rugged Atlantic coastline,  truly is a ‘house of joy’ thanks to the culinary talents of executive chef Dieter Koschina. Originally from Austria, he honed his skills in leading establishments in Vienna and Germany before settling in his adopted country of Portugal more than two decades ago. These countries’ contrasting food cultures continue to inspire Koschina with fabulous Portuguese produce combined with northern European cooking techniques to create truly original and delicious dishes.

Story from: http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/1-50-winners/vila-joya

Vilamoura Development – The Cidade Lacustre Project

April 21st, 2014

Cidade Lacustre

 

Permission for the resort was signed off last week by Pires de Lima and a secretary of state acting for Agriculture Minister Assunção Cristas.

The project lies between Vilamoura Marina and Açoteias, Albufeira and side-steps normal planning requirements as it has been deemed of “relevant public interest” by the government.

The project envisages 3,000 beds in villas, hotels and apartments in a lagoon setting on what currently is farmland which will be dug out and flooded to provide watery views from much of the accommodation, 300 units of which will have their own berths. An inevitable shopping area is planned around the main lake.

Almargem (eco-group) says this action will adversely affect one of the most important wetlands of the Central Coast of the Algarve, which few can dispute.

The project calls for the diversion of a river, the construction of a dam for flood protection and an awkward crane system for transferring boats between the existing Vilamoura marina and the new lagoons.

Cidade Lacustre is planned to include the usual environmental sops for wildlife and habitat, and the preservation and protection of the Roman ruins at Cerro da Vila.

The whole ‘sea world’ type project was dreamt up by Vilamoura developer André Jordan in 1999 when he was involved with Lusotur which owned the Vilamoura resort area.

Story from: http://algarvedailynews.com/news/2090-vilamoura-development-360-hecatre-resort-given-the-go-ahead

Não fique em casa! E que tal passear por Quinta do Lago?

April 8th, 2014

A Quinta do Lago é conhecida por ser um dos empreendimentos turísticos mais luxuosos de toda a Europa.

Envolvida por cinco campos de golfe, entre os quais, o bem conhecido campo de Golfe de São Lourenço, restauração, atividades desportivas e de um turismo ecológico em desenvolvimento. A observação da fauna natural abraça atividades ao ar livre, equitação, ciclismo, entre outros.

A Praia da Quinta do Lago está ao “atravessar da ponte” – um momento de puro contacto com a natureza e de reflexão.

Aproveite o dia maravilhoso de hoje e faça uma caminhada ao ar livre?

Ria Formosa

World Class Rugby comes to Vilamoura

April 4th, 2014

Former European Champions, Leicester Tigers will have a team in Vilamoura next weekend where they will be taking a small break from their domestic and European campaigns to take on Russian champions Krasny Yar RC.

The English champions currently are third, and will be taking on second-placed Northampton this weekend before heading to Vilamoura to participate the Algarve Rugby Festival 2014. The rugby feastaval will be hosted as usual by the Browns Sports & Leisure Club in Vilamoura.

This weekend sees the British Army, who are world armed forces champions, will also be testing their strengths against the Russian Champions.

There is no charge to watch the games and its great opportunity for people in the Algarve or visitors to watch top class rugby played in a festival atmosphere.

Browns are providing pitch side bars, barbecue and a live band in the evening.

The schedule is as follows: Saturday, 5 April at 4 pm

British Army (United Kingdom) vs Krasny Yar RC (Russia).

Friday 11 April at 4 pm Leicester Tigers (England) vs Krasny Yar RC (Russia).

Browns have also since revealed they are looking to stage additional matches.

The sun is back, so why not tie in your search for property in portugal with a little relaxation and some world class rugby!

 

Porquê visitar Faro?

April 3rd, 2014

Faro, cidade com história, a capital do Algarve. Está localizada numa paisagem lindíssima, entre o Oceano Atlântico e o Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.

O centro histórico da cidade é um dos destinos de atracão turística cujo alguns dos monumentos visitados são a Catedral (de origem Romano-Gótica), O Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Renascimento) e a Igreja de São Francisco (séculos 16 e 18), entre muitos outros. Existe um comboio que percorre a cidade.

A Ilha de Faro (também conhecida por Praia de Faro) está a 8 km da cidade e tem todo o esplendor do Parque Natura da Ria Formosa. Poderá disfrutar da praia, com restaurantes e bares mesmo á beira-mar, ou de caminhadas ao longo da Ria Formosa. Existe um trilho que poderá seguir e que orienta informações acerca das espécies protegidas. Este trilho, dependendo da direção, irá dar encontro ao tão conhecido “Golden Triangle”, que engloba Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo e Almancil.

Não deixe de visitar….

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