Geordie’s Portuguese surf odyssey began in Lisbon. The gorgeous capital city is full of lovely design elements, not least the mustard yellow trams inching up the colorful streets, the manicured small squares, or the world-famous tiled facades. It’s a wonderful place to pause and take time to notice small details among the urban bustle and discover little culinary gems down fragrant side streets.
As Geordie discovered while enjoying an evening at the Four Seasons Hotel’s rooftop Ritz bar or while staying at the elegant Pousada de Lisboa, its luxury hotels offer the same mix of history and Portuguese panache as the city.
In the castle’s shadow, Geordie wandered the cobblestoned lanes of ancient neighborhoods of Alfama and Mouraria, explored monasteries, picked up traditional Pastel de Nata tarts, and breathed in the atmosphere at the historic port from where medieval Portugal launched its ambitions to become a world power.
At the weekend, Lisbon’s inhabitants like to head to the coast and especially the cozy beach town of Cascais. Geordie made the same pilgrimage, checking into the sumptuous boutique Hotel Abatroz before watching some big wave surfing with a caipirinha in hand.
While everyone’s eyes are on the sea, a culinary scene has been quietly gaining an impressive reputation in Cascais’ hilly hinterland. This added dimension and its proximity to the Portuguese Riviera and the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park make Cascais a superb first stop on a rural Portugal adventure.
Travel an hour south of Lisbon, and you’ll reach the pine forests and golden sands of Comporta. While not too far from the capital’s city limits, this coastal region feels like a world away. That sense of quiet retreat is concentrated in Sublime Comporta, Geordie’s stay while visiting. Its mix of modern luxury and heritage architecture harmonized with Comporta’s overall style—a place to be lulled by the idyllic Mediterranean coast or explore some off-the-beaten-track treasures, as Geordie discovered.