Thursday, 28 May 2020

Lisbon Zoo

With 136 years, Lisbon’s Zoo was the first park in the Iberian Peninsula to have fauna and flora. Hosting two thousand animals from 300 different species, Lisbon’s “Noah’s Ark” plays an important role in the protection of endangered species and their habitats.

Lisbon’s Zoo is one of the world’s most important parks with one of the largest animal collections and it centers most of its activity in animal protection and reproduction.

Thru daily presentations, visitors can watch, from a short distance, species from all over the world and be amazed by its curiosities.

A visit to the Zoo offers an unforgettable experience: a ride in the cable car; a visit to the “Quintinha” (a small farm dedicated mainly for children) where you can find domestic animals; a surprising passage thru the Reptile House and finishing with a Dolphins’ presentation.

By visiting Lisbon’s Zoo you’re contributing to its mission to develop and promote a zoological and botanical park, as preservation, reproduction, and reintroduction of endangered species center, through scientific studies and environmental enrichment programs.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Lessons from the pandemic - Book Direct

We are living extraordinary times and many believe that travel will never be the same. That may be so, but one thing that this crisis showed us is that booking directly with the hotel is the best option.

On a daily basis, we face reports of guests having difficulties in being refunded on bookings canceled due to this pandemic.

During these troubled times, we have accepted all changes without charging any penalties, allowing guests to decide on how they want to proceed: reschedule, be refunded, or cancel.

Unfortunately, sometimes more often than we wished, it is not up to us as there are so many intermediaries which makes it very difficult for us to help, but we do try our best.

One of the questions now is: how will you book your next visit to a hotel? Our answer is: easy, book directly!!

There are thousands of Websites that allow you to make your reservation, some allow you to book a flight, hotel, car, or even a restaurant and, of course, order a bouquet of roses or a bottle of Champagne but, most of them, only permit the room booking.

Usually, when making this decision, the customer excludes the hotel's Website mostly because the rate found there is higher, but also because the customer is still not confident enough to leave the "comfort zone" and prefers to book on big brands like Booking, Expedia, or TripAdvisor.

We believe that this will change and, although hotels need to do much better, there are many good reasons to book through a hotel’s website as it avoids the possibility of fraud, direct interaction makes it easier to arrange special requests, and most importantly, it allows flexible cancelation and refund policies.

No matter which option you choose, be sure to take a look at the hotel’s website, you just might be surprised.

Friday, 6 March 2020

International Women’s Day

On March 8th, the International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

The idea of establishing the International Women's Day comes with the arrival of the twentieth century, in the context of the Second Industrial Revolution and the First World War, when there was the incorporation of women workers in the industry, as well as their right to vote, and inspired by this spirit, the German socialist leader Clara Zebrino proposed to the Second International Conference of socialist Women in Copenhagen in 1910, the institution of the International Women's Day.

There are two events linked to International Women's Day, the first is connected to a workers' demonstration of New York textile sector held on March 8th, 1857, when workers in protest against poor working conditions, occupied a factory, a demonstration that was, according to some records, suppressed with extreme violence.

The other event, which some historians contest, is that a fire occurred at a factory on the same day in New York, and the absence of a consensus on these events generated myths about these happenings.

Monday, 24 February 2020

What not to miss in Sintra

It is probably one of the most visit villages and most important cultural landmarks in Portugal, Sintra it’s one place you can’t miss.

Recognized in 1995 as a Unesco World Heritage Site, Sintra was the summer retreat of Portuguese kings from the 13th to the late 19th centuries. Its unique characteristics, a cooler climate, ample green spaces and a romantic atmosphere makes Sintra the perfect hideaway.
Photo PSML Nuno Cardal

Sintra has much to offer and today we will focus on the Top 5 features not to miss:

1 – Monserrate
With their fantastic palace and beautiful gardens, Monserrate Palace combines gothic and Indian influences as well as Moorish suggestions featuring a wide variety of exotic plants.

2 – Palácio Nacional da Pena
Built in 19th-century, Palácio Nacional da Pena is the result of the creative genius of Rei D. Fernando II. Preserved as it was when the royal family lived there is the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal.

