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Lisbon’s comin’ at ya!


Lisbon’s comin’ at ya!

In Lisbon, a new creative economy is emerging from Portugal’s economic disaster. Smart policy is partly to thank, but then again, Lisbon has few other options.

Lisbon’s Thriving Creative Economy

Will Dyer came to Portugal for the waves but ended up staying for the art. “I was expecting a poor country with a good surf scene, but Lisbon has blown my mind. There is so much cultural stuff happening here,” the 28-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, tells OZY.

He’s decided to stay a month to explore places like the LX Factory, the beating heart of Lisbon’s new creative scene. This once derelict industrial complex in Alcântara, near the port, now looks like a cross between a Western movie set and a trendy East London market, with long, dusty roads and warehouses buzzing with hip restaurants, shops, bookstores and galleries created by ingenious locals and frequented by design-savvy tourists. LX Factory is just one of the many artistic spaces popping up in Lisbon. Like the graffiti that grows on the city’s rundown buildings, a new creative industry is taking over Portugal’s capital.


“I really do not know any other place with this atmosphere. It’s like a village, but our clients are from all over the world,” says Margarida Eusébio, owner of local interior design firm and concept store Wish.

This creative renaissance, it turns out, is not spontaneous, but rather the product of opportunistic public policy. In times of crisis, most governments take the knife to spending aimed at promoting art, design or publishing. But continental Europe’s westernmost capital decided instead to concentrate scarce resources on its “creative economy.”

There may not be much choice, given the sad state of Portugal’s economy. Still, investing in creativity seems to be paying off. “Lisbon is going through the same process that Barcelona or Berlin went through in the ’90s. It attracts creativity because it unites modernity to a rich cultural past and conveys a captivating liveliness”, says Bruno Gomes from the incubator Startup Lisboa. Creative types now account for some 20 percent of Berlin’s GDP.

And Lisbon’s has perks that established creative hubs just can’t touch. Unlike Barcelona, tourists haven’t completely overrun it. The cost of living is laughably cheap compared to London: $1800 for a small apartment and a $5 for beer, while in Lisbon it’s $470 and $1.50 respectively. And Berlin’s dreary skies can’t begin to compete with Lisbon’s 200 days of sunshine every year. Being a crisis-born agency allows us to adapt better to the market.

To be sure, Portugal’s economy is in the tank, and Lisbon’s creative scene is a lonely bright spot. Unemployment is still at 15.2 percent, GDP is expected to grow this year by just 1.4 percent, and the fragility of Portugal’s banks continues to scare markets and investors.


The decline of local demand is also clipping the wings of these new companies. That’s why the majority of people roaming the dusty alleys of the LX Factory are foreigners, and many creative startups work mostly with clients from places like the U.K., France, Brazil and even Angola.

Still, creatives say the economic downturn has been good for them. “We wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for the crisis,” says Nuno Cruces, an energetic 30-year-old who last year co-founded BeeInsight, a software development agency. “When you don’t have anything to lose and no jobs to apply for, you get the courage to create your own thing.”

“Being a crisis-born agency allows us to adapt better to the market,” says Lisboner Pedro Lago de Freitas from branding agency Brandworkers, which has designed PR campaigns for small companies since 2011. “People have lower budgets, meaning they are less interested in working with big, expensive agencies. So we created a small company but packed with talent.”

There are 22,000 ‘creative companies,’ which can now access Lisbon’s more than 20 co-working spaces, four fab labs and 13 startup incubators.

Many young Portuguese are seeking work abroad, but Lisbon might soon attract talent. “It’s the best city in the world to be a creative,” says Natacha Duarte, a busy 34-year-old freelance textile designer who spent seven years working in Spain and creates patterns for labels like Zara. “Lisbon is a great place to live and is not yet saturated like London or Berlin are. New ideas and creative business are always welcome.”


Lisbon’s City Council is going all out to support it. “The ultimate goal is to create jobs,” says Paulo Soeiro de Carvalho, general director for economy and innovation. “We hope new companies will generate employment, bring investment and help economic recovery.” The Lisbon region already generates about 30 percent of creative employment and almost half the industry’s gross value in the country.

