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Portugal Travel Escapes: Unveiling Hidden Treasures

Life just continues to prove to us that we should be done this sooner. Over the past six months, our travels have taught us a great deal, beginning with the fact that we seem to fall in love with nearly every destination we visit. Our Portugal Travel Escapes included the Algarve, Evora, Cascais and Obidos.

Benagil Caves Tour

We've come to realize that commonly, the journey itself is just as enjoyable as reaching our final destination. It's curious how as we walk narrow streets and vibrant meadows, our minds are drawn to the houses and lives of people around us. The question: 'Could we live here?' always crops up. Our recent adventures led us back to mainland Portugal, where we had to make a pitstop to break up our drive to the Algarve. We stayed the night and found ourselves captivated by the small town of Evora. Central to our brief stay was visiting the Church of Bones. I highly recommend a visit at least once. Nestled in the heart of the medieval quarter, near the Roman temple, our accommodations offered a glimpse into the town's rich history. Parking was a challenge not just due to the narrow streets, but also due to how heavily visited the town is. Strolling through the quaint shops and charming restaurants clarify why. In our stay, we entertained the idea of owning property here for short-term rental, and concluded that residing in the old town might feel limiting over time. Nevertheless, we plan to return year after year.

beach in Portugal
Carvoeiro Beach

Our next destination took us on a scenic drive through the countryside to the Algarve, where we stayed in Carvoeiro. Rolling hills filled not with corn fields, but vineyards, orchards, and cattle farms painted the landscape—a refreshing change from the usual commercialized highways.

Our destination, Carvoeiro proved perfect with stunning coastal views and magnificent boardwalks overlooking the ocean. A visit to Benagil caves via a boat tour with Carvoeiro Tours provided a memorable exploration of the caves along the coast—an experience not to be missed. They say it's the most famous cave in the world. I wonder if they have ever heard of Mammoth Caves? You know in Kentucky. I digress, we visited what I would consider a true wonder at Morgado do Quintão winery where we enjoyed lunch and wine tasting. On the property, there was a magnificent 2000-year-old olive tree.

Winery Tour
2000 Year old Olive Tree

Our week in the Algarve involved property hunting and discussions about the area's potential. It felt like a European snowbird haven, reminiscent of Florida's villages but with far more picturesque surroundings. Properties ranged from affordable condos to waterfront houses in need of renovation—definitely worth considering for those with a keen eye for investment.

man with cell phone
Medievil Town

After saying goodbye to the Algarve, we drove up the coast to Cascais. The drive was long, but it was nice driving through the countryside without being haunted by countless billboards for McDonalds and Burger King. Actually, the nearest Burger King was over an hour away at one point. That being said, our long trip left us craving an old crutch of ours: Dairy Queen. Finally arriving in Cascais, we were welcomed with a charming tourist destination that we could easily imagine calling home. The town's quaint atmosphere and diverse culinary scene made us more than happy. Especially since we just stumbled upon what ended up being our favorite Mexican restaurant we've eaten at in Europe. Additionally, the close proximity to Lisbon and Sintra made it particularly appealing for travel and city access. All around, Cascais seemed an excellent place to call home.

Castle Wall
Obidos Portugal

Lastly, we also took a short drive to the medieval town of Obidos, where we wandered along the ancient ramparts, indulged in chocolate and ginja tastings, and savored a leisurely lunch. As we immersed ourselves in these experiences, I couldn't help but wonder what the rest of the world was up to.

Surprisingly, all this travel has left us longing to stay put on our island paradise of Madeira for a while. Spending time on the levadas and hiking trails, taking mountain drives promises a few months of pure bliss. So, that's where you'll find us, soaking in the natural beauty and tranquility that Madeira offers, as we continue our journey of exploration and discovery.

It'll Be Fun! We Should Have Done This Sooner.


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