I was torn between Spain and Portugal and even did a small poll on social media to help me make a decision. It was eventually all the amazing travel photos I saw and articles I had read on Portugal that persuaded me to choose this beautiful destination in the south of Europe.
I actually fell quite ill from my last visit in France, so I actually needed a lot of rest. I took a day off to rest so I could enjoy my holiday, it was pointless forcing it.
I loved Lisbon and wish I had had time to explore more of its vibrant neighbourhoods. Colourful Portuguese-styled Pombaline and Rococo buildings line the bustling narrow roads and corners with some displaying beautiful tiled patterns.
I stayed in the main tourist area of Barrio Alto during July. These streets are busy whole day and night. The evenings are filled with music from the tightly packed bars and people spilling into the streets enjoying the warm summer nights. It’s a buzz.
One of the first tourist sites to visit in Lisbon was the Fortress of Belem. I took a train to Belem and walked along the harbour to the fort. You’ll first come across the Monument of Discoveries depicting the golden era of Portugal’s discoveries across the world.
The tower of Belem was originally situated on the Tagus River located near the shore on a small island. The extended shoreline has made the tower closer to the mainland. It’s a cool place to chill near the beach with some people dipping their feet in the icy Atlantic waters around it. There’s also a park to make a picnic and chill out on across from it.
Caiscais the Beach Day
What’s a summer holiday without a beach day?
Caiscas was suggested to me as the best and closest beach to unwind and escape from the bustle of Lisbon. The little town was the just exudes that Mediterranean getaway feel by the sea. Many yachts are moored in the bay with water slides erected in the middle of the bay for kids to enjoy.
My Week in Portugal
I travelled to Portugal in early July and the weather in Lisbon was refreshing cool and humid. I found this to be such a relief especially after spending a week in a heatwave in the South of France. I honestly fell in love with Lisbon. A beautiful cosmopolitan and creative city surrounded by natural beauty near the ocean ticks off all my essentials. It sounds a lot like my own hometown of Cape Town doesn’t it?
While I don’t have any plans to return soon, I do hope to explore the North and Southern regions of the country and maybe go wine tasting. Their Verde white wine was definitely one for the books!