COM0014 – Blog #1: Our first vacation

“A couple’s first vacation can be a predictor to see if you will make it as a couple”, is the line I was repeatedly told before we went to Portugal this year. My mom has a way with words. Well not only was the seven day trip amazing, but we survived without driving each other up a wall. Mission accomplished.

We decided on Portugal for our June vacation because of the weather, views, beaches and of course the wine. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. We started our trip in Lisbon, worked our way down to Lagos then back up to Lisbon again. It was a perfect balance between sightseeing and relaxing!

We took an overnight flight (not recommended) to Lisbon and decided to spend a day sightseeing before taking a four-hour train down to Lagos. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much sleep on the plane and ended up passing out for the entire afternoon. We did eventually make it out of the hotel and our first stop was to eat the infamous Portuguese custard tart. If you haven’t had one of these desserts, you are missing out! We proceeded to have at least two custard tarts a day and so you don’t have to do the math, that’s 14 custard tarts (I’m grossed out too).

Portuguese custard tarts
Image by Caroline Bexfield

If you ever make it to Portugal, Lagos is a must-see. I would’ve spent my entire trip in the little beach town. Although it was a tiny area, there were so many activities to choose from, that you could never get bored. Our four days in Lagos included a boat tour through the caves, a hike over the cliffs, walking through the markets and soaking up the sun on the beautiful beaches.

Image by Caroline Bexfield

The town of Lagos was packed with people of all ages and at night became a party-scene for the younger tourists. The small town had numerous amounts of restaurants and even more wine to taste. They took great pride in their food and wine, which definitely showed. By the last day, we were wine connoisseurs! The fourth day, we reluctantly got on the train back to Lisbon to continue our trip.

Lagos Beach
Image by Caroline Bexfield

After a long train ride to Lisbon, we made it to our downtown Airbnb apartment. I kid you not this place had five flights of stairs, which was not fun with heavy suitcases. On the plus side, we definitely worked off some custard tarts.

Lisbon was such a lively and colourful city! We decided we were going to take it day by day and not overdo it on the sightseeing. It was a smart decision on our part because we stumbled upon interesting pockets of the city that would’ve been missed. Our favourites spots that we visited in Lisbon were the São Jorge Castle, the Tower of Belem and the Palace of Pena

The castle is a must-see, and although doesn’t look like much from the outside, it gave us access to hands down the best city views of Lisbon.

São Jorge Castle view
Image by Caroline Bexfield

The Tower of Belem was initially built to defend the city, and now stands a beautiful monument. The best part of being in Belem, was the three-minute walk to an establishment that created the first ever custard tart and still use the exact same recipe from 1837. Lastly, our day in Sintra was well worth the day trip! Just walking around the most colourful palace I’ve ever seen, was like walking through a movie set. It just didn’t seem real!

Tower of Belem
Image by Caroline Bexfield

Overall, it was an excellent trip and a huge feat for the both of us! Mostly because the only argument we had was over who would get the last custard tart. He didn’t win that one.

Interested in taking a trip to Portugal? Check out some of the blogs I reviewed before booking my trip:

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