5 Things I LOVE about Portugal (Nazare & Lisbon)

Do I really need to write anything? 

I mean - doesn't this jaw-dropping view of the Portuguese sunset say it all?

Let's talk about Portugal, and why I came back not caring too much about the blotchy sunburn on my once beautifully golden skin...

Hello, lovely people, I am back!

Sorry for the hiatus, but things got weird and busy - and vacation-y - but now I'm back and ready to hit the keyboard!

There are so many things I need to thank the Heavens for in the last few months, and only a mere 1% of it is my holiday to Portugal.

This was a much-awaited getaway with my family and family-friends, and well deserved too. Unfortunately, it wasn't all smooth sailing planning this holiday thanks to a swindler (booooo!!!), but in the end, the vacation turned out to be our best one yet!

We started our fun in the sun in the cute little city of Nazare, a popular coastal destination in Portugal famous for its fishing tradition and enormous waves. We definitely experienced those strong waves during our stay there, considering we swam for a good 5 hours straight that one day.

After a good few days in Nazare, we ended our relaxing holiday in Lisbon, where sight-seeing was the main aim for the majority of us...

But my aim was to sleep. 

Oh well! One full day in Lisbon wouldn't have been enough for me anyway so I've vowed to come back there again some day.

Having done sooo many activities, like jetskiing, swimming, and plenty of sightseeing, upon reflection, I've come up with the 5 things that I love the most about Portugal solely based on this trip...

  1. Nazare's Local Feel

    As soon as we hopped off the coach, you could hear the Portuguese music dancing in the breeze. It's not the most lively when you first arrive, but that's only because the beach is where the party's at!

    Being quite a tourist-attractive location, I expected some familiar commercial shops and franchises - but there were none! NOT EVEN MCDONALDS!

    I loved it - everywhere you went, everything was local, from restaurants and bars, to corner shops. It felt fulfilling to know most businesses were family-run; I actually felt good spending my holiday money!

  2. Night-time

    Nazare is stunning in the night, especially from on top of the cliff in Sitio. I mean, look at this...


    Another thing is that shops, restaurants, and even cafes are open until quite late, which means you can never go hungry or thirsty in Nazare, plus the tram that goes up to Sitio is open until 2am!

    Even though things are still open and it's filled with people there, the night-time is perfectly peaceful, ideal for star-gazing and meditating amongst the moonlight's glow on the Atlantic.

  3. Of course... the seafood!

    I wasn't going to go to a famous fishing port in Portugal and not eat tonnes of seafood... That's a crime!!

    Literally everywhere I went there was a local restaurant serving heap loads of seafood dishes - from calamares, to fish platters, to seafood skewers and clam appetisers, and, of course, seafood stews! Most restaurants have the same menu, so it was only the matter of finding the best value for a good price, but no matter what, the seafood was always pretty delicious.

    Side-note: they seemed to love their garlic and coriander there.

  4. Lisbon's Historic Atmosphere

    Although one day wasn't enough to see it all, it was enough to see some of Lisbon's interesting architecture.

    Lisbon is quite a large city, yet the buildings weren't tall and majestic at all - in fact they were the opposite. The buildings mostly looked worn down, with chipping paint and broken wall tiles... but there's something special about them.

    They show that Portugal's walls are full of history and culture, full of good times and hardships. The Portuguese tile designs seem a lot more aesthetically pleasing when they look unpolished and ruined.

    The architecture was the first thing that made me realise how much trouble the country has gone through, and yet there they are still proud in their culture.

    I take my hat off to you, Lisbon.

  5. The People

    Last and definitely not least, I loved the Portuguese people.

    In Nazare and small cities like Caldas da Rainha and Leiria, the locals were always so helpful and fond of smiling. Even though most of them couldn't speak a word of English, playing an impromptu game of charades and momentarily knowing sign language was always a good laugh... especially when an old woman is trying to tell you that you need a ticket to get into the public toilets.

    Oh, Portugal.

This holiday is undoubtedly one I'll be talking about for a long time. I find that holidays with family are always the ones I cherish the most because, for me, spending time with family is essential for a healthy wellbeing. 

I've definitely made many happy memories on this holiday...  I mean, there was about 32 other people with me to make those memories with... yeah...

If you want to see more of what I got up to in Portugal, watch my vlog on Youtube here on this link!

~ glessabella


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