Portugal Medievel Fair | Obidos | July 18 – August 4, 2019

In July, visit the Obidos Medieval Market, and back in time.

Surrounded by its high town walls, Obidos is the ideal scenario for hundreds of extras and actors, fully dressed in medieval costumes, who animate the town’s streets, as they portray noblemen, beggars, mule-drivers, jugglers, musicians, jesters and dancers. The main site of the entertainment events is located next to the castle, which will be the location of jousting tournaments, on horse and on foot, medieval dinners and the market, where everything is sold from medieval costumes to traditional home-made medical remedies.

Website: http://www.mercadomedievalobidos.pt


Festivals in Spain | Seville Fair

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The Seville Fair (officially and in Spanish: Feria de abril de Sevilla, “Seville April Fair”) is held in Andalusian capital of Seville, Spain. The fair generally begins two weeks after the Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week.



The fair officially begins at midnight on Saturday, and runs seven days, ending on the following Saturday. Each day the fiesta begins with the parade of carriages and riders, at midday, carrying Seville’s leading citizens which make their way to the bullring, La Real Maestranza, where the bullfighters and breeders meet.

For the duration of the fair, the fairgrounds and a vast area on the far bank of the Guadalquivir River are totally covered in rows of casetas (individual decorated marquee tents which are temporarily built on the fairground). These casetas usually belong to prominent families of Seville, groups of friends, clubs, trade associations and political parties. From around nine at night until six or seven the following morning, at first in the streets and later only within each caseta, there are crowds partying and dancing sevillanas, drinking Sherry, manzanilla or rebujito, and eating tapas. This fair also has an amusement park that comes with it and has lots of games to play along with roller coasters to ride.


Carriage at the Seville’s April Fair


The Fair dates back to 1846 when it was originally organized as a livestock fair by two councilors born in Northern Spain, Basque José María Ybarra and Catalan Narciso Bonaplata. Queen Isabel II agreed to the proposal, and on 18 April 1847 the first fair was held at the Prado de San Sebastian, on the outskirts of the city.

Since 1973, the Feria de Abril takes place at the real de la feria, an area of 24 blocks (450,000 m2) which is located between Los Remedios and Tablada. In 2012 there were 1048 casetas. The streets of the Real are named after famous bullfighters such as Juan Belmonte and Pascual Márquez. Next to the Real is the Calle del Infierno (Hell Road), an amusement park which offers many recreational activities; a circus is usually set furthest from the Real on the back of the Parque de los Príncipes. Construction of the portada (the main gate) starts months in advance, and it takes several weeks to clear the place after the end of the Fair.



Saturday night in the Feria de Abril is referred to as la noche del pescaíto (night of the fish) due to the fact that fish is the traditional dish to have for dinner. Celebrations officially start at midnight between Saturday and Sunday when the lights of the portada are turned on. This event is called the alumbrao. People gather in front of the portada to watch the alumbrao and then go to the casetas to have dinner and spend the whole night at the Real.



La Feria de Abril is accompanied by men and women dressed up in their finery, ideally the traditional “traje corto” (short jacket, tight trousers and boots) for men and the “faralaes” or “trajes de flamenca” (flamenco-style dress) for women. The men traditionally wear hats (or sombreros) called “cordobés”. Nowadays, standard suits have replaced trajes cortos as men’s most common outfit. Source: Wikipedia

What is an Authentic Travel Experience

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Many times were asked this question; What does an Authentic Vacation mean?

Since the late 1990’s we’ve arranged vacations that are tailor-made, which means every trip is created from scratch for every traveler we work with. Authenticity is generally associated with something that is genuine, real, or true.

Authenticity is a pretty complex idea – what one person sees as an authentic experience, another may view as a sham. And if a person believes they are getting an authentic experience, it may not matter whether it’s spontaneous or staged. One can argue that an “authentic tourism experience” is a contradiction in terms. When places or experiences are discovered and populated by tourists, they ultimately change by the demands of tourists themselves and the economic opportunity this presents to providers. The presence of tourism can lead to “Disneyfication” – when a place becomes contrived in order to sell itself to consumers – and can expose local people and cultures to manipulation and exploitation. And so, the tourists’ search for authenticity continues. This is where the following come into play:


The strategy of “co-creation” offers an attractive alternative within the search for authenticity. Under this strategy, value is created as tourists help to construct their own experience by engaging with each other, the tourism provider and also local people. Tourism operators in many countries are now providing different types of tourism products, which co-create an authentic tourism experience. Here, tourists have the opportunity to cook with a local chef using local ingredients, recipes and cooking techniques. This is what we have done from the beginning.

