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.


Pin it for the next adventure!

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.


Pin it for the next adventure!

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!

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

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.


Pin it for the next adventure!

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 guide: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Local guide: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. This guide has been written by a visitor to the island with contribution from the beautiful expats and locals of Palma. Thank you to Felicity Edwards for all her knowledge and help.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Planning a trip to Spain? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Barcelona.

Overview of Mallorca

Mallorca is located in the Balearic Islands, off the eastern coast of Spain. It is a destination that attracts tourists from all over the world for it’s breathtaking beaches, coastal biking paths, and mountain hiking trails. The island swells with visitors during the warmer seasons and provides a great getaway in the cooler months due to its mild temperatures.

Neighboring Ibiza may be more well-known as a party destination however, Mallorca’s capital holds its own in nightlife and doesn’t shut down in the off-season. The island is buzzing with an international crowd and it’s almost impossible not to make new friends.

It is not unusual for visitors to Mallorca to end up extending their trip (like I did!) or even move there. As a firm new favorite of mine, I would recommend taking time to make the most of Mallorca in all its splendor.

View-of-Palma-Mallorca-Spain

Top 5 places to visit

5. Palma

Palma is the capital of Mallorca and the location of the main airport. This charming city makes a great base for your time in Mallorca and is worth spending a few days exploring on its own. There are winding alleys, cafe-lined streets, striking plazas, a collection of galleries and museums, and a picturesque harbor.

Near the marina is La Seu Cathedral, an imposing and majestic site to behold. After snapping your photos and walking further long the sea, head inland into the old town. You will want to get lost in these compact streets while popping into stores and discovering the best places to have a coffee.

Catedral-de-Palma-Mallorca-Spain

4. Torrent de Pareis

The journey to Torrent de Pareis is almost as spectacular as the final destination. Windy roads lead through mountains with unique rock formations caused by water erosion. There are dozens of scenic view-points and you will be stopping the car countless times to take photos or just gaze in awe. Keep an eye out for the “Knotted Tie”, a looping road that looks like a bow-tie.

Once reaching the bay of Sa Calobra, it’s an easy paved walked to Torrent de Pareis. A cove where the stream meets the sea. A dramatic landscape of jutting rock-faces, crashing waves, and turquoise streams.

Torrente-de-Pareis-Mallorca-Spain

3. Formentor

In every destination there is always one spot that tops people’s must-visit list. For Mallorca, this is Formentor. A rugged coast-line with spectacular sea views in the most northern part of the island, it’s the place most visitors want to see. There is also a lighthouse further along the twisting road.

Formentor-Mallorca-Spain

2. Coll Baix

There can’t be many better combinations then a hike and a stunning beach. Coll Baix is a hidden treasure that requires a little work to get to but is well worth the effort. First, it’s about a forty-minute drive from Palma to the town Alcudia, then more country roads. Look out for the signs for “Coll Baix” as they can be hard to spot. Once reaching the road, it gets a bit rocky and most people will park then walk the rest of the way in.

From the trail-head it’s around thirty minutes to the beach. Parts of the trail can be a little slippery and steep, so take care with your footing. At the time of my visit the tide was high, however during low-tide and warmer seasons be sure to take a picnic and enjoy the beach to its fullest.

Coll-Baix-Mallorca-Spain

1. Caló des Moro

The most memorable location in Mallorca for me, was Calo de Moro. During the Summer it can get quiet crowded so make sure you get here early in the day. Otherwise during off-peak season, you might find you have this incredible view to yourself and don’t even mind that it’s too cold to swim.

Caló-des-Moro-Mallorca-Spain

Eating and drinking

Palma Hippodrome

While on the island you’ll want to try some typical Mallorcan food. As a visitor, it can be hard to know where to go or what dishes to order. That’s why I was thrilled to hear of an all-you-can-eat Mallorcan-style buffet lunch for 11 Euros! Located at the Hipodrom (horse-racing track) in Son Pardo, just outside of Palma Centre.

