Sometimes I wonder if there are trends when it comes up to traveling. I don’t know about you, but I felt like this year everybody was going to Portugal. Me included, of course. My trip has been planned for a couple of months now, it was a little too late to change destination just to be original. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to go yet, here is my itinerary. I hope you will be inspired! 🙂


Living in Lisbon was for sure one of the coolest things I have done during this trip. We were living in an apartment at the center of Lisbon, we could walk everywhere (or jump on the tramway if we felt like it). #ThanksToAirBnb

Alfama was my favorite neighborhood, the music neighborhood. I loved getting lost in the street and I really enjoyed having dinner while listening to live Fado. Which is a traditional Portugal music, filled with emotions and it’s good for the soul.

Belem was also a must, it’s the neighborhood where the port used to be located. You can visit many historic monuments as well as the Belem tower and the Jerónimos monastery. What I loved the most about this neighborhood was tasting the most delightful Belém Pasteis at the café Pasteis de Belém (Dah!). It’s where this famous Portuguese pie was created. While traveling through the country you can taste the many variations of this original recipe.

There is also the Baixa and the Bairro Alto neighborhood that you can discover by walking around and stopping by its little coffee shops. You can find many cute stores as well as a couple good restaurants that are worth the detour. But be very careful, lots of restaurants have 12 languages menu and I do not recommend visiting them! #YouveBeenWarned There is also the central plaza Praça da Figueira, where you can find the market and enjoy many Portuguese specialties on the weekends.

One thing we really enjoyed doing every evening was drinking the Ginjinha, a cherry drink that can be purchased for as low as 1$ per glass. Every evening people gather in the streets in front of these tiny bars and enjoy a Ginjinha. #LisbonLife

We also spent a day in Sintra. If you feel like being a princess for a day or if you feel like walking a whole lot I recommend visiting this place.


On day 5, we rented a car to drive down to the Algarve! 2h30 later we were in a very interesting city, it somewhat felt like California, Italy, and Mexico all together… It’s a city located on the ocean side, with beautiful turquoise water, little houses with orange roofs and a bold European culture. #Wow From Lagos with its breathtaking views, all the way to Faro and its fortress, to Albufeira and it’s full of life nightlife, to Tavira for its history and to Cacela Velha (my favorite) for its originality and its authenticity. It was so beautiful, I left me speechless.


During our trip to Portugal, I really wanted to live on a winery for a couple days. We opted for staying in the small town of Viseu (randomly), I have also had the wine Duque de Viseu so maybe that helped our decision making! #NotReally We really enjoyed our stay at the 37 acres vineyard Quinta do Medronheiro. We were welcomed in this tiny 10 rooms vineyard by the owner telling us the vineyard’s history. It was as if we had been friends for the past 10 years. We enjoyed walking on the estate, swimming in the infinity pool and obviously drinking good wines.

We also did many day trips to other vineyards in the region as well as visiting the small villages that surrounded the property. The view of the mountains and of the valley of Douro was breathtaking. Definitely, a must if you love wine!


I was really looking forward to visiting one of Portugal’s most iconic city; Porto. It was so beautiful, we loved the very colourful facade or even the azulejos (hand painted ceramic walls) and its sloped streets made of bricks. It’s located on the edge of the Douro river and it has 7 bridges to go from the north to the south of the city. Porto is unforgettable for its architecture, its wine tasting, but also because it’s Portugal most well-known northern city. Porto is magical!

We visited the Café Majestik, we saw a library that looks like a church (Lello), we walked across the Luis bridge to see Gaia, we toured a Porto cave where we learned a lot about Porto. We also walked in the gardens, we enjoyed watching the local artist at work, we visited many important monuments and we tasted the traditional francesinha ( pretty much like a croque-monsieur topped with an egg). For us, 4 days in this city were more than enough! 🙂


A very cute little town. We walked around the city and enjoyed lunch in a little street filled with singing Portuguese. With their guitar in hand, it was almost as if it was organized, but not; simply good friends having fun all together. It was an unforgettable moment. You must stop by Aveiro to see the gondolas, to enjoy a walk by the water and to see the street covered with umbrellas in July. Hopefully next time, because we went in October…


I might sound like a broken record, but visiting Nazaré is a MUST! It’s a traditional Portuguese village for surfers. During the summer, on the beach, you can see many ladies dressed in their traditional dresses drying fish on the sand.  It’s worth the detour to enjoy the surfer vibe and to admire some of the tallest waves in the world. Many worldwide surf competitions take place in the city. We loved it.

