I flew back from Portugal yesterday, after an amazing 15 days spend with my Fiancés family and I wanted to share with you some of the place I loved visiting and spending time in. This was my second time to Portugal but this time we went on an adventure to explore a lot more places, which I really enjoyed, and also learnt a lot about Portugal’s history and culture. So lets get into it.
Lisbon is a known as Portugal’s hilly capital and located by the Tegus river surrounded by severn hills. Lisbon’s centre was built after the 1755 earthquake, which devastated a huge amount of the surrounding areas, and was re-built on green pine stilts. Lisbon has so much to offer from a castle and museums, historical views to amazing shopping.
One of the places I really enjoyed visiting in Lisbon was the Oceanário de Lisboa “oceanrium”. I have never been to an aquarium before but have wanted to go for years and I loved it. This oceanarium has a huge variety of different sea life, which was fascinating to see. They have a huge main tanks full with different species of sharks, fish and rays, which I found amazing and could sit there for hours, watching them all swim by. There are also smaller tanks and outside areas where they have loads of other fish, mammals, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, and plants & algae. They recommend a two hour visit to view everything but we only had 1 hours 30 mins so we had to rush though a little. There were so many amazing species to see, and I will be going back to see more. I feel you could easily spend half a day exploring and watching all these amazing species swim around you.
I have already mentioned Obidos in a previous blog Road Trip Round Portugal, but it was such a stunning medieval town that I felt it was worth mentioning again. Obidos is a small town that has been frozen in the medieval time with its streets filled with tiny shops, white houses, ribbons overhead, and the streets buzzing with people. As you walk up the tiny cobbled streets you are finally met with a beautiful stone castle, which is the main attraction of the town. You are able to walk up to the top of the stone wall, which surround the town, and look out to the views around. It’s a nice stop on anyones road trip!
If you are looking for a small village tucked away in the mountains where you can take a breather from life and admire some stunning views then you have to visit Talasnal Village. This is a tiny village located within the collection of Serra da Lousã Schist (Slate) Villages, high up in the mountains, it is only accessible by foot, making for a very relaxing and calming village to be in. The village is built on a step hill so there are lots of steps to climb but the views are worth it. One interesting thing about this village is that every house is made from slate, as slate is an abundant resource in that area. This village was also feature in my blog post Road Trip Round Portugal.
Monserrate Palace, Sintra
Monserratte Palace is a beautiful place to visit if you are at a loose end in Sintra. I spend about three hours, with my Fiancés family, walking around the gardens and exploring the palace. The gardens in Monserratte were huge and full of different plant and tree species from all over the world. Amongst the garden there are also ruins of an old chapel, which was once used by the original owners of this land. The ruins have now become over grown with nature as it is taking back land that use to be theirs. This place is a haven for nature photographers as it such a photogenic location and also fascinating to look around. Similar views and gardens can be found on other Sintra Palaces.
Moving onto Monserrate Palace, which I fell in love with, as the architecture and attention to detail blow me away. The palace was used a number of different people including by Francis Cook and his family to escape to in the summer. This palace was build in 1789 but on top of ruins due to the Lisbon earthquake in 1755. As you can see this build has a lot of history with in its walls and they were no expense wasted with the decoration of the interiors. If you do ever visit Sintra I would highly recommend visiting this palace.
Praia Grande “large beach”, Sintra
I spend about a week in Sintra and I love the fact that nearly every day we would go down to the beach and spend some time there. I love the beach, in England I live in the suburbs and the beach is about one hour aways so I don’t normal go down. The sea in England is also normally freezing, so when we were in Sintra I made the most of being by the sea. If you want to know what I got unto on the beach than check out my blog post What I love about the Beach.
So there are my 5 places I recommend you visit if you ever go to Portugal. If you missed my other blog post about portugal then why not check them out. I went on a Road Trip Round Portugal, which was so much fun and we went to some amazing place, worth checking out. If you find yourself in Sintra and you want a great beach then check out Praia Grande, heres the blog post about the beach What I love about the Beach.
Hope you enjoyed this blog and it helps you work out some amazing places to visit if you are visiting Portugal this year (or next). If you have been to Portugal where would you suggest visiting? What did you like about it?