84th F.I.C.C. International Rally Ponte de Lima, Portugal, 2016

The 84th F.I.C.C. Rally will take place in the north of Portugal, in the beautiful city of Ponte de Lima.

Ponte de Lima, known for being the oldest village in Portugal, belongs to the district of Viana do Castelo in Portugal. The population is approximately 43.500, in an area of 320.25 km². The town proper has about 2.800 inhabitants.

The attractive rural area around has the largest concentration of baroque manors in Portugal (Bertiandos, Brandara, Calheiros, and Pomarchão are among the best known); Some provide tourism accommodation. Ponte de Lima is also known in the region for its red “Vinho verde wines.
Ponte de Lima, main square
Please, remember that for bookins after 10-05-2016 you need to add 20%.

Official Rally website:  http://www.ficc2016.com/index.html
Roman bridge and San Antonio's church at the other end
Portugal is a republic on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsula. It covers an area of 92,082 sq.km. including the islands of the Azores and Madeira.
Lisbon is its capital and the official language is Portuguese. The climate in the north is mild whereas it is sub-tropical in the south. The northern city of Porto (Oporto) is the capital of the Douro district and the country’s second most important conurbation after Lisbon. It is a large port and commercial hub, manufacturing leather goods, food and textiles, not forgetting the all-important port wine industry. It also boasts a famous university. Other major towns are Faro, Funchal, Setúbal, Evora, the university town of Coimbra and Braga.
A national constitution was introduced following the liberal revolution of 1820.
Portugal is a founding member of the United Nations and the OECD (in 1949). It is a member of NATO, joined the European Free Trade Association in 1960 and the European Union in 1986.

The climate in the north is generally warm and wet, though hot in summer and very dry inland. Flora and fauna are similar to Spain’s. The northern landscape is mountainous, very green in summer with forests of oak and chestnut. The south is dominated by evergreen shrubs, cork trees, various species of oak and olive groves.

Portugal has an interesting and very varied history. It is famous for its art, literature, music (“fado“ made famous by the incomparable Amalia Rodriguez) and its Romance language thanks to its Latin origins. The country was settled by the Celts who gave rise to the Lusitanians among others and were incorporated into the Roman Republic. The south was influenced by Arab-Berber immigrants, whereas the north was freed or reconquered from the Moors (Reconquista).
The oldest monuments in Portugal are its Roman cathedrals and monasteries inspired by those in Spain (Santiago de Compostela).

Portrait painting had a long tradition in Portugal but its importance started to diminish in the 16th century. Poetry blossomed in the 13th century. Portugal’s greatest lyric and epic poet was Luis de Camoes (epic work “The Lusiads“).

Fado combines melancholic folklore elements with the current trend in popular light music. Portuguese music in the 18th century was very much influenced by Italian opera. J.D. Bomtempo established new-style Portuguese music at the beginning of the 19th century, the most famous exponent of which was J.V. da Motto (1868 - 1948).

However Portugal today is a modern advanced state and open to new ideas which is reflected in its architecture, literature, music and art.

For example, Joana Vasconcelos is a much respected artist of worldwide fame whose works are on display as far afield as the Château of Versailles, Ajuda National Palace in Lisbon, Korea, Monaco, London, Sao Paulo, Venice and many other cosmopolitan cities. 

Portugal has so much to offer both in the south and the north. Portuguese people are friendly, unassuming, down-to-earth, hospitable and have a sense of humour so you are bound to come away from staying in their country with many happy memories. 

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