Portugal Journals

Christmas in Portugal

Best of IgoUgo

A December 2000 trip to Portugal by tmhhmt

cabo da roca Photo, Portugal, Europe More Photos
Quote: Rented a house with family & friends in Penedo (near Sintra, Cascais & Estoril) for Christmas & highly recommend the area for a quiet holiday.

Christmas in Portugal

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Sign Post in Sintra Photo, Portugal, Europe
Quote:
Cascais - the tiles on the buildings & homes are incredible, the wavy patterned marble streets in the shopping district are fantastic. We rented a large passenger van (for friends, family members + infant) but the van was too large to make some of the turns on the tiny ancient streets. MISTAKE. Nothing like a five point turn on a street corner with locals hollering at you to get the **** out of the way. Obidos - the drive along the coast from Sintra is fantastic, take the highway home, you'll be tired. There are few bad restaurants in Sintra, Estoril or Cascais, there are several bad ones in Lisbon. Beware of restaurants with friendly waiters outside. If the waiters are...Read More

Hotel Albatroz

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The best food we found in portugal.

The cuisine wasn't strictly speaking Portuguese -- but continental is too bland a description.

I would definitely make reservations for dinner. Hours are shaky so call the hotel ahead of time to verify.

In addition to the restaurant there is a dark woody bar overlooking the ocean (serves sandwiches) and there are a couple of gorgeous sitting rooms facing the ocean and swimming pool. There is also an overpriced gift shop with lots of very nice artsy things, that is, as opposed to touristy things.

Perfect spot on the ocean in a huge white building.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Adega do Ramada

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Walking around obidos, the day after christmas -- starving & with a cranky baby. All the restaurants on the main streets and in my guide book were closed. This place we found because a girl/woman was grilling fish in a hole in the side of a brick building & it smelled fantastic. Walking in seemed as if entering someone's basement apartment... but the food more than made up for the lack of atmosphere. The fish was PERFECT & they will do anything vegetarian you want. Great soup. Only 5 tables & at that, you are squished in but well worth the discomfort. If you order the vegetable plate the put one of every kind of vegetable in the kitchen on a skewer, grill it then brin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Cafe Paris

Restaurant

Quote:
I say 'no' reservations with the proviso that I was there off season but can imagine the place being quite crowded when there are more people around. The food was expensive and wonderful. The best tomato soup I've ever had in my life. Everything is cooked to order so service is slow but worth the wait. Caveat - they'll put things on the table that you didn't ask for & if you eat them they'll charge you. This can add up. We were a large party and started to lose track until we got the eye popping bill. Really great wine especially the Vino Verde. The beautiful location, across from the Palacio Nacional, is almost worth being charged for a plate of cheese that was never ord...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Feira de Sao Pedro

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Fantastic and full of junk - everything from liquor to peruvian blankets and faux Nikes. No antiques, little that is unusual or one of a kind, nothing worth going out of your way for unless, like me, you enjoy junky crowded markets. I don't go to shop, just to watch. Perhaps during tourist season there's more on offer?

Take the bus to the market then walk around the neighborhood. There are some excellent coffee shops -- meaning purveyors of deep black coffee that is gritty and a shock to the system - not restaurants.

The market is every Tuesday I think... also, the market is nowhere near the 'old town' bit of Sintra. Don't try to walk it unless you've got an excellent map.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Palacia de Queluz

Attraction

Palacio Queluz Photo, Portugal, Europe
Quote:
18th century ultimate gilt rococco palace, reminiscent of tiny Versailles. Amazing and copious amounts of statuary - gardens that are very french and formal. Impressive, overdone & still lovely.

There are buses & trolley that get close but we were hauling strollers so took a cab.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Feira da Ladra

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The first flea market I've ever been to that I left empty handed. If you just want to wake up early and see lots of Lisbon natives hanging out and arguing over crappy burnt out computer equipment then this is the place. Don't race to get here early unless you just happen to be an early riser. Mid-morning the usual Peruvian blanket/retro hippy sellers show up and the people get more interesting. Easy to get there on the trolley from Rossio. The churches around the market are gorgeous and there are great cafes, bakeries, and candy stores in the area that you can get to on foot. Would NOT attempt to take a car. Oh... and feira da ladra means theives market and (accord...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Feira da Ladra
Alfama District
Lisbon, Portugal
351 962 540 775

Cabo da Roca

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

cabo da roca Photo, Portugal, Europe
Quote:
This was thought to be the edge of the world until... Columbus? Anyway, it's a dramatic spot & really does seem as if you're staring off into the great void as you look off at the ocean. Dramatic cliffs & massive waves.

Great tourist shop with superior tacky items such as cork postcards that say you're at the edge of the world.

Tourism office there also but not open in the winter when I was there.

Drive or take a cab unless you're staying in Cascais or Colares & then it's still quite a walk. There's a bike path along the coast & I suppose you could bike down if the weather were good - which it was not when I was there.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 24, 2001

Colares

Story/Tip

Quote:
On the road near sintra, Colares is a very beautiful little town with a few good restaurants, a fado bar, a pillory & a gorgeous tiny church. Has a tourism office but i think it's only open in the spring/summer. On the road between Sintra and the ocean, passing through Colares (and other towns) there is a trolley that runs every day to the ocean in the warm seasons. The small grocery store in town is much better stocked behind the counter than on the shelves and they'll get what you'll buy so tell them what you want. The local wines are fantastic & relatively inexpensive. Ask for shop/restaurant recommendations. The beach at Praia Das Macas is lovely and no...Read More