With money short, government strategy is to bring creative players together and nurture a supporting infrastructure. There are 22,000 “creative companies” — from fashion to architecture — and all of them can now access Lisbon’s more than 20 co-working spaces, four fab labs and 13 startup incubators, paid for by funds from private companies, foundations and the City Council, whose flagship project, Startup Lisboa, is downtown.

The growing industry has helped to rehabilitate historic buildings, reuse obsolete infrastructure and turn abandoned areas into ‘creative districts.’

The efforts have earned the city the title of Entrepreneurial Region 2015 from the European Commission.

The council has also packed the city’s calendar with cultural events like the Lisbon Architecture TriennaleLisbon’s Fashion Weekand the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival. In August, Lisbon hosted the International Street Art Festival and will be home to the Global Shapers2015 in September, Coworking Europe Conference in November and European Creative Hubs Forum in January.

The growing industry has  helped to rehabilitate historic buildings, reuse obsolete infrastructure and turn abandoned areas into what the council calls “creative districts.”

Pensão Amor in Cais do Sodré is a renovated 18th-century house for prostitutes now with a bookstore and spaces for concerts and ateliers; the old Braço de Prata Factoryis now a legal artistic squat, in Poço do Bispo; the area of Santos is branding itself as Santos Design District; and even Intendente, a neighborhood notorious for drugs and prostitution, is getting a face-lift thanks to spaces like Casa Independente, a beautiful 19th-century palace.

The council is designing several microfinance projects to fund ventures and next year will launch the city’s own crowdfunding platform, in partnership with the philanthropic Foundation Calouste Gulbenkian, the bank Montepio and several universities.

Of course this creative renaissance could eventually boost prices, gentrify the city and price young creatives out of the market. That, however, looks like success and is unlikely to happen soon. Meanwhile, wake up, Barcelona. Watch out, Berlin. Lisbon’s comin’ at ya!

artigo de Laura Secorun Palet publicado no Fast Forward OZY

Source: A Cidade na Ponta dos Dedos


The most picturesque towns in the world


The most picturesque towns in the world

There is a Portuguese town among the most picturesque towns in the world.

Ericeira, located about 35 kilometers away from Lisbon, is on the list and is therefore a place for you to visit. The portuguese Meca of Surf stands out, for example, for the houses perched over the sea. 

This list prepared by the San Francisco Globe, elected the most beautiful local photos. See, below, which towns are part of this same list.

Annecy: France


Colmar: France


Sidi Bou Said: Tunisia


Garmisch-Partenkirchen: Germany


Dinan: France


Himalayas: Tibet


Reine: Norway


Gasadalur: Faroe Islands


Camden: EUA


Tenby: Wales


Tasiilaq: Greenland


Shirakawa: Japan


Hallstatt: Austria


Estrunfes (Smurfs): Spain


Albarracin: Spain


Chefchaouen: Marroco


Ericeira: Portugal


You want to visit this beautiful town? We have a holiday rental in Ericeira.

Ha Long Bay: Vietnam


Leavenworth: EUA


Burano: Italy


Bled: Slovenia


Putre: Chile


Bibury: England


Source: Idealista


Do you surf? Portuguese app has all the info on the best spots!


Do you surf? Portuguese app has all the info on the best spots!

The app SurfinPortugal has detailed information on more than 180 surf spots around the country.

Established in late 2012, the startup that organizes surf trips aboard minibuses now launched a new application: the location of the best places to surf every day and detailed characterization of over 180 spots around the country are available in the app of SurfinPortugal, who pretend thus providing a comprehensive guide to surfing.

"This app is the result of 20 years of travel between Peniche and Sagres. We wanted to leverage our expertise in an application that could be useful, especially for foreigners, who do not know the country. The app tells them where they are and how they can get where they want, with information on the conditions in each of the locations. Instead of graphics, we chose several times a plain text precisely to clearly explain to people how to get to the sites, rather than having an arrow pointing the way, "explains managing partner of SurfinPortugal, Manuel Moura.

The application is free and, for now, is limited between Peniche and Sagres, reporting on the conditions of the sea and the wind in places like Ericeira, Sintra, Cascais, Lisbon, Porto Covo, Vila Nova de Milfontes and Lagos, among others. It also has an automatic link to Google Maps, so users can get directions from the location where they are up to more than 90 beaches identified there or services, from restaurants to gas stations. The SurfinPortugal will soon include information about Nazareth, extending a little guide. "But I loved that in two years we had information for the whole country," confesses Manuel Moura.





