Summer holiday 2018 – fly to Lisboa and rent a house in Ulgueira. Here´s a brief report and some suggestions.
We´re about an hour west of Lisboa, in the countryside in the tiniest of villages. The village is very very quiet, and immaculate. Many of the houses are summer residences, and the village seems almost deserted now in early July. The whole area is very quiet, even the beaches, with the exception of the tourist attractions: Lisboa, Sintra, even Cabo de Roca, the westernmost point on the European continent. It´s walking distance from our house, so we walked there. In the photo above, it´s dusk and quite cold, but all the more scenic.
The house is fabulous. Spacious, well kitted out, and made of beautiful materials. Just look at the tiled floor.
We try out the different beaches. Praia das Macas has a large pool, seawater and all. We were about the only guests on this particular day!
Praia do Guincho is “the best” and also wildest, and must be very crowded at peak season. When we were there, it was very roomy indeed.
Sintra is very fascinating. It´s good to read up on it before going – we didn´t. It´s good to avoid walking up to the palaces, since there is a lot of traffic on the one-way lane. We walked up … a Tuk-Tuk might be a good choice. Also try the railway from Praia das Macas; it´s a museum piece, but it works.
It´s worth taking a trip to the Santuário do Peninha, a few kms away from Ulgueira. The view from up there is excellent.
Food. In Malveira there is a well-stocked Spar supermarket, it has all you need, and a pharmacy across the road. As for restaurants, we tried Tamariz in Estoril – very erratic service, but lovely spot, and very stylish. At the opposite end of the scale, Sisudo in Almocageme. Highly recommended. Same goes for Adega do Coelho. Very authentic.
Do walk towards the beach and clifftops. Just go straight ahead and you can´t really miss it. The scenery is magnificent, and the sheer drops vertigo-inducing. Small kids – best held by the hand. We saw a fisherman fishing directly from the cliff-top into the sea 100 metres below.
Lisboa – fascinating and still unspoilt, but mass tourism is changing it fast. Lots of traffic…
And finally, the Portuguese. Very very friendly and excellent English. Hats off.