Before You Travel: Portugal

Before You Travel: Portugal


Everyone is talking about Portugal! This beautiful country located on the west coast of Europe boasts fantastic weather all year long, as well as endless stunning beaches, mouth-watering food, rich history, energetic culture and a friendly ease to daily life. The wine is also fantastic :)

Walking the streets of Portugal's capital city, Lisbon (Lisboa), is nothing short of mesmerizing. A mix of unique architecture and ceramic tiled buildings fill the neighborhoods with color and charm. It's hard not to stop and take photos of every texture, every gently worn detail. This is a city made for walking, and almost every street and pathway are made of black and white cobblestone. The level of craftsmanship is astounding. The city is also known for its charming trams. Hop on #28 for a historic ride through the city hitting major landmarks along the way.  

Speaking of must-sees, book an afternoon to saunter through the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora. This 17th century church and monestary is one of the most important in the country, filled with endless history and beauty.

If you're a foodie, get ready to grab your appetite and start roaming. Lisbon is stuffed with mouth-watering restaurants of all price ranges and styles. Make a few reservations, but also leave a few nights to chance. It's fun to stroll the city at night and wander into several establishments for a drink and bite. Follow your stomach's desire. Below are a few of our favourites:

Modern seasonal cuisine in a lovely light-filled space
Contemporary Portuguese cuisine in a cozy dining room
Fine Indian & Napalese Cuisine

After a few nights in the city, rent a car and head south to the coast where you'll enter the Algarve region, Portugal's dreamland of endless sandy beaches and towns of all sizes. The highways are easy to drive and navigate. And the gas stations are spectacularly clean and modern, with a barista making fresh cappuccinos all day long. The trip only takes 2.5 hours, so roll the windows down and cue up your favourite soundtrack. 

One of the most charming destinations in the Algarve is Lagos, known for its colorful village, jaw-dropping beaches and rock formations, along with a satisfying selection of restaurants and bars. Lagos has a vibe all its own. And we dig it.

Speaking of vibe, book a few nights at Case Mae and let your stress melt away. The hotel feels like a mix of Palm Springs and Mallorca with a Portuguese twist all its own. With several intimate pools, spa services, farm to table food, and ultra cool rooms, you'll wish you booked a longer stay.

As soon as your bags are unpacked, head to the famous lighthouse and discover some of the most awe-inspiring cliff-lined beaches you've ever seen. Each with 
unique tunnels and formations you could stare at for hours. For a perspective from the ocean, book a tour from many boat companies in the area.

All along the Algarve are networks of coastal hiking trails that lead to natural beauty unique to this very special country. We've only scratched the surface of exploring this great geography and getting to know these wonderful people. Get out there and see it for yourself. And if you do, share your recommends with us! Thank you Portugal!