Ericeira, the Meca of Portuguese Surf fans


Ericeira, the Meca of Portuguese Surf fans

On the West Coast of Portugal, internationally known as the Silver Coast is located a beautiful and traditional fishing village by the name of Ericeira.

This charismatic beach town has developed enormously during the 20th century due to the growing interest in it as a summer resort. It has, however, maintained its original character and its own individual atmosphere.

This ancient town that goes back to the XII century was once the safe passage and home of Phoenicians. Its name means Land of hedgehog clerk, posted due to the abundance of hedgehog clerk in its beaches.

Thorough the century’s local inhabitants have always been blessed by the sea, that even with its tempers, provided abundance of fish and shellfish that feed the nearest towns. It was however on the XIX century that Ericeira received special attention as a trade and costumes point. It was from these docs that the Royal Portuguese Family exit the country to exile ending the monarchic regime.


Its commercial heritage is now translated in a remarkable tourism flow driven from an excellent location and privileged weather conditions. More recently a wave took over creating enormous opportunities and boosting this small finishing economy. Surf, a nature sport captivate every year hundreds of people from all ages. Surfers and body-boarders constantly search for the best waves. With 850km of coastline, Portugal promises waves to suit every taste. This coastline is like one gigantic beach that is ideal for thrill-seekers. Ribeira d’Ilhas, ‘Coxos’ and ‘Super Tubos’ are world-famous, and by many the Meca of Portuguese surfing.


You don't have to be a surfer to enjoy Ericeira, as it is not only famous for its constant swells, but also for its healthy air, beautiful beaches and landscape, the excellent food served by local restaurants and its raving weekend parties.

Nearby golf courses, horse riding facilities or bike tracks and paragliding areas are just some alternatives to the life on the 8 sandy beaches of Ericeira.

300 days of sunshine, mild temperatures in winter and sea-breezed summers invite you to come all year long. A beautiful and completely redesigned, oceanfront 4* hotel, two family owned 3* hotels, one self-catering apart-hotel, several hostels and b&b's, a camping site with wooden bungalows, privately owned apartments and a selection of surf-camps offer lodging for all tastes. Studio visits at local artists, scrolling through handicraft shops, fashion boutiques and surf shops are just a few distractions that will make your visits worthwhile.

Fifty kilometres from Lisbon, in an easily accessible area, its beaches are very crowded during the summer, and are considered among the best in Europe for surfing. Ribeira d`Ilhas Beach, where one of the World Surfing Championship contests is held every year, is worth a special mention.

When visiting this town you will have to try the shellfish and fresh fish dishes, the speciality of the regional cuisine.

Our recommendations:

  • Restaurants: Dom Carlos in Ericeira; phone : +351 261 866 371;
  • Esplanada Furnas in Ericeira ; phone +351 261864870
  • Best spots: Eribeira beach, Ribeira D’Ilhas e São Julião beach
  • National heritage: Ericeira village and Mafra Palace
  • Others: NEUHAUS – Chocolate Store in Historic Centre


Surfing in Portugal, hot spots


Surfing in Portugal, hot spots

Silver Coast has one of the latest unspoiled beaches in Europe, some say its Portugal Best Kept Secret, I would say its just Portugal at is finest. Nazaré is one of most pituresque fishing villages in the Silver Coast, and holds one of the biggest waves in the world, and small big detail that is puting Nazaré and all Silver Coast on the world map of the international surfing community. On this video Garrett McNamara breaks the world record for the largest wave ever surfed in Nazaré.

The story about the North Canyon Wave and how it became a project

After one month, four big swells and some successful sessions riding Nazaré’s waves, the extreme waterman Garrett McNamara, 43 years old, returned home, to North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, with a sense of achievement.

The main goal of Garrett in Nazaré was to explore its waves – with special attention to Praia do Norte’s waves, which receive the effect of the geomorphologic phenomenon known as “Nazaré Canyon”. The canyon is so unique because it is one of the only one in the whole world that ends on the shore allowing the power of the water and swell to make it to the beach without losing any energy or size. Garrett was invited to explore the wave to see if it had potential for a big wave event!

