Itinerary: Faro, Algarve, Portugal (2 days)

Itinerary: Faro, Algarve, Portugal (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Faro, Algarve, Portugal.

If I had to describe Faro in one sentence, it would be “a historic city with access to golden beaches and an incredible culinary scene”. Faro has managed to keep the balance of an authentic old-town while providing a variety of modern bars, cafes, restaurants, and attractions to keep you entertained for days.

Faro hosts the major airport in the south of Portugal and is the gateway to the Algarve. Bring your swimmers and a hungry tummy. You are in for a treat because Faro is full of surprises.

Here are my recommendations for a 2 day itinerary in Faro, Portugal.

Planning a trip to Portugal? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Lisbon and 5 reasons to visit Porto.

Day 1

Breakfast at Porta Doze Guesthouse

Your culinary journey in Faro starts at Porta Doze Guesthouse. My friend, Tamara, and I stayed here for three nights during our trip in Portugal. Porta Doze is a cozy bed-and-breakfast located in the center of town and just a block away from the bus terminal.

Each morning the lovely Vânia would prepare a delicious breakfast from local ingredients. What made this even more special was how personalized she made the experience. After asking about about our preferences, Vânia customized the meals to suit our tastes. For Tamara it would be a plate of fresh fruits, yogurt, and granola served out on the terrace in the sun. For me, it was bread with cheese and jam sat down next to my laptop in the dining room. (I promise that I did sit out on the terrace at least once!).

And if that wasn’t sweet enough, there would always be a pastry like the “Pastel de nata” (a Portuguese egg tart) with coffee or tea.

Breakfast-at-Porta-Doze-Guesthouse-Faro-Portugal

Exploring the city center

After your glorious start to the day, step out and go exploring! Faro has shaded shopping streets, a cute marina, and a number of museums. You don’t have to wander far to find the perfect cafe or maybe even an ice cream.

Another site worth visiting is the Faro cathedral. Located within stone walls, it has a courtyard filled with orange trees (very reminiscent of Valencia, Spain) and restaurants. For a small fee, visitors can enter the church and climb to the top for views out to the sea.

Faro-Harbour-Faro-Portugal

Ilha Deserta

Have you ever wanted to visit a desert island? Well, here is your chance! Ilha Deserta is an uninhabited island with nothing but a restaurant and a few beach huts. The entire island can easily be walked around in less than an hour. It is also home to the most southern point of Portugal!

The beach on the south-side is the perfect place to relax in peace. I recommend bringing a towel, sunscreen, bottle of water, and a good book. After you’ve finished enjoying the sun, stop in at the restaurant for a cold beer while waiting for your boat ride back to the mainland.

Ilha-Deserta-Faro-Portugal

Dinner at A Venda

A Venda was recommended by Rui, one of the owners of Porta Doze Guesthouse, as a good-value, local restaurant. The interior has a retro-design with crocheted place-mats and mismatched furniture. There is a relaxed vibe and friendly staff who are happy to help with suggestions.

Tamara and I shared five small plates of food (pratinhos), a bottle of wine and a dessert. The price was really reasonable for the amount of food that we had. In fact, I wished I had of ordered more!

Dinner-at-A-Venda-Faro-Portugal

Day 2

Praia Faro

Get your beach towel out again, because it is time to hit Faro Beach. From Porta Doze Guesthouse,  it’s just one block to the bus terminal and then a short bus ride to the beach. In fact, it’s the same bus that takes you to Faro airport. So simple!

If you love the beach as much as I do, you will want to spend hours here just listening to the waves with your eyes closed, taking photos, or sleeping in the sun.

Faro-Beach-Portugal

Drinks at Hotel Faro

Another local recommendation from Rui was to see the sunset from the Hotel Faro rooftop bar. We came up here one evening and ordered cocktails while watching the sun go down. Even after dark, the view is magnificent with all the harbor lights. The cocktails aren’t too overpriced however weren’t very strong, so you might be better off ordering a glass of wine or beer. Either way, it’s a great way to start your evening in Faro.

