January 31, 2006

Snow in Portugal

Snow in Portugal.
Portugal has been suffering from some of the worst snowfalls to hit the country in recent memory.

The resort town of Figueira da Foz saw its first snow in more than 50 years. As temperatures plunged across the Iberian peninsula, Lisbon recorded its first snow flurries since 1954.

Snow blocked some of the nation's highways including the Santarem-Coimbra road.

Portugal's only ski and snow resort is in the Serra da Estrela, mainland Portugal's highest mountains. The area is a National Park with beautiful hiking trails in the summer and some piste at Covilha in the winter.

There are trains to Covilha from Lisbon taking between 3 hours 20 minutes and 4 hours 30 minutes, depending on the train. There are also bus connections to the capital.

Budget Hotels - Portugal
Budget Hotels - Spain

January 23, 2006

Cavaco Silva Wins Presidential Elections

Anibal Cavaco Silva, previously Prime Minister of Portugal from 1985 to 1995, has won this Sunday's presidential election.

Mr. Cavaco Silva replaces President Jorge Sampaio, a Socialist, who has served two five-year terms.

The center-right Cavaco Silva won 50.6% of the vote ahead of two center-left candidates Manuel Alegre and former President and Prime Minister Mario Soares – the Socialists’official candidate - who came in a disappointing third.

Anibal Cavaco Silva is the first right-of-center president of Portugal since the 1974 Revolution.

January 18, 2006

Lisbon Casino

Lisbon Casino.
The new Lisbon Casino, located on the site of the former Future Pavilion at Nations Park, will open April 19, 2006.

The casino cost 100 million Euros, which the managers hope to recoup within 18 months of the official opening.

50% of the gambling revenue will accrue to the government and Lisbon City Council.

The nearby Estoril casino, which opened in the 1920s, is the largest in Europe with lavish cabarets as part of the evening's entertainment.

Portugal has casinos in the following towns: Figueira da Foz, Madeira, Povoa de Vazim, Praia da Rocha, Espinho, Vilamoura and Montegordo.

Budget Hotels - Portugal
Budget Hotels - Spain