It is often said that the Nordic countries are the ideal countries, and the best countries to live in (mostly Scandinavia). Although we are from Romania, we spent many years in Denmark. You may have already heard that Denmark is often mentioned as one of the best countries to live in. Probably true if we follow Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; Those countries are perfect to have your most basic needs met.
Meanwhile as we traveled further south on the continent we noticed other countries value personal interactions a lot, you actually feel like you’re living your life, and not just simply enduring.
So it depends what you value most, if you prefer more financial security and well-being but cherish your solitude then North is for you. If you think that life is not about that and you like ambiance, warmth, having much fun and laughter with people around you, then better go South. And Portugal is a country where joy and interaction are everywhere.
For us, our Portuguese experience was all the more special as it was the second country I visited after I was cured of cancer, another reason to have it as a very special place in my heart. So, let’s begin the journey, let’s taste Portugal because life should taste as good as Portugal. We personally like driving because you get to see the views and the countryside.
Immediately after we arrived, we headed south and there we visited several places on the southern coast of the country. Faro -the capital of southern Portugal’s Algarve region. It can be reached by direct plane as there are many international flights to Faro, but because we arrived in Lisbon, we had to drive almost 300 km to get here.
Faro was the first and we enjoyed, we discovered a charming Portuguese city with a rather quiet atmosphere compared to what was happening in the other places. Maybe it was Portugal way of saying: “take it slow, the best is yet to come”
Faro retains much of its past charm. It was really pleasant to walk down on the Manuel Bívar park, the main square and historic center of Faro and was greatly admiring the flashy yachts on display in the Marina de Faro, after stopping off for refreshments in one of the watersides.
We continue our journey through the Algarve region in the town of Albufeira. This town has almost everything for tourists who want to have the most out of their vacation. It has a huge beach, restaurants, shops, and bars, you can make day trips in the surroundings or you can rest in all-inclusive hotels.
Are you a beach person or a mountains person? … We are mountain lovers, but whether a person love beach or mountains, the true is that not only do we make choices but choices also make us.
A beach is not only a sweep of sand. There’s more. The sea, the waves…Of, I remember the joy of those waves
Beaches are territories of dreams. They are our favorite refuges; they are a protectorate for the soul. They shed our tears, and they hear our pain. All Portuguese beaches are special and Portimao is no exception
While in Portimao: close your eyes, take a deep breath and let the beach invade your body.
Portugal offers not only beaches but also historic cities. At the end of our stay in the Algarve region, and before we return to the capital region, we chose to visit the city of Silves. Situated 17km northeast of Portimão, Silves. We walked the streets of the city, we enjoyed the view of the historical center of Silves overlooking the Castle and Cathedral.
The landscape of Silves is generally hilly and you get a great view over Silves from the Museum of Archaeology. But the best Silves landmark is Silves Castle, this massive castle atop the hill, visible from miles away, and very much worth a visit, even though it’s a pretty steep climb up!
Silves Castle entrance fee €2,80.
Castle & Archaeological Museum entrance fee €3,90.
We returned in the greater Lisbon area, and this country becomes more and more beautiful with every place we’d discovered. If there’s heaven for us, I’m sure it has a Portugal attached to it. 😉
Our sense of direction leads our way to Sintra. It was love at first sight. The colourful town of Sintra, located only 30 kilometers from Lisbon, is a world of its own.
This Unesco World Heritage Site is a major expression of the 19th-century Romanticism. The Pena Palace (Portuguese: Palácio da Pena) started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary.
With picturesque stacks of mansions, regal estates, and mountain-top castles, all wedged into the green serenity of rolling hills, folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic, this place is of rare beauty.
When you go to Sintra, make sure you visit Capo da Roca also, it is less than 20 kilometers from Sintra. These beautiful calcareous cliffs marking the edge of continental Europe is amazing, and the landscape along the way it’s beautiful and relaxing too.
Cascais is a small beach town in Portugal next to Estoril coast in the greater Lisbon area. Before we got here of course we read some stuff about Cascais and they say about Cascais: “Come for one reason. Stay for many!” It’s true!
Cascais is one of those (few) places that have a bit of everything in a very small space. It is a coastal town that has amazing cliffs and rock formations, sandy beaches, and a cool marina. On top of that, there are some amazing historical and cultural sites like the medieval fort Nossa Senhora de Luz or the Citadel Palace, where the royalty used to retreat.
Next stop Estoril!
The warm, sunny, and welcoming Estoril will very quickly make you feel at home. The amazing food of Portugal, the lovely coastline, the nice people always very polite and welcoming, the sunny weather and of course Estoril by the beach.
You still need something else? Probably not. Estoril will do.
And here we are in Lisbon
Did you know that Lisbon has one of the nicest climates in Europe with about 3K annual average hours of sunshine?
Lisbon is the largest city in Portugal and one of the oldest cities in the whole world. There are loads of things to visit in Lisbon, also known as the city built on seven hills.
When you say Lisbon, you mean Paella, sangria, the aquarium is 2nd biggest in Europe, Praca do Comercio, nightlife, amazing churches and cathedrals, Bairro Alto, the Alfama – the oldest neighborhood of Lisbon, spreading on the slope between the São Jorge Castle and the Tagus river. The cozy tram is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon. Even though it is part of the public transport system, it is very frequented by tourists.
Lisbon is so much to do and see. I suggest you look at the TripAdvisor list of things to do to make your choice on what to do.
This was our Portugal story. Every trip creates a story, but Portugal has so many beautiful stories, maybe not as big of a destination as other titans in Europe such as Spain, Italy, France or Greece, but personally we think Portugal is amazing!
We were truly impressed by this very charming country, with a lot of things to see, amazing coastline, friendly people, sunny weather. We can’t wait to see you again someday one day, this time heading north to Porto.
Life should taste as good as Portugal because Portugal has all we need to live a healthy and happy life. Its magical healing properties have been touching the souls of musicians, philosophers, writers, actors, painters, and artists in general.
We are catchynomads, and when we not frolicking abroad, we love to show people our country Romania, that’s why we created Enjoy Romania. You’re more than welcome!