Tag Archives: portugal

Sintra, Evora & Lagos, Portugal


Sintra and Evora are both UNESCO World Heritage listed towns outside of Lisbon. 
Sintra is to the North-East of Lisbon and Evora is to the West of Lisbon. Lagos is a beachy tourist town on the south coast.

Sintra

Sintra is an absolutely enchanting little town on the hillside, hidden gems all over the place! I loved my visit here and the single full day I had to explore simply was not enough time.

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is the property of an eccentric the house itself was quite beautiful but the highlight of the visit is the gardens.

The gardens are extensive with winding paths and hidden underground tunnels taking you between towers, a church, a waterfall and different wells.

Many years ago I saw a photo of the Initiation Well and I was simply captivated by its rustic beauty, so to see this first hand was absolutely the highlight of my visit to Sintra.

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Pena Palace

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPena Palace was the palace of the last king of Portugal. The palace architecture is pretty ‘out there’, there are loads of very bright colours, various different textures and patterns. While it seems to be a clash of concepts, it works really well and is spectacular to see.

The inside of the palace is also fascinating and every room has something different, painted walls, elaborate timber carvings, colourful tiled walls and ceilings. Simply spectacular!

Beyond these two sights, we had no time to visit other things in Sintra, but wandering the streets as the sun dropped in the sky was lovely. The cobblestone laneways were charming to explore.

Entry costs about €14.

Sintra photos on Flickr

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvora

Evora is a gorgeous little walled city with absolutely tiny narrow streets, some of which take a three or five point turn to make it around the corner without damaging the car. Evora was one of those places that was gorgeous to wander, but otherwise only had a few sights to visit.

The things I saw which I thought were worth seeing were the aqueduct, it was really cute to see people had built houses and shops into the old archways. The roman temple is a famous site, but I am not particularly sure why. The cathedral is lovely and costs 3,50€ to visit the cathedral, cloisters and tower. The tower had a lovely view of the city. The church of San Francisco and it’s neighbour the chapel of bones are also fascinating to check out.

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Evora photos on Flickr

P1060669Lagos

Lagos is a super touristy town on the south coast of Portugal. It has gorgeous beaches and dramatic cliffs. The centre of town is a walled city like Evora and again has crazy narrow cobblestone streets.

It’s a great place to wander, to spend time relaxing on the beach, but otherwise the one sight that I would say is a must is a boat tour of the grottos.

The cliffs and grottos are spectacular from the water. I did a tour with Days of Adventure. For 10€, the 1.5 hour tour was  money well spent!!

Lagos photos on Flickr

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Lisbon, Portugal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALisbon, Lisboa, is the capital city of Portugal.
What do I think about it? I LOVE IT!!!
This was my second visit to Lisbon and I loved it even more the second time around.

The narrow cobblestone streets, hilly terrain and super cute homes that are tiled and painted bright colours are all just amazing. It’s such a fabulous city to get lost in, just wander at random and you come across so many amazing things. Some of the main areas to wander around include the Praça do Comércio, Arco da Rua Augusta, Rua da Augusta,  Praça Dom Pedro IV, Praça do Figuera, along the Avenida da Liberdade and up to the park overlooking the city. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor getting around the city I highly recommend walking and getting lost in the various laneways and suburbs. Bairro Alto, Baixa, Chiado and Alfama,  are all great for exploring.

However my hot tip relating to public transport is to go to a metro station and buy a day pass for 6,50€, it’s valid for 24hours from the first use. It’s well worth the money and covers all types of public transport: metro, bus, tram, funicular and elevator. Some of the tourist highlights include tram, funicular and elevator – so I highly recommend this day pass!

Lisbon City Highlights

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElevador da Santa Justa

At the end of Rua de Santa Justa is a charming old elevator which used to be used as a form of public transport to get people up the steep hill. Now it is a popular tourist spot because from the top of the elevator you can continue up by a set of stairs to a viewing platform that provides a brilliant view of the city.

The cost is about 5€ but if you buy the metro day pass the cost of the elevator is already covered and you only have to pay an additional 1,50€ to get access to the viewing platform. 

Sao Jorges Castelo

St Georges castle is on a hill in the Alfama district. It costs €8.50 to get in. Despite it not being an amazing castle, I still think it’s worth the visit, you can explore the grounds and walk along the castles walls and towers. It also provides a pretty awesome view of the city.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASé Catedral

The cathedral is a short walk from St Georges castle. It has free entry and is a beautiful church to visit.

It has a mix of architectural styles, construction began in 1147 and the building has since undergone many changes, reconstructions and renovations over time, sometimes due to earthquake damage.

Santo Domingo Catedral

A random find of ours was Santo Domingo Cathedral. Again as a cathedral it has free entry. On walking through the doors my jaw dropped!

The cathedral was seriously damaged by two earthquakes and a fire. While it has been partially renovated the damage is clear to see and it makes the cathedral so much more beautiful!

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A Ginjinha

In the small plaza just outside the Santo Domingo cathedral is a tiny hole in the wall shop/bar. Here you can buy a small taster cup of the local Portuguese liqueur, Ginja. It is a sour cherry liqueur and tastes quite nice. A little taster costs 1,40€.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATram 28

Vintage Tram 28 is very popular for tourists, and the queue to get on was pretty crazy. it starts at Praça do Figuera and ends somewhere random. If you ride it to the end, you need to get off and then back on five metres up the road in order to make the return trip. One way from start to finish is about 40minutes.

Despite its popularity I thought it was loads of fun. It winds its way through the narrow streets, bumping and jolting along. There are some cool sights to see from the tram and some of the stops are at popular tourist sights, such as St Georges Castle, Sé Catedral and Praça do Comércio.

I’m not sure of the cost, as I used my metro day pass.

Belem

Belem is just outside central Lisbon and is easily accessible by tram, we took tram 15E from Praça do Figuera and it took about 30mins.

Tower of Belem

The tower of Belem juts out into the river. It was originally built as a defence fortress to defend Lisbon’s harbour. The architecture of the tower is gorgeous and there is so much detail in all the carvings. Definitely worth a visit.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJeronimos Monastery and Church

Jeronimo’s Monastery is an absolute must-see. the architecture is phenomenal and it is just such gorgeous white stone set against beautiful blue skies.

A combo ticket for the tower of Belem and Jeronimo’s Monastery cost around 12€.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos 

By the waterside, this is a monument that was inaugurated in 1960 on the 500th anniversary of Henry the Navigator’s death. It shows Henry and other famous explorers. You can climb to the top of the monument, but I am unsure of the cost as I decided I wasn’t interested after having climbed the Tower of Belem.

Pasteis de Belem

Pasteis de Belem is a famous patisserie that serves the traditional Portuguese egg tart pastry, Pastel de Nata. If you are willing to wait in the queue (which actually moves pretty fast) then I would recommend stopping by to grab one of these tasty treats.

Accomodation

My friend and I rented an Airbnb apartment on Rua Dom Pedro V and it was brilliantly located, just a short walk to the centre of town.

Check out all my photos on Flickr

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