My trip to Portugal was one of ease! Upon arrival, we were greeted by Pilar, our guide for the week, and a comfortable 12-15 passenger bus. We drove through the city to our hotel, Lapa Palace, which was very nice! Lunch was down on the river under the bridge at 5 Oceanos. The typical dish is a meat/soup mixture of seafood and meat and everyone had that except for me! I don’t care for fish, but I enjoyed my steak! Wine was served throughout the meal.
After lunch, we toured a portion of the city and saw the Belem Quarter. The Jerome Monastery there is very large and beautiful along with the Bell Tower! Tip: The best pastries are at Pasteis de Belem. Set your alarm for three o’clock each afternoon! The line is out the door and the wait is a few hours… but the pastries are so good and worth it!
A speedboat ride was scheduled for day two. We saw the city from the water and thoroughly enjoyed it!
We ended up at Caiscas, my favorite part of Lisbon. It is beautiful and very upscale. We enjoyed walking through the small town before heading to the Sintra Mountains where we began our Jeep Tour. Do this! Our two jeeps participated in a treasure hunt/obstacle course and cameras were used to document our “finds”. At the end of the tour, our pictures were printed while we built a picture frame for the presentation. We received a disc our photos which was a nice memento.
Colares Wineries was our lunch spot. This winery was an experience…simple on the outside but elegant on the inside. Lunch was great and of course the wine was as well! Another memento…a bottle of wine!
Next was the Seteais Palace in Sintra, very old and still decorated as it was many years ago. A coffee break and MORE pastries provided energy for the rest of the afternoon. Each stop on the tour had wonderful pastries and we HAD to taste!
The scenic road along the shoreline of the Estoril Coast took us back to the city. We enjoyed the view and even got a little shut-eye to cure our jet lag.
Espaco Lisboa was our dinner destination that night. The building is absolutely beautiful. This special restaurant was an old machinery warehouse and many of the machines are still in the room. Dinner was delicious; another seafood dish was served while I had a “baby pig”…. In The States, we call it “pork”… tasty and very salty.
A walking tour of the downtown area began our third day. We started on a trolley, very similar to those in San Francisco. A “saw dust” material was thrown on the streets on steep hills to give increase traction. Very interesting to watch!
A fabulous ice cream break fueled the rest of our hike to Saint Georges Castle. Overlooking the city was breathtaking! Lunch was at Casa do Leao; the storage room when the castle was a home. It still looks the same.
Instead of napping after lunch, most of us shopped! Cork is the hot item in Lisbon; cork handbags, shoes, etc. Pottery and porcelain are also popular.
Dinner that evening was at Kais Restaurant; also beautiful and on the river and the perfect way to end our trip.
Tip: If I go back, I will stay in Caiscas and take a cab into the city. TA DMC Portugal did an AMAZING job! CJ
Courtney Jarvis works with Aladdin's Group Travel/Meeting Planning and Study Abroad Departments. She enjoys sports, traveling, shopping and spending time with her family. She is a Demon Deacon through and through. Go Wake!