Marina-and-Faro-Hotel-Faro-Portugal

Dinner at Portas de São Pedro

I am still raving about the food that I ate at Portas de Sao Pedro. This was one of those magical experiences where you stumble across a restaurant that looks good and it turns out to be amazing. We shared a bottle of wine, four dishes, and a dessert. I even accidentally ate octopus (I am not a fan of seafood) without realizing it, and loved it!

Our waiter was so much fun, chatting about life as a local in Faro and bringing different types of liqueurs to try for free. There was a lot of laughter and jokes shared, then at the end of the night they took our photo for the restaurant. When you visit, let me know if we made the wall!


Porta Doze Guesthouse

Porta Doze Guesthouse is your home away from home in Faro. A four-bedroom family hotel with two shared bathrooms, a terrace, dinning and lounge room. You will find yourself looking forward to your time here, as much as exploring outside.

Whether it’s curling up on the sofa with a magazine, sitting out on the terrace with a coffee, chatting in the kitchen with a glass of wine, singing along to one of the records, or taking a luxurious hot shower –  Porta Doze Guesthouse is to be savored.

Porta-Doze-Guesthouse-Dining-and-lounge-room

My friend and I stayed in the Citrus Room with twin beds, a wardrobe, table and chairs, as well as its own private terrace with street view. The rooms are big with plenty of space to spread out.

I also loved all the windows which can either be opened up to let the light stream in, or closed at night for a peaceful rest. Extra blankets and a heater are available for the cooler months. As well as a fan for summer.

Porta-Doze-Guesthouse-Twin-room-with-shared-bathroom

The decor is minimalist and modern, with personal touches everywhere you look. Even those who don’t usually appreciate interior design will be impressed. The owners, Rui and Joana have a knack for design. Check out the Porta Doze Guesthouse Instagram and see for yourself.

Location: Rua Miguel Bombarda 12, 8000 394 Faro – Algarve

Website: https://www.portadozeguesthouse.com/

Porta-Doze-Guesthouse-Back-terrace

My friend and I were complimentary guests of Porta Doze Guesthouse, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


Budget breakdown: Faro

All costs are quoted for one person and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Porta Doze Guesthouse provides bed and breakfast living in the Algarve. For a truly homely experience, this guesthouse offers four bedrooms for groups of families, friends and couples. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Rooms.

Food: Porta Doze Guesthouse serves breakfast each morning to their guests. They also have a “honest bar” where you can purchase drinks and snacks at your own convenience.

Day 1 – Bread rolls and ham from the supermarket for lunch (€1.49), beer on Ilha Deserta (€3.50), dinner with a bottle of wine at A Venda (€16.50).

Day 2 – Bread rolls and ham from the supermarket for lunch (€1.49), Snickers bar at Faro Beach (€0.90), cocktails at Hotel Faro (€16.00), dinner with a bottle of wine at Portas de São Pedro (€20.00).

Transport: Return boat ticket to Ilha Deserta (€15.00), return bus ticket to Faro Beach (€4.50).

Average daily spend: €39.69 each* ($41.98 USD and $55.25 AUD as of 8 March 2017) excluding accommodation and snack purchases from the Porta Doze Guesthouse honest bar.

*This daily amount could be reduced by skipping the wine and sticking to water.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Faro, Algarve, Portugal. Including Ilha Deserta, Faro Beach, and many Portuguese culinary delights.

Have you traveled to Faro or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Adoring Albufeira in the Algarve, Portugal

Adoring Albufeira in the Algarve, Portugal

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for adoring Albufeira in the Algarve, Portugal.

Are you searching for a European beach holiday that is spectacular yet inexpensive? Well, look no further than Albufeira in the Algarve. The Algarve is a coastal area in the south of Portugal with consistently good weather year-round. This stretch of golden sands is well connected with an airport in Faro, as well as buses and trains from the capital of Lisbon.

