My Portugal Top 5 Experiences
This list of Portugal Top 5 Experiences is based off of my trip in 2015. I spent 2 weeks traveling Porto, Lisbon area, and Lagos area. I am sure this list will change once I venture to Portugal again. The Portugal Top 5 Experiences list is not in any particular order.
Sintra is a magical town often only visited as a day trip from Lisbon, but I recommend you stay longer! It is home to many unique dwellings from ornate mansions to colourful palaces to ancient castles to secret gardens; all places to get lost in for hours at a time. Since most visit Sintra during the day, the town takes on a different dynamic in the evening that offers a more laid back and authentic visit.
Porto, the home of Port wine, is situated along the Douro River. The vibe Porto gave us was a city with a rich history but in the process of renewal. The train station, Sao Bento, is definitely worth a visit if you did not arrive my train. It was the start of my love for the blue painted tiles found all throughout Portugal. Wandering over the Dom Luis I Bridge offered amazing views of both sides of the city; one side with its terraced dwellings and the other side with its warehouses and Port wine caves.
Sunshine radiating off whitewashed walls, creating a glowing warm and dream-like aura made us feel relaxed, but cheery and ready to explore. It also made for some amazing photos. Lisbon is a city of narrow, hilly and distinct neighbourhoods, beautifully tiled streets, a lively night life and rich in history. There was so much to see and do in Lisbon, we did not have nearly enough time – but that is okay, it just warrants another trip.
4. Tile – Azulejos and Calcada Portuguesa
I could not get over the vibrant blue detailed artwork of the Azulejos. I thought perhaps they only belonged to one area of Portugal, but we encountered them all throughout. Occasionally they would depict parts of Portuguese history, other times just intricate and memorizing patterns.
Calcada Portuguesa are the small, almost cobblestone like, tiles used to pave the road. Why are they part of my top 5? Well, they used white and black stones to make patterns, designs and artwork. Nearly every plaza had a different design, from geometric designs to flowers to psychedelic waves. If I did not have an obsession with different floors, I certainly do now.
5. Lagos Ponta da Piedade Cliff Walk
The Algarve, a popular holiday destination for Europeans, and I can understand why. Red-tinged sandstone cliffs, eroded pillars, grottos and hidden caves, contrast and compliment the blue of the ocean and the sky. Do not be fooled by the clarity and colour of the water though… it is terribly cold. That darn Atlantic Ocean. The cliff walk leaves Lagos town heading past two golden sandy beaches, toward the Lagos lighthouse. 3km of picturesque coastline.
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