Portugal, oh Portugal…you’ve got us crazy in love!
Our summer trip 2012 started in Lisbon, which welcomed us with great weather, delicious food, lovely people and just the most beautiful city views, we’re ever seen.
The city is by the water and lies on 7 hills, from the beaches nearby to many viewpoints over a big but charming city – it’s basically got everything!
We’ve fallen in love with the rough and sometimes falling apart buildings, still decorated with azulejos (decorative tiles) and the narrow streets going up and down. We’ve admired the old, small trams and the views – the vibe of the city is lovely and creative, rough and sweet at the same time. Really unique!
We didn’t do much tourist stuff – took a ride on the oldest tram, went to see Torre de Belem (which I definitely recommend!) – but all in all rather concentrated on finding nice food and drinks and just strolling around the city.
The food is delicious nearly anywhere (I hope you know how to avoid tourist trap restaurants?), but we’ve got one special recommendation: El Rei D’Frango. Its appeal is very modest, but they serve original portuguese food for really decent prices. I guess it’s a place where locals go and that’s exactly what we’re always looking for. With a full belly and a big smile on your face you can continue up the stairs that begin right in front of the restaurant to arrive at Barrio Alto and get some well deserved drinks (those stairs are tiring!) in one of the many, many bars.
Most people get their drinks inside and then join the crowds on the streets which has its very own charm, but there’s one bar we would recommend you to stay: Lost in Esplanada. It has a great chill out vibe and a huge terrace that overlooks the city. Perfect for a sunset!
Besides Barrio Alto you’ll find other nice spots to go out in the evening: in Cais do Sodré we can really recommend Pensão Amor – the former brothel has a special atmosphere with its burlesque decor, pole-dance room and paintings on the walls. Really great for a drink or a whole night out!
Another nice area close to Cais do Sodré is Bica. Known for the iconic funicular going up and down a pretty steep hill, it is also a great for food and drinks. Just step into any of the small bars and you won’t be disappointed.
After a few days in Lisbon, we’ve rented a car and went south with a tent and without a plan.
The road by the ocean is just breathtaking! We were stopping as often as possible to enjoy the view and go for a swim.
After many wonderful beaches, swims, views and fresh fishes we have found Our Beach – a wonderful empty long beach where we put our tent for a more than one night. Cooking fish over a fire in a sand hole and enjoying the sunsets and sunrises – it couldn’t get more perfect, could it?
We had seen one of the most amazing cities we know, lived on a dreamy beach and ate the freshest fish in our life’s, i assure you, we did not expect more. But that is when you get more, right?
On our way back north we wanted to make another stop in a city and decided for Sintra. This city is really beautyful itself, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But once in the city centre, we’ve found everybody speaking about Quinta da Regaleira – a huge luxurious park with a palace like from a Disney movie, lakes, grottoes, fountains, spiral stairs and so much more… You just gotta go! Ab-so-lute-ly!
Portugal, oh Portugal…we’re gonna come back and adore you even more next time, cause that’s what you’re made for!