The summers are meant to be superb and as a winter escape, you can’t go wrong. After hearing rave recommendations, my friend Tamara and I decided to add Albufeira to our Portugal itinerary. We visited in early March and were thrilled to find weather warm enough for bikinis! At this time of year, there aren’t too many places in Europe where you can expect temperatures fit for frolicking on the beach.

And if that wasn’t good enough, throw in fresh seafood feasts, Portuguese hospitality and luxury hotels. Are you booking your flights yet?

Here are my recommendations for adoring Albufeira in the Algarve.

Planning a trip to Portugal? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Lisbon and 5 reasons to visit Porto.

Praia-dos-Olhos-de-Agua-Albufeira-Portugal-Chantell-Collins-Adoration-4-Adventure

Albufeira

If you are flying into Faro, it is just a 35 minute bus ride to Albufeira. From Lisbon, Albufeira can be reached either by bus or train (both around 3 hours and €20-30 one way). We chose the bus as it stopped at the Albufeira bus depot, where we could transfer onto a bus to our resort, Velamar Boutique Hotel.

Albufeira has everything you need for retail therapy, and just outside the center are beautiful beaches waiting to be explored. The old town is located in Praia dos Pescadores (beach of the fishermen) and has a lively nightlife with pubs and karaoke bars. We visited on our first night to eat dinner at Ruina (ruin), as recommended by the Velamar Boutique Hotel manager, Jose. The restaurant is in an old fortress and located right on the sea. If you are a fan of seafood than this is a treat not to be missed.

The Velamar Boutique Hotel is located in Olhos d’Água (eyes of water) which is walking distance to not one but three magnificent beaches! The area itself has many amenities including supermarkets, bakeries, clothing stores, bars and restaurants. You can easily spend your whole time hanging out at the hotel and beaches, without ever venturing into the center.

Praia-Maria-Luisa-Albufeira-Portugal

Praia dos Olhos de Agua

Moving from east to west, the first of three beaches located near Velamar Boutique Hotel is Praia dos Olhos de Agua. This beach has a number of sea-front restaurants providing an opportunity to dine in the sun and soft sea breeze. We stopped in at Restaurante La Cigale twice for mid-afternoon drinks. Tamara also tried the soup and fish, both which she loved.

The beach has many little coves which make the perfect place to lay down your towel, stretch out in the sun and read a book. We spent a whole afternoon doing only this.

Praia-dos-Olhos-de-Agua-Albufeira-Portugal

Praia Maria Luisa

Maria Luisa is the closest beach to the hotel and was also the beach with the least amount of people when we visited. Although we were there in off-season so it was very quiet and relaxed anyway. Besides being another great beach to relax and walk on, there are stairs that lead to the top of the cliffs for awesome ocean views.

There aren’t any restaurants near the beach front, however there are many on Albufeira street closer to the hotel. My favorite was 3 Maria’s where you can get a “Menu do dia” for €13. This includes a starter, main course, dessert and half a bottle of wine. For a sit down dinner in a charming restaurant, the value is unbelievable.

Praia-Maria-Luisa-Albufeira-Portugal-Chantell-Collins-Adoration-4-Adventure

Praia de Santa Eulalia

With all this eating and laying around, a stroll can be great to stretch the legs. Santa Eulalia is a long and wide beach that is nice to walk up and down. This would be a good option if you are looking to go for a jog as well. Tamara and I had grand plans to work out while we were in Albufeira but it never happened. And that’s okay, because when you are on holidays, it’s all about enjoying yourself!

The layers and textures of the colored sands at Praia de Santa Eulalia are very striking as well. All three beaches are unique and worth a visit.

Praia-de-Santa-Eulalia-Albufeira-Portugal

Velamar Boutique Hotel Pool

If you happen to get sick of beaches (is that even possible?) or feel like a change of pace, then there is the pool at Velamar Boutique Hotel. During summer there are sun loungers and a pool bar to help keep you hydrated.