Ca’n Joan de S’aigo

This place is well-known and loved by locals for its hot chocolates. It’s usually packed and there may be a line, but it is worth the wait! Try an ensaimada (Mallorcan pastry) while you are there. The strawberry ice cream is supposed to be delicious as well.

can-joan-de-saigo-palma-mallorca

100 Montaditos 

We all have our guilty pleasures and while in Palma, this was mine! 100 Montaditos is a chain restaurant but I don’t even care because they have a menu of 100 different sandwiches from 1 Euro each. There are even sweet sandwiches! I tried one with a chocolate-chip cookie bread and white chocolate as the filler. A great place to stop for a cheap bite and coffee or beer while exploring the city.

Lemon Tree

If you find yourself in Palma on a Friday night and feel like socializing over a drink – head to Lemon Tree. The Connect Lingus community hosts an international meeting there every Friday from 9:30pm until 2am (most people arrive after 10pm). There is even a bingo game with a chance to win free drinks! I won on my first Friday and was a very happy lady. Connect Lingus also hosts other free events such as Zumba, Yoga, Circuit Training, day excursions, and fun nights out. I attended a few events while here and made some great friendships.

lemon-tree-connect-lingus

Transport

The easiest and most convenient way to explore the island is by car. If you have the funds, I would highly recommend hiring a rental for your time there. Alternatively there is a public transport system (TIB for the island of Mallorca and EMT for Palma and its neighboring municipalities) that will take you to some of the spots that I have mentioned above.

Accommodation

Couchsurfing

Mallorca has an active Couchsurfing community for both hosting and events. For the first six nights of my stay, I was lucky enough to be hosted by a local who had time to show me around the island by car. Meeting locals is a great way to find out all the best things to see and do in Mallorca. If staying with “strangers” (soon to be friends!) is a little out of your comfort zone, then try going to a CS event first.

For more information about Couchsurfing, read my tips on finding travel accommodation on a budget.

Fleming Hostel

Fleming Hostel is located next to Plaza del Cardenal Reig and just a few minutes walk to Plaza España and Plaza Mayor. I stayed here for my last three nights in Palma and enjoyed the central location. The hostel is very modern with lots of space, light, and beautiful terraces. They have rooms with 2,4, and 6 beds which can booked privately or shared.

Location: Carrer Arxiduc Lluís Salvador 46, 07004 · Palma de Mallorca

Website: http://fleminghostel.com/

fleming-hostel-photo-credit-fleming-hostel

Photo credit: Fleming Hostel

I was a complimentary guest of Fleming Hostel, 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 local guide for visitor's to Mallorca. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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Travel essentials: adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket

Travel essentials: adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket

Adoration 4 Adventure’s product review of the adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket.

Do you enjoy hiking but hate getting wet and cold during the cooler months? Just because it’s winter or the rainy season, doesn’t mean that you should have to miss out going for a vigorous hike or long seaside stroll. In fact some of the best walks can be in the worst kinds of weather!

Here in the north of Spain, we get wet winters however I have figured out a way not to let that spoil my fun. Thanks to the help of adidas, I am now prepared with a pair of Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket.

Here is my review of these great adidas products!

For more travel gear recommendations, check out my packing lists for warm weather and cold weather.

Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women's Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket Cudillero Spain

adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes

I love the outdoors. Whether it’s hiking in the forest, walking along the beach or pounding the pavement, it is so important to be supported by a good pair of shoes. The adidas Terrex Agravic GTX are specifically made for trail running but are so flexible that can be used for almost any kind of outdoor activity.

The adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes have the following benefits:

  • GORE-TEX® – lining to for dry feet even when it’s wet out.
  • Continental® – rubber tread sole for even better traction.
  • Boost™ – providing innovative cushioning technology with a combination of softness and responsiveness to improve your running experience.

Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women's Shoes Box

I have been testing these puppies out for over a month and couldn’t be happier with them. The fit was perfect for my whole foot – not any easy task when you have an usual size of US 8.5. In the beginning, the material felt firm around the sides but after the first use it stretched out and now feels like I am walking on clouds.

