One Week in Portugal - Itinerary and Photos
Last August, my sister and I spent a week in Portugal. We explored the beaches along the Algarve coast and ended the trip with two days in Lisbon. It did not disappoint! Here is what we did and ate during our week:
Day 1: Praia de Albufeira
Landed in Lisbon, and took the train to Albufeira. We stayed at a cute little hotel overlooking Praia de Albufeira. The beach is clean and the waves are very calm. We walked around the city center, which is lively and has many restaurant options. Our hunger got the best of us after the long train ride, so we didn't do much research on where to go for dinner. We ended up going to a place near the beach, one of those "tourist trap" places where people hassle you with the menu as you walk by lol.
Day 2: Praia de Marinhas and Loulé
On our second day, we took our rented car and drove eastward to Praia de Marinhas. The waves here are much stronger, and it is very rocky. The quintessential Algarve beach tucked between cliffs. It is stunning.
We had lunch at Ramires Piri Piri Chicken. An establishment for Portuguese chicken. It is located in a small village, which was also such a cute place to stroll around!
We then drove to Loulé, and checked into the CUTEST Air Bnb ever. I repeat, it was the CUTEST Air Bnb ever. Portugal is filled with beautiful and affordable places to stay.
Day 3: Farol Island and Portemao
The closest beach city near Loulé is Faro, where you can take a 5 euro ferry to Farol Island. I think this may have been my favorite beach as the water was calm and very soft sand, unique to the Algarve coast. There are no cliffs, so the beach is much more sprawled for plenty of room to lay down your towel and nap.
For dinner, we drove to Portemao and had a great meal at Taberna de Portemao. The food was delicious, but it took so long to come out... We got the Octopus Lagareira and tuna.
Day 4: Questa de Frances Winery and Lagos
First, we started off our day with fresh orange juice and an egg tart at Castel de Isabela in Portemao. SO GOOD.
Then, my sister being the resourceful researcher she is, found an amazing winery called Questa de Frances. For only 15 euros, we got a tour, and a wine and cheese tasting. We were on the first group tour, so we ended up getting a private tour! The winery was founder by a French doctor who loves wine and runs it on the side as a passion. So cool.
Following this boozy brunch, we headed to Lagos. This is probably the most famous city in the Algarve, so it is quite crowded as August is high season. We went to Praia de don Carlos, a beach hugging an impressive cliff side.
Then we planned on driving all the way to Burgau, which is the southernmost tip of Europe. But the smog from a forest fire made the skies very cloudy so we ended up going back to the hotel.
Day 5: Lisbon at Night
I can't believe I'm saying this, but by the fifth day we were feeling pretty beach'ed out. We started the day with sandwiches and olives at Mercado de Faro, which is near the train station. Then we took the train back to Lisbon and checked into again, the CUTEST air bnb. I can't believe I didn't take a photo, but the place was literally a hole-in-the wall home.
We had a huge seafood platter at Pesqueiro 25. Taste wise, it wasn't amazing, but it was cool to try all types of sea creatures. Crab, shrimp, barnacles, lobster, sea urchin... Double layer your gloves unless you want to smell like Ariel for the week.
Then we walked a bit on Pink street, which is the main club/bar area. But wasn't really our scene, so we opted for a quieter rooftop bar called Silk Club. This place has a great night skyline of Lisbon.
Day 6: Lisbon at Day
My sister and I are both walkers. I think this is the best and most fun way to explore new places. We had a general itinerary of seeing the most "famous" places, otherwise we mostly just wander around and eat snacks.
First, we went to see the Tour de Belem, which was where all the Portuguese explorers departed for their excursions. I had a mimosa here, and it was so good. Day drinking was indeed a theme.
Then we went to Cafe de Belem, which is the original egg tart place. The story is something along the lines of Christopher Columbus from China and nuns and priests and a secret recipe passed down until today... very good! And the line goes down fast thank goodness.
Then we walked to the Mercado de Lisboa for more noms. I love going to markets. You can have a bit of everything. But being asians, we were both craving rice and something spicy so I think we got ramen.
Day 7: Flight back home
A week later, we boarded the flight back home. It was a memorable and relaxing trip. I'm so happy to have a sister who is also my best friend.