What’s New in Portugal?
Rosa Mota Pavilion in Porto has a Fresh Look
This June, work will be completed on a two-year renovation of the Rosa Mota Pavilion. The city of Porto will now have a space equipped with the most modern technologies to host a variety of cultural, sports and business events. The updated Super Bock Arena gives new life to the former Sports Hall, while still respecting its original emblematic design. With a capacity of up to 8,000 people, the Rosa Mota Pavilion will become the center of Porto, tying in other city landmarks such as the Gardens of the Crystal Palace, Casa do Roseiral and the Almeida Garrett Library.
Real Companhia Velha Opens Museum and Enoteca
In Vila Nova de Gaia, the Real Companhia Velha opened its doors, complete with a visitor center, museum, shops, exhibitions, wine bar and restaurants. The 17*56 Museum & Enoteca, next to the Gaia Pier, is a modern, cozy place where wine is celebrated and meticulously paired with the food offerings. This unique space, created by the Portuguese company with the oldest wine cellars in existence (since 1756), is situated in one of the old Galician warehouses along the banks of the Douro River at the Cais de Gaia. Here you will learn more about the history of the company and the wines of Porto and Douro, and from the balcony, savor a beautiful view of Porto.
Did You Know?
Portugal to Host Two World Surf League Events
For the second year, the World Surf League (WSL) will hold two international competitions in Portugal. The first will happen in September in the Azores, and then in Ericeira, where the maximum number of points for competitors is on the line in the Qualifying Series (QS). These two QS events promise to attract the world’s elite to Portugal. From October 16-28, the queen race will be held in Peniche, Portugal, one of the 11 stops on the world circuit, and will feature both the men’s and women’s championship tours.
The giant wave competition will take place in Nazaré sometime between October 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020. The exact date is hard to determine due to the unpredictable sea conditions. This event in Praia do Norte has created a huge boost to the local economy, with tourists coming from all over the world hoping to see the “mountains of water” where the most courageous will achieve world records.
June is Festival time in Portugal!
June is known as the month of the Popular Saints, marked by feasts and festivals all over the country on the nights of St. Anthony, St. John and St. Peter. The main events are in Lisbon from June 12 – 13, the day of Saint Anthony, and the Porto festivities from the night of June 23 -June 24, when St. John is celebrated. These are very vibrant parties where people come to the streets to eat, drink and revel in the popular neighborhoods, parading with arches, colorful balloons, and scents of basil. In Lisbon, people from each neighborhood parade along Avenida da Liberdade, filling the city’s most important street with music and color. The celebrations continue in the smaller neighborhood streets, especially Alfama, but also in Graça, Bica, Mouraria and Madragoa. In the medieval alleys, one may eat green broth and grilled sardines, and sing and dance well into the night.
Party in Porto
In Porto, the party is just as exciting as in the more traditional neighborhoods of Miragaia, Fontainhas, Ribeira, Massarelos and others. But Porto still has its own unique customs, such as revelers who once beat each other in the head with leeks, and now reenact using plastic hammers. In addition to the fireworks that launch at midnight on the Douro River, colorful hot air balloons take off in one of the most beautiful celebrations of these popular festivities. The night ends for many by the beach, to watch the sunrise or for a morning bath, as tradition goes.