This post dates back several months, I travelled to Portugal around Easter but since a certain Tanzanian president all of a sudden decided you had to pay to write a blog, I temporarily stopped posting. (The temptation to write he is a paranoid dictator was also very hard to control so I just bit my tongue for a while.)
With a strange mix of excitement and embarrassment, I have to admit that I had never been to Portugal before. Having grown up in a family of 7, we limited ourselves to holidays in driving distance and thus we usually did not go further than France, Italy or Spain, which was far enough considering I had to share a vehicle with teenage brothers, some of whom had gorgonzola feet. (I am expecting come back after this post.) And after college, I developed a taste for intercontinental travel so poor Portugal was ignored by me. My loss, it turns out, because I was very happily surprised.
It was still a tad too cold to enjoy the beach, sun and sea but luckily that is never my priority when I travel. Meditteranean lifestyle and food, however, I will take a flight for that. And Portugal delivered. I was even very surprised with the level of English that the locals speak. I guess the Portuguese are a bit like the Belgians: at a certain point, you have to admit you are the minority and learn other people´s language. The service was also much better than in your average tourist destination, people seemed genuinely happy to welcome tourists. And isn’t that so often the case: the people make or break your experience? Total hit with me, the Portuguese 🙂
In case you want a suggestion on where to stay, I did love where we were: close to Faro, Carvoeiro: Casa Tuia, on a quiet hill. We had the choice between a house or a tent (glamping), and there was a beautiful pool. The atmosphere was very chill and casual and the bar was definitely the place to be – as it should be. I was there with family and friends so you might think I am biased but I am quite sure the atmosphere there is always this relax, and the owners were extremely accommodating.