travel Jul 26, 2016


I’ve received so many requests to share details on our trip to Portugal in the past month, so I’m really excited to share part one of our trip today with all of the details on what to see, where to stay, where to eat and (of course) what I wore.  Since we covered a ton of ground, today I’m sharing a recap of the first half of our trip to Lisbon, Sintra, The Algarve and Évora, and tomorrow will be posting details on the second half spent in Óbidos, Coimbra, The Duoro Valley, Amarante and Porto (see post here).  We had an absolutely incredible time, so if you’re thinking of spending your next vacation in Portugal, I can’t recommend it highly enough!


Time Spent: 3 Days, 3 Nights

Hotel: Olissippo Lapa Palace Hotel

Favorite Places to Eat: A Travessa, Cantinho de Avillez, and Memmo Hotel Rooftop


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DRESS (similar HERE and HERE)  |  SANDALS (old, similar HERE and HERE)  |  BAG (sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  BANGLE  |  EARRINGS  |  LIPS

I consider Lisbon now to be one of my very favorite cities in Europe, with beautiful architecture, fascinating history, and picturesque streets at every turn.  We stayed at the Olissippo Lapa Palace at the recommendation of a friend, and our hotel experience alone was one of the great highlights of the trip.  The rooms, the service, the incredibly friendly staff, the gorgeous lounges and pool, the FOOD, the picturesque setting—everything was perfect and made for an incredible start to our travels.  I also have to say that the Pastel de Nata (the custard-filled pastry that Portugal is famous for) I had in their gorgeous late night lounge/bar while listening to their incredible pianist and sipping champagne, was by far the best of the trip.

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As mentioned previously in this post, we spent our first full day in Lisbon exploring the Alfama, Baixa, and Bairro Alto neighborhoods, starting at the medieval Castelo de São Jorge.

One of our favorite things about the trip was that Portugal didn’t feel overloaded with tourists, even though we were supposedly there during the “height” of their tourist season (first two weeks of July).  To us, much of Portugal still had that “untouched” feel, which is so hard to find in western Europe.  However, this means that there aren’t quite as many travel resources out there.  We found Rick Steves’ guidebook to be helpful along with recommendations from friends, but I especially wanted to thank so many of you who sent me recommendations after seeing my instagram posts about the upcoming trip.  There were so many things we did throughout our trip that were based upon your suggestions—Memmo Hotel Rooftop bar in Lisbon, Graham’s Port wine tour in Porto, the list is long.  It was so incredibly nice of you guys to take the time to send us recommendations and tips; I’m so so grateful!

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SKIRT (similar HERE and HERE)  |  SHIRT  |  BAG (also on sale HERE)  |  SANDALS  |  SUNGLASSES  |  BRACELET  |  EARRINGS

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Our second full day in Lisbon was spent exploring Belém, including the incredible monastery there, along with the National Coach Museum and (of course) the Casa Pastéis de Belém (where Pastel de Nata originated).

The rest of our time in Lisbon was spent walking around exploring all of its beautiful little streets and amazing architecture—especially the azulejos, the incredible tilework (often blue in primary color) that adorn so many façades throughout Portugal.

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In terms of eating and drinking, we had three favorites: Memmo Hotel‘s Rooftop Bar at sunset which offers amazing views of the city as well as great wine, cocktails and food.  The second, probably our favorite, was A Travessa with absolutely top notch wine and cuisine, spectacular service and an absolutely idyllic setting—the cloister of an old monastery.  Last, but not least, Cantinho de Avillez had a more relaxed, local feel in the Chiado neighborhood but again, top notch food and service.


Time Spent:  Daytrip!

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DRESS  |  SNEAKERS (similar HERE and HERE)  |  HAT (also HERE, similar HERE)  |  JEAN JACKET  |  BAG (sold out, similar HERE and HERE)  |  BRACELET  |  LIPS

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We rented a car on our last day in Lisbon, and drove 30 minutes up to Sintra before heading down to the Algarve for a few days.  Sintra is basically the castle capital of Portugal, and we explored their two most noteworthy attractions—the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) and Pena Palace.  As the photos suggest, both were absolutely jaw-dropping, making you feel like you just walked into a Disney movie.

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Time Spent:  2 Days, 1 Night

Hotel:  Pousada do Infante Sagres

Favorite Place to Eat: Terra

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DRESS (also HERE)  |  BRACELET  |  SLIDES (old, similar HERE)

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The southernmost coastal region of Portugal, called The Algarve, is spectacularly beautiful.  Tons of gorgeous beaches with the most incredible rock formations (which make for awesome hikes, too) and loads of cool history.  Of course in the Age of Exploration (15th-16th centuries) this southwestern tip housed an important School of Navigation and was believed to be the End of the World (because the world was flat, remember?). Watching sunsets over these incredible cliffs made for some truly unforgettable nights.

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We stayed for two nights at the Pousada do Infante in Sagres, and the location and views can’t be beat.  The hotel and rooms themselves are a bit outdated, but with a large balcony and an unobstructed ocean view, we were happy campers.  Plus, when you’re in this spectacularly beautiful area, a hotel room is the last place you want to spend time.

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We spent a full day exploring Lagos, relaxing on the beach in the morning and doing an afternoon sail and grotto tour with Bom Dia Boat Trips that was absolutely incredible later in the day.  For this, we first got onto a larger sail boat that took us down the coast, then once we were close enough, we got into a small boat that took us through the caves along the coastline which are only accessible via water.  Afterwards we hiked around the famed Ponta da Piedade ending with some time swimming and relaxing a little on the beach.

