Welcome to the blog about my lovely apartment in Carcavelos on the Lisbon coast, in Portugal. As well as providing information about the apartment in the drop down menu here, I’ve added lots more about the local area and places close by. It’s a special place by the sea where you can watch wonderful sunsets and is close to Lisbon and all that wonderful, white city has to offer. So you can have two breaks for the price of one. I hope you enjoy the blog and that the information will encourage you to visit. I look forward to welcoming you there sometime soon.
John and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay from 16-23 April 2014 in this terrific apartment. We were met at the airport by Brid’s friend Rui who chatted about Portugal and football and life in general as he drove us to the apartment and showed us around.
This friendly welcome was much appreciated. We felt very comfortable in the apartment and it was really great to have all the added extras and homely touches that you wouldn’t expect in a holiday rental, including books and DVDs and all the essentials for easy living!
Our aim was clear and simple – do almost nothing but walk, read, eat and drink well for a week. We didn’t plan to take in the sights or make the most of the easy access to multiple attractions. We saved that for another visit. We achieved our aim with no difficulty – lazy mornings with breakfast on the balcony, long daily walks along the beach (averaging about 16,000 steps per day on a pedometer), hours of reading, and simple lunches. We were very fortunate with the weather – warm and sunny every day.
We had brought our own good books (mainly the trilogy by Karl Ove Knusgaard) but while I waited for John to finish the second book, I also fitted in one of Brid’s books called ‘The First Global Vilage: How Portugal Changed The World’. This gave me a great overview of Portuguese history over the past two millennia.
We ate out in a different place each evening – all the meals were good and very reasonably priced. (We’ve made the same mistake as other guests in not making note of the restaurants we particularly enjoyed but they included a couple on the beach and the fish restaurant on the corner in the Square near the apartment.) We took a longer than planned walk one evening and ended up in a smallish but very popular local restaurant in Sao Pedro do Estoril.
Our two minor excursions included an afternoon in Caicais which included a trip to the Paula Rego exhibition and a walk to the Poet’s Park
in Oireas, near to the Shopping Centre. It’s a lovely green space with statues of Portuguese poets and writers. There is no doubt that if we are feeling more energetic on our next visit, we will take in the attractions of Sintra and Lisbon. However, this location offers the opportunity to do it all or to do next to nothing – best of all worlds!
Patricia & John.
Lisbon’s food scene is changing rapidly. And for the better. Continue reading
Lisbon’s best restaurants, shops, hotels and museums, according to chef José Avillez, actor Daniela Ruah, novelist Robert Wilson and designer Alexandra Champalimaud.
THIS CITY IS often overlooked as a destination, considered an also-ran to Paris, Rome and other European capitals, with their iconic attractions and masses of tourists. But there’s something to be said for Lisbon’s subtler charms. Continue reading
Once a seedy area of Lisbon, the riverside Cais do Sodré district has been reborn as one of the city’s coolest, a hub of great clubs, bars, restaurants and original shops. This is also the name of the station from where you take the train along the Lisbon coast to Carcavelos, so is a very convenient place to socialise into the wee, small hours.
Cais do Sodré’s transformation from sleazy haunt to one of the city’s coolest nightlife districts has been swift. Elegant new bars jostle with contemporary restaurants and even the beautiful 19th-century fish market is set to unveil a new food court later this month, mixing gourmet fare with traditional petiscos.
Praça do Comércio 3, 1100-148 Lisboa
Pessoa scattered his selves among these tables.
We take turns to read his fugitive verse.
Now, from a notebook with his portrait I
Distill these fading signs, once lucent.
Here Saramago fluxed his river-like prose.
I flit between a glass of Super Bock
And olives, Filtro cigarette and coffee;
Read how Pessoa hesitates, invited
By Ricardo Reis, the year he dies,
Almost steps into the cool interior
Haunt, with its tables white-clothed, uninscribed.
The waiters smile and sanction what we read.
Looking out across the moonlit Tagus River to the gigantic statue of Christ the Redeemer, I felt momentarily confused.
I was sure I was in Lisbon, not Rio de Janeiro. And beautiful though it looked under a starry night, what was the Golden Gate Bridge doing in one of Europe’s best-loved capitals? Lisbon is full of such surprises.
I recently came back from a fabulous two week tour of Portugal with three friends and wanted to recommend it as a holiday, if you are looking for somewhere new. Our total spend per person for 14 days was less than £600, including car hire, tolls, petrol accommodation, food and entry tickets. (Admittedly off season in the second half of September.)
Portugal is a small beautiful country with a fantastic road network, almost empty of cars – at least when it’s not high holiday season. And it has fantastically good value and welcoming guest houses and hotels with big rooms and big breakfasts. It also is child-friendly. If you want the best value holiday, discovering hidden treasures and enjoying beautiful walks, here’s a tour with great places to stay in central and north Portugal. We went in mid-late September.
Top tip: start from Brid’s apartment in Carcavelos. Continue reading
My wife, my two sons of 10 and 12 and I greatly enjoyed visiting the aquarium in Lisbon in May. It was recommended to me by an American friend as the biggest in Europe. I’m not sure that it’s bigger than the one in Genoa, Italy however but it’s certainly impressive. To get there travel by Metro to the Oriente station and it’s about a 10 minute signposted walk from there. Going via the sea front along a walkway is an alternative, picturesque option, although it takes about 15 minutes to reach the aquarium that way.
“Great apartment for a family vacation and an ideal spot to enjoy Lisbon and the area around at its best.”
I (Sylvia) travel once a year with my friend Martina and her two sons, Moriz (10) & Felix (7). Before Lisbon we did all inclusive holidays at the beach with children’s entertainment included. Now as the kids are older we decided on a city break. We were unsure if they’d like a city trip with sightseeing better than swimming pool and children’s cocktails. But that cosy apartment in Carcavelos and its great location made the holiday a big success. Continue reading