These shoes are so stylish and have gotten me numerous amounts of compliments since I first got them. They are also lightweight with great grip for when you go off road. I wear my adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes daily to go for my hour power walk on a concrete pavement, as well as using them for when I go to the beach to walk the dog and during hikes. Even in the wet conditions, my feet always stay snug and dry.

Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women's Shoes

Adidas Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket

Living on the coast can bring in some sudden and freezing chills, even when the sun is out. I never have to worry that I will be caught out by a change of weather or gust of wind while I am wearing my adidas Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket.

The jacket is made of 80/20 RDS certified goose down and built to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. There are heat seals around the cuffs of the sleeve and neck, as well as padded pockets to keep your hands warm. The Climaheat™ technology traps heat inside the jacket and helps it dry out faster if the outside gets wet.

Adidas Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket Front

One of my favorite features, besides the jacket being amazingly warm and water resistant, is the hidden inside pocket. I use this to hold my keys for when I am going for a long walk, instead of taking a bag with me. I’ve also worn this jacket for a night  and the pockets have been large enough for me to store my phone, lip balm and money so I don’t need to drag around a bag while I am bar hopping.

The adidas Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket has a deep adjustable hood with a small visor to provide even more protection for your face against the wind and rain.

Adidas Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket Back

Why you should buy

Adidas are market leaders for a good reason. The products that they manufacture are top of the line in innovation, technology and quality. The company is committed to helping its customer perform better, whether its on the court or on the trail. When you purchase products from adidas, you are choosing a world-famous brand that has a long track record of success and building trust with its customers.

Adidas-Terrex-Agravic-GTX-Womens-Shoes-and-Climaheat-Frost-Hooded-Jacket-Asturias-Beach-Spain-with-dog


Adoration 4 Adventure received a complimentary pair of Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women’s Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket for the purposes of completing a product review. I do not receive any commission from sales through the links in this post.

Adoration 4 Adventure partners with quality brands that are relevant to my readers. I only promote what I believe in, which is why the A4A audience can trust my recommendations.

For any queries relating to the products I have included on our website, please refer to my disclaimer and privacy policy.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s product review of the adidas Terrex Agravic GTX Women's Shoes and Climaheat Frost Hooded Jacket - hiking and travel essentials.

Which Adidas products do you use and love? Tell us about it below!

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Itinerary: Barcelona, Spain (2 days)

Itinerary: Barcelona, Spain (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain.

I know what you are thinking. How can you only go to Barcelona for two days? That can’t possibly be enough to see and do everything in this amazing place. And you’d be right! However, we don’t always get the luxury of spending as much time as we would like in a city. Unfortunately with work, family and other commitments, sometimes all we get is two days to pack in as much as we can.

In fact, when I planned this trip to Barcelona it was to meet up with an old friend from Australia, Tamara. She was flying in from London and only had the weekend free. This was her first time in Barcelona, the third for me, and I was excited to show her around one of my all time favorite European cities.

So here was our two day itinerary for Barcelona – perfect for the first time visitor!

Heading to Europe? Check out posts on Portugal and England

Arrival

Plaça de Catalunya, Centric and Port Barcelona

Tamara and I met at the airport on Friday evening, before traveling in together. Another girl approached us to ask if we would like to split a cab and we agreed. The ride was actually really fun with all of us chatting with the cab driver and hearing about his life in Barcelona (and the many languages that he speaks!). If you are arriving with two or less people, then it is definitely more economic to take the Aerobús. This goes from terminals one and two to the city center for just under €6 a ticket.

The Aerobus terminates in Plaça de Catalunya, which is right near our hostel of choice, St Christopher’s Inn. We arrived with our bags and were greeted at reception by Adrian, who would become our new friend and comic entertainment during the stay.

St-Christophers-Barcelona-entrance-adoration-4-adventure

After checking in, we decided to start our night with some tapas and wine. We asked the other hostel receptionist for a recommendation and were pointed towards Centric, a bar across the square. For dinner we enjoyed patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), artichokes and a squid slider over a bottle of Spanish red wine. I can’t imagine a better way to start a weekend in Barcelona!

