Sorry friends for the silence this week.  Portugal was incredible, but I feel like I have been running a marathon I've been so busy since I got back.  So here's the update... Lisbon was amazing.  I landed last Saturday evening.  After a quick nap, it was off to Olivier Restaurante (pictured below) for a phenomenal meal that was so reasonably priced it was astonishing, then out for drinks until 4am in Bairro Alto.
Day Two was spent touring Lisbon. Stops included the 5-century Castelo de Sao Jorge (pictured below), the 16th-century Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, and Torre de Belem (pictured below),  A lovely late lunch on the water made it the perfect day.

On Day Three we "hired" a car and drove to Sintra.  We were unfortunate to have missed the final GPS available at the car rental place, and were thus sent on our way with no map to navigate our way through a foreign country.  I do not recommend trying to drive through the windy hills of Sintra (pictured below) without a proper map, although getting lost there leads to some beautiful places.  Our mis-navigation led us to Monserrate Park (pictured below) and an oh-so-beautiful beach.  By nightfall we had eventually found our way to our well hidden and very charming B&B, Casa Miradouro.

On Day Four we headed to Cascais (two photos below) and had delicious lunch at Conversas na Gandarinha.  Cascais looks good in the photos, but was not of much interest so we headed north to Praia do Guincho, for some much needed time at the beach.

The Fifth Day was spent exploring the wonders of Sintra.  Our first stop, the magical Quinta da Regaleira (two photos below).  This was one of my favorite stops of the trip. We could have spent the entire day exploring the lavish house, grounds, and underground walkways (so cool!) at Quinta da Regaleira, but we still had so much more to see.  Our next stops were the Palacio Nacional de Pena which dates back to the 16th-century and the Castelo dos Mouros dating to the 12-century (both pictured below).  By then we had worked up quite an appetite so we headed for a sunset seafood dinner in Ericeira.  We then took an evening drive and were thrilled to crawl into our comfy bed in Casa d'Obidos is the unbelievably charming town of, you guessed it, Obidos.

Day Six was spent in Obidos and the beach in Peniche.  Obidos (pictured twice below) is an adorable little town on a hill that is surrounded by a 13th-century castle wall.  It was a pleasure just walking around and exploring this medieval marvel.  After lunch, we drove to Peniche for one last afternoon on the beach, then watched sunset at the point (pictured below).  We returned to Obidos for our final Portugal dinner at a lovely little restaurant, and a walk along the ancient castle wall.

On Day Seven, our last day in Portugal, we made an ambitious drive up to Castelo de Almourol (pictured below) which was built by the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar in the 12-century.  This castle on an island is definitely off of the beaten path.  When we arrived, there was not a soul around and we were worried we would have to swim to the castle, but we soon found a boat which took us to the castle for £1.50 each.  It was a lovely last view from the top of the castle over the river before we headed back to the Lisbon airport.

{photos: Olivier Photo by unknown, all other photos by Julia Ferguson}

1 comment:

  1. Julia - what an amazing trip! Looks like you had a fabulous vacation! Please tell more.....


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