Velamar-Boutique-Hotel-Outdoor-pool-Albufeira-Portugal


Velamar Boutique Hotel

Velamar is a boutique hotel that is both luxurious and affordable. The building was recently renovated and the decor is ocean-inspired with soft blue and green tones. There are many premium amenities including a stylish hotel bar, games area and meeting room.

Velamar-Boutique-Hotel-Lounge-Bar-Albufeira-Portugal

We stayed in the Classic Room that comes with either a double or twin beds. Our room was very spacious with a huge closet, en-suite and balcony. There is also a television, mini fridge, and facilities to make tea and coffee. The sliding glass doors and curtains can be opened up during the day for the breeze and sun. At night they provide a thick barrier for a peaceful sleep.

Velamar-Boutique-Hotel-Classic-Room-Albufeira-Portugal

Buffet breakfast is included for all guests at Velamar Boutique Hotel. The restaurant is located on the top floor and has sea views. One of the best parts of my day was leisurely breakfasts with multiple courses and coffees while looking out at the ocean. Breakfast includes range of cereals, breads, pastries, cold cuts, cheeses, fruits and juices as well as two coffee machines. There is also usually a choice of freshly cooked eggs, which the servers will tell you about once you are seated.

The staff at Velamar Boutique Hotel are multilingual, friendly and helpful. The hotel manager, Jose, and the team went out of their way to make sure our stay was memorable.

Location: Estrada de Albufeira, Olhos d’Água, 8200-635 Albufeira, Algarve

Website: http://www.velamar.pt/

Velamar-Boutique-Hotel-Restaurant-Buffet-Breakfast-Albufeira-Portugal

My friend and I were complimentary guests of Velamar Boutique Hotel, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for adoring Albufeira in the Algarve, Portugal. Including Praia dos Olhos de Agua, Maria Luisa and Santa Eulalia.

Have you traveled to Albufeira and Lagos or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Itinerary: Lisbon, Portugal (2 days)

Itinerary: Lisbon, Portugal (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Lisbon, Portugal.

Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination and for good reason. The Portuguese are welcoming, warm and charming: just like their cities. The crown jewel of this Western European treasure is the capital, Lisbon. It is a global city with a provincial feel, and a destination that deserves a place on all European itineraries.

This was my second time in Lisbon but first time for my adventure buddy, Tamara. You may remember her from such posts as 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain. Even though I’d been before, I still had a list of experiences I wanted to tick off and was excited to get started.

Here is our 2 day itinerary for Lisbon, including budget breakdown.

Planning a trip to Portugal? Check out how to find local cuisine and culture in Lisbon.

Day 1: Lisbon

Breakfast at Gat Rossio

While in Lisbon, Tamara and I had the pleasure of staying at Gat Rossio hotel. Each morning the hotel provides a buffet breakfast with breads, cheeses, cold cut meats, boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, pastries, coffee, tea and juice. Not only is the food delicious but Gat Rossio is also conscious of guests with food preferences and allergies. There are lactose and gluten free options, all easily identifiable with labels. I was ecstatic to find oat milk to have with coffee!

Do you have a sensitivity or preference when it comes to food? Read my tips for traveling with a food allergy.

And if that wasn’t good enough, you can look forward to the Portuguese specialty of Pastel de Nata (cream pastry) each morning. Warning: these are highly addictive!

Breakfast-buffet-at-Gat-Rooms-Lisbon-Portugal

Exploring Barrio Alto

Another bonus of staying at Gat Rossio is its city center location. Barrio Alto has many historic and charming sites to visit including Praca dom Pedro IV and Praca do Comercio. Tamara decided to take a free walking tour with Sandemans New Lisbon (meeting point Martim Moniz at 10am). I had gone on walking tour during my last visit so decided to hit the streets with my camera instead.

