Algarve, Portugal

You know you are with the right travel companions when after a trip, no only you still talk to one another, your friendship strengthens.

To be honest our week-long trip to the Algarve and Alentejo wasn’t entirely incident free – First, on the day of the departure, our Airbnb host cancelled our accommondation; Then we smoked the clutch on our manual rental car at one of the longest bridges in Europe; Thirdly we encountered a wildfire outburst, as soon as we reached the Algarve, near Monchique, it burned all night long, even spread to Portimão; Finally, just as we thought it wouldn’t get any worse, we scratched the side of our car making a tight turn in the medieval street of Estremoz Castle – Thank you American Express Platnium card!

All of these aside, we had a BLAST!

This is my second time in the Algarve, instead of hopping from one beach to another, we “sunbathed” at some of our favourite beaches in the region, walked the coastal trails, had fantastic seafood, and simply spent time doing practically nothing.

Praia do Pinhão

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Lisbon Legends

Last week we went for an “immersive experience” called Lisbon Legendsa 360º multimedia show that takes us through the legends and historical episodes of Lisbon’s 7 hills – inside the ruins of the Carmo Convent, a 14th century Gothic style convent destroyed by the 1755 earthquake.

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Vista Alegre Museum & Aveiro, Portugal

During the May holiday, we made a road trip to Aveiro – a city about two thirds on the way from Lisbon to Porto. One of the highlights of the trip is Museu Vista Alegre.

Vista Alegre is a high-end Portuguese porcelain manufacturer. If you’ve been to Lisbon, you are likely to come across its shop in the heart of the Chiado district.

The Vista Alegre Mussum is located in the city of Ílhavo, about 15 minutes by car from Aveiro.

The museum is in the old Vista Alegre factory building, alongside a small chapel

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A Taberna do Mar, Lisbon

A Taberna do Mar is not your typical Portuguese seafood restaurant.

Chef Filipe Rodrigues learned how to cook from his grandparents growing up in the Algarve region, he then went on to work for several Japanese restaurants in Lisbon (helped opening a few) and broadened his techniques along the way. While the ingredients are locally sourced from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, the cooking is a combination of Portuguese and Japanese.

The restaurant offers both an à la carte and a 25 Euro tasting menu.

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Ericeira, Portugal

What’s in common between Ericeira and Nazaré is the sport of surfing. Ericeira is home to Portugal’s first and largest surfing club, while Nazaré is known for its high breaking waves due to the underwater canyon.

But…that’s not why we stopped at Ericeira on our May Day road trip to Nazaré.

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Lunch at Alma, Lisbon

Yesterday I found out that I had a new appointment date at the SEF for my residence card in Portugal. Due to the lockdowns, all the appointments since the beginning of the year were postponed up until Monday April 19th, when the office reopened. To celebrate this – because nowadays any good news warrants a celebration – I booked a lunch at Alma, a Michelin two-star restaurant in Lisbon, three years in a row.

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