Hey guys, are you excited? Time to share my second vegan holiday adventure with you. This time, I am going to tell you more about a road trip we did in 2015 along the coast from northern to southern Portugal for five weeks. Make sure to check out my illustrated map first! Below you will find informations to all the amazing locations, beaches, architectural sites and restaurants we have been to and some pictures to round off the pleasure experience of your thirsty thirsty heart, which is probably aching from wanderlust. If that is the case, we have something in common. If I could, I would travel instead of going for walks, explore instead of working and live instead of existing. Do you know the german word „Fernweh“? It expresses a deep sensation of melancholia mixed with lots of thirst for adventure and the unknown. I would name Fernweh one of my 5 main character traits. Yet, being at home with my one true love, cuddling with my dogs and my deep love for Graz are pretty convincing as well. Now you have met another character trait of mine: Indecisiveness.
Thank you so much Fernanda & Georg from United Everything for all your excellent recommendations. (They are amazing architects btw.)
– P O R T U G A L –
Portugal, or Portuguese Republic, is a country on the Iberian Peninsula, in Southwestern Europe. It is defined as a Mediterranean Climate and has a total area of 92,21 km2. It also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, which are both autonomous regions. I am going to focus on the coastline of Portugal. We had the overall impression that the Portuguese are extremely friendly, helpful and relaxed. Their wine is really good and many speak English, so no worries. They have an excellent taste in architecture, graphic design and arts over all which was a very refreshing experience for us. If you love road trips, a beautiful environment and exploring coast lines Portugal is your number one go to destination. By the end of may 2015 we went for a swim in the very south of Portugal. In the north at that time of the year the Atlantic was way too cold, so keep that in mind.
The Sweetest Thing – Figueira da Foz: Thomi’s favorite Airbnb location & accommodation. We rented this tiny little house and loved its unique comfy atmosphere and the enormous beach around the corner. Off season you might need a jacket, but you also might have an entire beach to yourself. Read more.
Casa Bela Vista – Odeceixe: We absolutely loved staying at Anita’s place. It is cozy, very Portuguese, honest and surrounded by nature. She has lovely pets and is a fabulous host. Nearby there are many beaches, you can go for long walks or simply enjoy the view and pick some oranges! Life changing. Read more.
White Loft in Bairro Alto – Lisbon: Pretty hip apartment in a vivid area. Lots of night life and everything you need is nearby. Can get pretty hot in summer but I guess that is part of the Portuguese experience after all. Read more.
Colectivo Tinkuy – Almoçageme: The perfect place for vegans. Isaura and Joaquin are very sweet hosts, their apartments are really cool and the beaches nearby are too. Can you guess which part is best? Isaura will make vegan home cooked meals for you. This place is very familial, in an easy-going and very pleasant way. Shortly put: you will feel just like home. But watch out, you might not want to leave. Read more.
Casal Santa Virginia – Azenhas do Mar: Oh my. Let me tell you, this hotel was amazing. It sits right at the cliffs and by night you can hear the sound of the clashing waves and feel their vibrations, which is something that I have never experienced before. Pretty awesome. On a windy day the way from your room to the breakfast area might feel like a climate-wind-channel, but hey the view & the beaches near by are so worth it. Read more.
Mareta Beach – Boutique Bed & Breakfast – Sagres: Thomi’s favorite hotel because it was so neat and chic. Also some first class beaches are within a 2 minute walk. There is a huge fort nearby, and the cliffs are so dramatic. Read more.
Da Terra – Matosinhos: amazing vegan restaurant which offers unique plant-based dishes. Great salads, sweets and juices. Read more.
Merhato do Bolhao – Porto: not vegan, but many stands have fresh fruit and vegetables.
Maus Hábitos – Porto: insider tip from my dear Portuguese friend Fernanda. Read more.
Cultura Dos Sabores – Lisbon: fancy delicious vegetarian restaurant with lots of vegan options. Buffett and salad bar. Read more.
Pastelaria Marreiros / Snack Bar – Sagres: right next to our hotel in Sagres this cute little bar offers vegan soups and delicious crunchy toasts with tomatoes and olive oil. Very Portuguese.
Also: Oranges and Tomatoes. I recommend fresh and delicious orange juice for breakfast and a quick and simple tomato sauce with pasta for dinner.
BEACHES (from North to South)
Praia de Matosinhos & Praia de Leça da Palmeira: in the north of Porto, great place to hang out and surf.
Praia do Cabedelo do Douro: in the South of Porto, impressive river delta.
Reserva Natural das Dunas de Sao Jacinto – Aveiro: our favorite beach ever. We were lucky to have this amazing piece of land for ourselves. A little difficult to get there, but very very worth it. A soft breeze and nothing but nature. Insider tip!!!
Praia do Relógio & Praia da Tocha – Figueira do Foz: huge beach which is probably very well visited in summer, off season you will have it to yourself. Bring a bottle of port wine and a jacket.
Praia das Macas & Praia da Adraga & more: lovely beaches in a cool location. Lots of people from Lisbon come here to enjoy life. There are many bars and restaurants.
