Portugal & Spain Roadtrip

Haley & I flew into Porto, Portugal, and stayed there for 2 days. My sister and her boyfriend joined us as well, and we got to see the whole city pretty well. We took the walking tour, went up the Clerigos Tower, took a Porto wine tour at Taylor’s, and walked around Gaia. Very pretty city, and delicious Porto wine.

Afterwards we rented a car and drove to Coimbra to spend half a day there. Afterwards, we kept driving to Lisbon (which I believe was our favorite city in the whole trip). There we were staying at one of the best hostels in the world, Alfarma Patio Hostel, right in the center of Lisbon’s prettiest neighborhood. We got so lucky, and found a parking spot almost right outside our hostel, which was practically impossible! The night we got there they had an amazing BBQ & sangria buffet night. The next day we took the walking tour around the city, took a train to Belem, and then climbed up the hill to the castle to see the sunset. That day alone we walked 24 km!! It was insane. The next day we went to Sintra to check out The Moor’s Castle, Quinta da Regaleira, & the Palace. Then we walked around all of Alfarma, and went to the best lookout spot in town: Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Amazing views!! Then we missed out on the Portuguese Buffet night, but we found another great place to eat.

The next day we stopped in Evora to see the famous Chapel of Bones. Afterwards we kept on driving until we reached Seville. Our parking fairy was watching over us again, because we found the perfect spot in a super crowded street right by our place. We had a nice Airbnb host which gave us tips on what to see and what to eat… but it was tough since it was Semana Santa, Seville’s most busy time of the year. So many people everywhere that were there to see the processions. We had some great tapas in Triana, the area of the city where the Spanish Inquisition all began! The museum of the Inquisition was horrible (it seems like they were trying to hide the fact of how absolutely despicable this time was, and how they were responsible for it all). We took 2 walking tours the next day: the downtown area and the Jewish Quarter. We also got to see some some processions that afternoon, but we managed to escape before the city was consumed by crowds. We headed over to Plaza de España for the sunset to take some photos. The next day we went inside the Alcazar, a Moorish palace/fort. It is one of the best examples of mudéjar architecture (Christian & Islam architecture combined). Afterwards we ate the greatest tapas at Taberna Coloniales… make sure to try Pluma! So delicious!!! Then we went to the Parasol (Las Setas), and then rented some bicycles to ride around La Macarena (yes, this is where the song got it’s name!). Then we rode the bicycles all along the river.

The next day we left Seville and drove the Portugal’s southern region: Algarve. We drove to Lagos to see Ponta da Piedade and we relaxed all day at Praia do Camilo… One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve even been to. Then we drove back to Faro and dropped off the car. The next day we had brunch at the best seafood place in town and we had crab & Golden fish. Sooooooo good! Then we took the bus to Faro Island beach and spent the day watching skim boarders, jamming out, drinking sangria, and napping on the beach. Perfect finish to our long 12 day trip! Everything went way too perfectly, and it was just an amazing trip!

-Eric

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