2 days in Portugal - April
by Freddie Jade
Another mini road trip, as is usual, with me driving. This time up through Seville with lots of food and toilet stops - we didn´t used them all, just thought you may like to know there are plenty available!
Approximately 3 hours of driving and we arrive at the boarder with Portugal. Luckily I remembered we must go through the the little toll on the right to introduce our credit card as they have the new system of cameras that take your registration plate every 5-10 kilometres to pay the road tax's otherwise you have to make sure you go to a post office in Portugal, which is a hassle any day, even more so when your on holiday and its the weekend ! If you didn't know about this it is really not well explained or even signed where exactly you need to pull off, even we whizzed straight passed the tolls and had to go under the road and back again. Aside from that the roads are quite pleasant, the views are truly amazing and drivers really respect the fact that the left lane is used only for overtaking, unlike other places we have visited.
We drove along the south coast until arriving at Portimao being our chosen lunch stop at a restaurant called "Casa de Rocha" at the top of the cliff overlooking the amazing beaches where we took a long walk along after lunch. You can only imagine how busy it gets in summer, in fact there where quite a few people sun bathing already.
We drove along the south coast until arriving at Portimao, being our chosen lunch stop. A restaurant called "Casa de Rocha" at the top of the cliff overlooking the amazing beaches we took a long walk along left us suitably satiated both in the tummy and eye. You can only imagine how busy they get in summer, in fact there where quite a few people sun bathing already.
Our next destination was slightly complicated to arrive to, but Rey had a bee in his bonet about this huge ship wreck that was said to be the only one in the world of it's kind. Rey was the navigator, rolling down his window every 3 kilometres doing his best Portuguese in an attempt to find the right country road to this tiny town called "Odemira". Racing against the sun light we eventually arrived at this not so huge ship reck on the beach that not even the locals knew about and had to put the car in 4x4 mode to access it. We were however just in time for the most amazing sunset making for beautiful lighting for an artist eye to photograph this magical ship wreck.
We arrived at Lisbon by 9pm having approached the city lights via these huge bridges having missed our turning again and had to pay to access them, but totally worth seeing the huge "Christ the Redeemer" statue like the one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Our hotel was a brand new building which we booked 2 weeks prior to our trip. We didn't book the restaurant and chose to be totally spontaneous and let the young receptionist book us a table at 100 Maneras
, a tasting restaurant where the chef chooses what you shall dine, which we were very lucky to get a table at and was truly something.
The next morning we set off through Lisbon by day towards one of the prettiest places we have ever visited, Sintra. We went to the "Parque de Pena" and very colourful "Palacio de Pena", before we had to head back on our 7 hour drive back to Marbella.
This trip was breathtaking, honestly I could share so many pleasure about it especially Sintra! I highly recommend, you jump on a bus, a plain or your car and visit Portugal, try to avoid the touristic parts and you will be amazed!
Portimao & Restaurant Location:
Sintra & how to get to Parque de Pena (You can drive right up to the entrance):
Duration of Trip: 10 hours to Lisbon, including two stops. A further hour to Sintra and 7 hours back to Marbella.
Price of Petrol €€€
Price of Road Tax's €€
Hotel* Price for one night €€
Lunch, Dinner* & lunch again €€€
Entrance Fee's to Sintra's Parks €€