Read more about this way of travel by clicking through to the link below:


Get in touch if you want an authentic vacation, co-created with you to make the trip of a lifetime!

Day Trips and Cruise Ship Excursions in Portugal

When in Lisbon or Porto, either during your cruise ship stop or touring Portugal by land, here are two destinations you must visit. Both are easy to access from Porto and Lisbon and both are truly unique places.

When people visit these magical places, everyone is amazed that “little” Portugal has such cool spots.

Aveiro Portugal. Moleiro Boats on the Canal


Aveiro was built on a lagoon, probably in the 15/16th centuries, that was filled with a heavy seaweed during a great storm from the Atlantic Ocean, which caused the decline of the fishing industry and began the cultivation of reclaimed land by the inhabitants. These hardy people used the seaweed to fertilize the soul and carved out small plots of land which still exist today. Their is a beauty found in the several canals with the moleiro boats (fisherman’s boats) which in old days gathered the seaweed and today carry persons through the canals, like Venice.

A short drive is the beach town of Costa Nova with small houses painted in colorful stripes. These were the storage buildings of the fishermen on old times; today these are summer homes. Some of the best seafood on the Atlantic coast in restaurants found on the Costa Nova beach… contact us for the name of our favorite one !


Castle of Obidos, Portugal


Obidos was the town given to the Queens of Portugal on their wedding day (from the King) and for this reason its called the “Queens Village”. The village is encircled by the original walls, streets are all cobblestone, winding their way through the medieval whitewashed houses with beautiful Bougainvillea growing along the walls and geraniums in the window boxes. Try a drink called “ginginha” which is a black cherry liquor served in a shot glass with a cherry inside. And make the trek along the city walls to the back part of town with the huge castle walls !

Want to visit these places? Contact us via www.spainandportugalvacations.com to make sure you visit in private with friends and family when traveling during your luxury private vacation to Portugal

Spain Day Trip Avila Segovia Toledo

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DAY TRIP – Segovia, Ávila & Toledo from Madrid with professional guide and transportation. Duration:11.5 hours.

When in a Madrid visit in one day three main cities which will transport you five hundreds years through history.

In Avila you’ll be impressed by its medieval defense walls, Segovia will take your breuath away with its amazing fortress and castle and Alcazar and in Toledo will help you understand why they call this the city of three cultures.

Three historic places in Spain, all in one day!


Depart early and head for Segovia’s historic center and stroll through the city’s main square – Plaza Mayor – with monuments such as the Roman aqueduct and the cathedral.


After you’ll leave for Ávila, visit the historic center and discover the legacy and its fascinating history! The route will continue along a stretch of the famous Walls of Ávila; the thick wall surrounds the city’s entire historic center as we head toward the Roman necropolis.

Taking a rest after the walking tour, stop to savour a delicious picnic lunch. After recovering your energy we will visit Toledo, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.



Toledo has a long-standing Christian, Jewish and Muslim tradition. You’ll enter a monastery of cloistered nuns and taste typical Toledan marzipan, followed by entering the Primate Cathedral of Toledo and climbing the stairs to the top of Los Jesuitas Church tower.


What’s included:


We will provide picnic lunch and Artisan Marzipan tasting,


Entrance fees to Segovia’s Alcázar, the Primate Cathedral of Toledo and the top of Los Jeronimos Church Tower.

Private transpirtation

This guided tour will be lead by a professional guide.


Rates start at $350.00 per person. Maximum 6 persons.

Portugal Vacation Sesimbra

On June 28th we arranged a shore excursion for persons from the USA that were on the Norwegian Pearl. They visited Lisbon with private motorist and then had lunch in Sesimbra.

Sesimbra is a fishing village that lies on the Atlantic coast about 30 minutes from Lisbon.

