I had been meaning to blog about Portugal for a while now, but travel got in the way and I didn’t want to rush writing about it. So after 3 months, I finally got my shit together, got most of the pictures sorted somehow and now feeling very excited to write about one of my most favourite countries in the whole wide world (I know, about bloody time I do).

Last June I got a chance to visit Portugal again. I never thought it’s possible to fall in love with the same place twice but it happened. I think it’s because I got to explore the other side of the country and I got to learn more about its culture, its people and its history and while I only managed to see Lisbon on my first visit, I was fortunate enough to see the south of Portugal this time around and it was beyond beautiful.

If I were to describe Portugal in three words I would say: unassuming, unpretentious and underrated.

Unassuming because it’s beautiful but not loud. Unpretentious because it doesn’t try or flaunt so hard. And underrated because it’s surprisingly still not in many peoples’ radar.

A part of me wants to keep it that way– it’s like when you stumble upon a treasure cove and you don’t want to tell anyone because you’re afraid they’re going to come and take all the treasure away from you or ruin everything in the process so you try your very best to keep it a secret. On the other hand, you’re so freaking enchanted and in love with the place, you want to tell the whole world about it. Lol.

But for the love of travel, I’m obviously doing the latter route, I love this country way too much to not possibly tell people how much I love it, even if it’s just through words and pictures.  Mind you, I don’t use the best camera in the world nor am I a professional photographer (or my friends for the matter), but I am hoping that the pictures I have chosen to share will help you understand, why I feel this way.

For this trip, we stayed with my very good friend Helio and his beautiful wife Isabel who were generous enough to offer accommodation for both myself and Emma. They live in this quaint lil town called Cabrela and right across their house is this beautiful church, which I never got to see inside 😦IMG_2490

They prepared some tapas to welcome us but Helio insisted that we try their famous ‘Bifanas’ first. Bifanas is basically a pork sandwich. A very popular Portuguese snack that originated from Vendas Novas, where Cabrela is located. I’m not a big fan of sandwiches, but bifanas was the bomb.  It’s so simple and sinful and definitely tasty. Must try.

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Helio, Isabel and their friend Quina prepared a little feast to welcome us.

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Homemade tapas, sangrias and some local wines made for one very tipsy Geri. I apparently made a scene at their town event, but no details will be posted about that incident, ever.  Anyway, I love these two to bits.

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The following morning, Helio and Isabel took us on an epic road trip in the southern areas of Portugal, starting with Porto Covo, located in Sines.

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After Morocco, I have become totally obsessed with doors.

IMG_5390 Portugal is well known for their love of sardines. I happen to love it too.IMG_5419

 No filter required.IMG_5421Then we were off to another praia or beach. The next stop was Praia do Odeceixe located in the nature park of Southwest Alentejo.  Note, if you are reading the words in Spanish accent, you are reading them wrong.

IMG_5444 2Then we checked out Helio’s favourite beach. Helio studied Botany in uni so aside from the historical facts about Portugal, we also got some crash course on the scientific names of the flourishing native flora and fauna’s of Portugal.

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 At the most south-western point of Europe, Cabo de Sao Vicente, Portugal

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Igreja De Nossa Senhora da Graca

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Extreme fishing for those who are afraid of heights. Lol.

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In Praia da Batata, locally known as the “town beach” which is just walking distance from Lagos town centre.IMG_2578

A few meters from the town beach is Praia do Camilo or Camilo Beach.  Camilo beach is stunning, and if you’re feeling energetic or not too lazy, you can make it down the steps and be awed by the amazing rock formations and cliffs.

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My favourite Portuguese couple (my family), Helio and Isabel.  They prepared the most amazeball and jam-packed itinerary for us, I was so impressed.  I suggested that they should start their own private tour company because they’re so knowledgable and so passionate about Portugal. Luckily, my persuasion skills worked because a few weeks after we left they’ve decided to go ahead with the idea.  I’m so excited for them and I really hope they’ll push through. Here’s hoping…
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A short drive from Camilo Beach is my other favourite beach, Ponta da Piedade.

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Ponta da Piedade. No words.

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A trip to Portugal is not complete without trying their other staple food, cod fish.  May the cod be with you.

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Our family picture on top of Monchique, one of the highest points in the south of Portugal, overlooking the region of Algarve.  We had to climb a hill of rocks to get on top and going against crazy strong winds, we were freezing.  We only took a few pictures and we’re like, we’re outta here.

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The following day, Helio and Isabel took us to the historic town of Evora where they both went to university.  Evora is such a quaint city which reminded me of a medina in Morocco.  It also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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In front of Santa Maria cathedral, which is massive as you can see from this door picture. IMG_5755

Paintbrushed clouds in beautiful EvoraIMG_2606Taking a picture within a picture.

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Then we drove to one of my favourite castles, Monte da Abadia, Evoramonte.  I like how the castle got these little bow sculptures all around it. Like a fairytale.

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Beside the castle is a cemetery.

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Portugal’s mini version of the Stonehenge ^-^
IMG_2678And you know all the walking makes me extra hungry (any excuse to try the many yummy Portuguese desserts/pastries).

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My love affair with gold fields started in Portugal too.
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Waiting for the sun to set on top of my other favourite castle Monsaraz. It’s amazing how from the top of the tower,  you can see parts of Spain already.  IMG_2691

Pastel colour sunsets, the picture doesn’t give it justice.IMG_2728

Our last sunset in Portugal and it was magical till the very end.IMG_5882This country is just so special beyond words. I wish I had gazillion dollars so I can buy a place and live there 🙂 maybe one day. For now, I’ll be holding on to these beautiful memories with a big smile on my face.

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Vejo vocês em breve Portugal. Eu te amo.

Love,

Geri

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