A Discovery of Portugal
20 January 2022
After a week full of Spanish fun, we hopped across the border and just like that we set foot in Portugal. It was both our first time visiting and it did not disappoint! We’re excited to share our tips and highlights about this wonderful country that has so many beautiful landscapes, amazing food and endless choices of wine.
The Alentejo region is undoubtably one of Portugal’s hidden gems. Characterized by a hilly and rugged landscape, this area is well known for its cork oak forests and olive trees. No wonder we had the most delicious azeite de oliva. It feels like time has stopped here, especially when staying at São Lourenço do Barrocal, and old farmhouse turned into a chic property, completely surrounded by nature (with the exception of the little town of Monsaraz up on the hill in the distance!).
Expert Tip: don’t miss out on the wine and olive oil tasting at São Lourenço do Barrocal!
On our way to the capital of Portugal, we also made a stop at Sublime Comporta, a unique property nestled between the towns of Comporta and Grândola and just a 15-minute drive from the coast. If you truly feel the need to escape from reality, this is the perfect place. A serene location with small wooden Scandinavian style cottages, all perfectly blended in with the surrounding nature. With simple but modern décor and an eco-sustainability mindset, Sublime Comporta is truly one in a kind. Fun Fact: Cristiano Ronaldo like to come here! And who can blame him?
The capital of Portugal is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Europe, offering a blend of traditional heritage, along with exciting nightlife and a welcoming community. The beauty of Lisbon is that it reminds you of different cities around the world – that’s why it appeals to so many types of people. Its trams and hills will remind you of San Francisco, while the art deco buildings give you the impression you’ve just landed in Paris. All topped with wonderful people and amazing food. We stayed in the center of the town, at the Bairro Alto Hotel, a modern city hotel boasting great views of the city. Don’t forget to bring some walking shoes because some streets can get steep!
Douro Valley / Porto
We arrived at our final two stops of our journey, Porto and the Douro Valley. Envision a winding river making its way through rolling hills, surrounded by never-ending vineyards and overlooked by traditional quintas and there you have the Douro Valley, almost as if it was the set of a fairy tale. What makes this place even more enchanting is definitely the Six Senses Douro Valley hotel, set in a 19th century estate, with panoramic views of the river and endless activities to do on and off the property, such as wine tasting, cooking classes, boat rides and tree climbing!
Expert tip: the breakfast at Six Senses Douro Valley is a unique experience, with the tables overlooking the open kitchen and almost everything on the menu being from their garden, it’s the only way to start your day!
Just an hour west, right on the banks of the Douro river, we discovered the medieval city of Porto embellished with bright houses with hand-painted tiled facades, Gothic churches and let’s not forget, their acclaimed Port wine – a must try when in this area. We ended our journey at The Yeatman, located on the hilltop so all the rooms have immense views of the whole city.