Lost in Portugal: An Overview of the Algarve and Sintra.

If you follow me on Instagram you will know I’ve been on holiday last week. Even though it was in my home country, Portugal. Some people would have not classed it as a “holiday” since the main reason I go is to see family and friends, but it actually was a bit more than that.

I started off with a road trip from Lisbon to the Algarve for a 3 day stay in family friend’s place. It was amazing. We stayed in Galé, which is about 10’min drive from Albufeira. The closest beach to us was Praia Manuel Lourenço. It was pretty much deserted and it was beautiful. Since the main objective was to relax and get a tan, our days were spent between the beach and the swimming pool. At night we went to Albufeira for a few treats and a little dance.

On our last day in Albufeira, we went to Praia de São Rafael. An absolutely beautiful beach worth of breathtaking photos. The beach is located on the outskirts of Albufeira, and unless you’re staying in this area, you’ll have to access the beach by car.

The rest of my week was then spent in Sintra, my home town. I split my time between the beach, seeing family and some friends and eating. I class eating as part of spending time because I feel that’s all I did during that week.

One of the days, I had a family lunch in Setúbal, a city located about an hour south of Lisbon, host of Arrábida, a natural park just by the sea that has one of the most beautiful beaches in Portuga, Portinho da Arrabida. Unfortunately, at this time I wasn’t able to go. So, Setúbal is known by the place that makes the most delicious Fried Cuttlefish, or in Portuguese “Choco Frito”. If you like squid, then this is definitely a must to try!

Choco_Frito_01Choco Frito. Picture from Visit Setubal

Another place definitely worth visiting is Cabo da Roca, in Sintra. The cape is within Sintra natural reserve park, half an hour west of Sintra village and half an hour north to Cascais. Cabo the Roca is the most westerly point of mainland Portugal and Europe. “It’s the place where the land ends and the sea begins”, as it was believed to be the end of the world up until the 14th century. As you can see from the pictures below, the views are beautiful! But I’ll have to warn you: it is extremely windy over there!

A visit to Cabo da Roca always ends well after the 30 min drive to Cascais. Known as the Portuguese Riviera, Cascais is small fisherman’s village that brings you that holiday feeling, if you go on a city break holiday. You can find beaches, loads of restaurants and bars, but most importantly, the best gelato I’ve ever had! Santini is a gelato company with Italian roots based in Cascais and is now open in many locations. It is a must go to if you love Ice cream as much as I do!

I’ve taken some videos during my stay in Portugal which I’d like to put together, but with so little time I have and how busy I am with work at the moment, it might take a couple of weeks to be ready.

If you’ve never been to Portugal I hope this post has somehow made you want to go. If you have, comment below what were your favourite places. I’m already planning my next trip!

PS: Please note, all these photos were taken with an iPhone 6s, so the quality is not amazing.

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