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Our Trip to Portugal

Updated: 5 days ago

We took a trip to Portugal. It was awesome. I vowed to do a blog with all of our itinerary, tips, tricks and recommendations along the way.

Here we go. Short, sweet and to the point.

Sunday- Arrive in Porto in afternoon after overnight flight with connection in Frankfurt. 

Checked into Airbnb early stayed in Gaia, amazing view of 

Porto (great for 4 people, could sleep someone in the living room but it’s a bit awkward) and short walk/tram/uber into Porto over Luis I Bridge. Here is where we stayed. We highly recommend it.

Gaia is where most of the Port places are, plus tons of restaurants along the river, I am glad we stayed there 

Cable car ride, dinner on river in Gaia, can get tickets ahead of time to make process smoother. Bacalhoeiro Recommend the grilled octopus, Nata de Bachalau (cod) compal juice (for kiddos), Mercados to get water and breakfast items and snacks, beautiful sunset view from Gaia. Jovi fell asleep at the dinner table he was so toast.

Monday- Walk to Sao Bento over bottom of bridge, Tuk Tuk tour around sights, 7 bridges boat tour (was part of the Tuk Tuk tour in a package) lunch in Porto on river (Francesinha sandwich and Pastel de Nata on the walk home. Trolley car ride out to Western most point in Europe which was cool. The Trolley is a fun mode of transportation. Jovi did the gritty while waiting for the driver to finish his break. Port tasting at Cálem, skip anything that isn’t tawny port, it’s not worth it, go straight for the good stuff. Ferreira is a good brand and easy to find and inexpensive. We brought a bottle home.

Tuesday- Parents did wine tour in Duoro Valley, we went to Clérigos tower, the best Pastel de Natas are about a block away from Clerigos... at Manteigaria, can watch make them. We got stuck in a rain storm and watched a pastry chef make Pastel de Natas for 45 minutes. We went to Sao Bento train station and to a Cremoisi which is like an ice cream shop, but not a Portuguese specialty. Stick to Pastel de Natas and Ovos Moles .

Went outside the church, came back and enjoyed and early evening. The tile is Portugal is so cool. Spoiler alert, the Portuguese got the idea of using tile front when they went to Spain.

Wednesday- Drive to Tomar- Knights Templar- hire guide for the experience, absolutely worth it. So interesting and you get to learn so much about Portuguese history. The Portuguese and their desire to acquire knowledge is pretty amazing. 

Wednesday night in Nazare, This hotel fit the bill for this one night stay. 

Thursday- Nazare fish market, find Bella’s pastry’s, she made this lemon bar type thing and fried dough in cinnamon to die for. Nazare surf museum (world surf championships are held here, in December they have 100 foot waves) and visited the light house. Had some time on the beach time and played in the sand and tried not to get blown away by the wind. We had some pretty yucky weather while in Portugal but we made the most of it.

Thursday to Óbidos- beautiful little castle city with cute shops, a nice place to get souvenirs and walk the castle wall if it's not raining. House of Chocolate, get a mocha and try something, the things they make are beautiful 

Thursday night Lagos, airbnb was awesome. Great view and nicely located.

Friday in Lagos. Did the walk around all of the cliffs, went to the beach in between cliffs, it was beautiful. Probably a highlight of our trip. If we went back we would spend a day in Salema as well, it's supposed to be a beautiful beach. Nah Nah Bah is a great place for a burger, which you might want after all of that traveling.

Saturday- Explored Lagos, farmers market (nice place to get figs and piri-piri seasoning, fish market, other beach, watched surfers and played in sand, dinner with family again at Nah Nah Bah (milk shake not worth it) Cute place on the river to ride a carrousel. Jovi loved it. Saw a beautiful rainbow.

Sunday- drive to Lisbon (make sure you get a big car for your luggage or pack everything in a small roller suitcase and a back pack…European cars are not like ours- we had an alfa Romeo and it was like Honda HRV in terms of space, the bigger car we ordered wasn’t Available 🤦‍♀️ 

Lisbon great airbnb with view of city, river, castle, it was awesome. Great for 4 people and maybe an older child for the upstairs. We made it work. Adventure to river, cool street art and sand sculptures.

Next day in Lisbon- all day tour of Sintra and Caiscais on bus, the ear buds for listening to the tour guides aren’t  great for little kids, my kid used his cozy phones and it was perfect!! It’s a beautiful castle, really fun to explore. 

Lisbon- St. George castle, Lisbon Aquarium (best aquarium in Europe... the aquariums in the US are better... just saying) and cable car ride along the Tagus River.

Lisbon science museum (where we spent 3 hours learning how to play chess lol)/botanical garden/dinner at Taverna Carolina, such good authentic Portuguese food. (Parents went to Belem and the Monastery- they said it wouldn't have been great for Jovi, but they did get a Pastel de Belem (slightly different an a Pastel de Nata... Worth trying. Can get them at the airport as well.

While it rained a lot, we did get to see a rainbow over the St. George Castle from our rooftop deck while overlooking the Tagus river.... I asked myself several times, is this real life? We also fed seagulls pizza from our Rooftop. It was so fun.

Leave… Lisbon is a pretty nice airport. You can bring back lots of souvenirs from the airport so no need to get anything ahead of time if you were worried about that. Direct flight back to Dulles.

It was a great trip. I recommend it highly, even for families with young kids. I felt so safe, the people were so nice, it's a beautiful country to walk in, drive through, and explore. I loved the food, the wine, the landscape, the history, it was the best.

We were fortunate enough to have my parents as travel buddies on this trip. My Mom planned the entire itinerary. We worked together to find lodging and and what not. It was so special to do this trip with my parents and for Jovi to get to do it with his grandparents. It was an amazing family trip. Really special for all of us. I will say, Ryan, Jovi and I loved walking everywhere... If you are travel with people who aren't as able to walk, they have Ubers just like in the US and you can use the same app. Lots of time we would walk somewhere and they would Uber to meet us. It worked well. We even took an Uber from the airport to our first airbnb.

Porto and Lagos were our favorites.

Tip- When you use your CC to buy things, have them charge in Euros rather than converting it to US dollars... I guess the overall cost is less. Don't ask me why.

Pictures below in no particular order.

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