Then we took a stroll down the colorful and energetic La Rambla to Port Barcelona for cocktails by the sea. Every time I have gone drinking at a bar in this area, the bartenders have always given out free shots. Talk about a warm welcome to the city.

Day 1

Park Güell and Gaudi House Museum

Park Güell is a wonderland of Gaudi creations. Originally a private estate, owned by Eusebi Güell, the park was made public in 1926. A large portion of the park is free to enter, wander around and marvel at the magnificence of Gaudi. To access the Monumental Zone and Gaudí House Museum, you can purchase your tickets online or at the gates. Tamara purchased her double pass to Gaudí House Museum + La Sagrada Familia for €24.

The Visit Barcelona website also offers guided park tours, including entrance to Park Güell.

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

There is definitely something magical about Park Güell. Imagine strolling along the path ways looking at the Gaudi constructions, inspired by nature. Buskers are found around every corner, adding to the ambiance with soothing sounds. And did I mention the views? Make sure to take your camera.

Park Guell, views of Barcelona, Spain

Street Art 

While visiting Barcelona, you are going to see a range of street art from political statements, amusing caricatures and mind-blowing murals. We had a lot of fun getting lost down back streets and alleys to be surprised by new works of art.

Street art in Barcelona, Spain

Lunch at Belushi’s bar

After a big morning of exploring, we needed to recharge so we headed back to our hostel, St Christopher’s Inn. Attached to the hostel, is Belushi’s bar. Every morning they serve a continental-style buffet breakfast, complimentary to hostel guests. During the day and nights, guests also receive a 25% discount on food purchases as well as a number of drink specials.

Tamara and I ordered the patatas bravas (the portion was huge!) and two coffees. While enjoying our meal, we began chatting to another guest and decided to all go to the Gothic Quarter together.

lunch-Belushis-bar-St-Christophers-Barcelona-adoration-4-adventure

La Rambla and Gothic Quarter

La Rambla is great to see by day and night. There is just so much happening that it is hard to know where to look. For me, it really does seem to be the heart of Barcelona, that to connects everything, including the Gothic Quarter.

Step off La Rambla and you will immediately find yourself in a different world on winding alleys and quiet plazas. The Gothic Quarter is one of these areas with buildings dating back to the medieval times. The architecture is break-taking and will keep you amused for hours, even if you aren’t a history buff.

Lucky for us, Tamara has an interest in art and history, and shared all her new found knowledge. If you want all the history, without the effort then you may want to take a guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Gothic quarter, Barcelona, Spain

Tablao Flamenco de Carmen at Poble Espanyol

The stand out activity of our trip was Tablao Flamenco de Carmen at Poble Espanyol. Located just a short walk from the Montjuïc Magic Fountain, Poble Espanyol is an attraction of Spanish arts, architecture, food and history, enclosed within tower walls. We arrived thirty minutes before the beginning of the flamenco show and visited some of the artisan shops sampling sangria, cheese, olive oil and honeys from around the country.

At 8:45pm, we returned to the entrance of Tablao Flamenco de Carmen and were swiftly seated at our stage-side table. We had chosen the ticket options which included a dinner of five tapas, a main course, desert, coffee and a choice between sangria or wine. The food was incredibly delicious and plentiful. The tapas included a nice range of cheeses, ham and seafood, showing off the best that Spain has to offer.

dinner-at-tablao-flamenco-de-carmen-barcelina-spain

With much excitement and anticipation, the flamenco show soon began. Tablao Flamenco de Carmen tribute to the Barcelona-born dancer, Carmen Amaya. The performance is multi-faceted with talented vocalists, musicians and dancers. In total there were four flamenco dancers, two male and two female, each with their our incredible and individual styles. Tamara and I were both in awe during the performance. It was really very moving and an experience that I won’t forget.

Get your tickets to Tablao Flamenco de Carmen here!

Tablao Flamenco de Carmen, Turisme de Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

You can’t come to Barcelona and not see Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia (the sacred family). As this was my third time in the city, I had already been in the church twice. However this was Tamara’s first and top of her list of things to do. I went along with her and while she explored inside, I walked around taking photos from the park across the street. If you are on a budget and can’t afford an entrance ticket, you can still go and enjoy these incredible views from outside.