Praça-de-D.-Pedro-IV-Rossio-Lisbon-Portugal

Taking the tram to Alfama

Alfama is the colorful “old town” of Lisbon and only a fifteen minute walk from Barrio Alto. If you are looking for an experience you might want to take the tram there. The 28E tram is very popular with tourists as it goes through different neighborhoods of the city. The ticket is inexpensive (around €1.25, paid with your standard metro card) but it can get crowded. Expect to wait for half an hour minimum, even if you get on from the first stop at Matrim Moniz.

Tram-28E-to-Alfama-Lisbon-Portugal

Alfama is a lot of fun to explore. Here you will find many restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. As a popular spot for tourists, some of the meal prices can be in the higher range, however it is still possible to find a cheap sit-down lunch at local restaurants. Basically, the places that don’t have English on the menu. If you don’t speak Portuguese but know Spanish, Italian or French you will see some similarities in some words (just don’t try speaking Spanish to the waiters – they are different languages!). Otherwise a bit of google translating, guessing and pointing goes along way.

I speak enough Portuguese to get around, and we found a quaint corner restaurant with meals from €5 each. The staff were incredibly friendly and when there was one word I was not familiar with, a Brazilian at the nearby table translated it.  I just love hunting for the more “authentic” places, especially if it means saving money.

Something to keep in mind when eating out in Portugal – waiters will often bring bread (sometimes also olives and cheese) to the table. These usually cost extra. Depending on the restaurant it can range from 50 cents to 5 euros for a bread roll (true story – happened to a friend of mine). Check the menu or ask your server before consuming.

 Lunch in Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

Castelo de Sao Jorge and sunset at Zambeze bar

While in Alfama, it is worth taking a walk to Saint George Castle. There is an entrance fee, however you can still see the castle walls and explore the alley ways outside. After a wander around, we went to the nearby Zambeze bar for a cold drink and a beautiful sunset over the city.

Sunset-at-Zambeze-bar-Lisbon-Portugal

Fado concert

As this was my second time in Lisbon, there were three things that I was determined to experience: Pastel de Nata (I got to eat every morning at Gat Rossio), Sintra (we visited the next day) and a Fado concert. Fado is a type of song that is used to express “saudade” (the feeling of missing someone or something). It originated from Portuguese women singing to express heartache when the men left on long sea voyages.

The area of Alfama is the traditional place to see a Fado concert and there are many venues to choose from. We asked Gat Rossio for their recommendations, and subsequently made a booking at Parreirinha de Alfama. This venue is also recommended by the Lisbon Tourism office, so you know it’s really good.

We arrived at the reserved time of 8:30pm and were shown to our table. The restaurant has an intimate setting with stone walls and mood lighting. The performance itself is included with the cost of the meal and guests are required to spend a minimum of €30 per person. Considering the quality of the concert and food, it was well worth the cost.

Parreirinha-de-Alfama-Fado-Concert-Lisbon-Portugal

Day 2: Sintra

Sintra is a Portuguese town located around 30 kilometers (18 miles) outside of Lisbon. It is a magical wonderland of palaces and castles that feels straight out of a fairy tale. The area was once home to Portuguese nobles and is now open for the enjoyment of the public.

It makes a great day trip (or three!) from Lisbon. There are many places to see. You can try cramming in as much as possible with a guided tour or hop-on hop-off bus. We decided to visit just a couple of sites and spend more time in each. Based on recommendations, we chose Quinta da Regaleira and Palacio da Pena.

Getting to Sintra is easy and inexpensive. From Caminhos de Ferro do Rossio station you can take a train direct to Sintra in about forty-five minutes. Don’t worry if you haven’t planned your trip in advance. Upon arrival you will find the tourist information center inside the station, where you can pick up a map and directions.

Quinta da Regaleira

This stately home and lavish grounds is a short 15 minute walk from the Sintra train station. During our Fado dinner we had met a couple who raved about the gardens. I have to agree – they don’t disappoint! Prepare yourself for underground cave systems, enchanting wells and waterfalls. Entrance to the property and house is €6.00.

