Europe, North America · 6 Days · 13 Moments · September 2015

Travels across Portugal

17 September 2015

Michelin Star lunch at L'And Vineyards It's safe to assume a great chef can make anything taste good. We decided we would both try a dish from the vegetarian menu (vegetable curry & spinach ravioli) following along that assumption that it would be certainly was! Let's just say if I could make my vegetables taste that good, I would be one healthy person! Every component to the dish went so well together, but each still stuck out and shines on their own. To top off the great meal, the wine was wonderful as was the view!
Private Vineyard Tour with Premium Tours Note to self: do not book a vineyard tour the morning after a pub crawl. With the exception of the lack of sleep, this was the highlight of the trip for me. We had a driver show up with a Mercedes Benz wearing a suit. So fancy! I researched vineyards prior to our trip and worked with the tour company as to which ones we would be able to visit based on distance and time needed at each one. The vineyards we visited were 1) Ermelinda Freitas, 2) L'And 3) Herdade dos Coelheiros and 4) Cartuxa. I would have loved to visit more, but 4 was even pushing it for a day as some trips were an hour between vineyards(nap time for us!) All 4 vineyards were wonderful and the grounds were beautiful. The private tour and tasting at Ermelinda was very informative and we even got to try the grapes. They also had a few wine bites set up where we learned to top cheese with jam. So good! To top it off, we managed to get back 12 bottles-an entire case- to the US!

16 September 2015

Wild Walkers Pub Crawl At first we were unsure how a pub crawl would be with just the two of us, but after a few rounds of beer pong at the first stop, we were having a great time! It was nice to see a different side of Lisbon other than the day time touristy part. We also had the opportunity to meet many people from all around the world which is always interesting. The final stop was at a huge club which was so much fun! Our original plan was to head back home early because we had another tour in the morning, but the last picture shows what 4:30 am looked like for us 😂 (Andrew trying to find a place I could get my pizza fix)
Dinner at Largo in Lisbon Although the menu certainly looked delicious, let's be honest; I chose the restaurant because of the jelly fish! We made a reservation early out and requested a table by the jelly fish tank. It was so neat to be able to sit right next to it! We started with a salted cod and risotto, which was pretty good, but a little fishy for me. The main meals were a fish dish for me (I cannot remember the name! But SO GOOD!) and octopus for Andrew. The octopus was unlike anything I've ever had before not being small/charred or chewy. It was very good! For dessert we did the mousse paired with a glass of port of course!
Hotel Fenix Lisboa Although the room was pretty small, the view from our balcony more than made up for it! The hotel was in a good location, walking distance to a few attractions and only a short can ride to the middle of downtown.
Grottos Tour in Lagos The grottos tour can be booked day-of right on the main road in downtown Lagos by the water. This was a quick tour, maybe two hours, and cost about €20. It was very interesting to view the grottos from a different standpoint, other than being on the beach. The tour guide even went inside of one with the boat! It was a very windy day and the waves ended up getting so large it was making me nervous so I asked the tour guide if we could turn around. We were running late anyways, so it ended out being necessary to head back.

15 September 2015

Dinner at Onda Norte in Lagos We were given a few dinner suggestions from an employee of our hotel and stumbled upon Onda Norte. It was nice that it was walking distance from our hotel. We were so glad this was the place we found first because it was so good! We began the meal with a couvert which was a bunch of different cheese, olives, pate, etc. You are generally only charged for what you actually eat. I got the salad and Andrew got the Kebab. This was by far our favorite local meal. Every piece of meat on the kebab was cooked perfectly with a good char. I have no idea what the spicy red sausage actually was on the end of it, but it was delicious! The night ended with a confusing conversation with our server as we were trying to explain to him we wanted to take the leftovers "to go." It was so good we couldn't let it go to waste!
Visiting a vineyard in Lagos One of the days during our stay in Lagos was rainy, so we figured what better to do than a wine tasting! There was already a group tour going on, but the owner still had us coming in to do a separate tasting. Our favorite wine from this specific vineyard is the bottle shown in the picture.

14 September 2015

Salgados Palace Albufeira We arrived in Albufeira via RailEurope from Libson This hotel was perfect for some relaxing in the sun. It was nothing like the rest of Portugal or what I'd expect it to look like. Both the beach and pool area were wonderful. The hotel as well as the rooms were large. Food and drinks were also good. The rest of the trip was so busy, it was nice to have a break!

13 September 2015

Lunch in Sintra at Vinhos e Sabores Walking around, we found a restaurant with outdoor seating and a great view of the castle. The menu was very reasonably priced-I was surprised how inexpensive it was. I got the menu Brazil and Andrew got the menu Portugal. I preferred mine as it was very salty and I love salty! This was the beginning of our realization that every meal was going to get served with French fries. The bottle of wine we got we really enjoyed and attempted to buy one to take home but we had the last one with lunch. They suggested us a similar one and we also ended up leaving with a sample of 4 ports.
Horse & carriage ride to the castles of Sintra This tour can be booked in advance online or you can head to Sintra and there will be plenty of horse & carriages to reserve right away waiting by the city center. We did the short tour-about 45 minutes- up a steep path to get a good view of the castles. We were originally pressed for time, and now looking back, I wish we had done the longer tour and actually gone inside of Pena Palace. The palace is gorgeous and the tour was a great way to spend an hour. Sintra is such a cute city; it really feels like old Europe.
Visiting Sintra from Libon Getting to Sintra from Liboa is very easy- you can take the train or, in our case, a taxi. The taxi was about 30€ each way and the train is much cheaper if you are able to work around its schedule. This city was so cute and really had a European feel. We enjoyed just walking up and down the streets, looking around gift shops and, of course, trying out some new wine!

12 September 2015

Azores Our original plan was to take a 5 night trip to Azores but seeing how adventurous we are, we weren't sure if we'd have enough to do. We decided we would head to Lisbon as well, being only two hours away. Lucky enough for us, I found a flight with SATA with a 14 hour layover in Ponta Delagada. Perfect! I mapped out certain sites I wanted to see (such as downtown, a natural hot springs, Lagoa das Sete Cidades, a small town where you can find sea glass, a waterfall, etc.) and we rented a car. Thankfully we had a gps or we would have been pretty lost! It was a beautiful island, everything was so green! The two lakes (blue and green) were also such a sight. Although we found no sea glass, I quickly found out during lunch that wine prices are by the bottle! And I found the best ice cream ice ever have walking around downtown!