What’s new in Portugal this Autumn

Tuesday 21, August 2012


What’s new in Portugal this Autumn


New inaugural flights direct from Gatwick and Birmingham to Madeira; Metro link opens between Lisbon International Airport and city centre; Elvas awarded a new UNESCO World Heritage Site and much more.


New inaugural flights direct from Gatwick and Birmingham to Madeira

Scheduled leisure airline Monarch has launched new direct flights from London Gatwick and Birmingham International to Madeira (Funchal) from October 15 2012. The Portugal flights which will run three times a week from Gatwick and twice from Birmingham, are part of a larger expansion by the airline from Birmingham Airport. The new services have also led to Cosmos Holidays launching a year-round Madeira programme for the first time. In 2011 the UK market accounted for 20% of Madeira Airport traffic - the second biggest market. This operation of Monarch Airlines at Madeira Airport represents an additional supply of 90,480 seats per year. 


Metro link opens between Lisbon International Airport and city centre

Lisbon Airport is now even closer to the city centre as there is now a direct link to the city via the red line of the metro system. The works to extend the line further east have already had a significant impact on the transport network by connecting the airport to Lisbon’s Orient Station. This new section of the red line has a length of 3.6 km and takes travellers just five minutes from Lisbon’s Orient Station (currently the last stop on the red line). The project has also included the opening of two additional stations of Moscavide and Encarnação.


Elvas awarded a new UNESCO World Heritage Site

A small Portuguese city has been declared a new UNESCO World Heritage Site bringing the country’s total to 13. The garrison border town of Elvas and its fortifications were added by the World Heritage Committee due to it being an ‘outstanding example of a garrison town and its dry-ditched bulwarked defence system, which developed in response to disruptions in the balance of power within 17th Century Europe’. Elvas is one of 26 new sites across the world added by the World Heritage Committee. The new additions include five natural destinations, twenty cultural destinations and one under the mixed category.




The Shadows of Lisboa Photography Exhibition by Jef Geys – 16th June to 9th September

Culturgest presents an exhibition devoted to the work by Belgian artist Jef Gey. The show is based on one part of Gey's work compiled in a large book of five hundred pages, where the artist has placed all the photographs taken in black and white until 1998, displayed on proof sheets. The last two proof sheets reproduced in the book correspond to photographs taken by Jef Geys in Lisbon in 1998. The project he now proposes takes as its inspiration the thirty-six photographs assembled on the final proof sheet. Gallery 1, Culturgest, Rua do Arco do Cego (metro station: Campo Pequeno). 


Bodyboarding IBA World Tour 2012 Sintra Portugal Pro – 28th August to 2nd September

Sintra is set to be the only European mainland stop to this year’s IBA World Tour as the picturesque town becomes Stop 5 on the 2012 GSS Series. This event will feature a Men’s GSS event and Women’s Grand Slam event as athletes gain valuable points towards the championship and ultimate qualification to the 2013 GSS. 


Billabong Azores Islands Pro - 4th to 9th September

Ahead of the ASP World Surfing Tour in Peniche, in September spectators can head to São Miguel to catch a glimpse of the world’s best surfers during the Billabong Azores Islands Pro. Part of the World Qualifying Series of the Professional Surfers’ Association, it has been classified as a Prime Event, which is the highest grade awarded in this sport. The setting that has been chosen for this tournament is the beach of Santa Bárbara. 


2012 World Single Driving Championship in Lisbon – 12th to 16th September

This important equestrian event, held every two years, will take place in September 2012 for the first time in Portugal. The event will take place at the sport complex of Companhia das Lezírias in Porto Alto, 25km from Lisbon. Driving competitions have taken place at this location since the beginning of the nineties and this is event is expected to draw in around 100 entrants, representing 30 countries, competing over four days. 


Lisbon Half Marathon – 30th September

In September, runners will get the chance to cross one of Europe's longest bridges on foot – the Vasco da Gama Bridge - during the 13 mile Lisbon half marathon. Held once a year, cars have to make way for participants in the Half Marathon of Portugal. The race begins on the Vasco da Gama Bridge and ends at the Parque das Nações, next to the Pavilion of Portugal. The popular 8km mini marathon takes place at the same time, where everyone can proceed at their own rhythm. 


ASP World Surfing Tour 2012 in Peniche – 10th to 21st October 2012

The quiet coastal fishing town of Peniche will be transformed into the ultimate surfing destination once again this year following the success of 2011 Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Known as the wave capital in Portugal, Peniche provides some of the best surfing conditions for more than 300 days per year due to its exclusive geography and beach aptly named SuperTubos. This year’s Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour will once again see the world’s top surfers go head-to-head in a bid to win the world title. 


For more information about holidaying in Portugal please visit



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