Day 13Nearing the end of a trip of a lifetime, we sulked but Lisbon revived us. This capital city of Portugal was a huge city, with a character of that of a small and silent one. Now, you need to go out of Lisbon to experience the real Portugal.Where?Belem. Sintra. Cabo Da Roca. Lagos.All one day each trips and all oh-so-worth it. Each of them will offer an experience unparalleled.What stood out to for us? Cabo Da Roca. The western most point where Europe ends, and exactly where our Europe trip ended.Must have : Ginja (Cherry Liqueur) in a Chocolate Cup. And bring lots of it back. It tastes divine.
Day 11This was sort of that underdog destination of our trip which we had included but were unsure of even after getting there. However, Portugal seemed to be an ultimate surprise. It offered the perfect blend of sunshine and hilly terrains and the old worldly charm of a small city.There are no points for guessing that we went for a Wine Cellar tour on our second day in Porto.Now they say, Porto Wine is like Women, the older the better. And we didn't have an argument there. We were sold.
At the end of the day, you will be invited to participate in a peddy-paper activity through the streets of Évora. Dinner and accommodation in Pousada de Juventude.
FaroThis is not somewhere you would expect to see on a post like this but there is so much more to Faro than an airport.We called in as we had to find a car parts shop, we parked and headed for something to eat, this was easy to find with the signs!
-Because The University Of Coimbra is one of the oldest universities operating. It not only makes Coimbra an ultra-cosmopolitan town but also the one with the youngest population and thus very happening. It has the reputation of hosting some of the biggest student parties globally.
A town further north of Porto, at about an hour distance is well connected by train as well as bus. Lovely city center and an even lovelier church sitting atop a hill in the outskirts of the town. Take a bus from the city center to Bom Jesus do Monte church. You would have to climb a few steps covered with bright green moss but you’d see, it’s totally worth it.
Afterwards, you will visit Castelo de Vide, known as "Sintra of Alentejo" for its charm and splendor, one of the most romantic locations in the Alentejo region. During lunch, you will taste the typical Alentejo sweet; sericaia with plum, with an abundant use of eggs and cinnamon. Some say that sericaia came from India and others from Brazil – what is known for sure is that this recipe was implemented in Alentejo by the skilled hands of the nuns of Elvas and Vila Viçosa convents, both claiming the rights of importation. Some gave the name Sericaia and others Serica, being that the tradition is more linked to Elvas, where the sweet is decorated with the famous plums of the region.
Alfama is the oldest district in Lisbon. It is an architectural beauty lined with the rich history of the place. From here you can see that big orange & red fireball rising over the water, right next to the Alfama skyline silhouette made up the churches, bell towers and the maroon clay rooftops, while dispersing its amber light on the tiles that line the buildings. Some call it a photographers dream place, I call it an everlasting memory of that Lisbon trip, it is well worth the early rise, specially combined with your breakfast being served as the sun makes it journey up on a hot summer morning.
We also called in to visit Albufeira for a couple of hours; this was everything we had always believed of the Algarve, busy, crowded and full of family fun. The one thing we did notice and appreciated was that there was a moving walkway to the beach, so very good for those with mobility difficulties, however this was not really our cup of tea, and once you had seen one souvenir shop you had seen them all (we lost count of how many there were just in our short stroll).
EstoiEstoi is approx 10 km form the coast and is a pretty little town, we stayed near here and drove through regularly, we stopped a few times for a drink at the cafe by the church. This is the perfect place to sit and feel a part of real Portugal. It is quiet and not rushed, small and not spoilt. Sit with the old men and women on the benches and just watch the world go by, you really would not believe you are on the Algarve.
With its working fishing port and harbour lined with restaurants and cafes all selling fresh seafood with many local specialties.
TaviraTavira is yet another amazing fishing town on the Algarve that has not succumbed to mass tourism.We sat by the river Gilão and watched as men were in there moving stones and trying to catch something, we never managed to work out what they were catching but it was interesting to see such traditional methods. (We later found out it was clams)There is the seven arch bridge, reportedly Roman in origin that spans the river.
1 | Lisbon + FARO + SevilleOne of my favorite cities in Europe, Lisbon, is bursting with culture, great food, incredibly charming streets -the list goes on and on- there’s so much to see and taste within the city you’ll be hard-pressed to pick your favorites. Not far away, the UNESCO town of Sintra is a beautiful and worthy day trip. Take a 3 hour train south to Faro, in the Algarve region world-renowned for it’s food and positively stunning seaside (ranked with some of the best beaches in the world). Carry on by bus to Seville for an immersion into a world of tapas, sangria and flamenco. Don’t miss Giralda Tower and Plaza de Espana.
Beautiful, lively little town with an enticing beach
This is the beach which sees good food & wine besides beautiful sundowners!