“Why don’t you come to Portugal for the weekend?”, my boyfriend Reinier asked me on a Wednesday evening in January. He has been in Portugal already for a couple of weeks working on a pilot farm, growing strawberries, while I am still in dark and freezing London.
As long as I can get the day off on Friday, find a place for our dog and book a flight, it seemed like an excellent plan. Thursday morning…..arranged a day off on Friday, check…..called Rachel (Chap’s surrogate mother) to pick up Chap in the afternoon for the weekend, check…..and booked a flight to Faro and a cab to Gatwick, check…..Friday morning 6.30am “Welcome to this EasyJet flight to Faro, sit back, relax and enjoy the flight”. Thank you Mister Pilot, I will!!
It is impossible to explore a country in just two and a half days. However, we did our best to do and see as much as possible. We stayed in Zambujeira do Mar, less than a 2 hour drive from Faro to the north. I didn’t know that a large part of the coastal area below Lisbon is one long stretched national park. This means that the area, unlike the south coast, is not spoiled by mass tourism.
Well, what did we do…ehm, we visited the strawberry farm of course, but more exciting was our attempt to catch some waves in Odeceixe. I am not very good at surfing. When we do visit a good surf spot it is only for a day or even half a day. That happens just a few times a year. Still, for some reason I absolutely love being in the water with a surf board. Hoping to become a little better, though realising every time that I am more under water almost drowning a thousand times instead of surfing on my board. This time was no exception, but it was fun…..and thereafter really cold (it is freaking January, what was I thinking!). You can hire gear at the Odeceixe surf school.
Beach of Odeceixe (a year later I was standing on the same beach, read SUP & Yoga trip to Portugal).
If you are in the area don’t forget to enjoy the seafood, especially barnacles, a local treat apparently. It looks strange, like really really strange, but it tastes very good.
Visit restaurant Tasca do Celso in Vila Nova de Milfontes and restaurant Marisqueira Costa Alentejana in Zambujeira do Mar. On “our way back” to the Airport we visited Sagres, where you will find many surf shops and restaurants, a huge historic fort and scenic ocean views.
My flight back was horror haha, a 3 hour delay and back in London it was extremely foggy, so the taxi driver could not drive faster than 50km/h even on the highway. So I ended up in bed at 2.30am in the morning and my alarm went off at 6am to go to work, mmmmm….here is some room for improvement. Anyway, had a lovely weekend and Portugal is great!
Click on Lonely Planet Portugal to buy on The Bookdepository or click on the book below to buy on Amazon.
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