Friday, July 29, 2011

Wanderlust... Portugal

One of my favorite vacations to date was the mother-daughter trip I took to Portugal with my madre back in college.  We flew into Lisboa, stayed for a few days, then drove west to Caiscais and Sintra, then south towards the Algarve, then east along the coastline, and finally back north towards Evora.  We were pretty much able to see a large portion of the southern half of Portugal, but I've fallen in love with Portugal (no literally, the Boy is Portuguese) and now I want to go back and see the northern half.  Recently I've been thinking a lot about this potential trip because in approximately one year from now, Kevin's grandfather will turn 90 and we will hopefully be celebrating with him in their hometown of  Vila Nova de Cerveira in the northern Minho region.  See below to better understand my love affair with Portugal...   
Portugal to do
Pictures are all Julip Made.

  • Horse back riding in the hillsides of the Algarve near Lagos.
  • Stroll through the Praça do Comércio in Lisboa's Baixa district. 
  • Hike to the end of the world (aka the western most point in Europe) at Cabo da Roca, near Sintra and Caiscais. 
  • See how cork is produced and have a picnic among the cork groves outside of Evora.
Portugal to do
Pictures are all Julip Made.
I don't remember the specific names of the hotels we stayed in, but the places I recommend visiting most would be...
  •  Sintra- a beautiful mountain town approximately 30 minutes west of Lisbon.  See the Pena National Palace. Eat the Queijadas de Sintra (aka the best pastries you've ever had).  Walk the winding little cobbled streets and poke your head in at each artisan store filled with treasures. 
  • Evora- the quaint inland town with layers of history even still partially surrounded by a medieval wall.  See the Capela dos Ossos (Church made of bones), Almendres Cromlech (megalithic monuments), and the Roman Temple of Evora. 
  • Sagres- Home of the Henry the Navigator school.  One of the southwestern most towns in Portugal.  See the Henry the Navigator school and enjoy the beach for a day.  Eat fresh grilled sardines and baby mackerel.
Portugal to eat
Pictures by All Recipes.com, William and Sonoma, and unknown.
TO EAT:  Portuguese cuisine is similar to Spanish and other Mediterranean cuisines and very filling and flavorful, but there are some influences from their former colonies such as Piri piri and saffron.  Some of my absolute favorites and Portuguese classics that you must remember to order when there are...
  • Caldo verde- a hearty soup made with potatoes, kale, and chorizo. 
  • Sardinas Grilhadas- Grilled sardines.  Not the nasty kind you get in a can, but the fresh, yummy kind with lemon and possibly capers on top. 
  • Chanfana- a delicious, filling Portuguese goat stew.
  • Bacalhau a bras- shredded bacalhau (salt cod), onions, potatoes, eggs, black olives, and parsley. 
  • Pastiche de nata- a finger licking creamy pastry best served with a dash of cinnamon and hot from the oven.
Have any of you been to Portugal?  What place have you been to that you have completely fallen in love with and just want to keep returning to/ possibly live in?

Happy Thursday it's Friday already because I'm a bad/ late blogger.

~ Julie


  1. Oh girl, you don't even have to convince me, I'm already completely smitten with the place! I already speak the language (sort of, it's a little different) and I desperately want to go visit the place I've heard so much about. Great pictures, what a fantastic trip! Have a great weekend, girlie, I hope you get to party it up (c:

  2. I have never been but it looks beautiful. How awesome that you got to experience it w/ your Mom... love her sense of adventure!! xo

  3. I've always wanted to go to Portugal! Your photos are gorgeous. I would move to Florence tomorrow if the Husband agreed! Italy is my fav place in the world so far.

  4. i've never been, but it sounds spectacular!! have a great weekend :)

  5. I'm soooo up for a meet up!! And sooo glad you suggested it!! xoxo

  6. Ah, such fabulous images. Portugal is rugged and majestic. Glad you have special memories of that darling country. Have a nice weekend;-)

  7. That sounds like it would be a fantastic trip!!

  8. Portugal was awesome. I took a train to Lisboa one weekend when I was "studying" abroad in Spain. Crazy good times.

  9. These pictures are gorgeous. I'd love to go to Portugal (and a gazillion other places in the world!). One of my favorite's is New Zealand--I'd drop everything to move there!!

  10. seems woderful, if i have chance, i need to go there and find it by my own.
    Love the food you post, i am hungry now, hhhhhh...


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