This year we spent the first 6 days of our annual Portugal trip in the beautiful town of Lagos in the western Algarve. As in the past years we stayed at Dona Ana Garden, a 2 minute walk to the famous Dona Ana beach and also only a short walk from the old town. They offer double rooms as well as apartments and have a beautiful garden with a small pool and a mini supermarket on the premise. It’s probably my favourite place to stay in Lagos.
Our days were spent at some of Lagos’ 8 (!) beaches or walking walks along the cliffs. Out favourite beaches are Praia do Camilo (1), Praia do Pinhao (5+6) and Porto de Mos (4). The most beautiful walks are between Praia do Pinhao and Praia Dona Ana (2) and from the lighthouse to Praia do Canavial & Porto de Mos.
From Lagos we moved to Carrapateira, a village on the west coast of Portugal and part of the Parque Natural da Costa Vicentina. We book our room (via AirBnB) for 3 nights – to spend a few days just relaxing at the beach all day long and going to bed early after a nice dinner in the village.
Carrapateira has two beaches: Praia do Amado and Praia do Bordeira. Amado (1-2 & 5-6) is a famous spot for surfing and Praia do Bordeira (3-4) is a huge beach with dunes and a small lagoon. Both are a 5 minute drive from the town center.
On the first day in Lisbon I visited the Miradouros (viewpoints) Santa Luzia (1) in the Alfama and Nossa Senhora do Monte (2) in Graca. On top of my to do list were the new piece by street artist Vhils (6) and visiting the Cafe do Garagem (5) and both did not disappoint! I also got to revisit Embaixada (4) a shopping gallery in Principe Real and take a walk through my beloved neighborhood Bairro Alto (3). In the evening I attended Vogue’s Fashion Night Out: shops were opened till late, bands and DJ played and seemingly the whole city of Lisbon was out & about.
On the second day in Lisbon I went for breakfast to the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém (1) and then visited the Berardo Collection in the Centro Cultural de Belem (2). My favourite piece was a heart made completely out of red plastic cutlery by portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Last year we visited her floating artwork “Trafaria Praia” at Ribeira das Naus. In the afternoon I took the tram over to Alcantara and visited the LX Factory (6), shopped for some gifts for friends at home and had lunch at “A Praca”(5). Later in the evening we tried a “Francesinha” at Mercado da Ribeira and had drinks at the rooftop bar “Park”.
On Saturday we took an early train to Porto (3 hours / 24€) where we stayed at Porto Alive Hostel (3). We got to see most of the main sights in that day: Ribeira & the Douro river (1), Vila Nova de Gaia and the Teleferico, the Ponte Dom Luis, Rua Santa Caterina & Cafe Majestic (4), Rua das Flores, Sao Bento and Torre dos Clérigos. Unfortunately the Mercado da Bolhao was already closed when we arrived – so that’s still something to see for the next Porto trip. In the evening we had a fabulous dinner at near Torre dos Clérigos and later on watched some free concerts happening on the squares in the city centre. On our last day in Porto it rained most of the time – probably to prepare us for the weather back home. The rain was a good excuse to take one of the guided tours in the Palacio da Bolsa (6) and then take an extended coffee & cake break at “Chocolateria das Flores” on Rua das Flores. I highly recommend this cute, little café! Afterwards it was time to pick up our suitcases and head to the airport and fly back to Germany.