Curious what backpackers do in Portugal? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.
Show 3,309 photos of travelers

Travelers in Portugal

New to FindPenguins?

Sign up


Your travels in a book

Learn more

Get the app!

Post offline and never miss updates of friends with our free app.

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

  • Well we only had a flying visit into maderia, but with rain teaming down it wasn't much a problem. Had a lovely lunch and did a bit of shopping. Back on board and had another lovely dinner. Before getting the lasses to bed early as they are both absolutely shattered.

  • We started our day trip at the tiny village of Sintra, where we visited the Palácio dos Mouros, a castle built by early Muslims - maybe that's why it resembles the Chinese wall. We also made our way up to Palácio da Pena (second picture), but didn't enter.
    After Sintra, we took a bus to the western-most point of continental Europe: Cabo da Roca, with an amazing view of the ocean. Climbing around the cliffs was one of my personal highlights of today. The other one was just lying at the beach of our third destination Cascais. Though it's end November, it was still warm enough, and some brave even tried attempted a swim in the icy sea.Read more

  • Everything is fine now but I got a free ride by ambulance to one of the best hospitals in Europe: Hospital Geral de Santo António in Porto. I was feeling dizzy at lunch, and was losing my vision, so our guide, Anna, talked to the Pharmacist, next door and the paramedics were there very quickly. The hospital did many tests then kept me over night until 10:00 this morning. The doctor said I had low blood pressure and elevated kidney function which were both back to normal this morning as was my white blood cell count. He also said I was okay to walk the Camino. He spoke English very well, studied at Duke University and has walked the Camino too. I felt good this afternoon and we will start walking tomorrow.Read more

  • Pouring rain today so we took the train to Caminha, as Dave was worried about crossing the mountains in the mud and rain $2.50 for me and $1.25 for Dave since he is a senior citizen. I was happy to get here early enough to do laundry finally, wash by hand and hope it hang dries by morning with this rainy weather. Tomorrow we take the ferry boat across the Mingo River to Spain and must walk the rest of the way to get the Compostela. The weather is predicted to be nice for the next week.Read more

  • We left Coimbra Wednesday morning at about 8:45 in 10 degree weather that required a long sleeve shirt under my cycling tank. We headed west toward the coast and the seaside resort town of Figueira da Foz, about a 45 km ride.The terrain was mostly flat with a few rolling hills thrown in along the way. Approximately 8 kms from our destination, there was a fairly steep 120 meter elevation gain and, equally steep descent on the other side of the hill.

    I usually let Brenda take the lead as we travel, but when going down hills, I let gravity take over and, because of our weight difference, inevitably end up in front of her. In any case, Brenda does not like riding too fast and I've teased her about being "chicken" many times over the years.

    As we descended the hill towards Figueira da Foz, I once again went by Brenda, but as I felt the speed becoming a little perilous, began applying my brakes from time to time. Suddenly, I heard a bike coming up behind me on my left, thinking it was one of the many road bikers we'd seen along our journey. As I glanced left, I was astounded to see Brenda about to overtake me. When I later looked at my Strava data, I was doing 43.9 km/h at the time, so Brenda was probably going close to 50.

    And that's when it happened. Brenda's bike began to wobble and the next thing I knew, she lost control and hit the pavement. I immediately skidded to a stop and went to her aid, as did several good Samaritans who were passing by. Brenda had left a lot of skin on the pavement and was bleeding from a cut above her right eye. I broke out the first aid kit and tried to clean her up as best I could, but it was obvious we wouldn't be getting back on our bikes any time soon. Someone called for an ambulance and Brenda was brought to the hospital in Figueira.

    After dressing her many wounds, giving her a full examination, CT scan and X-rays, fortunately, the only serious issue they found is a small fracture to her right cheekbone. Although the doctor said it appears to be well aligned, to be on the safe side, he booked an appointment with a maxillofacial surgeon for Friday afternoon at the University hospital in Coimbra

    Until then, we've extended our booking here for a week to give Brenda's wounds a chance to heal and re-build her strength.

    Whether we continue our journey on two wheels is yet to be seen, but as they say, que sera sera. Trains and car rental are both cheap and easy here, so we have lots of options. The most important thing now is for Brenda to heal and get back on her feet.

    I'll keep you posted as things progress.

