10 days in Portugal [Part 2]

Here’s the follow-up post to the “10 Days in Portugal [Part 1]“. There was just so much to write about that I split it into two posts! For the second half of the trip, we drove from Lisbon to the Algarve region of Portugal. The Algarve is the southern part of Portugal known for their beaches. Here’s what we did:

Day 5

We took the country roads to this new hotel nestled in the hillside of Santiago do Cacém, Portugal. The hotel, Santiago Hotel Cooking & Nature, is one I’ll never forget. It had only been open for a month so everything was brand new. The hotel’s focus on cooking sparked the interest of my boyfriend, Justin, who loves to cook. In the hotel dining room, there are large TV’s so you can see how the chef’s are preparing everything. On top of the amazing food is the hotel pool- check out the photos:

Day 6

After catching up on sleep we were back on the road headed towards Luz beach. Again, we took the scenic route and made a few stops along the way. Stopping at little beaches made the trip a blast. It was great to get away from the well-known tourist spots of Portugal.

Day 7

We stayed at Luz beach apartments for our time in the Algarve region of Portugal. It was such a treat to stay right on the beach and have all the amenities of home- like a kitchen! Tip: if you book directly through their site you get free wifi and a bottle of wine 🙂

The highlight of the day was definitely the sailboat cruise along the coast. We booked it through Viator, which is great and I’ve used for many vacations. The catamaran cruise started at the Lagos marina and headed west. We had three hours of sailing then an hour lunch stop with swimming and fun activities. Lot’s of time in the sun! It was great to take pictures with my GoPro in the water. I bought this floatie strap for it and an SD card reader for my phone because my GoPro doesn’t’ have wifi.

We ended our day with dinner in Luz at Chicca’s -Delicious!

Day 8

Thursday was our beach bum day because it’s easy for me to 100 mph on vacation seeing all the sights, but it’s important to take a little bit of time to just relax. Justin really wanted to go surfing so we drove up to a new beach and packed our lunch for a picnic. Afterwards, we headed back to Luz and then out to Lagos for dinner. We had a great dinner at Ol’ Bastards, a restaurant that only serves Fish & Chips… currently drooling while reminiscing about that dinner.

When we drove into Lagos I entered the city center as the destination and ended up driving down the main street, with barely enough room to drive in between dinner tables on the sidewalk. See the picture below, it is was pretty awkward… Next time I’ll enter a parking garage as the destination in Google maps.

Day 9

We had a standard European breakfast to end our stay at the Luz beach apartments and then headed to Cascais. We saved the best hotel for last and stayed at Vila Gale- Collection Palácio dos Arcos . Cascais was a great way to end our trip. You can easily explore Cascais as a day trip from Lisbon, but we decided to stay here for our last night to be closer to the Lisbon airport for our flight home.

Day 10

Our last day in Portugal was just for travel. We packed our bags and headed to the airport. We got there with plenty of time because I heard the Lisbon airport has really long waits and it’s true. It took two hours to get to the gate… plan ahead!

Overall, Portugal is definitely making a name for itself in the travel/tourism industry. I can’t wait to go back and travel to the northern part of Portugal, which is known for their wine.

Email me or leave a comment if you have any questions,
-Rachel

 

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