Sunday 15 June 2014

Happy Holidays - Our Trip to Portugal

Sitting in Lagos Marina. Dress - Primark. Sandals - Matalan
Waiting at Ferraguda train station!
The flowers in Portugal are beautiful. Such bright colours!
The yummiest strawberry, cholocalate, icecream and whipped cream waffle EVER.
The prince statue in Lagos town centre.
Lovely purple flowers on trees in Lagos square.
The lovely green tiled building in Lagos sqaure
Blue tiled building in Lagos square.
Just leaving the beach. White T - H&M. Denim skirt - Topshop.
Old vs new. The cobbled fort wall and the new cafe building at Sagres.
Lovely cat at the old fort! I named him Sagres :)
The old "end of the world". It kinda looks like it actually is in this picture?!
Crazy man fishing off the end of Sagres cliffes. I hate to think what would happen if he caught something big?!
The purple flowers growing around the fort. And a bee!!
Our first look at a beach in Praia Da Rocha. Trousers - Zara.
Shoes - ASOS.
One of our favourite meals from the holiday at Linda's Bar on Meia Praia beach, Lagos.
Watching the sunset at our hotel. Dress - Primark.
One of our last nights in Portugal. Dress - Missguided.
Gorgeous sunset at our hotel. And a man fishing for mussels in the river!

As you may or may not know, I went on holiday with my boyfriend last week to Portugal. It's a place I've been to quite a few times because my Grandma lived there for about 15 years. There were a lot of summer holiday visits during my school years and I absolutely loved the time I spent there. Sadly my Grandma passed away last year which made the thought of travelling to Portugal and holidaying there quite a daunting prospect. I thought it'd take me a while to be able to head back there and see all the places I went to with her and my family but actually, it was really refreshing to see the country in a bit of a new light. There's so many good sides to visiting a country and staying with people who live there; they can give you valuable insight into the great areas to go, the cheaper, less touristy restaurants and the nicest shops and bars. I remembered all of Grandma and her partner Dave's recommendations on our trip last week, but we also managed to find a few other places by just having a wander around!

We were staying in a town called Ferraguda which is about an hour or so away from Faro and right on the coast by Portimao. It's around 30KM from Lagos which is one of the main towns on the Algarve coast and by far the nicest I think I've visited. I'm not going to say that Ferraguda is the best town I've been to in the Algarve but the hotel we stayed at was fantastic. It's called Agua Riverside Resort and is right on the riverside just like the name suggests! It was lovely and modern, had an infinity pool (I was sold as soon as I saw that to be honest!) and had a gorgeous little jetty that gave you a perfect view of the sunset. I think sometimes it's worth staying in a less of a touristy town as the hotels there are usually cheaper and you get more for your money. We were 5 minutes walk from the train station which provided us with a 15 minute ride to Lagos and it's surrounding beaches. To be honest the location was pretty perfect for us and our budget.

The purpose of the holiday was just to relax so we didn't get involved in the excursions and boat trips. That being said, if you're looking for an activity based holiday then the Algarve isn't all about sitting on a beach and reading a book. There's sea kayaking, boat trips into the seaside caves, dolphin and whale watching, the Lagos Zoo, water parks and also water sports such as parascending and jet skiing. If surfing is more your kind of thing then the west coast has some fantastic surf schools and the waves can get pretty huge! We headed to a place called Sagres which is in the south west corner of the Algarve. It's the Southern most point of Portugal and has a fort and a museum there. It's acquired the name "the old end of the world" because Columbus went there and genuinely thought that it was actually the end of the world!

When it comes to food the Portuguese are all about their fresh fish so if you're a seafood fan then you're in luck! Most restaurants will provide a good selection of fish, most of which will have been caught fresh that day. My personal favourite is their sardine pate which they serve along with bread as a starter. So yummy!! For those of you who aren't fish fans, don't worry! They do an amazing Portuguese steak which is another one of my favourites. They serve it quite simply with sauteed potatoes, cooked in garlic oil and with a slice of  prosciutto on top. Sometimes they cook it in a kind of thin gravy too which is really yummy. For vegetarian's there's a wide selection of salad and vegetarian dishes too. Plus there's a huge array of Italian restaurants to chose from so pretty much everyone is catered for!

All in all, I'd say this was a perfect holiday for us. The only thing I would say is if you're planning on staying a little out of the town areas such as Lagos then you might need to hire a car. I personally think it's fun to go exploring while you're away and a car gives you so many more options than public transport. 
Have any of you got any plans for your summer holidays?

Lots of Love,
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