Located on the Setubal Peninsula, Sesimbra is one of those rare gems in Portugal that’s easy to get to from almost anywhere in the Lisbon area. It’s history starts with the Moors who built a castle where once lived the inhabitants (in the very early days of the Portuguese kingdom). The castle was instrumental in the protection of the coast from pirates that once aided with impunity the coastal areas of Portugal and even into the British Isles and northern Europe.

Those days are long gone and the sleep village that was Sesimbra has changed immensely from those times, and indeed in the last 20 years has expanded into a very busy place where people flock to the beaches in the summertime.

It’s also the place with some of the freshest seafood on the coast, which is caught from the crystal blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. They even have their own “fishery” located at the harbor of town. You cannot go wrong when visiting Sesimbra if looking for a delicious meal !

If you are arriving on ship or visiting Portugal, we’ll arrange an afternoon in Sesimbra to see for yourself this very special place that almost all visitors to Portugal miss!

Side Note:

from Greg Edward (owner of Spain and Portugal Vacations)

“That’s the first place I lived when I moved to Portugal in 1994. When I lived there, none of those houses were up on the hillside, nor were any of the hotels and big apartment buildings existing on the road that drives around towards the pier. My first memory from Sesimbra was seeing old women dressed completely in black because they were widows.

We used to live very near to Sesimbra, in the town of Almoinha.

In fact our neighbors, who were from South Africa, are still friends to this day on Facebook. Although we have not seen one another in many years, they made it possible for me to feel like I was “at home” with their friendship. Many great memories are cherished from those days.”

Contact us here www.spainandportugalvacations.com


#portugal #sesimbra #spainandportugal #portugalvacations #NorwegianCruiseLines #NCL #portugal #discoverportugaltravel #spainandportugalvacations



Dr. Jose Rizal in Madrid | Traveling to Spain from the Philippines (Filipino Citizens)

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Passport & Visa News

All Filipinos are reminded to regularly check the validity of their passports and have them renewed if they have eight (8) months validity or less. This will ensure that anyone wishing to travel would not encounter last-minute or unexpected problems regarding the validity of his or her passport.

Embassy of Philippines in Madrid

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Get to Know Dr. Jose Rizxal's Madrid

Dr. Jose Rizal left an indelible mark on Spain during the time living there. For those interested, this walking tour puts you in Dr. Rizals shoes during you exploration of places he lived and walked in Madrid.

José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Realonda (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse riˈsal]; June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) was a Filipino nationalist and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain.

He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after the Philippine Revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence.  (source: Wikipedia)

He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines and has been recommended to be so honored by an officially empaneled National Heroes Committee. However, no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero.[8] He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays.

The “Rizal’s Madrid” walking tour is available as a booklet and includes a map and itinerary.

(The PDF document is designed to be printed on both sides of landscape A4 paper and folded into an A5 booklet)

Excerpt "THE RIZAL MONUMENT (AVENIDA DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS CORNER C/ SANTANDER)The last place our tour brings us to is at the junction of Avenida de las Islas Filipinas and C/ Santander where the Rizal monument stands. Built in 1996, it is a replica of the Rizal monument at the Luneta in Manila. The original monument was designed by a Swiss sculptor, Richard Kissling, and was one of the major winners in a contest during the American regime in the Philippines.

During the Rizal birth centennial in 1961, some countries honored Rizal with markers and monuments. Heidelberg, Germany where Rizal spent some time in the 1880s, erected a modest but elegant statue in his honor, for making that city famous through his poem entitled “To the Flowers of Heidelberg.”

Mexico City built a replica of the Rizal monument at the Luneta in their famous boulevard called Paseo de la Reforma. At that time, Spain refused to honor the Philippine hero because of the sentiment then that he was a traitor to the mother country, Spain.But times have changed.

In a new spirit of broadened friendship between Spain and the Philippines, as well as a liberal view of why the latter launched a revolution, Rizal’s position has been elevated. He is not only a Filipino patriot; he is an exemplar of the best in the human race.

And Spain itself is honored by Rizal’s presence here, for it is in this country that he developed his sensitivities and his scientific, artistic and literary skills --in Madrid".

copied from the Embassy of the Philippines in Madrid
- https://www.philembassymadrid.com/rizals-madrid