Lagos

22nd November – 24th November

Praia Dona Ana. Aaaaand, just when I thought it couldn't get any better.. Portugal's beaches looked like this.
Praia Dona Ana. Aaaaand, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better.. Portugal’s beaches looked like this.

To be honest, having spent the past few days on the south western coast where everything was so beautiful, I really didn’t expect much from Lagos.  I had heard that it was a bit of a party town and that this part of the Algarve is incredibly touristy (the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, and high on the list for Europe overall).  So, I thought it was probably going to be somewhat overrated and overdeveloped.  Well, I was wrong.. Continue reading Lagos

Spectacular coastlines and cute villages – the south west coast

19th November – 20th November

With so many rocky cliffs, accessing some of the coves is not so easy. We came across this little ladder to make the climb a bit easier.
With so many rocky cliffs, accessing some of the coves near Porto Covo is not so easy. We came across this little ladder to make the climb a bit easier.

Heading out from Lisbon we were going to make our way down the south-west coast.  We made our way through lush green countryside and cork tree plantations.  Apparently cork farms have traditionally been passed down from one generation to another, with the trees being stripped every 9 years, but taking 40 to become commercially viable.  The trees can live up to 500 years. Continue reading Spectacular coastlines and cute villages – the south west coast

The fairytale that is Sintra

13th November – 15th November

An interior courtyard of the Palacio da Pena in Sintra. This palace was incredible, with its fairytale pastel colours and tiling.
An interior courtyard of the Palacio da Pena in Sintra. This palace was incredible, with its fairytale pastel colours and tiling.

Sintra, a small town not far from Lisbon, really was like stepping into a fairytale. The town and hill overlooking it are littered with old castles and palaces.   Continue reading The fairytale that is Sintra

Fishing villages, big waves and man-sickness

10th November – 13th November

The O Sitio lighthouse, Nazare. This lighthouse overlooks the stretch of ocean which is home to some of the worlds largest waves. Whilst they were only a mere 5m during our visit, they have been recorded up to a massive 30m.
The O Sitio lighthouse, Nazare. This lighthouse overlooks the stretch of ocean which is home to some of the worlds largest waves. Whilst they were only a mere 5m during our visit, they have been recorded up to a massive 30m.

Heading out from Porto, we made our way to Aveiro, a small old fishing village known as the ‘Portuguese Venice’ thanks to its canals.  The drive proved interesting, as we quickly learnt that whilst avoiding toll roads was good on the budget, it did mean encountering some pretty windy narrow roads, a large volume of crazy Portuguese drivers (apparently excessive speeding, tail gating and dangerous overtaking is the norm) and prostitutes.. Prostitutes everywhere. Continue reading Fishing villages, big waves and man-sickness

Port, pastry and tiled houses.. Welcome to Portugal!

7th November – 10th November

What do you do when in Porto?? Drink port of course! And it was delicious, I have to say.
What do you do when in Porto?? Drink port of course! It was delicious.

As we made our way across the border from Spain to Portugal I was excited to venture into another country.  We had been in Spain the longest of any country in the past few months (not that I don’t love Spain, because I do).

Our first destination was Porto, home of Port wine.  We ventured to the port ‘caves’ along the river, the old buildings that traditionally housed the port wine barrels.  Of course we tried a few (or many) too. Continue reading Port, pastry and tiled houses.. Welcome to Portugal!

Cider country!

4th November – 7th November

With all the beer that has been consumed this year, I was glad to be in cider country. They love the stuff, and Oveido is pretty much the capital of Spanish cider.
With all the beer that has been consumed this year, I was glad to be in cider country. They love the stuff, and Oveido is pretty much the capital of Spanish cider.

Oviedo was our next stop as we were gradually making our way towards Portugal. The capital of Spanish cider, Oviedo features a street of sidrerias (cider houses) where you will be served a local cider in the traditional way.  The waiter holds the bottle of cider over their head and pours the cider into a glass held below.  Cider spills everywhere, but at the same time is oxygenated.  So you drink your small glass quickly and wait for it to happen again.  It was rather entertaining. Continue reading Cider country!

Lakes of Covadonga

4th November

Lagos de Covadonga. Driving our way up the winding narrow road we found ourselves at the incredible lakes.
Lagos de Covadonga. Driving our way up the winding narrow road we found ourselves at the incredible lakes.

Reluctantly leaving our accommodation at the cave house in Gomezan, we made our way to Oviedo.  But not without a visit to Lagos de Covadonga (Lakes of Covadonga).  This place was incredible.. just incredible.  And while Ian just about shat himself driving up the (very) winding and (very) narrow road perched on the edge of cliffs, I found it quite exhilarating.   Continue reading Lakes of Covadonga

More beautiful coast and living in a cave

3rd November

The view from our window in the (very) small Village of Gomezan. This place was pretty cool.
The view from our window in the (very) small village of Gomezan. This place was pretty cool.

Our next nights accommodation was, well, we had no idea where.  It wasn’t in any proper village per-se, and not really on a road with a name.  We were going to have to hope for the best.   Continue reading More beautiful coast and living in a cave