During November, Garrett McNamara saw four big swells and two times the conditions were perfect for tow-in. He was able to see all the potential of those waves, which “are probably the biggest waves of the world for a beach break”, he said.

The Hawaiian surfer, one of the more respected waterman of the world, with several international awards and championships, worked with José Gregório (a former triple Portuguese surf champion, one of the most respected big waves surfers in Portugal and one of the athletes that better knows the waves of Nazaré, where he was born).

Garrett McNamara also had the chance to surf with Tiago “Saca” Pires (the most international Portuguese surfer and the only Portuguese who make part of the world surf elite), Ruben Gonzalez (a former four times Portuguese surf champion) and even with the Irish Alistair Mennie and the English Andrew Cotton, who came to Nazaré to experience the power of the waves of Praia do Norte.

Garrett caught other waves in the region of Nazaré, mostly with his Stand Up Paddle board, showing all the necessary technique to enjoy this kind of surf and sharing good waves with the locals bodyboarders. He showed big respect to them and recognized their pioneering role in the strong waves of Nazaré.

Garrett McNamara returned to Hawaii very impressed and with some well defined goals to a close cooperation with the Nazaré City Hall for the next years.

Jorge Barroso, the City Hall mayor, and Garrett McNamara signed an intent statement for the implementation of projects that can internationally promote Nazaré as a reference spot to the big waves sports and to the realization of a big wave event in 2012.

They both agreed to cooperate actively to achieve the following projects: Environmental Education to the Sea Center, a Rescue Center, a Big Wave Museum and a Tow-in Academy.

Jorge Barroso said that “Praia do Norte’s waves are unique” and that’s why Nazaré should “take the uniqueness of its sea”, that creates giant waves due the “North Canyon”. “In 2012 we’re going to make an innovative event in all of Europe. We count with Garrett McNamara and with this intent statement”, said Jorge Barroso, showing “the will of affirmation of Nazaré as a prime destination of big waves sports”.

To the extreme waterman, the big waves of Praia do Norte are some of the biggest that he ever saw. “After being here this month, learning the culture and working with this great team, I am 100 per cent sure that in 2012 we will hold a world class big event, promoting Nazaré all around the world”, said McNamara, referring that “the idea is to attract not only surfers or water sports lovers, but everybody.”

José Gregório was also present in the ceremony and congratulated the initiative. “This was one of the times when the surf was mostly spoken on the media”, commented.

To end his stay in Portugal, Garrett went to the second edition of the Portugal Surf Awards, the National Surf Ceremony, which counted this year with the awards of the Surf Portugal magazine, last weekend, also in Nazaré.

After the delivery of some awards and several conversations with some of the best Portuguese surfers, curious to know his views about the national waves, McNamara was surprised with an “International Personality of the Year” award by the oldest surf magazine in Portugal. They honored the commitment of the Hawaiian surfer in the exploration of Nazaré’s waves.

“This award was a huge surprise, but I’m much honored to receive it”, said Garrett with emotion. “The recognition of our work is always good, but the way that I was received by the Portuguese surf community was amazing. I’ll take you in my heart and I’m going to make everything to promote internationally the Nazaré’s waves and your hospitality. I’ll come back as soon as possible”, he concluded.

McNamara returned to Hawaii, to participate in the open ceremony of the most respected big waves championship of the world, Quicksilver in memory of Eddie Aikau, in Waimea Bay, Oahu, where he lives. He was one of the 28 invited surfers. Good luck G-Mac!

This project was organized by Câmara Municipal da Nazaré, Clube de Desportos Alternativos da Nazaré and Nazaré Qualifica E.E.M., with the support of QREN, MaisCentro, Feder, Turismo de Portugal – Oeste, Liberty Seguros, Lightning Bolt, GoPro – D’Maker, Filipemotoshow, Isuzu, Lena Automóveis, Peter Grimm, Noll, Instituto Hidrográfico Português, Spal, Tonic Gym, Surftotal, Surf Portugal, Antena 3, Surfer Rule and

Photos by POLVO/Jorge Leal e Wilson Ribeiro



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