Portugal: December 25-27, 2013

Hi friends! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I’ve been back in London this week after an amazing time in Portugal. I am really enjoying writing about this trip. In the past, I have tried to keep a travel diary but it has had little to no success. Writing when it’s fresh in my mind, after a few Made in Chelsea episodes, has been perfect. It is also my hope that these posts might help you when/if you plan your own trip to London, Portugal and beyond :)

So let’s continue shall we?

We landed in Lisbon, picked up a rental car and made our way to our hotel in Sintra, Portugal (20 minutes north of Lisbon). We were greeted by the most delicious plate of Christmas goodies and caught up on necessary sleep.

Christmas Cookies

The next morning I laced up my Wave Riders for the first time in two months (yay!) and went on a short and slow run around the hotel.

Morning run

While my parents golfed, my sister and I explored the surrounding area.

Monestary Courtyard
Horsing around
Just being Miley



We then all made our way into Sintra, a town dotted by royal retreats, estates, castles and buildings from the 8th-9th century. I was first exposed to the beauty and history of Sintra a la The Amazing Race — the Castle of the Moors was one of the pit stops this past season. Anyone remember?

Moorish Castle

The castle was constructed during the 8th to 9th century, during the period of Arab occupation of the Iberian peninsula to protect the population. [Source] The ruins and sights are amazing! The trek up to the top is literally breathtaking.

View from Moorish Castle

After all that walking and posing for photos, we were ready for dinner. The concierge recommended to drive into a nearby town called Cascais. We went to a restaurant called Visconde da Luz. I knew I was going for seafood: freshly grilled prawns, green beans and carrots sauteed in olive oil and garlic. Delicious!

Prawn Dinner

The drive back from dinner was quite eventful. Let’s just say our good friend Emily (aka our GPS) got us a wee bit lost so we ended up navigating the streets, highways, un-paved roads of Portugal on our own. Quite interesting but we made it!

I woke up the next morning planning on going for a workout (the hotel had a beautiful gym) but my legs were so sore from yesterday’s run and walk so I stretched instead. It was a gloomy day but we decided to drive into Lisbon. By the time the weather cleared we parked the car and took the Santa Justa Lift up for a wonderful view of Lisbon.

Lisbon and Ocean View

We did some walking, stopped for a bite to eat and hopped on a terrifying street-car up one of the seven hills that Lisbon sits atop. The street-car was quite packed and turned out to be more expensive than a taxi. I don’t recommend taking it but definitely make your way up!

Family in Lisbon

Lisbon and Ocean View

Back at the hotel, I went for a swim. Say what?! If you didn’t know, I hate swimming. But I know how good swimming is for muscle recovery so I took advantage.

We had a relaxing dinner at the hotel. The seafood in Portugal definitely lived up to expectations… a juicy and delicious salmon burger with veggies for the win.

Salmon Dinner

The next two days in Portugal were even better than the first! Stay tuned…


Questions of the day…

Do you enjoy fish/seafood as much as me?!

What is your favorite international city? 


42 thoughts on “Portugal: December 25-27, 2013

  1. Wow, these pics are beautiful!! I’ve only beem to Lisbon in my time as a Flight Atendant and didn’t really see much.
    I LOVE seafood – whenever it’s on the menu, I order it!!
    New York City and Berlin are my faves! And Barcelona. Ok, I have 3 favorites, sorry :-)

    1. So cool that you were a flight attendant! Funny that on our flight yesterday my sister and I were discussing that we should become flight attendants so we can travel the world. I also love Barcelona!

  2. Amazing recap- that is so funny you mention the Amazing Race- I love that show, and love going to places they go on it/want to travel to places they go! Best.

    Not even going to answer your first question, but the second one- NYC hands down.

    PS truth- I have the guy version of your jacket which, ironically, was my most worn on my travels in the cold European countries :p

  3. I am loving your travel recaps! Really I’m just living vicariously through you since I haven’t been anywhere new and exciting in quite some time. And I just have to say again that I’m SO happy to see you running again. I know it’s been a long and difficult break. Looking forward to Portugal part 2! xo

  4. Beautiful pictures! I’ve never been to Portugal (nor has it even really been on my radar, to be honest) but it looks gorgeous, and I may have to rethink that one ;-) And i’m glad i’m not the only one who hates swimming! Even when I go to the beach, I’m the one sitting in a beach chair 98% of the time.

  5. Come hooooooome! Haha.

    Ok, since that isn’t an appropriate comment, I will say that the food in Portugal looks AMAZING!! I never went to Portugal because I thought it’d be boring, but looks like I was wrong! I hate swimming too! xoxo

  6. Portugal is stunning! Wow. I think personally that’s a country I didn’t ever really give much thought to, but now I have to reconsider this. I had no idea how much history it held, but I could guess that it was beautiful, as everywhere in Europe is. *sigh* can’t wait to hear about your next two days!

    1. Can I come?! :) You will have a blast in London — as you know from being abroad there are tons of places to consider and you really can’t make a bad choice xo

  7. Hi Amy!
    It looks like you had a great time in Europe. Portugal looks beautiful! I would go out for a run too, to explore the city. ;) And, it’s funny because I’ve always wanted to travel to Spain and Portugal. I hope to study abroad in Spain for a semester one day.

  8. I love this post! I’m so happy to hear that you had a wonderful time in Portugal. My son’s father’s side of the family is from Portugal..yet, neither one of us has ever visited…perhaps one day we’ll get a chance to go. I love all things Portuguese :)

  9. I had no idea Portugar was so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and adventures with all of us. I’m always a huge fan of these posts. It’s so cool to see other places in the world. Hope you continue having a wonderful vacation!

  10. Oh wow that view!! So beautiful. Glad you were able to go on a short run too. I’ve never been a huge fan of swimming either but I also don’t think I’ve given it a fair chance. Thanks for the recap–glad you are having a blast :)

  11. My family is Portuguese so I’m thrilled you enjoyed your time there. Growing up we spent summers there. The food is fantastic, I adore seafood so I’m glad you had some. My boyfriend was actually born in Cascais. Portugal is a little underrated so thank you for showing it’s beauty in this post!!

  12. How awesome! I want to travel Europe so bad. Hopefully soon (ish)! I am not really a seafood person at all. Pretty picky actually. Can’t do lobster, crab, some shrimp and most fish. lol but I do have some sushi rolls I love, so I’m not a total buzzkill. ;)

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