3 – Quinta da Regaleira
This lavish palace was built between 1904 and 1910 and is one of the most surprising of all Sintra monuments.

4 – Castelo dos Mouros
The 8th-century castle allows you to admire along the surround paths, through rocks, trees and on cliffs, a unique landscape that stretches to the Atlantic Ocean.

5 – Palácio Nacional de Sintra
The twin chimneys mark the former royal palace in a thousand-year history that began during the Muslin occupation of the Iberian Pennisula. With a captivating mix of styles some of the features such windows with surrounded arches or outdoor spaces in which one can hear the sound of water, underline the Moorish inspiration.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Why you must visit the Palácio de Queluz

Today we will write about one of the most beautiful Palaces in Portugal, the Palácio de Queluz in Sintra, just about 15 minutes from Lisbon.
Palácio de Queluz (Parques de Sintra/Emigus)

The Palácio Nacional de Queluz is an eighteenth century palace, located in Queluz and is one of the
last great Rococo buildings in Europe. The palace was built as a summer retreat for D. Pedro de Bragança, between 1747 and 1752.

It is known as a mini Versailles due to its exquisite Rococo palace and formal gardens and we’ll give you 5 features not to be missed when visiting this magnificent piece of history.

1 – Throne Room
Competing in splendor with the Ambassadors’ Room, and with a splendid oval, domed ceiling, the Throne Room also serves as ballroom, church and theatre.

2 – Gardens
Two formal gardens, the Neptune Garden and the Malta Garden, fill the space between the palace’s two asymmetric wings.
Palácio de Queluz (Parques de Sintra/Carlos Pombo)

3 – Dom Quixote Chamber
The inlaid circular-pattern floor and domed ceiling make this square room look round. It was named after the painted scenes from Dom Quixote that it contains.

4 – Robillion Staircase
This beautifully flowing staircase links the lower parkland area to the palace and formal gardens. It is flanked by an arcade with a water cascade flowing into a tiled canal where in the past, the royal family went boating.

5 – Ambassadors’ Room
The magnificent Ambassadors’ Room was used for diplomatic audiences, and it is opulently decorated with stucco work and painted and glided carved woodwork.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Valentine’s Day

All is set for that much expected day, the day that nothing can fail. The history of Valentine's Day dates back to a dark fasting day, held in honor of St. Valentine.

Emperor Claudius II had prohibited marriage during the wars believing that single soldiers were better fighters. Bishop Valentine fought against such instructions and, clandestinely, continued celebrating weddings despite the prohibition of the Emperor.

He was later arrested for this "crime" and during that period, young couples send him flowers and letters saying that they continued to believe in love.

During his time in prison, Bishop Valentine fell in love with the blind daughter of a jailer, to whom he miraculously restored the sight. Before his execution, Valentine wrote a farewell message to his love, in which he signed "From your Valentine".

But it was only in the late Middle Ages, during which the concept of romantic love was expressed, that this date started to be associated with romantic love.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Avenida da Liberdade

One of the most important avenues in Lisbon is also the core of haute couture stores in the city, offering also a large and new variety of snack bars.

Av. da Liberdade was built after the big earthquake in 1755. At the time was called "Public
Quiosque Avenida da Liberdade
Foto Evasões
Promenade" and despite the name, it was surrounded by a wall and was accessible just for aristocrats. Only in 1821 after the Liberals came to the government it became open to the general public.

The avenue that we can see today was built in 1879-1892, with the same style as the Champs Elysées in Paris and it became the center of parades and local festivities
The Avenue itself is filled with hotels, cafes, theaters, and cinemas, but the last couple of years has been the heart of haute couture in Lisbon with stores of most of the great designers such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Todd's, Burberry, Armani, Adolfo Dominguez, and Ermenegildo Zegna

And, to take advantage of the large sidewalks, several snack bars were installed in typical Lisbon quiosques, each with its own specialty. Bananacafe, Hot Dog Lovers, Lisbon on Wheels, Quiosque Ribadouro and O Melhor Bolo de Chocolate do Mundo are some of the offers.

You can try one every day without getting bored.

This is the scenario for a perfect afternoon, shopping in haute couture stores and a snack on one of the most emblematic avenues of Lisbon.