Portugal is the Europe no one talks about. The unexpected. 

Go before the masses discover it.

Tiles, Tarts, Beaches for miles and did I mention Ocean Pools.

Our journey began on a whim.  Iceland or Portugal ? The dice was rolled, Lisbon for 24hrs, followed with a road trip to up the coast finishing in Porto.  We were on our way.

First stop in Lisbon was the Brown's Avenue Hotel. 

Glamour, history, modernity, is what we found in this 5-star chic hotel. The discovery of Roman ruins during the hotel’s construction added an unexpected historical twist, and a strikingly contemporary façade and swish modern interiors.  Minutes stroll to designer boutiques and grandiose tiled mansions.  The roof top mosaics green pool, a cactus lined oasis,  with an a honour system cocktail bar. The perfect place to see sunset over the city after a day wandering the streets.




Home to Azulejo tiles. Lisbon is a wash in coloured tiles, the Portuguese  are obsessed with them. For most of its history, Portugal was incredibly wealthy due to their success in exploration and they used some of that wealth to decorate the walls, floors, ceilings, and facades of both their private and public residences in colourful, intricate azulejos.  The Fronteira Palace is filled with gorgeous azulejo tiles that wrap around the main garden and decorate walls.



Or just wander the streets to discover a kaleidoscope of colour. 




How many is too many ?

Breakfast tick, mid-morning wandering snack  tick...... I had to keep trying them. Flaky, buttery cup of dough is formed before filling it with creamy egg custard. They are then popped into the oven and cooked until the top has been caramelised. Those delicious, served warm egg tarts are mouth watering. Don't bother searching for the Best of the best, they seemed to be at every corner shop.



Magoito beach


Praia Grande beach features Europes largest ocean swimming pool 100 ms long. Stay at Arribas Sintra hotel  ocean front.

At the far end of the beach, chill at  Bar do Fundo and enjoy the scenery, of hipsters chilling in the afternoon sun as the waves pound the shore.  




Praia das Azenhas do Mar. The Mediterranean-looking village is a literal cliffhanger, with white houses tumbling down to the Atlantic. Stop in for lunch a Agua e Sal, delicious array of fresh seafood. Then wander down to the ocean pool for cocktails and  fun people watching. 


Set on the top of a cliff, the village of Ericeira originally a fishing village is now a mecca for wandering surfers. In 2011 it was declared a  world surfing reserve  and remains the only one in Europe. There are breaks for all abilities along a 5km coastline. But pack your wetsuit the water is freezing. 


It's not the Med but the Atlantic.

The water for us was unexpectedly cool, we experienced 16C in June.   So my Ruby in Turquoise was perfect.

Most mornings there is a ocean fog that eerily sits on the horizon. By midday the sun is out and the sky is blue.

A 3 mm wetsuit is enough from June to October. The water temperature can change rapidly depending on the cold ocean current that hits Ericeira from time to time. You can experience different ocean temperatures even if you only stay for a short period of time. 


Morning dips and a mid day session at Praia do sul

Sunset drinks overlooking Praia dos Pescadores at Mar das Latas  Portuguese gourmet tapas with a twist,  and wine bar. 
And La Popular Taverna "Spanish food with an Iberian mix”


 Extra notes.....

Stay in the village.

FLH Hotel  Modern clean and well located.  With a fabulous breakfast !

Ericeria Soul Guest house in the heart of the village. A house with more than 100 years of history, restored with a sober and timeless refinement combining the memory of a past with the modernity of the present. 








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