I cannot believe we had two weeks in Portugal and we still felt a little rushed. There was so much to see and experience. I loved being in this country. We basically entered in the southeast, drove up the coastal area, and then exited the country in the northeast. My intention is to have all these blogs act as a travel guide for Portugal and below is our summary of our time here:
Melek – I mostly liked everything about Portugal but more specifically I liked the friendly and welcoming people, the beautiful little towns, and better breakfast than in Spain. Generally, I liked Portugal even more than Spain, because the people are more welcoming. Also, they don’t have certain times for eating which enables you to eat at any time you like and it is just so relaxing.
Shane – In one word, everything! The people were about as friendly, helpful, and welcoming as you can get! Everywhere we went I enjoyed see the sights and taking in the history. I must admit Lisbon was not my favorite, but even that had some great sights.
Melek – Lisbon as a city was not my favorite and driving at the motorways there were tolls on every little road it seemed like
Shane – The only thing I truly did not like was all the tolls. It seemed like every few minutes we passed under an automatic toll booth or we had to get a ticket and pay half an hour down the road. I do not have an exact amount, but I bet we paid over 150 (maybe 200) euros in tolls.
Oh, and the coast is Atlantic water and it is cold. I am not talking freezing, but for someone that lives in the Caribbean I did not want to go in…..no matter how hot Melek looked in her bikini! ????
Melek – The EGG! It can come out from any food. There was an egg in soup, on a salad, and in any sandwich. They don’t even tell there is going to be an egg in your food, you just need to assume that there is going to be… the egg!
Shane – Those darn tolls!!!!
Melek – When you drive for an hour or two you end up in another beautiful city. Cascais and Sintra were my favorite cities. In fact Sintra was a dream city!
It was so creepy in the Bone Chapel in Evora with the bones everywhere
- Seeing the largest dry ditch fortifications in the world at Elvas was mind blowing
- I thought Cinderella was going to step out at any time at the Coach Museum in Lisbon
- The tunnels at Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra really got me in the Indiana Jones mode
- University of Coimbra at night was very romantic and the library was insanely gorgeous
- A Francesinha sandwich in Porto is mouthwatering and I am wanting one as I write this
- I found the Alto Douro Wine Region to be beautiful and so relaxing
- It was amazing to see the 24,000 year old rock art in Coa Valley
In the order of where we stayed here are the hotels we used and enjoyed enough to recommend:
-Algarve Coast –Hospedaria Sao Bras – This house was well over a hundred years old, but what it lacked in freshness the owner made up for in personality. He was great!
-Evora – Moov Hotel – this was a very modern and nice hotel within the city walls. FYI, they charge 6 euro for parking.
-Lisbon – we did not care for our hotel in Lisbon. Please note that hotel here are expensive or crap
-Cascais – Manelisa Cascais – A charming house with just about the most wonderful hostess we have met. We did have to share a bathroom, but worth it to stay here.
-Coimbra – Hotel Residencial Alentejana – This hotel was good, but not great. Breakfast was included and the location was nice.
-Porto – Park Hotel Porto Valongo – Modern and nice business hotel. It is in the suburbs, but we chose it for the free parking and the fact catching a bus into Port was quick and easy.
– Alto Douro Wine Region – Quinta da Azenha – This was in a charming 16th century farmhouse up on the hill of the river bank. They even have their own wine making equipment. One note, we did not feel that the owners really interacted with the guest.