Portugal is looking forward to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with Ireland this year as 10 of the nation’s favourite tourist attractions and buildings will ‘go green’ on Wednesday, 17th March, as part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening Initiative. Portugal has always had strong connections with Ireland, with Irish representing 1.8 million overnights in tourist accommodation in 2019, a 10% increase year-on-year. The 10 Portuguese buildings included in this year’s celebration are located all around Portugal, from North to South of Portugal.
Portugal has previously partaken in the Global Greening St. Patrick’s Day festivities, but this year welcomes five new buildings to the celebration, including Marvão Castle, a beautiful medieval castle overlooking Marvão, Alentejo. Four other sights, located in the Porto and North Region, are new additions to this year’s Global Greening initiative – Clérigos Tower, an ex-libris monument in the city of Porto, the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in in Braga, and the Castle of Bragança, a well-preserved medieval castle located in the historic centre of the city of Bragança, going green for the festival. The Pedestrian Metal Bridge of Peso da Régua, which overlooks the Douro River, will also be lit up as part of the festivities.
Other sights set to light up this Wednesday include Lisbon’s iconic Equestrian statue of King Joseph I, located in Praça do Comércio, and the Cristo Rei Statue, overlooking the Tagus River. Just west of Lisbon in the premier holiday destination of Cascais, Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães and Cascais Town Hall will also be lit green as part of the initiative.
The regions of Lisbon and Porto are growing in popularity with Irish tourists in recent years, with both destinations seeing a 30% growth in tourism in 2019.
Faro International Airport will also go green this year for St. Patrick’s Day. The airport is the most used Portuguese airport by Irish tourists, located in the Algarve, one of Ireland’s and the world’s, best loved holiday destinations, with 77% of Irish tourists’ overnight stays in Portugal in 2019 being in the Algarve.
Director of Visit Portugal Ireland, Susana Cardoso said “We are absolutely thrilled for Portugal to be part of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening with buildings from 4 different regions of Portugal: the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto and the North and Alentejo. Our participation in the initiative pays tribute to all Irish who have visited Portugal, past and future, and to the Irish travel trade industry which has been so badly affected by the restrictions currently in place. We hope we can celebrate the resumption of international travel in the next ITAA conference which is scheduled to take place this October in Évora, Alentejo.”
Portugal truly missed the Irish this year and is ready to welcome Irish visitors again as soon as it’s safe to do so.