It that time of year again… everybody starts packing their bags and starts traveling. My fiancée and I prefer traveling outside of the busy travel periods July and August which usually results in us coming back when others are ready for leaving. This year it finally seemed like the perfect time to travel to Portugal, a trip I’ve already wanted to make for years… what pulled the trigger to travel to Portugal was my fiancee’s enthusiasm after her surf trip last year to Portugal (her blogpost). Portugal is a destination that gets underestimated, most people travel to Spain but for some reason never seem to make it across the Portuguese border… so with all my coming blogposts I’ll try to convince all those people to travel those few extra miles as it is really worth it!!
The thing that I feared the most was the language barrier, I speak Italian, French, Spanish and I do understand a bit of Portuguese… but talking it is a different story. So I was very curious on how the Portuguese people’s language skills would be?! A very big surprise I must say!!! That some would speak English I expected, but the amount of people speaking a very good level of French was definitely unexpected for me… also to see that most movies or tv-series weren’t dubbed, but subtitled (big step ahead in comparison to Spain or Italy and even France) . So I was very convinced that Portugal would have many more surprises for us during this trip…
One thing I was sure of when I started planning our Portugal trip (around December/January) is that I wanted to see the ‘real’ Portugal and not only the Algarve beaches (how beautiful they might be). A good combination of city tripping and time at the beach was the ideal scenario… I think I managed it well (or at least I didn’t hear my fiancée complain 😉 ). We started our trip in Lisboa, continued towards Curia where besides visiting the vineyard from friends we were able to have some beach time (Costa Nova) and we stayed at one most beautiful hotels ever!! We continued to Portugal’s “Bordeaux” region, aka the Douro valley which is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen!!! (Visiting vineyards was just mandatory… no choice) We eventually finished our trip in Porto which was much bigger than I had imagined it to be… and how else by visiting a Porto winemaker (some things you just can’t get around…)
Please stay tuned for my stories about how Portugal got a special place in my heart and became one of my favorite countries to travel to..