Long overdue but its been around three weeks that I got back from the gorgeous Portugal. As its been while (a long while) since I wrote a post, I wanted to share my brief overview of my travels to Porto and Albuferia! I spent a week and a half in beautiful Portugal. Part one in Porto and part 2 in Albuferia!
Porto is a city that definitely has its unique charm. Every corner, every street has a never ending steep street which definitely takes it toll on the thighs. But definitely worth the climb once you see the breath-taking views of the city. My favourite views was definitely when I went to Palácio De Cristal. The park itself is such a lovely park, which my cousin and I really enjoyed. It was a close walk from our hotel, and it was the first place we visited the day we arrived Porto!
Another charm of Porto is the Azulejo tiles. The famous blue and white tiles that are commonly used in Porto on the exterior of buildings. The Igreja do Carmo is the most popular place in the city to spot the azulejo tiles. My favourite colour is blue, especially baby blue so I was definitely having the extra eagle eye to spot them anywhere we went. Its such a unique stamp for their culture and I love the detail and beauty in the artistry with the tiles.
As well as spending much time on foot exploring the beauty of the city. Myself and my cousin also took a relaxing boat cruise on the River Douro and a traditional city tram from the city centre to the Foz. It was €6 euros for a return trip very affordable, just make sure you keep an eye out for the timings of when they depart. Foz you can easily do in 2.5 hours and its a nice way to use the tram to explore the outer parts of Porto.
We also got a recommendation to visit the city of Guimaraes! It was described as the medieval city that was the origin of Portugal! It took about an hour on the train at a very affordable ticket price! The day we went, it was lovely warm weather so it made it even more enjoyable. It’s a very quaint city, with a small marketplace and cute pebble streets. The castle sits at the top of the city and from there you get the sense of the city history. I’m really happy that I went, as was a chance to see more of Portugal and the culture.
The food brought me real joy throughout the whole trip. We didn’t really have a bad meal anywhere. We ate fresh seabass, had goat meat, cod and their famous seafood rice, which I had 3 times in my whole time being there. I had two favourite restaurants in Porto; Rose Do Porto which was a family run small restaurant, a hidden gem we went twice! Then eLeBe Baixa. My cousin had such an incredible goat dish and I had cod dish with one of the best mash potatoes ever! I also fell in love with Panadas and the never ending sweet pastries that Porto have to offer. Of course I had pastel de nata (my faves) and a Bola de berlim. This is filled with a Portuguese custard and its so light and fresh. I highly recommend trying as much of the sweet treats they have to offer.
Porto is truly a lovely city that I definitely feel I explored to the best I could. Following my city break, I made my way to the coastal city along the Algarve and spent my last remaining days in Albuferia with a group of friends. End part one in Porto and start of part two. We had our own apartment with a garden and an amazing view of the pool and beach…. it was bliss.
Everyday was a pool day for sure soaking up that vitamin d. We explored the old town and marina. We even had a boat trip post a fun night out so was a bit tough to be up and ready at the pick up point for 9.30am…. but we did it. The boat cruise was really great we got to see up and close the unique algarve caves and sadly we didn’t spot any dolphins! It was a real girls trip in which we all needed. Filled with loud singing and laughter.
Portugal is becoming one of my favourite european countries. As both Porto and Albuferia didn’t disappoint and I’ve been to Lisbon which till this day is one of my favourite places. So I’m definitely itching to find out more about Portugal. Definitely recommend visiting Porto for a nice short break as you will get everything you want from a city break. Let me know in the comments if you have visited Porto and what was your favourite bit or which part of Portugal should I visit next! x x x