Quinta-da-Regaleira-Sintra-Portugal

Palacio da Pena

Pena Palace is a little further away. From the Sintra train station it is an hour walk. Alternatively you can buy a return bus ticket for €5.50 or enjoy the novelty of a tuk tuk for €5 per person, each way. Pena Palace costs €6.50 for access to the grounds and €11.50 if you also want to enter the palace rooms.

The walk to Pena is a highlight on its own, as it goes through the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais. There are a a lot of hills so you probably want to be in moderate shape at least. The park closes its gates at 5pm sharp and the palace is open until 6pm.

Pena-Palace-entrance-Sintra-Portugal

Dinner and drinks in Lisbon

There is no shortage of traditional Portuguese restaurants in Lisbon. As we were staying at Gat Rossio and tired after a big day, we decided to stay close to the hotel for dinner. We ventured a few streets away to Rua dos Correeiros to enjoy Bolinhos de Bacalhau (fried codfish balls) for €4 and a bottle of house wine for €5.

For nightlife, many friends had recommended “Pink Street” (or Rua Cor de Rosa) which is actually located on Rua Nova do Carvalho. The street is literally painted pink and packed full of bars and clubs. For my last night in Lisbon, I decided to head to a Couchsurfing event instead. There I enjoyed a beer while chatting with expats, locals and other backpackers.


Gat Rossio Lisbon

Gat Rooms offer designer accommodation in central locations with a focus on value. The brand strives to embody the cat spirit (the word “Gato” is Portuguese for cat) with curiosity, friendliness and playfulness. Gat Rooms have hotels in Berlin and Lisbon, with a new site opening in Barcelona.

We stayed in their Lisbon location, Gat Rossio, and were awed by the helpfulness of the staff. The Gat Rossio team went above and beyond to make sure that we had a great stay in Lisbon. Which is not hard to do when you are staying in a hotel as nice as this!

Gat-Rooms-Lisbon-Double-Standard-Room-Portugal.

My friend and I shared a double standard room which comes with an ergonomic “5 star” bed. The furnishings and fittings are very sleek with fresh, bold colors.The custom-lighting control panels above the bed let you set the mood of the room with dimming. Or allows guests to read on their side of the bed while their roommate sleeps.

On the second level at Gat Rossio, you can find the kitchen, terrace and lounge area which is called “Roomroom”. Roomroom is a great place to chill, work, or message your friends to brag about the great time you are having.

Location: Rua jardim do Regedor, 27-35, 1150-193 Lisboa

Website: http://hotelgatrossio.com/

Gat-Rooms-Lisbon-Portugal-Terrace

My friend and I were complimentary guests of Gat Rossio, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


Budget breakdown: Lisbon

All costs are quoted for one person and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Gat Rossio is a design-lovers hotel located in the center of Lisbon. They offer single, double and triple rooms as well as junior suites. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Rooms.

Food: Gat Rooms Lisbon provides a daily buffet breakfast to all their guests.

Day 1 – Coffee and muffin (€2.20), lunch in Alfama (€7.50), beer at Zambeze (€2.00), dinner at Parreirinha de Alfama, including Fado concert (€35.50).

Day 2 – Lunch in Sintra (€8.00), hot chocolate at Pena Palace (€2.50), chocolate cake (€1.20), dinner and wine in Lisbon (€7.25).

Activities: Entrance to Quinta da Regaleira (€6.00), entrance to Pena Palace gardens (€6.50).

Transport: Metro card for center (€6.30), 24 hour train ticket to SIntra (€10.25).

Average daily spend: €47.66 each* ($50.21 USD and $66.38 AUD as of 4 March 2017) excluding accommodation.

