The place where everything makes sense.
The place where half my family lives.
The place where I go on the grandest adventures with my best cousin.
The place where light fills my soul because Portugal is my special place full of secret places.
Sesimbra is a magical, mysterious ocean town. It’s like going back in time. The ocean waves are huge, but quiet. The castle has outdoor turrets and each window inside the turrets have a completely different ocean view. It’s all so mesmerizing and completely unreal at the same time. Sesimbra is also known for the BEST seafood around. Definitely try the Garlic Prawns in that town and yes it’s okay to break your vegetarian ways for this one day of adventure. Check out Cabo Espichel when leaving Sesimbra. It is the most western point of Europe and absolutely breathtaking!
Sintra is an old fashioned European village with a bright yellow castle on a cloud. It’s a good 5K walk to the top, but the views and colors of the castle are worth every step! Most castles in Europe are quite old looking and a bit worn away, well this one is NOT! The colors inside and out are still intact and the mysterious walk through the forest will have you dreaming in fairytale.
Castel St. Jorge (The Neighborhood). I LOVE this trendy area of Lisbon. It’s quite high up, but the rooftop bars and views of the blue blue ocean are what get me every time! Plus the Portuguese architecture all around is something to see! If you want to get real touristy, then take a yellow tram from downtown Lisboa to Castel St. Jorge. It’s quite the experience and something that only exists in Portugal!
Cascais is my favorite place to enjoy life and listen to the universe within, while watching the ocean waves crash into the boardwalk. The Atlantic is no joke here, those ocean waves will get ya! I met my artist friend Tiago Hacke at the top of a cliff here who shouted to the world that he is an artist, so I shouted to the world that I’m a traveling yoga teacher! That is what we must do with our dreams, SHOUT THEM TO THE UNIVERSE!
Author’s note: Take the train from downtown Lisbon to Cascais, the entire ride is on the ocean. I do my best writing here, so I encourage you to travel this way too! Cascais is also home to a few yoga studios that teach classes in both Portuguese and English. So do yourself a favor and learn a new language while doing what you love most (yoga, duh)!
Porto. I didn’t visit Porto until my second time around in Portugal and I can’t believe I let it slip by! This city is magical and a MUST visit on the itinerary. Not only do they have the best food and (Port) wine around, they also have STUNNING views. The secret that locals forget to you tell you? Walk all the way down the hill until you get to a big bridge (you can’t miss it), and when you think that’s the view, cross the bridge and make a right up to the look outs. When your life is changed upon seeing the dark blue water with the red rooftops across the way, THAT is the real view. I spent a whole morning meditating up there and still consider it one of my best days of travel.
Portugal is passed up A LOT on the typical traveler’s journey. I’m telling you DO NOT pass it up.
♦They’re the second most affordable country to travel to and live within the EU (after Greece).
♦The streets are a mosaic design and there are only two artists left in the world who make them.
♦The hills. Oh my god, the HILLS! This is no joke! My legs were ripped after just two days. It’s the best workout ever, but you MUST wear comfy shoes to get the best experience out of this FREE workout.
♦Families go clubbing together, especially on holidays, so prepare yourself for the best clubbing night of your life!
♦The Falafel Burgers are to die for, also are the Pastel de Nata. If you go to Portugal without eating a Pastel de Nata, then you did not go to Portugal. Period. End of story.
♦Portugal is famous for the Port Wine which is a dessert wine, so get a bottle to take home. I promise you that nowhere else in the world has the REAL Port wine, so you MUST try it in Portugal.
♦Yes, that bridge that you’re seeing in Lisbon is a smaller version of The Golden Gate Bridge. Also known as The April 25th Bridge. I like to think they named it after me, because that’s my birthday!
♦They have a underground subway system in Lisbon AND an above ground train that takes you to the beach outside of Lisbon.
♦The people are gorgeously passionate souls with the kindest of hearts. Get to know them, ask questions, say yes to a coffee. You won’t regret it.
If there is one thing my adventures through Portugal taught me that I cherish most, it is this:
When our gut tells us that this is the place where everything makes sense, then LISTEN to that feeling, and GO to that place, LOVE yourSELF, and promise to ALWAYS return. You, your dreams, and your purpose deserve that.
If you plan on staying a bit longer in Portugal, check out my friend Kathy Lima’s Travel Blog. She and her husband holidayed in Portugal for the winter while she kept a daily blog about their adventures.
If you LOVED this article and want the world to know more about Portugal, then give it a share! Portugal is a magical place and the world needs to hear about it!
Want to know more about this beautiful country? Send me an email, I would LOVE to answer your questions and share my experience with you!
As the Portuguese say, Ate Logo!
Brytta is a traveling yogi and lover of glitter, SUP Yoga and climbing waterfalls. When she's not adventuring around the world and practicing yoga, you can find her in Chicago finishing her degree and probably eating vegetarian pizza. And when she's not doing any of that, she's outside studying constellations and making wishes on shooting stars. ♥