Praia da Barradinha & Praia da Vale dos Homens: Pretty awesome beaches near Odeceixe. Especially since Praia da Barradinha is not really for swimming but for sunbathing so you might have it to yourself. Praia da Vale dos Homens is only for those who love stairs and breathtaking beaches. Awesome cliffs, clean water!
Praia da Mareta & Praia do Tonel: very very widespread and beautiful beaches, you will have lots of space to yourself, at least off season. Again awesome cliffs!
Praia da Falésia: very high but soft cliffs made of sand and clay. The beauty of the beach was worth visiting it, maybe just for a short stop though, way too many tourists. Great place to take evening walks, collect shells and take pictures.
From Falésia to the Spanish border: basically one sandy beach that extends for many kilometers and is perfect for long days at the beach and long walks at sunset. Touristy, but since there is so much beach, you can always find a place to yourself.
Boa Nova Tea House & Piscina das Marés: Two of my favorite architecture locations ever can be found in Leca da Palmeira. The famous Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza carefully planned within the rugged coast line of northern Portugal. Breathtaking!
Porto: whatever you are looking for in architecture, you might end up finding it in Porto. I am not going to post a lot of pictures because honestly I don’t even know where to start. We love to walk around cities and discover what they have to offer. There are many public spaces, installations or architecturally not very well known but pretty cool buildings around, old ones and new ones as well. Porto is truly unique. Here are some of my favorite places & architectural sites in and around Porto: Ponte Dom Luís I, Casa do Musica, Passeio das Virtudes, Faculty of Architecture, Farol de Felgueiras, Capela do Senhor de Pedra and many more.
Farol De Nazare: Also known as Forte S. Miguel Acanjo, built in 1577, is one of the best places in the world to watch and expierence giant waves. Very windy, very impressive! Don’t miss it!
Fortaleza Sagres: is located at the southern tip of the Sagres Peninsula, historically you won’t find out too much but it still is a nice afternoon activity. It’s restored and the landscape design is not bad either: there is an intriguing building in the form of a spiral which works with the sound of the waves.
Castro Marim: Right at the Spanish border you can find this cute little village which was a lot to offer if you ever get tired of laying at the beach: Forte de São Sebastião & Castle of Castro Marim. In the southern part of the village there is cute little park to relax.
Lisbon: just like Porto, Lisbon is plastered with architectonical works and statements. Bring comfy shoes, a camera, water and start exploring. Some of my favorites are: Centro cultural de Belém, Pavilion of Portugal, Rectory of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Pavilhão do Conhecimento, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and many more.
Also: Overall Portugal is filled with exciting architectural sites. 5 weeks is not long enough to see them all. Perfect country to be spontaneous, or if you want this holiday to really be about architecture organize a tour up front.
OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES
The Old the Young and the Sea: One of my favorite documentaries of all time. Seriously, I am a big fan. I didn’t know much about Portugal before watching this fabulous European surf documentary, but then I knew I had to go. No, I don’t surf, yes I love Portugal. Read more.
Surfing: basically everywhere at any time.
Long Boarding & Bike Rental: down by the pier you can rent bikes. Starting in Porto, cross the river if you want to go south or drive out to the coast and go north. Amazing experience, you can drive for hours along the misty coastline and I promise, you will enjoy every moment of it.
1. We walked so much, especially walking the stairs in Porto will always remain in our memory. Fun fact, Porto seemed so familiar to us that we didn’t need a map after the first evening.
2. Experiencing the endless Esplanada right at the beach starting at Praia da Madalena (Norte) or Porto itself. Very enjoyable experience! So even off season you can really fully experience the beach and be active as well. There are some gaps, for several reasons, but you can always continue, until you reach Lagoa Barrinha de Esmoriz.
3. Or taking a walk on the beach from Altura in the very south to the Spanish border.
Drinking: Port wine in Porto by the pier and partying in Bairro Alto, Lisbon. Portugal has a pulsating and vivid night life. The Portuguese are constantly outside spending time at the many public spaces, having a drink or are in nature and enjoy life. Our favorite Port wine brand is Calem Velhotes Tawny – don’t know how this happened, but it is totally our thing now.
– CASA BELA VISTA ODECEIXE –
– CENTRO TINKUY-
– CASAL SANTA VIRGINIA –
– CENTRO TINKUY –
– ORANGES FOR BREAKFAST-
-TOMATOES SAUCE & PASTA –
-PRAIA DE MATOSINHOS-
-PRAIA DE LECA DA PALMIERA-
-PRAIA DA TOCHA-
-RESERVA NATURAL DAS DUNAS DE SAO JACINTO-
-PRAIA DAS MACAS-
-PRAIA DA BARRADINHA-
-PRAIA DA VALE DOS HOMENS-
-PRAIA DA MARETA-
-PRAIA DA FALÉSIA-
-PISCINAS DE MARÉS-
-BOA NOVA TEA HOUSE-
-PASSEIO DAS VIRTUDES-
-FAROL DE FELGUIERA-
-CAPELA DO SENHOR DE PEDRA-
-PONTE 25 DE ABRIL-
-CENTRO CULTURAL DE BELÉM-
- OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITIES
-LONGBOARDING & BIKE RIDING IN PORTO-
-WALKING IN PORTO-
-DRINKING IN PORTO-
– MAKING OUT SESSIONS <3-