Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal

Southern Portugal: From the Farm to the Beach


We’re back after a relaxing week without internet! Our previous post didn’t include our last night in Lisbon, which was one for the books. It was the culmination of the Festival of Santo Antonio, and the entire city turned into one giant celebration not to be missed. Main roads were closed and turned into parade routes and almost every neighborhood transformed into a massive block party. We experienced it first hand with our new friends Julian & Sarah from SF, who we met at lunch the day before. We can’t say enough good things about Lisbon – you should visit!

On Monday morning we got going (after a strong espresso), rented a car who we named “Minty” the mint green drop top Fiat 500c, and headed to Sintra to see the Castle of the Moors. It was very foggy and misty which was fitting because of where the castle was located and how old it was.  Walking through it felt as if we were back in time.

After Sintra we visited Cascais, an adorable beach town, and had lunch before making the two hour drive to our friends farm house (thanks again, Serge & Robin!), which is about 2 hours south of Lisbon in the Alentejo region. It had such a warm and welcoming feel with a great kitchen and outdoor porch. We had a TV with 3 American movie channels that played some 90’s classics like Top Gun, Braveheart, and Rounders. We also watched the first season of Game of Thrones that Jesse downloaded on his tablet (we know we’re behind, but we’re hooked!).  Jenn did a ton of cooking which she LOVED!  Most days we slept in, had breakfast, and headed to the beach in Milfontes.  The 20 minute drive was through rolling hills that were filled with the smell of eucalyptus and lavender that grow all over the countryside. We also went to Park Zambujeira and checked out some amazing views from the top of the cliffs.

One night we were invited to dinner at Luis & Paula’s home who are great friends of Sergio & Robin. It was wonderful getting to know everyone and enjoying a home cooked Portuguese meal.  Everything we had was locally grown and fantastic! Thanks Luis, Paula & Tomas!

The experience of being somewhat disconnected was much needed after our whirlwind in Lisbon.  We are recharged and ready to tackle Spain’s capital city. Here we come, Madrid!


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  1. Malcolm
    June 20, 2016 at 7:20 pm — Reply


  2. June 21, 2016 at 9:14 pm — Reply

    Be sure to go to the museum and see some of the famous El Greco paintings in Madrid, have some tapas, and some good Rioja wine. Try the Jamon Serrano (Ham), better than any prosciutto you have ever had! We can get is sliced off the pig at a restaurant in Astoria NY. Or I have a Spanish deli that has it. Gazpacho, the real thing, is wonderful in Spain. Send some saffron home, it’s usually the best price in Spain. Get a big tin, $50-60 bucks, it’s worth it. Great for paellas. Have one or more of those too. We like the food better in Spain that we did in Italy. Oh, well.
    Tyler & Elana

    • Jesse
      June 24, 2016 at 11:45 am — Reply

      Thanks for the info, Tyler & Elana! We went to the Thyssen and were really impressed by the art, and we’ve had a ton of tapas and jamon here. We are going to try a good paella in Barcelona.

  3. LizKregloe
    June 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm — Reply

    So glad to hear you are having a good time. Love, Liz

    • Jesse
      June 24, 2016 at 11:39 am — Reply

      Thanks, Liz! Tell Dad we said, hola!

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Southern Portugal: From the Farm to the Beach

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