Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is stunning! The city is covered with patterned tiles and endless stairsteps. But we survived the hills and stairsteps of Lisbon during our 6 day visit. Lisbon is one of those cities where everywhere we looked, we wanted to capture it with our camera. I think we took 3,000 photos in Lisbon alone. While in Lisbon, we stayed at this beautiful rental apartment in the Santa Catarina area in Lisbon’s historic center. We rented our apartment via housetrip.com as it has lesser fees than airbnb (though, we oringally found it via airbnb). While searching for an apartment, I wanted to be in the historical area but in a more residential neighbourhood as I wanted to stay where the locals live. With Lisbon being a hilly place, I made sure we were in the “lower” neighbourhood so it’s flatter and easier to get in and out of the apartment with an umbrella stroller and for a taxi to be able to drop us off right at our doorstep. The “lower” neighbourhood of Lisbon would be Rossio, Baxia and Chiado. We were a short walking distance to these places and just on the bottom of Barrio Alto. The hilltop neighbourhoods would be Bairro Alto to the west and Alfama to the east. With Luna in tow and an umbrella stroller, I knew it would be a challenge to stay anywhere in the hilltop neighbourhoods as with some places, you can only get to it by endless stairsteps. Imagine getting off the taxi and having to drag a couple luggages, an umbrella stroller and Luna up the stairs to get to our apartment?! That would...

Lagos, Portugal

We based ourselves in Lagos for the 2nd half of the week to explore the Western side of Algarve. We were based in Tavira while exploring the Eastern side of Algarve for the first part of the week. We chose Lagos as it boasts the best beaches in...
Olhao – Portugal

Olhao – Portugal

Olhão is a much, much bigger town than Tavira. It’s the largest fishing port in the Algarve and it’s full of Moorish-style houses. Olhão almost has two personalities – a more industrial look from the fishing port side but if you wander in the historic side of the town, you’ll find homes covered in white paint (almost looking like Greece) and small buildings with wrought iron balconies and tile decorations in pastel colours. They’re beautiful. Olhão is also known for their 2 markets but unfortunately, they were closed by the time we got there. But I hear these markets are filled with a variety of fresh fish and seafood straight from the port and local fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a must see market so if ever you decide to visit, check out the market schedule first. There is also a beautiful church of Nossa Senhora Rosario which was built in 1698. It has a beautiful baroque facade and apparently, it’s the first stone building in Olhão. We admired it from outside but couldn’t enter as it was closed. We must have visited at an odd time with the markets and the church closed but nevertheless, we enjoyed our short visit. Would we recommend staying in Olhão? Probably not as it doesn’t have the quaintness of a smaller town. But it’s a great place to visit and perhaps a seafood lunch at the port as you watch the fishermen go about their...
Praia do Barril – Portugal

Praia do Barril – Portugal

Praia do Barril is one of the beaches in Tavira. To get to the beach, you can walk or take an old school train which takes about 8 min and cost 1 euro each way. We loved Praia do Barril. The Anchors Graveyard is pretty awesome. Nothing I’ve seen before at a beach. We played around it for a bit while Luna collected some shells and kept herself occupied making sand cakes (she likes doing this wherever she sees sand). The beach is very tourist friendly with washroom facilities, shower (extra charge), restaurants, shops, bars and a playing area for the kids. The beach is vast and the water extremely cold. It was a very hot day though but even then, the water was too cold for us to jump in. If you’re in the Tavira area, I highly recommend this beach. Give yourself an afternoon or even a full day here. Apparently, this beach doesn’t get the crowds unlike the other beaches in Algarve. So you’ll have a lot of space to stretch around you and play in the...
Tavira – Portugal

Tavira – Portugal

While in Algarve for a week, we decided to base ourselves in 2 areas: The Eastern & Western part of Algarve. This turned out really great for us as we were able to really explore each end without too much driving and really having the time to enjoy all the places we were visiting. We chose Tavira as a base on the Eastern side of Algarve as it’s a small town that has kept it’s traditional charm. It really is one of the cutest towns in Algarve and I highly recommend basing yourself here to explore the Eastern side. For a small charming town, it has a lot of restaurants to choose from which is a priority for me. It’s always nice to experience staying in a small town vs just passing by for a quick visit as you get to slow down and really feel the surroundings. Tavira also has some of the finest churches in the Algarve and there’s about 20 of them in a small town. You’ll also see a lot of typical Portuguese homes with tiled fronts along narrow cobbled streets. While in Tavira, we stayed at the beautiful Tavira House Hotel and I highly recommend it. It’s a little boutique hotel nestled in the middle of the town. It doesn’t have it’s own parking but we always managed to find free parking right in front of the hotel. But pay parking spots are extremely cheap if free parking is not available. The hotel has a beautiful grand living room, a nice rooftop patio, outdoor courtyard surrounded by orange potted trees where you can have your morning breakfast and a...
Santa Luzia – Portugal

Santa Luzia – Portugal

Santa Luzia is located in the Eastern Algarve in Portugal It is a tiny fishing town, nowadays knows as “Octopus Capital” which is a local specialty. The town is really small and so charming. We explored it by foot admiring the many little homes covered in pastel patterned tiles and locals going about their business. I love small towns like this. There’s a sense of calmness that you don’t get in bigger...