For a professionally led tour, with entrance to La Sagrada Familia included, check out Visit Barcelona.

La-Sagrada-Familia-Front-entrance-Barcelona-Spain

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona

We’ve all heard of Arc de Triomphe in Paris, well meet the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona. This was built for the 1888 Universal Exhibition and leads right up to the spectacular Parc de la Ciutadella. Stroll along the paved walkway to take great shots of both the arch and park from either end.

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, Spain

Parque de la Ciudadela and Picasso museum

Parque de la Ciudadela completely surprised me. It is a huge sprawling park, buzzing with activity and merriment. I spent an hour here while Tamara visited the nearby Picasso Museum (€12 entrance or free on Sunday between 3-7pm but there is about an hour wait). There is plenty to see and do with a grand fountain, public table tennis sets and lush gardens.

Parque de la Ciudadela, Barcelona, Spain


St Christopher’s Inn Barcelona

We wouldn’t have been able to fit in as many activities as we did, if it wasn’t for staying in a central location. One of the reasons that we chose to stay at St Christopher’s Inn is the fact that they are right near Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla.

There are so many reasons to love St Christopher’s, that it is hard to know where to start! I definitely felt at home here, easily making friends with the reception staff and other guests. The whole vibe of the hostel, bar and restaurant are very relaxed, fun and social. There is also a “chill out” room where you can go hang out with your new mates or relax while surfing online using the free WiFi.

We stayed in both a private twin room and 8 person dorm (on different nights). The private room came with it’s own bathroom, terrace and access to a separate “chill out” room on the 7th floor. The dorm rooms are fitted out with “pod” beds that have their own curtain, lamp and draw to lock up your bags. In both rooms, the beds very comfortable, clean and modern.

St-Christophers-Barcelona-twin-room-adoration-4-adventure

St Christopher’s Inn has a variety of rooms available for groups of all types and sizes from mixed dorms, female-only dorms, twin en-suites, as well as 4, 6 and 8 bed private rooms.

Location: Carrer de Bergara, 3, Barcelona, Spain, 08002

Website: https://www.st-christophers.co.uk/barcelona-hostels

St-Christophers-Barcelona-common-room-adoration-4-adventure

My friend and I were complimentary guests of St Christopher’s Barcelona and Barcelona Tourism, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


Budget breakdown: Barcelona

All costs are quoted for two people 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: St Christopher’s Barcelona is a social hostel located right next to La Rambla. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Booking.

Food: St Christopher’s Barcelona provides a continental-style buffet breakfast to all their guests. The attached bar and restaurant, Belushi’s, provides a 25% guest discount on food and other drink specials.

Arrival – Tapas and a bottle of wine at Centric (€34), cocktails at Port Barcelona (€48).

Day 1 – Lunch of Patatas Bravas and coffee at Belushi’s bar (€7).

Day 2 – Coffee at the Costa Coffee near La Sagrada Familia (€7), lunch of tapas and wine near Ciudadela Park (€38.45), nachos and 2 jugs of beer at Belushi’s bar (€26.50).

Activities: Although my friend visited Gaudi House Museum, La Sagrada Familia and Picasso Museum, I choose to wander around the nearby streets and parks instead.

Transport: Taxi from Airport to Plaça Catalunya (€20), Metro pass x10 rides (€10), Airport bus (€12).

Average daily spend:  €44.10 each* ($46.77 USD and $63.37 AUD as of 19 November 2016) excluding accommodation and the Flamenco Show.

*This daily amount could be reduced by purchasing food from supermarkets or local bakeries.


This page contains some affiliate links. I may receive a small commission from purchases made through these links, however there is no extra cost to the reader.

Adoration 4 adventure partners with quality brands that are relevant to readers. I only promote what I believe in, which is why the A4A audience can trust my recommendations.

For any queries relating to the products I have included on my website, please refer to the disclaimer and privacy policy.


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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain exploring Park Guell, Gothic Quarter, La Rambla and Port Barcelona.

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

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