November 24, 2016

Majestic Cafe Porto

Cafe Majestic is an historic cafe, located on the fashionable shopping street of Rua de Santa Catarina, in Porto.

Majestic Cafe Porto Portugal.


Opened in 1921, Cafe Majestic is known for its lavish Art Nouveau architecture including its lovely marble facade and ornate, wood and glass interior.

The Majestic soon became a meeting place for Porto's elite including artists, politicians and writers.

In more modern times, the Majestic is associated with author J.K. Rowling's rather unhappy stay in the city, along with the Livraria Lello bookshop. No doubt some of the inspiration for the Harry Potter series of novels stems from the plaster ceiling, Flemish mirrors, leather upholstery and varnished wood of the interior of the cafe.

Majestic Cafe, Porto, Portugal.


Majestic Cafe
Rua Santa Catarina, 112
4000-442 Porto
Tel: 222 003 887
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-midnight

The Majestic Cafe is a short walk south from Bolhão Station on the Porto metro.

November 22, 2016

714 Lisbon Bus

The 714 Lisbon bus runs from Outurela, through Belem, past Belem Station, Alcântara and then on to Pç. Comércio and then Pç. Figueira.

714 Lisbon Bus, Portugal.


The bus links many metro stations and places of interest in the Portuguese capital including the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (NMAA).

Services from Outurela begin at 5am with the last buses at 9.40pm. There are reduced services at weekends and on public holidays.

November 21, 2016

Institute of the National Archives Portugal

The National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo) is Portugal's national archive and dates back to 1378. National Archive of Torre do Tombo was renamed the Instituto dos Arquivos Nacionais (Institute of the National Archives) in 2009. It is located north of central Lisbon and is home to many historic documents.

Institute of the National Archives Portugal.


The name Torre do Tombo comes from the fact that the archive was first kept in a tower of that name at Lisbon Castle (Castelo de São Jorge).

After the devastating 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, Manuel da Maia (1677-1768), the guardian of the archive, personally organized the safe transferal of the archive to the the Convent of São Bento, which is where the Portuguese Parliament now stands.

In 1990 the archive moved to its present location, a concrete, modernist building with large, striking gargoyles designed by sculptor José Aurélio.

Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha (Letter from Pêro Vaz de Caminha).
Among the thousands of documents stored here are the historically important Corpo Cronológico (Chronological Corpus), a collection of manuscripts on the Portuguese Age of Discoveries and an original copy of the Treaty of Tordesillas, negotiated by King João II of Portugal and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Castile, which divided the newly "discovered" lands outside Europe between the two Catholic powers.

The Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha (Letter from Pêro Vaz de Caminha), also in the archive, is the first document describing what was to become Brazil. Both the Carta de Pêro Vaz de Caminha and Corpo Cronológico are inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.

Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo
Alameda da Universidade
1649-010 Lisbon
Tel: 210 037 100

Cidade Universitária and Campo Grande are the nearest stations on the Lisbon metro.

November 18, 2016

Hotel Jeronimos 8

Hotel Jeronimos 8 is a four-star hotel adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Jerónimos Monastery in Belem, western Lisbon.

Hotel Jeronimos 8, Belem, Lisbon.

Belem is busy during the day as tourists visit the Jerónimos Monastery, the Ajuda Palace, MAAT and the Museum of Coaches, but at night the area is quiet and perfect for a good night's sleep and also for exploring the historic streets in relative calm before you turn in. Exit the main entrance and the Jerónimos Monastery is staring you in the face, an unforgettable sight.


The hotel itself has friendly, knowledgeable staff and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. The buffet breakfasts are some of the very best we have experienced in Portugal. A variety of bread, hams, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and even champagne and pastries from the nearby Pasteis de Belem.


The bathrooms are large and marbled, all rooms are equipped with Wifi and a well-stocked minibar and some have private terraces.


The nearest bus and tram stop for journeys in to the center of Lisbon is virtually outside the hotel. Also just up the road is the football stadium of Os Belenenses.


Jeronimos 8
Rua dos Jerónimos 8
Belem, 1400-211 Lisbon

November 17, 2016

Fortaleza da Arrifana

The Fortaleza da Arrifana is a ruined fortress on the headland at Praia da Arrifana on the sea west of Aljezur on the Atlantic Coast of the Algarve region.

Fortaleza da Arrifana, Aljezur, Algarve, Portugal.


The Arrifana fortress was first constructed in 1635 during the reign of King Philip IV to protect the fishing industry in the area. By 1754 there was a small garrison here with cannon and 13 soldiers.

The fortress was massively damaged by the 1755 Earthquake which greatly affected Lisbon and the south of Portugal.

Repairs were undertaken in 1762 and 1771 but finally the fort was abandoned in the early 19th century.

Fortaleza da Arrifana, Aljezur, Algarve, Portugal.


In 2011, the structure was secured and excavations undertaken. There are superb views of the coast from its walls.

The beach at Arrifana can be reached by taxi from Aljezur in about 20-25 minutes.

November 7, 2016

Vicentina Hotel Aljezur

The Vicentina Hotel in Aljezur in the Algarve is currently the only four-star hotel in town and makes for a relaxing stay in this relaxing town.

Vicentina Hotel Aljezur Portugal

The Vicentina is located in Igreja Nova, the more modern quarter of Aljezur. The hotel has clean and spacious rooms with excellent Wifi and the restaurant is definitely worth trying for Portuguese food with a modern twist and fine wines. An added luxury is the small pool open to residents.

Vicentina Hotel Aljezur Portugal.

Free parking is available at the hotel and some of the rooms have great views of Aljezur Castle and the old town or overlook the pool.

Vicentina Hotel Aljezur Portugal.

The breakfast buffet is outstanding with a variety of fresh choices and is a great way to start your day. Across the road from the Vicentina is a large pharmacy and the hotel is close to a supermarket and the Igreja Nova church. Recommended.

Vicentina Hotel Aljezur Portugal.

Vicentina Hotel
Av General Humberto Delgado
S/N Junto Aos Bombeiros Voluntarios
8670-00 Aljezur, Portugal