I will super briefly start this post by saying that if you didn’t read Part I about our time spent in Morocco, you definitely should! It also thoroughly addresses the “babymoon” part of the title of this post if that is new to you, too : ) We are becoming foster parents!
Now, onto the real content of this post — PORTUGAL! When planning our trip, we knew Morocco would be the more outdoorsy, “roughin’ it” part of the trip whereas Portugal would be the opposite (for the most part). We spent just five short days in Portugal and divided our time between Porto, Sintra, and Lisbon.
From Marrakesh in Morocco, we flew to Porto in Northern Portugal. We rented a car for our time in the country and drove from city to city. I would highly recommend this as it was super easy, convenient, and affordable! We had no agenda for our time in any of the cities … so we really just wandered and explored! It was very restful and leisurely : )
We LOVED Porto – it was a bit smaller and SO beautiful! From the colorful buildings to the incredible views along the river, it was a very fun city to walk and explore (and also get a good workout!). In Porto we tried the famous Portuguese Pastel de Nata pastry and Francesinha sandwich, explored several old churches, did a wine tour at Taylor’s Port, and took a half day walk along the river to the neighboring fisherman village, Afurada.
Our next stop was Sintra, about 3 hours southwest of Porto. This area of Portugal is kind of like a big nature preserve right along the coast. It houses Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Continental Europe, and it is SO BEAUTIFUL!
We only had one full day in Sintra and so we really had to prioritize what we wanted to do. We chose to do a hike along the coast that came highly recommended, from Cabo da Roca to Praia da Ursa. We are SO glad we decided to do this hike! Since it is the winter season in Portugal, there were a lot less tourists than in the summer months. Additionally, the day we were in Sintra was cold and exceptionally windy, so there were really no tourists out and about! We lucked out because during the hike, the sun decided to peek out and by the time we made it down to the beach, it was shining bright and actually warm! We also had the whole beach to ourselves … which was just amazing!
That evening, we had probably my favorite meal of the whole trip at a little local steakhouse right next to the water. It was so quaint and cozy, and the wine and food were beyond delicious : ) I’m really thankful we decided to visit this sleepy hillside/oceanside town and only wish we had just a little more time there to explore!
The final leg of our trip ended in famous Lisbon. We stayed at the most wonderful Airbnb that I am linking here because we loved it so much and if you ever go to Lisbon, you need to stay here! Not only is it beautiful but it is in an amazing location.
Again in Lisbon, we wandered : ) We walked, explored, visited a stunning viewpoint of the city, perused local shops, and ate more really good food. The three places I must mention in regards to food are the Time Out Market, Ramiro, and Casa da India. The Time Out Market is this really cool indoor market where they have some flowers shops and a few other shops, but the main feature is all the ridiculously amazing food stalls. For dinner one night, we spent a few hours at the Time Out Market and tried a bunch of different things … everything was MEGA yum. It was just a fun environment to be in, too! I would highly recommend paying a visit. Ramiro is an old-school but very famous seafood restaurant just outside the city center. I don’t really like seafood so I am not the one to ask, but Caleb said everything was incredible. Lastly is Casa da India — not a place you would expect someone to recommend when you first walk in as it is a very modest, local “joint,” but oh my word … so good! If you do want a truly local experience and Portuguese food, this is definitely the place for you!
All in all, we loved what we got to see and experience of Portugal, the people, and the food! It is a very visitable country and a great place to relax : ) We are so thankful for our time abroad this winter and what it represents in our lives. It was an amazing start to 2020 … we cannot wait to see what else is in store for this year! As always, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for following and supporting our journey <3