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Time Spent: 1.5 Days, 1 Night

Hotel: Pousada Convento Évora

Favorite Place to Eat: BL Lounge

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DRESS (similar HERE and HERE)  |  BAG (similar HERE)  |  SANDALS (old, similar HERE and HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES  |  BRACELET  |  EARRING  |  NECKLACE (similar HERE)  |  LIPS

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After our days in the Algarve soaking up the sun and eating all the fresh fish we could get our hands on, we started our trip through the interior region of the country, stopping first in Évora for a night.  Here, we stayed at another Pousada (historic inns throughout Portugal), this one being a converted 12th century convent (pinch me).  We absolutely loved this hotel (much more updated than the Pousada in Sagres), and when you walk out your front door to find epic Roman ruins from the first century A.D., you know you’ve hit the jackpot location-wise.

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This city is unbelievably charming and picturesque.  We spent the day doing Rick Steves’ walking tour, exploring the little shops and streets, and touring the beautiful churches including the formidable Capela dos Ossos (Bone Chapel).

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ROMPER  |  BAG (similar HERE)  |  SANDALS (old, similar HERE and HERE)  |  SUNGLASSES  |  BRACELET  |  NECKLACE (similar HERE)

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For dinner that night, the concierge at our hotel recommended BL Lounge, and it proved to be one of our favorites of the trip.  Wonderful wine, absolutely delicious Alentejo cuisine with a modern twist, and amazing service.  It was especially charming when the owner came by our table to say hello, chit-chat for a minute, and even share some of her favorite recipes (I begged for the secret to their chocolate cake)!  Absolutely wonderful experience.

Check out Part 2 of our trip with detail on Óbidos, Coimbra, the Duoro River Valley, Amarante and Porto!  


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29 Responses to PORTUGAL DIARY PT. 1

  1. Mary says:

    The first picture of you in the pink dress by the coast instantly made me think Grace Kelly! Lovely, inspirational post.

  2. Wow how beautiful!! I want to go there!

  3. Rach says:

    Oh I love this roundup of your Portugal trip! It looks stunning there!! And every single one of your outfits are amazing!

  4. Kathy says:

    Beautiful photography. Looks like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing. I went in Lisbon last fall, but stayed in the city. Your trip opens up possibilities.
    But what have you done to the tourists … You seem alone .. You paid them not to be on the pictures ????

  6. Gabriela says:

    This is SO helpful. My husband and I are actually planning a trip to Portugal for this coming April after seeing your snaps, and while we’re doing a shorter trip than you did, the Algarve and Porto are now definitely on our list!

  7. Natali says:

    You look absolutely breathtaking in every single outfit, esp. in that pink striped, maxi dress! Your white swimsuit is so perfect too!

  8. I loved following your trip on Snapchat! Portugal was one of my favorite places to visit. There is so much to do there and the landscape is breathtaking. Your photos are so incredible. Thanks for sharing this recap!

  9. cca says:

    Hi Can you share the brand of your strappy black sandals in first pic?

    love your style

  10. Kate says:

    Wonderful! We’re off to Portugal this September, and I’m making notes of your faves. My hubby lived and worked there, so I’m also excited to see some of those ‘off-the-beaten-track’ locales that he’s promised to show me.

    I’m wondering what camera you use. We need to get a new one before the trip, so I’m shopping around right now. Your photos are always so gorgeous, so have to know what equipment you’re using 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. emily says:

    Omg your photos are amazing! Loving your holiday style too!
    x Emily

  12. Cinzia Satta says:

    Your photos are so beautiful! Love every outfit, the pink striped maxi dress is so delicious!

  13. Sasha says:

    You look absolutely perfect! And now I have added Portugal to my must-visit list!

    Do you happen to have a link for your flats your are wearing in the 1st picture? <3 I am absolutely in love with them!

  14. Wow… This looks magical!! What an incredibly holiday destination! I guess you loved every second of it!! I also truly love all your outfits, you are so super stylish! Thanks for sharing! Portugal is now on top of my bucket list! Xx Susanne –

  15. Emily says:

    Can I just live in your closet? K, thanks. <3

  16. Yolanda says:

    The looks are incredible… Love so much the dresses…. and Portugal

  17. Su nd Chris says:

    Wow, what an awesome post! The photos are all so beautiful!

    xx Su

  18. Thuy says:

    So long so I saved it to my Travel collection on Bloglovin’ 🙂 That first swimsuit looks amazing on you and generally I’m a fan of your more sophisticated, neutral looks!

  19. Blandina says:

    Hmmm, are you going to share the recipe for the chocolate cake! Yum

  20. Angela says:

    Wow all your outfits are so amazing! I’m saving this post for sure as I want to visit portugal in the near future!

    Raincouver Beauty

  21. Aubrey says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! Now I have Portugal on my travel bucket list. 😛 Did you and your hubby ever get your luggage back???

  22. Chrissie says:

    My husband and I were deciding between Portugal / Spain and New Zealand for a big trip next year and your snaps helped the decision! Enjoying your recaps!

  23. Saree says:

    Amazing! Loved the travel inspo, get some life inspo over at her beautiful adventure! <3

  24. Rebecca Warfield says:

    I just got back from Portugal. Hands down, the best country I’ve been to yet.

  25. Johnelle says:

    I’m impressed! You’ve managed the almost imsbspiole.

  26. I just found this post by accident and I cannot believe you were in Lagos, my hometown. I met you at the Create&Cultivate conference and have been following you since. Now to know you were there, how amazing! Inspiring pictures! Xx

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