Much of Portugal is gratis; Madeira’s levada walks are gratis; on-the-spot fine changes; Madeira: high-end Portugal; Madeira property prices increased last year; Madeira: best location for dolphin & whale spotting

Portugal & Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:

Much of Portugal is gratis; Levada walks are gratis;

Toronto Sun.com article:

Top 10 tourist freebies including:

1. Castles
2. Cathedrals
3. Festivals (Festas)
4. Beaches
5. Museums on Sundays and Holidays until 2 p.m
6. MADEIRA’S LEVADA WALKS

“Madeira’s levadas are famous worldwide, offering extraordinary scenery through the Laurisilva forests. Being volcanic and mountainous, the combination of tropical climate and mountainous terrain makes Madeira a perfect location for walks, hikes and trekking.”

Caption: Rabacal Levada in the region of Calheta, Madeira

“The Levadas on Madeira. “Levada,” derived from “levar,” means to carry and is roughly translated as “carriageway,” but more correctly defined as mini-canal. Mini-canals are irrigation systems developed to distribute water from heavy rainfall and wet regions on the north of Madeira island to the drier sun-parched regions of the south. The Levada “walks” are walking trails along the maintenance paths beside the Levadas. Madeira’s levadas are famous worldwide, offering extraordinary scenery through the Laurisilva forests. Being volcanic and mountainous, the combination of tropical climate and mountainous terrain makes Madeira a perfect location for walks, hikes and trekking.”

Link: http://www.torontosun.com/travel/europe/2011/03/09/17562436.html

Changes to on-the-spot fines

Portugal News:

“A new law-change approved in court last week will see ‘on-the-spot’ payment of fines transformed from an assumption of guilt to a mere deposit, to give drivers the option to contest the fine.”

To avoid legal proceedings the Government is proposing that fine payments are always perceived as ‘deposits’

“As the current law stands, when an offending driver pays their fine it is generally interpreted as an admission of guilt, though fines can be contested. However, a statement from the Government explained “in general, drivers are not properly informed of this option”, and “to avoid legal proceedings” the Government is proposing that fine payments are always perceived as ‘deposits.’

Image caption: Highway police; Lisbon, Portugal, 2006

“The deposit only becomes a final fine payment if it is not contested or, if it is contested, with the final court decision”, the statement reads….”

Drivers will have up to 48 hours to make payments.

The TC (the Constitution Tribunal ) decided that the previous laws deterred people, who voluntarily paid fines, from appealing afterwards. The proposed law changes also suggest the “provisional confiscation of vehicle and driver documents, when offending drivers refuse to pay the immediate deposits, until payment is made or the driver is absolved…”

Link: http://www.theportugalnews.com/cgi-bin/article.pl?id=1103-13

Madeira property prices increased last year

Morgan Forbes.com article:

“Madeira property prices increased last year, despite the general Portuguese housing downturn, with genuine room for further growth, reports Antonio Ferreira.

The Madeira property market bucked the downturn trend last year, in spite of the natural devastation caused by the torrential rain, the adverse impact of the volcanic ash clouds and a general collapse in mainland Portugal property prices, amid an economic crisis.”

The latest data from the National Institute for Statistics (INE) show that average Portugal property prices declined by 3.2 per cent last December compared to the corresponding month in 2009, according to bank valuations.

Property prices fell in all regions across Portugal, with the only exception to the downward trend recorded in the Madeira property market, with the average price of a home in Madeira increasing by an impressive 1.8 per cent year-on-year.

The average price of residential property in Madeira has appreciated from €1,406 (£1,186) to €1,432 (1,208) per square metre, due largely to a limited supply of homes, mass infrastructure improvements, and a stable micro economy, supported by strong tourism levels.

This is high-end Portugal. The property, food, spa, hotels and now golf is on par with some of the best-established destinations in Europe.

Jorge Botelho Moniz of Portuguese bank, Banco Espirito Santo, believes that the Madeira property market is capitalising on its image as a quality tourist destination, offering “high quality homes in exclusive breathtaking locations”.

Meanwhile, Philippe Moreau, the project manager of Vilagiorgi, a high-end holiday home development scheduled for construction in the capital city of Funchal, told the press that the Madeira property market has not suffered as much as mainland Portugal, “due to the limited residential inventory”.

