The pretty blue tiles, friendly people, everlasting sunshine, great surf, happy bright colours, rocky mountains, golden coastlines. Portugal truly is one of a kind. The kind where I could easily live. Bathing in sunshine, exploring wild coastlines. Some countries touch your heart and Portugal is definitely one of them.
Yeah! Time to swap the Dutch grey weather for warm southern sunshine. First stop: Oporto! As soon as I arrive at the airport my ears are filled with expressive, poetic sounds of a language I cannot understand. But I wish I did.
From the harbour Porto looks like a colourful painting, with blue, yellow and orange houses scattered along the hills lining the Douro river. Exploring the steep narrow streets of this city takes some serious effort, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s the perfect place to ditch the map and get wonderfully lost. Because what’s not to love with the street art, low prices and Portuguese friendliness?
After one (party) night in Porto, we moved closer to Matosinhos to get some salty air. To be honest there is not too much to do, but if you like fresh fish it’s a good place to try out sardinas from the grill and enjoy a lovely ocean walk. Also it’s a good spot to surf, so that’s what we did for the next three days!
After streetart, surfing and wine tastings, our journey continued further south to Faro, from where we took the train to Lagos.
The two hour train ride took us along beautiful coastlines. We arrive in Lagos without a plan and wander through cobbled lanes between the pretty 16th-century walls. We explore the sandy cove of Praia do Camilo, discover piazzas and take in the sunshine.
As beautiful as the coast is, Lagos seems more of a backpackers party town. If you like to party, Lagos is your place. But if you want to surf, its better to keep driving. So that’s what we did.
We drove up to the cliffs of Sagres. Jackpot! Blue skies, ocean cliffs, sandy dunes and an endless view over the azure ocean. The remote feel of this area combined with the everlasting sunshine and rough ocean, makes me want to hop on the first plane back to Portugal. The feeling of saudades never leaves.
10 X WANDER TIPS FOR PORTUGAL:
- Feel Porto’s magic at Rua das Flores
- Taste cocktails and listen to live music at Fica na Rua
- Check out Rua Miguel Bombarda for street art and art galleries
- Go for a Port tasting at one of the cellars
- Find Portuguese nostalgia and have a late night dinner and at Museu D’Avó
- Take a surflesson at surfaventura
- Try fresh fish from the grill in Matoshinos
- When in Lagos, stay at burasurfhouse
- Visit the Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente
- Go surfing at Praia do Tonel or Sagres South