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Rachel’s top 5 things about… Portugal
Published on 29 July 2016 by Hans van Mourik
Back in May, my husband and I decided to head on a last minute cheapo holiday to Portugal on the ultimate road trip, chasing the surf from coast to coast.
We started in Nazare, partied in Peniche and cruised all the way down south stopping off at World famous surf destinations along the way. I left Portugal with the biggest smile on my burnt face as I had discovered my new favourite holiday destination was only a short cheap flight away. I was mega stoked!
So again here are a few of my favourite things about Portugal (but honestly I could go on for days)
1. Pastel de nata
Like my previous blogs, food is always on the top of my list . These traditional little Portuguese tarts with a creamy egg custard centre in crackly golden pastry are the bomb (all the other Portuguese pastries are amazing also).
2. The people
Apart from the one guy screwing us over on car hire charges (probably my fault), everyone else became my new best friend. The Portuguese are seriously friendly and very helpful. During our time in Portugal we were usually greeted with some kind of gesture whether it being a bottles of wine, flowers or even fresh bread. Not to mention our car got a flat battery more than once and we were never short of a few people towing us out or giving us a push. The service in cafes and restaurants are top standard and always want you to try their local produce. Overall the nicest people!
3. The Surf
Well, it’s definitely the easiest place to find the ‘secret spots’ as they are usually sign posted for the public with big arrows pointing ’this way!’ I thought it was a trick, but it’s really not. The surf scene in Portugal is insane and they love to cater for the surfers and skaters with beach bars and skate parks everywhere! But there’s tonnes of fun waves to find, whether your looking for mellow beach breaks or hollow Supertubos.
For those looking to head to Portugal, my number one top tip would be to put Sintra on your ‘To Do’ list. This is probably the most beautiful area I have ever experienced. The town is riddled with dramatic palaces and beautiful gardens.
Your typical tourist day trip would consist of heading to the historic town centre with cobbled streets & cafes, the 15th Century Gothic National Palace, The Moors Castle and The Pena Palace.(Google Image them!) But it’s not all tourist attractions, you are also pretty close to a few awesome beach breaks too.
From the North to the South of Portugal the exterior architecture is something that really caught my eye. Some of the local fishing towns have this lovely little sea-side vibe like in Ericeira, where everything is painted fresh white and sea blue with a few fish, anchors and ropes carved delicately into the walls.However in the Algarve theres more of a Mediterranean flat roof stone building surrounded by orange groves kind of vibe. The plantation is a lot dryer and vast but it’s just as beautiful.
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