*This daily amount could be reduced by choosing cheaper activities. Also I made an error with my metro tickets and paid more than I needed to.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Lisbon, Portugal exploring Barrio Alto and Alfama as well as a day trip to Sintra.

Have you traveled to Lisbon or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Local cuisine and culture in Lisbon, Portugal

Local cuisine and culture in Lisbon, Portugal

Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for local cuisine and culture in Lisbon, Portugal.

As a solo traveler, I am pretty comfortable with eating out on my own. However, given the chance, I will almost always choose to dine with company. One of the reasons I enjoy using BonAppetour is that it provides me with an opportunity to get to know new people over a meal.

BonAppetour is a community platform that brings travelers and local hosts together, from over 40 countries across the world. I first tried BonAppetour in Bangkok, Thailand with a Thai cooking class and meal. After having such a fun, social and relaxed time, I was hooked!

For my next BonAppetour experience, I attended a sit down 3 course meal in Lisbon, Portugal. Once again, my expectations (and the capacity of my stomach!) were well exceeded.

bon-appetour-dinner-libson-appertisers

Enjoying local cuisine

One of the richest aspects of travel is enjoying new and local cuisines. As this was my first trip to Lisbon, I chose a traditional Portuguese meal for my BonAppetour experience. However, often you can find an array of dining options from local cuisines to exotic dishes on the BonAppetour platform.

My host family were incredibly warm and kind. Luis met me near the underground station (just a short trip from my hostel in Praca de Rossio) and directed me to their apartment, where I was greeted by Patricia and their two lovely daughters. The atmosphere was very welcoming and I immediately felt like an old friend of the family’s.

Almost upon arrival, I was being seated for the first course of delicious cheeses and meats. The main was a dish that I had never heard of before but was grateful for the opportunity to try. “Carne de Porco a Alentejana” includes both pork and claims. For dessert we had a melt-in-your-mouth Portuguese pudding. Each dish was exquisite and paired with a hand picked local wine, liqueur and coffee. Don’t worry if you have food preferences or allergies, Patricia is happy to customize the menu.

carne-de-porco-a-alentejana-lisboa-portugal

Discovering Portuguese culture

The added bonus of using BonAppetour for your dining experience, is that the hosts are locals. This provides an opportunity for you to get to know more about the culture and history of your destination.

I have a particular interest in Portugal, as I had lived in Brazil for a short time and now speak a little Brazilian Portuguese. It was great fun for me to practice my Portuguese with Patricia and her family over the meal. They also impressed me with their fluency in foreign languages and worldly travels.

Patricia was delighted to share her knowledge about Lisbon and other parts of Portugal. I left her apartment with a head full of suggestions, arms full of brochures to Sintra and a tummy full of Portuguese goodness.

portuguese-culture-libson-adoration-4-adventure

Use the A4A Reader Discount Code “A4A10OFF” to receive 10% off your next BonAppetour experience.


BonAppetour

Do you want to enjoy great food and connect with locals? BonAppetour provides the opportunity to “dine at homes around the world”.

And if there isn’t a host in a city near you, you can also sign up to become a host and home chef.

Use the A4A Reader Discount Code “A4A10OFF” to receive 10% off your next BonAppetour experience.

BonAppetour - Explore Unique Home Restaurants

I was a complimentary guest of BonAppetour, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to our readers.  

This page contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission from purchases made through these links, however there is no extra cost to the reader. For more information, please read my disclaimer and privacy policy.


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Adoration 4 Adventure's recommendations for finding local cuisine and culture in Lisbon, Portugal. How to enjoy home dining around the world.

Have you tried BonAppetour or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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5 reasons to visit Porto, Portugal

5 reasons to visit Porto, Portugal

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 5 reasons to visit Porto, Portugal.

I might be biased but Porto is now one of my favorite European cities. It has everything this girl could want in a destination – easy to walk around, incredible views and very affordable. Plus, it has the added bonus of giving me an opportunity to practice my Portuguese.

