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  • Dalit Gliksman

10 Days in South Portugal

Updated: Oct 14, 2022

Welcome to the land of sweet wine that will kick you off your feet and magnificent Cork trees that will surround you along the trip.


Portugal is full of diverse natural reserves; from savage forests in the north to the terracotta red nature in the south. Surrounded by the wild ocean and monarch history.


It feels like a decade is necessary to discover it all, We tried our best with only ten days and it was one of the most beautiful trips we had in Europe so far. Portugal is the oldest country in Europe and the westernmost one too.

Ponta da Piedade, Algarve

Miradouro de Santa Luzia, Lisboa

48h in Lisbon

Start your trip from beautiful Lisbon, and get ready to walk uphill. Stay at Principal Real, a classy and colorful neighborhood with museums, cafes, and an upper view of the city. We used Uber as transportation since it was very cheap [2.5-5 euros per ride].

Start your day exploring the neighborhood of Bairro Alto, and Amalfa. View the city from Miradouro de San Pedro de Alcantara, and walk through the beautiful streets until Miradouro de Santa Luzia [great for sunset].

The next day tastes the best Pastéis [traditional Portuguese sweet pastery] at Pastéis de Belém. Make sure you stand in the takeaway line to avoid the crowd waiting to seat in the restaurant. Walk through the beautiful Igreja de Santa Maria de Belem right next to it for 15 min to Tower de Belem.

Where to eat; Bettina & Niccolo Corallo - for crafted chocolate and fine coffee. Fresh chocolate shot for non-coffee lovers like myself.

We had a great Italian dinner at Leonetta.

More restaurants we haven't tried but were on our wishlist: Prado restaurant for a more classy dinner, Ponto Final is one of the most famous fish restaurants located on a dock.

Tapasico, A Cevicheria for sea food and Michglin rated Arkhe.

Ponta da Piedade, Algarve

Praia das Azenhas do Mar

Igreja de Santa Maria de Belem
Pastéis de Belém, Lisbon

Around Lisbon

Palace da Sintra is located in a beautiful national park with a tropical view. Stop by the beautiful town of Praia das Azenhas do Mar and eat lunch at Água e Sal [make reservations during the weekend]


Evora A beautiful ancient roman empire town, surrounded by a wall. This is the weekend getaway spot for Portuguese, driving with their antique cars along the beautiful hills of Evora.

During April, the whole area around Evora blooms with the most beautiful Lupine flower.


Stay at Évora Farm Hotel & Spa for an unforgettable countryside stay. Or if you wish to stay inside the town try the beautiful Valeriana Exclusive GuestHouse with only 4 rooms, designed and decored like a royal palace.


What to do around Evora?

Book a wine tour in a local winery, we tried Fita Preta which was beautiful and built on medieval ruins [like the rest of the country]. And there are many more around; Herdade do Esporao with a great restaurant in the winery [make reservations]


Visit Almendres Cromlech an archaeological site that consists of several megalithic structures of cromlechs and menhir stones.

Evora


Evora

Where to eat?

The best breakfast/brunch we had on this trip was in Do Largo Évora [don't skip it] A few more restaurants to try are Fialho, Dom Joaquim [we haven't tried but were on our wish list] Origens, Michigan rated, was nice for lunch.


Two more beautiful towns to explore near Evora and we didn't have enough time; Marvel and Castelo de Vide for Jewish Heritage.

Lagos, Algarve

Lupine Blossom in Evora, April 2022

Algarve District

Surfers' vibes and coastline keep you speechless. We literally couldn't stop taking photos. We traveled during April 2022, which is the low season for the beach and high season for hiking and has the right temperature to explore the old towns of the region. I wouldn't recommend this during summer unless you don't mind the heat.


Lagos [pronanounced as Lagosh, s=sh which is the sweetest accent ever] From Lisbon, drive 3h south to your first stop, the most southern point in Europe

Sagres, once arriving in Sarges you'll feel the surfer's vibes immediately.

We stopped for a delicious lunch at Restaurant Carlos, and from there drive 15min to the most southern lighthouse in Europe; Cabo de Sao Vicente which is the best sunset spot you'll visit. [additional beautiful town to visit along the way is Burgau


Lagos Roman Bridge, Lagos

Around Lagos

From Sagres drive 35 min to Ponta da Pieadade for a very easy hike along the dramatic coast of south Portugal. The colors of the alfisol soil is unforgettable and for me, it was a perfect combination of desert and ocean.

Praia do Camilo is an additional beach you should visit, the landscape is preparing itself but is so beautiful you just want to view this forever.

Visit Castelo de Silves [35 min drive north], a beautiful day trip to see the capital of Algarve history with an immersive 13th-century castle. And don't miss the best chicken in Portugal at Churrasqueira Valdemar located in the city right next to the castle and a great spot for lunch after visiting.

Castelo de Silves

Piri-Piri Chicken at Churrasqueira Valdemar

Lagos Old Town

Spend a day or two exploring the beautiful old town of Lagos, and don't miss Lagos Roman Bridge and Beach Estudantes.


Where to stay?

Lagos town can be crowded with tourists, during April is a mild amount of tourists.

For a basic guesthouse in Lagos's old town stay at Three Maria’s Guesthouse, a family-owned small guesthouse that was great. For a more fancy stay try the next-door Hotel Casa Mae which was a bit more expensive but seems to be worth it.

If you wish to avoid the crowd and stay out of town, try Quinta Bonita Country House and Garden.

From Lagos to Faro

Drive 40 min to Algar de Benagil, accessible when the ocean is not too rough with a short boat ride from the Benagil beach. there are many boats to hop on. We had bad weather and hiked to view it from above. A very mild hike around the coastline [around 30min-1h round trip, depending on how far you wish to walk]. Eat lunch at O Pescador, a delicious fish restaurant with an amazing view right next to the beach. The most beautiful hike and coastline in the Algarve were defiantly at Marinha Beach and Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos.

Faro

I recommend staying in Faro, has many tourists and is too big.

Instead, stay at Tavira, a medieval town with beautiful streets and old history. Recommended restaurants in Tavira; A Ver Tavira, A Mesa Tavira. The coast of Tavira attracts Flamingos, which can be found at Quatro Caminhos and the fortress Forte de Santo Antonio de Tavira.


We stayed out of town in a beautiful Stonehouse boutique hotel Farmhouse of the Palms, which made our stay perfect.

Around Faro, Ilha Deserta is an isolated coastline of Faro, very flat and different from the rest of the south. The ocean can be rough so swim carefully. The beach can be reached by ferry booked from Faro town, or by car for a nice walk on the coast. Drive 50 min to wave the Spanish neighbors from Vila Real de Santo António, a Portuguese town near the border with Spain. Worth a visit and great for shopping of wood products and straw products.

Two last towns to visit on the way back from Faro to Lisbon; Mértola and Monsaraz Castle. We haven't been there but got recommendations to visit next time.


Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos, Algarve

Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos, Algarve

Make sure to plan your trip according to the weather. The south is very hot and busy during the summer and the hiking route is more suitable for springtime. Take a light jacket, it can be cold during spring.

Enjoy!

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