Caption: two atlantic spotted dolphins in the wild.

Madeira is also known as one of the best locations in the world for dolphin and whale spotting

Link: http://www.morganforbes.com/123news.aspx?id=220

16 thoughts on “Much of Portugal is gratis; Madeira’s levada walks are gratis; on-the-spot fine changes; Madeira: high-end Portugal; Madeira property prices increased last year; Madeira: best location for dolphin & whale spotting”

  1. Prime Minister José Sócrates has this week said he has a responsibility to ten million Portuguese to not apply for an international financial rescue plan, in what is now the clearest indication yet that Portugal will not seek a bail-out on their own initiative. His comments came in the week when Portuguese bonds were sold off at rates deemed “unsustainable” even within Government circles, amid mounting calls from abroad for the country to open its books to international scrutiny and manipulation.

    Reply
  2. Can someone help with info about car MOT) I did it in 2009 so I know where the place is to get it done. Just can’t remember the procedure.

    Can I just turn up and then wait for the test? What papers do I need to produce? And if something needs fixing do I then have to then have to go back again for new test? Finally how much does it cost?

    All these questions? Thanks everyone 🙂

    Reply
  3. Tom

    CENSOS 2011 -The FAQs – states:
    8. Quem se inclui na população residente ? last para or one of last…

    As pessoas de nacionalidade estrangeira que residem em Portugal há mais de um ano ou, estando há menos de um ano, têm a intenção de residir em Portugal por um período mínimo de um ano;

    There is a helpline
    800 22 20 11 (chamada grátis, dias úteis das 9h às 20h) ou através de http://www.censos2011.ine.pt

    FAQs
    http://censos.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=CENSOS&xpgid=ine_faqs_censos2011

    Penalty…not aware of one yet…anyone aware of one?

    Paul Abbiati

    Reply
  4. Angie
    this is on the British Embassy site

    http://ukinportugal.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/living-in-portugal/cars

    MOT Testing and Certificates
    MOT testing is compulsory in Portugal for all vehicles over four years old. Cars aged between 4-7 years must be tested every two years and thereafter every year. The test (Insepecção Periódica Obrigatória – IPO) must be carried out at an approved garage. The garage is required to request the vehicle’s ownership documents (Titulo de Registo de Propriedade and Livrete or the more recent Certificado de Matrícula) and the owner’s taxpayer’s identification card (cartão de contribuinte) before carrying out the test.

    A stamp confirming that the vehicle has undergone (and passed) the test is subsequently issued. This should be displayed below the insurance stamp, in the lower right-hand corner of the vehicle’s windscreen.

    *The Certificado de Matrícula came into effect on 31 October 2005. For the time being, it is not compulsory to exchange existing vehicle documentation (Livrete and Título de Registo de Propriedade) as this remain valid.

    Reply
  5. D. Noticias, 7th March has information – search Censos 2011

    Quem não colaborar neste que é um dever cívico com carácter obrigatório incorre no pagamento de multa. Os valores pecuniários variam entre 250 e 3750 euros, sendo calculados de acordo com os rendimentos do agregado familiar.

    Fine 250 – 3750 euros.

    Reply
  6. We had a visit from a charming lady (so Jacques said) who came back the next day with the paperwork in English, very impressed. Very easy to complete, did one before in France and I thought that was more intrusive. This one seems to lean towards age and dissability problems – preparing for the future may be!

    Angie I took my car to the local car shop (near the roundabout at Cancela), they checked it and took it through the MOT for me if the memory serves me right it was around 100 for everything. Having checked at the Renault this week how much they charge for a service and the reply was around 200, think what we did was a good deal. The exit from the VR is Boa Nova.

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  7. Angie – yes, you just turn up at the MOT Station. Check in at the desk and show your documents then wait your turn. If your car passes, no problems. If not, you have a certain amount of time to repair the problem(s) and then retesting is free. It is about 25 Euros for the test. Good luck!

    Reply
  8. Thanks Debs and Sue.
    Debs did you know I gave you the worng name for the plant you were asking about…. ? It’s not a lychee it’s something called Arbutus unedo(sp?) used for making aguadente.

    🙂

    Reply

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