Looking for some tips + tricks for your next adventure that don't break the bank (or your finally-developed self-care habits)?! I've compiled everything I found during my favorite trips around the globe so you don't have to!
portugal is one of the most underrated countries in europe. it's a magical place that has an extremely diverse landscape - one moment you could be in a thriving, ancient city and the next having wine on the rolling hills of douro valley. and the next day? relaxing on the algarve coast--the only place in the world with 364 days of sun (i know!). i spent some time in portugal during the summer of 2017, and of course it rose to the top of my favorite places in the world. you'll see why in a moment.
portugal is an extremely easy country to hit a bunch of different spots in one trip. you could go from city life to beachside in less than 40 minutes. here were some of my favorite spots:
- lisbon: this magical, colorful city is one of a kind. with its proximity to the ocean, vintage tiles covering the walls of all buildings, and trendy restaurants. i stayed at a beautiful bed + breakfast in the center of the city called dear lisbon charminghouse. it was a tiny spot but had all that one would need--and farm fresh breakfast each morning.
- algarve coast (tavira): the eastern side of the algarve coast is completely different than the west--but so much better for extreme relaxation. i was lucky enough to stay at quintas dos perfumes, a beautiful bed and breakfast on an orange farm (seriously!). if you're lucky enough to stay here, DO IT. it feels like a dream.
portugal is relatively small, so there are a couple of easy ways to get around the country depending on where you're going.
we decided to take a short 40-minute flight between lisbon and porto, the main town on the algarve. though, it's only a 2 - 3 hour drive, so if you wanted to rent a car and explore it's totally doable.
in the algarve, we wished that we had a car so that we could explore more. but, we stayed on the eastern side and used bikes to get around, which was beautiful.
some of the best food i've ever had was during my time in portugal. like many other places in the mediterranean, the fresh fruits, veggies and fish are abundant. also, eating out is extremely inexpensive, so no splurging necessary!
- dear breakfast: this place is made for instagram and healthy travelers. it's a cave-like breakfast spot that's open until 3pm and has the most perfect plates (think: acai bowls and toasts galore). definitely don't miss this one.
- yao pressed juicery: a tiny little hole-in-the-wall shop that has all of your juicing needs. it's takeaway only and can give you your fill of midday shots (green shots that is).
- a cevicheria: this restaurant is an amazing, hipster spot that is perfect for pre-dinner drinks spot...and then a beautiful dinner afterwards. Be sure to make reservations or come early though--it gets popular real fast. if you can't make it? grab a pisco sour from the walk-up sidewalk drink window.
- d'gusta: oh my GOSH this place is out of this world. it's a random, tiny spot with a few outdoor seats along the river, and serves local portuguese tapas. please get the salmon cooked on a hot stone for me. i will thank you from afar.
- gastronomy restaurant: we were recommended to go to this spot, and after getting a little lost we finally found it. it's a fancy restaurant in a not-so-fancy town, so it feels a bit out of place, but so worth it. for less than $50, we had a bottle of local wine, a huge plate of fresh seafood, appetizers, dessert and more. so so worth it.
portugal has a mix of so many different activities. you could be city-chic one day, and lounging on the beach the next. here are a couple of must-do's while you're there:
- explore the side streets decorated with ceramics (lisbon)
- walk around the Alfama district (lisbon)
- eat & drink in barrio alto (lisbon)
- visit the time out food market & stroll along the ocean (lisbon)
- take a boat to cabanas beach (algarve)
- go kite surfing! (algarve)