2011 Hostel Awards - Lisbon Wins!

Once again Lisbon’s status as a host for some mighty fine hostels has been upheld in the yearly Hostelworld.com Annual Hoscar Awards (HOStelworld Customers Annual Ratings)

The Portuguese city of Lisbon has again proved itself to be the jewel in the crown for budget-conscious travelers around the world, securing the top three spots. ‘Travellers House’ was voted Best Hostel in the World for the third year in a row, followed closely by ‘Lisbon Lounge’ and ‘Living Lounge’ respectively.

But if you want to get away from the city into an “Eco-friendly” hostel, you can hit Aveiro Rossio Hostel which garnered Hostelbooker’s Best Staff Award.

Here’s the blurb from the folks who run it:

Find Aveiro Rossio Hostel right at the heart of downtown Aveiro (Praça do Rossio), on the doorstep of all the landmarks of ‘Portugals Venice’. The Rossio area is the central spot of Aveiro, a small city located on the Atlantic coast. Several canals flow through the city, giving it its nickname of the Venice of Portugal. While in Aveiro you can take a trip on the typical regional boats, Moliceiro for a sight seeing tour around the channels. If you’re feeling more energetic you can take a walking tour through the streets of Bairro da Beira Mar or hire a BUGA (Aveiro Free Urban Bikes) for the day. Then you can take the time to visit Aveiro’s many cafe’s or sample authentic, specialty fish dishes in the local restaurants, on the way to or from Aveiro’s beautiful park land. We pride ourselves on our commitment to being ‘eco-friendly’. For 9 months of the year all the hot water the Hostel uses is heated by solar panels. We also have water saving systems in place for our taps and toilets. Energy saving light bulbs are widely used throughout the Hostel as are ‘eco-friendly’ appliances and sealed windows to prevent energy loss. Many of the features and pieces of furniture you’ll see in our common areas are recycled and bought from a local non-profit organization who sells old furniture to raise funds. We actively encourage the recycling of glass, paper and plastics. Our patio area and small terrace are ideal for relaxing on a sunny day or star gazing at night, the perfect place to switch off or share travel tips with new friends. Here you’ll also find a barbecue for guests to use to grill the fresh fish you can buy at the nearby fish market. The well equipped kitchen is an inviting space to share recipes or take part in our homemade themed dinner evenings Before you head off or when you arrive, recharge your batteries with a quiet nights sleep in our comfy beds, whether you’re in one of our spacious dorms or deluxe private rooms.

Find information on Lisbon Hostels | Aveiro Rossio Hostel

Filed in: Lisbon, Where to Stay

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Foz Coa Night Tours - Where to Stay

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the archaeological rock art site of Foz Coa in northeastern Portugal, I’ve just discovered a fine way to tour the sites after dark.

Cisterna: Casa de Campo is a guesthouse south of Foz Coa. The owners, Ana and Antonio are Lisbon biologists who settled in Castelo Rodrigo to create their historic luxury condominium; they even made the town’s old cistern into the condo’s swimming pool. Ana is authorized to guide you on a unique after dark tour to see the ancient rock engravings at Foz Coa.

As a former archaeologist, I can tell you that seeing the carved rock art with a powerful flashlight (torch) in the otherwise darkness can be the best way of viewing the it. Diffused light of day dims the chiaroscuro effect.

So, this sounds like an interesting way to spend a few days in Portugal.

Find out more:

Filed in: Where to Stay, Rural Portugal

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Lisbon's Newest Hostel

If you’re a frequent traveler to Europe, you may lament the loss of those little one and two star, family run hotels.

Well, they only went away for a short while, to return as hostels—and fairly luxurious ones at that.

Lisbon’s latest hostel, Lisb’on is a case in point. It’s in a 19th century building and they’ve left the chandeliers! I mean, how can beer-fulfilled teenagers play football when there’s chandeliers blocking your every punt?

So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to stay in Lisbon this year, remember that the paint has just dried on Lisb’on and you might as well visit while it’s fresh.

Find out more: Lisb’on Hostel

Related: Lisbon Climate and Weather | Lisbon’s Top Hotels | Famous Restaurants inside Lisbon Hotels

Filed in: Lisbon, Where to Stay

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Portugal Hotel News

Opened in 2009, the Pousada de Estói, just outside of Faro in the Algarve (map), has garnered some pretty good reviews, scoring 8.6 out of 10 on Booking.com’s user ratings, a mark they call “fabulous.” Amenities include air-conditioning, LCD cable TV, mini-bar, free WLAN, free garage parking and buffet breakfast. If you’ve never stayed at a pousada, you can make the historic place, in this case an 18th century palace, part of your vacation, soaking in the luxurious and romantic history of it.

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One of my favorite places to stay in rural Portugal, Casa das Penhas Douradas, smack dab in the heart of Serra da Estrela National Park, has added some additional new rooms; there’s now 18, a spa, restaurant, heated pool and bikes. For you active travelers, you need to check this one out. Booking.com users rate it a “Superb” 9.3

Area Resources:

Penhas Douradas Weather and Climate

Visiting Serra da Estrela: Saving Queijo do Serra

Filed in: Algarve, Rural Portugal

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Aveiro Rossio Hostel

Aveiro Rossio Hostel is Portugal’s first eco hostel, and has recently been named one of HostelBooker’s Top 10 Eco Hostels.

This hostel has an extraordinary 98% approval rating, and 55 out of 55 HostelBookers customers said that they would recommend ‘Aveiro Rossio Hostel’.

That’s some pretty good recommendation.

Aveiro is the second most populous city in the Centro Region of Portugal, after Coimbra, and is part of the Costa Prata. Records of the town’s salt industry show the city was in existence in 959 AD.

Book or Check Current Prices: Aveiro Rossio Hostel

Also see: Portugal Regions Map or check out an Eco-Lodge in the Algarve

Filed in: Where to Stay, Centro

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