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! 🙂
LISBON (4 DAYS)
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.
ALGARVE (4 DAYS)
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.
VISEU (4 DAYS)
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!
PORTO (4 DAYS)
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 STOP IN AVEIRO ON OUR WAY
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…
NAZARÉ (4 DAYS, 3 DAYS ONLY)
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.
LISBON (2 DAYS)
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.