A Road Trip Through Portugal
In only six days, Portugal managed to win my heart. From the quiet coastal towns of the Algarve to the bustle of Lisbon’s Bairro Alto district at night, the vibrant colors of the landscape seemed to match its energy. In order to explore all of the hidden corners along the way, we embarked on a colorful 200 mile road trip from Lisbon’s city center to Lago’s sandy beaches, with plenty of snacks in tow.
Starting in Lisbon, opt to stay in the old town Alfama district. Here, the architecture emits an aura of nostalgia, moorish-style homes gracefully shed their layers of white paint, and clotheslines zig zag across balconies above the street. For the best views of the city and the river, stay at the Memmo Alfama, or catch the sunset out on their al fresco wine bar while enjoying their pristine selection of Portuguese wines and delicious tapas.
Before you leave Lisbon, take a souvenir trip to A Vida Portuguesa - a curated shop that features some of best products from small artists, craftsmen, and original Portuguese design. Grab some sardines, chocolates and soaps to bring back home, along with other curated items and gifts. The upstairs library of Portuguese art, architecture, design and culinary books is noteworthy as well.
Upon arriving in the Algarve region, head straight towards Tavira, a small town boasting an impressive number of great restaurants and gelato shops for its size. Get lost in the hilly cobblestone streets, or enjoy (another) glass of red wine - OPI Malaga Wine - while relaxing beside the water.
There are a number of resorts and all-inclusive hotels along the Algarve coast, but I’d recommend opting for a more tranquil, local stay such as the Fazenda Nova Country House. Stationed just miles from the beach yet tucked away behind a field of orange groves, owners Hallie and Tim Robinson have created a tranquil 10-suite boutique hotel that is sure to help you unwind and relax. Plus, they can give you great suggestions on where to shop, explore, relax and dine nearby.
The best beaches in the Algarve region are in the town of Lagos. With so many to explore just miles apart, it’s impossible to pick favorites, just trust your GPS. Looking down at the turquoise gradient of the ocean from above, it’s easy to see how OPI’s “This Color’s Making Waves” got its name.
In the evening, chase the sunset to another small town called Albufeira where you can watch the sun set behind the beautiful white hillside homes. I'm still dreaming of the colorful tiles, amber sunsets and turquoise oceans, of Portugal, and I know you soon will be too!