Information on Coronavirus in Portugal

Information on Coronavirus in Portugal

In comparison with other European countries such as the UK, France, and its neighbor Spain, Portugal has fared reasonably well during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Serviço Nacional de Saúde
Serviço Nacional de Saúde
This makes the decision of its oldest ally, Britain, to set a quarantine stipulation for visitors to the country, except for the islands of Madeira and the Azores, all the more mystifying.

Portugal's many fine beaches are open to the public and apps such as Sandspace and Infopraia provide detailed, real-time information on how crowded the country's beaches actually are at any given time.

If you want to find the latest information on the Covid-19 situation in Portugal, the best place to head for is the Serviço Nacional de Saúde website (sns.gov.pt). It has daily reports on the total number of Covid-19 suspected cases, confirmed cases, the number of recovered cases, plus deaths in all of Portugal's regions and main towns.

Coronavirus cases in Portugal by municipality
Confirmed Coronavirus cases in Portugal by municipality

The stats are presented by region and by city. Lisbon, the capital, is the hardest hit, followed by the north, centered on Portugal's second-largest city, Porto.

In particular, the densely populated Amadora district in Lisbon has recorded many cases as well as nearby Sintra. The Algarve and Alentejo are the least affected regions.

Information on Coronavirus in Portugal
Information on Coronavirus in Portugal
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Ponte Velha Silves

Ponte Velha, Silves, Algarve, Portugal

The Ponte Velha (Old Bridge) in Silves on the Algarve is sometimes referred to as the "Roman Bridge". However, it actually dates from the mid-14th or even 15th century.

Spanning the River Arade, the bridge is now pedestrianized and is 76 meters long and 5 meters wide.

Ponte Velha, Silves, Algarve, Portugal
Ponte Velha, Silves, Algarve, Portugal
History

It is possible that Silves did, indeed, have a bridge in Roman times, as the city was at a crossroads of Roman roads. Also, opus signinum, a Roman construction material, has been discovered close to the bridge.

There is no written, historical evidence of a bridge in the city during the time of Moorish control. The first written reference to a bridge in Silves is from the Cortes de Lisboa in 1439. Other documents indicate that the bridge was still under construction in 1459 but that in 1473 it was already completed.

The bridge was restored in the 17th century but retained its original form. In 1950 a concrete bridge was built nearby, and the old bridge became a pedestrian bridge. Some of the construction techniques used in the bridge's arches are similar to those of Silves Cathedral.

The Old Bridge in Silves
The Old Bridge in Silves
Access - Getting There

The bridge is close to the modern Tourist Office (turismo) where buses from Portimao stop.

Silves Turismo
The modern Tourist Office in Silves

Silves Turismo
Silves Turismo
Accommodation in Silves

There are many excellent places to stay in Silves. These include the Quinta do Rio Country Inn located in beautiful countryside a few kilometres outside the city.

Another recommended hotel is the Colona dos Mouros on the other side of the river from the town with a pool and open-air terrace. Also on this side of the river is the well-liked Casa do Cerro with views of the castle from its glamorous hilltop perch. Similarly, the new Horta Grande hostel has a loyal following.

In the old town visitors can choose from several holiday homes with just a few rooms such as the Casa à Porta do Torreão (a one-bedroom house), Quintal do Castelo, and Casa do Jardim.

Outside of town on the N124 going north, the Residencial Vila Sodre has 12 rooms.

Also, about 6 km outside Silves is the British and Irish, husband and wife-owned Duas Quintas, set in 15 acres of orange trees, with a large swimming pool.

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Sandspace App For Portugal's Beaches

Sandspace App For Portugal's Beaches

Portugal's beaches reopened for tourists back in June after the lockdown for Covid-19. In general, in Portugal, the use of masks is recommended in busy streets and mandatory in all closed spaces, except during meals.

Sandspace App For Portugal's Beaches


Beaches have a limited number of places available in order to allow social distancing (1.5 to 2 meters around each beach umbrella where wearing a mask is not mandatory).

The app Sandspace, available at Google Play (unfortunately not for iPhones), tells you how crowded each beach is in real-time.



This handy app was developed by a group of high school students from Agrupamento de Escolas Dr. Serafim Leite school in Aveiro.

The app covers over 680 beaches both sea and river beaches as well as natural pools. It also provides other information on bacteria or deadly jellyfish in the ocean.

Sandspace won the People's Choice Award prize in the annual Apps For Good competition. You can see more information here: appsforgood.org

Sandspace App For Portugal's Beaches

Appsforgood




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Guadiana Hotel Vila Real de Santo Antonio

Guadiana Hotel Vila Real de Santo Antonio

The Guadiana Hotel in Vila Real de Santo Antonio was the border town's first five-star hotel. It is now in the process of being redeveloped.

Built in the first quarter of the 20th century by Swiss-born architect Ernesto Korrodi (1870-1944) for Manuel Ramirez, a tinned food producer, the hotel is a mix of styles redolent of its age.

Guadiana Hotel Vila Real de Santo Antonio


Guadiana Hotel Vila Real de Santo Antonio


Access - Getting There

Avenida da República 94, 8900-267
Vila Real de Santo António
Portugal

The hotel is very close to the ferry terminal for boats over the river to Ayamonte in Spain.

From Vila Real de Santo Antonio there is an EVA bus to Seville in Spain at 9.35 am as well as local buses to Monte Gordo.

Guadiana Hotel Vila Real de Santo Antonio


Accommodation

Hotels in Ayamonte Spain - Booking.com

Hotels in Vila Real Santo Antonio Portugal - Booking.com

Hotels in Portugal - Booking.com

Arenilha Guest House

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Casa Do Miradouro Viseu

Casa Do Miradouro, Viseu

The Casa Do Miradouro in Viseu houses the archaeological collection of José Coelho within a delightful 16th-century palace.

Casa Do Miradouro Viseu

José Coelho was a 20th-century historian, politician, and professor with a passion for archaeology. His extensive collection from various local excavations is on display. These include pieces found at the Dólmen de Mamaltar de Vale de Fachas, the Antas da Pedralta and the Paranho Necropolis in nearby Tondela. The display includes both Roman and pre-Roman exhibits.

Originally built for Fernão Ortiz de Vilhegas the house and gardens contain elements of Manueline architecture and are a treat in themselves.

Casa Do Miradouro Viseu


Access - Getting There

Largo Antonio Jose Pereira
Viseu 3500-080 Portugal
Tel: 232 448 098

Hours

Opening hours Tuesday: 2 pm - 6 pm; Wednesday to Friday: 10 am - 1 pm and 2 pm - 6 pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday morning. Also closed during the New Year holidays, Easter Sunday, May 1, and Christmas Day.

Free admission

The mansion is located next to the cathedral in Viseu.

Casa Do Miradouro Viseu

Accommodation in Viseu

Both the Casa da Sé and the Hotel Avenida are recommended lodgings in the city. To eat, try O Hilário.

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