Unfortunately, we had to leave a day earlier because there was a forest fire close by. All the smoke was heading towards the city which made it hard to breathe, you could even see the ashes falling from the sky. Happily, the firefighters took control of the fires and nobody got hurt… We could have enjoyed another day at the beach but due to the circumstance, we decided to leave.


We really enjoyed our last 2 days in Lisbon. We had a couple picnics in the park, we read, we shopped and etc. At the end of October, the weather started dropping, the days were colder, and the sky covered with clouds. It was time for us to go home!

Portugal is a small country. We really appreciated being able to drive around the country with our many little rented cars. In 3 weeks, we had more than enough time to live the culture and to see every corner of the country. Every region is different from their houses, their colours or even their specialties. We adored this diversify country.


  • Pat
    January 10, 2019, 7:09 pm  Reply

    Enjoyed reading your post about Portugal. My wife and I are planning a one month trip there in March 2019. Planning to hop from place to place also. Good luck with your new baby. That’s another awesome trip ahead for you. Enjoy every second of each phase of growing up. It happens sooo fast and then they are grown up. Enjoy the journey..

    • Sparks and Bloom
      January 10, 2019, 7:43 pm

      Hello Pat, we are so happy this post could be helpful to you! We wish you a wonderful trip to Portugal, let us know which places you liked most! Cheers!

  • Shiv bhattacharya
    January 17, 2019, 2:46 am  Reply

    Hello , Really enjoyed reading your post …Thanks for sharing ! We are looking for a 3 wks holiday in Portugal during June 2019 and shall be grateful if you could share a little on how to travel from one city to another using public transport / train etc and locations to stay

  • Diane Heida
    February 10, 2019, 12:19 am  Reply

    hello, can you recommend a place to stay in Lisbon? WE will be there for 2 nights, we are hoping to also stay in Nazare one night- any recommendations there?

  • Kristie Folkes
    February 10, 2019, 3:37 am  Reply

    Hi I would be curious to know how you travelled around as well. Thanks

    • Sparks and Bloom
      February 26, 2019, 3:21 pm

      We rented a car! 🙂

  • Sandy Martin
    March 6, 2019, 4:10 pm  Reply


    I’m planning to go to Portugal for 3 weeks in May/June, and I’ll be visiting all of the places you’ve noted above except for Aveiro which I may do now….I’m also spending time in Evora and in Coimbra….and plan to get around solely by bus and/or train as I do not want to rent a car. Thank you for sharing your experience! Sandy

    • Sparks and Bloom
      March 6, 2019, 10:19 pm

      Hello Sandy, we are so happy to hear you may be traveling to Aveiro. It was an awesome place! We wish you a wonderful trip! ❤️

  • Olga Kutikov
    May 6, 2019, 6:45 pm  Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your story about Portugal. We are planning a trip there in Sept/Oct. Can you, please let me know more specifically which winery you stayed at and how did you book it?

    • Sparks and Bloom
      May 17, 2019, 8:06 pm

      Hello Olga, we stayed at the Quinta do Medronheiro Hotel Rural (, which has a really good rating.

  • karen
    May 17, 2019, 12:07 pm  Reply

    My husband and I are planning a trip this summer (honeymoon) and your itinerary contains many places I was hoping to see! Thanks for this 🙂 With regards to traveling by car; we don’t drive standard, and were wondering how difficult/stressful it was to rent a car and drive around? You haven’t mentioned anything to that effect, so is it safe to assume that it was relatively easy and stress-free?

    • Sparks and Bloom
      May 17, 2019, 7:57 pm

      Hello Karen, Yay!!! what a happy time in your life, congratulation on your wedding ❤️! Portugal was really safe to drive around, we did have a little bit of knowledge driving standard, that being said, if you book ahead of time, you sometimes have the option to get an automatic car. We wish you a wonderful trip, let us know if you have more questions!

  • elena edwards
    July 31, 2019, 5:01 pm  Reply

    Thank you for sharing your trip info. We are planning to spend 6 weeks in Portugal this year in late fall(Oct 24-Dec 6). Can you share the name of the Airbnb you stayed at in Lisbon?Also were you happy with the car rental company you used? and would you recommend car pick up at the airport or at a less busy location?

    • Sparks and Bloom
      August 9, 2019, 5:18 pm

      Hello Elena, that will be a wonderful trip! I can’t fully remember, but I believe it was this one on Rua de Prata: . We were happy with our car rental and would recommend renting the car at the airport as it makes it easier to travel to the city. We are wishing you an awesome trip to Portugal!

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