Since living in Brazil in 2013, I have been studying Brazilian Portuguese using various methods including group classes, private lessons, books and apps. So you can imagine how excited I was to be visiting a city where they speak the language I am learning. Well…. sort of. Actually the Portuguese from Portugal and Brazil are a little different. Especially in the accent. For the most part though, everyone could understand me and I could at least follow along in conversations.

Don’t worry if you don’t speak a word of Portuguese. The citizens of Portugal generally speak excellent English and are more than happy to converse with you. In fact, even if you don’t speak English that well, they will still try to understand and help you.

Sounds amazing right? Well read on for more reasons why you should visit Porto.

Planning a trip to Europe? Check out posts for the England and The Netherlands.

Walk-able streets

Everything about Porto is easy. Taking the train from the airport to downtown is very simple and cheap (just a few Euros). Then once you arrive to the center, chances are you won’t need to take public transport again because this city is very walk-able!

There is so much to explore and my favorite way to do that is by foot. I actually took two walking tours while staying in the city – as one morning tour covered half of the city and the afternoon covered the other half. In addition to that, there are still many gorgeous and winding alleys that you can wander off on your own.

pacos-do-concelho-porto-portugal

Stunning views

One thing that I loved about both Porto and Lisbon (Portugal’s capital) was the number of incredible rooftop views that the cities provide. Porto is not shy is showing off it’s beauty. Some of the best city views, including Vitoria and “the path of virtues” are included on the free walking tours.

path-of-virtues-porto-portugal

Portuguese cuisine on a budget

Porto has two dishes that are traditional to the area. The first is a “Tripas”, a tripe and bean stew. I decided to take a pass on this one, however don’t let that stop you from diving in. If you are unsure about the tripe then you can ask for it on the side.

The second dish is the “francesinha”. This is one monster sandwich! Basically they take two slices of white bread and fill it with meats such as beef, sausage and ham then cover the whole thing in cheese. The bowl is filled with a tomato and onion sauce which may include other liquids such as whiskey and Porto wine. If that wasn’t enough, the meal also comes with a side of fries. I highly recommend sharing as I didn’t meet anyone who had finished it on their own. For “uma francesinha e cafe com leite” (and coffee with milk) I paid 8.30 Euros.

uma-francesinha-porto-portugal

Bacalhau (cod) is also a popular dish, although not specific to the region as you can also get this in other parts of Portugal and Brazil. Still if you like fish, this can be a really nice meal or snack to have with a “cerveza” (beer).

All in all, I found the food to be really cheap! For breakfast hit up the local “padaria” (bakery) to enjoy fresh bread and coffee for under 2 Euros. Then at lunch time, look for a sign that says “menu do dia” (menu of the day) which will include a starter, main and a drink for as little as 5 Euros. This meal is also huge so don’t be afraid to share.

Wizard-y connections

Any Harry Potter fans here? If so, then you will definitely want to add Porto to your list. JK Rowling lived here at the time of writing the first book. There are many obvious connections between the city and the novels which I will let you discover by yourself (hint: a lot of these will be covered on the free walking tours).

You can even visit some of her favorite places to write, including the Cafe Majestic and Livraria Lello.

livraria-lello-porto-portugal

Oporto City Hostel

While staying in Porto you will want to be somewhere central and fun. Oporto City Hostel provides a relaxed and social environment in an excellent location. The hostel is an easy stroll from all the major historical attractions and an even shorter distance from the Trinidade Station.

I found the staff to be super helpful and always smiling. At the front desk you will find information about the free walking tours that I mentioned, as well as a pub crawl and port wine tour. In addition to this, they can provide you with a city map and recommendations.

Location: Rua Guedes de Azevedo 219, Porto

Website: www.oportocityhostel.com

oporto-city-hostel

I was a complimentary guest of Oporto City Hostel however my opinions are my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 5 reasons to visit Porto, Portugal.. Including walk-able streets, stunning views and Portuguese cuisine on a budget.

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