07 Jun 13 Nights in Spain & Portugal: Part 3: Portugal
Part 3: Portugal
Part 3 of our recap on Teresa’s trip is Portugal. Teresa and her crew spent almost a week in Spain touring Barcelona and Madrid. On Sunday, June 1st they flew from Madrid to Lisbon, Portugal. Here is a recap of their full itinerary:
Sunday, May 26: Leave Omaha @ 11:21 AM.
Monday, May 27: Arrive in Barcelona @ 10:20 AM local time.
Thursday, May 30: Fly from Barcelona @ 12 PM & arrive in Madrid at 1:35 PM local time.
Saturday, June 1: Fly from Madrid at 12:10 PM & arrive in Lisbon, Portugal at 12:30 PM local time.
Monday, June 3: Leave Lisbon by train at 2:09 PM and arrive in Porto, Portugal at 4:50 PM local time.
Thursday, June 6: Leave Porto by train at 1:25 PM and arrive in Santiago, Spain at 6:15 PM local time.
Sunday, June 9: Fly from Santiago at 5:05 PM and arrive in Dublin at 6:15 PM local time.
Monday, June 10: Fly from Dublin at 11:20 AM and arrive in Chicago at 2 PM local time.
They spent 2 nights in Lisbon and then trained to Porto, where they spent 3 nights. They packed a lot into these five nights – read all about it below!
Day One: Exploring the City
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and known for its gorgeous sunshine and fair weather nearly year-round. It is full of history and culture to explore, as well as great food. In addition, it is only about a 30 minute drive to beautiful beaches to take advantage of the temperate climate. This picturesque city is the perfect place to meander around and take some photos. The whole city is absolutely picture perfect:
These pictures really don’t need any words – just do what Teresa did and spend at least one day exploring and taking in the stunning architecture and colors of the city!
Day Trip to Cascais & Sintra + Cabo de Roca
To get from Lisbon to Cascais, you can take the scenic train from the Cais do Sodre Station. The train ride takes about 40 minutes. You can then taxi from Cascais to Sintra. You can also take the bus between Sintra and Cascais which stops through Cabo da Roca and takes about an hour. This is the scenic route, but if you are in a hurry there is a bus that misses the cape views but gets you between Cascais and Sintra in about half the time.
Cascais is one of the cutest cities on the coast of Portugal. The idyllic town was once a retreat for Portuguese royals and still has that old-world charm. This is a great beach town to relax and take in the picturesque surroundings.
Above is the Palácio Seixas, one of the most well-known buildings in Cascais. It serves as a symbol of the way of life of old Cascais. Today, it is used as a meeting location for Marine officials. However, most of the original beauty and glamour have remained in tact on the inside (and of the course the outside – I mean, just look at it!).
Cabo de Roca
Cabo da Roca marks the westernmost point of mainland Europe and were believed to be the edge of the world up until the late 14th century. Here you’ll find spectacular and unspoiled scenery with the raging Atlantic Ocean waves and massive jagged cliffs. You can also hike many of the challenging trails along the coastal paths.
Teresa took this photo at the top of Cabo da Roca overlooking the Atlantic.
Another photo from Teresa, showing the rugged and desolate beaches.
The main attraction in Sintra is the Palacio Nacional de Queluz, or the National Palace and Gardens of Queluz. The stunning architecture of the palace is even more breathtaking set in the picturesque landscape of Sintra.
Art history buffs will notice the merging of several different time periods and styles including baroque, rococo and neoclassicism.
It was built in 1747 for King Pedro III as the summer residence for the royal family. They lived there permanently from 1794 until 1807, when the French invaded.
Porto & Sabrosa
Teresa took the train from Lisbon to Porto on June 3rd. It is about a 2.5-3 hour train ride. They packed a lot of activity into their 3 night stay here. Read on for everything they experienced.
The charming coastal city of Porto is one of the most picturesque in all of Europe. Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, after Lisbon. It is a more laid-back city compared to Lisbon, with working-class, friendly locals. Porto is also more of a budget-friendly option compared to Lisbon.
Beach Senhor de Pedra
The Senhor de Pedra Beach is a great day trip destination if you are staying in Porto. It is located in Villa Nova de Gaia and there are direct and inexpensive train services to get here. It was voted the 10th most beautiful beaches in Europe, as displayed on the above sign. The vote was based on 10 thousand tourists and 280 beaches.
The Chapel of Senhor da Pedra
Part of what makes the Senhor da Pedra Beach so enticing, besides its close proximity to Proto, is the small chapel perched on a rock that juts into the Atlantic.
There is a view deck outside (pictured above), and you’ll find Baroque art inside, as well as Azulejros, which are the famous Portuguese and Spanish painted tin-glazed ceramic tiles. There is also a gorgeous altar inside:
The Livraria Lello
The Livraria Lello is one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops and it is rumored to have been the inspiration behind J.K. Rowling’s Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.
Despite it’s average facade on the outside, the bookshop has been a hangout for famed writers including J.K. Rowling herself. According to AFP (Agence France-Press), Rowling was a loyal customer at The Livraria Lello.
Many have noticed the resemblance between the bookshop’s architecture – especially the twisting grand staircase in the middle – and the imagined world of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.
Not only is it the supposed inspiration for Hogwarts, but customers also may notice that it resembles the Flourish and Botts bookshop (also from Harry Potter). This is where wizards buy their magic manuals for Hogwarts.
Do you see the resemblance? As a huge Harry Potter fan, I most certainly do!
In Sabrosa, Teresa and her crew enjoyed a wine and cruise tour. This is another area where the pictures can do most of the talking!
Their wine tour was at Vintage Theory Boutique Port Winery. The landscapes and pool alone are enough to make you swoon:
Even the train station to get here was stunning! The next two photos were taken at the train station in Pinhao, Portugal:
Sabrosa also had some outstanding views besides the winery and the train station:
The view from the cruise wasn’t bad either!
That concludes Part 3 of our segment on Teresa’s epic 13-night adventure in Spain & Portugal. Stay tuned for posts on Santiago, Spain and Courtni’s hike to Camino, coming soon.
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