    Distance traveled today: 38.9 kms
    Elevation gain: 349 m
    Moving time: 2:53.07
    Average speed:13.5 kmh
    Total distance traveled: 188.9 kms
    Read more

  • Did not sleep well at all last night. Up at 5:15 to catch the bus to Fátima. Arrived at 8:30am and went to the indoor mass, in Portuguese, with a few thousand of our closest friends. 😀 still the church was only half full. Dave misplaced his manilla envelope with his Eurorail pass for the train, after I leave, as well as our train tickets for tomorrow to Porto. We spent some time checking for it at different shops near where he set it down, they had seen it but didn't pick it up. We also reported it to the police who really weren't concerned.

    We made it to Tomar and had a personal tour of the Church of Santa Maria do Oliva (where the Grand Masters of the Knights Templar were originally burried) since Dave is involved in that somehow. Next we walked across town to the Convent of Christ and the Templar Castle. Once that was done we went and had dinner at 7:00pm. We were both very hungry since, due to the hectic day, we had not eaten or even had a cup of coffee.
    Read more

  • The city of Porto is divided by the Douro river with the Ribeira and City Center districts on the north bank and the Port houses in Vila Nova de Gaia on the south.

    On Monday we walked down to the waterfront and over the Luis 1 bridge to do our pilgrimage to the Port houses.Unlike most tourists, after crossing the bridge, we took the high road on the south bank, which brought us to the wineries located at the top of the hill. As a result we had only to roll down the slopes as we went from tasting to tasting.

    The first signpost we saw was for "Yeatman", a port neither of us had ever heard of before. It was an ultra-modern looking facility with two huge clay amphorae decorating the lawn at the entrance. It was only when we went through the front door did we wake up to the fact that we were standing in the lobby of a five star hotel, not a winery. D'oh! Not wanting to look too foolish, we walked in like we owned the place, admired the view from the balcony overlooking the river and the north shore and then sauntered off appearing unimpressed. I'm not sure they bought our act.

    Just a few meters down the hill from The Yeatman was Taylor's, which we knew for sure to be one of our desired destinations. We decided against doing their tour and tasting since their products are readily available at home. Onward down the hill we went and arrived at Offley who had a tour and tasting starting in 15 minutes. Our guide was a young Portuguese woman who spoke perfect English and French, and probably a couple of other languages. She gave a good informative description of the port making process, from vineyard to barrel, as well as an explanation of the differences between the various types of Port.

    The tasting at Offley consisted of an off dry white Port, a Tawny and a Ruby. The pours were generous and, with a 20% alcohol content, our already good moods improved considerably. To make matters worse, we then tried a fourth glass of Cachuca, an aged white Port that is only available at the winery or, of all places, at the SAQ in Quebec! It was quite delicious and I may pick up a bottle when we get home.

    We then set off to find a house whose products we hadn't tried before and stumbled on to Ramos & Pinto who had a very interesting selection of Port to taste. We decided to splurge on the €15.00 tasting that had an LBV, a 2007 Vintage, a 10 year old Tawny, a 20 year old Tawny and a 30 year old Tawny! They were successively more and more delicious and the 30 year old was liquid gold.

    Holding onto walls, railings and each other for support, we slowly descended the ever steepening hill to the south bank waterfront and headed back towards the bridge that would lead us back to our apartment.

    After a brief Port induced nap, we went out for dinner at a place that specialized in a local sandwich called a Franceschina. Mine had various vegan "meats" piled between two slices of bread and topped with a slice of melted cheese and a curry sauce. Just what the doctor ordered. Brenda was more reasonable and had a Seitan steak and salad.

    We may go back to the south bank for more tastings before we leave, but, if we do, we'll definitely pace ourselves a little better next time.
    Read more

  • Yesterday we went to Guai, a small town about 20 minutes from Albufeira, to a restaurant that comes highly recommended for their piri piri chicken, Ramires. It took us a while to get there via bus as the bus driver asked Rod when we got on 'shopping?,' but Rod thought he said 'stopping' and said yes. So we got let off at the shopping where near the restaurant. After much 'discussion', we then got a cab and were there in about 10 minutes. I am so glad we didnt have to walk beside the super highway with fast cars and no sidewalk even though I think that is what Rod wanted to do. The effort was worth it! It was so good! I thought we would have leftovers, but I was apparently wrong. Best meal yet. We took a cab home (we had wine with lunch so gave up on the bus), got dropped off at the square and had our first gelato. It was Kinder Surprise flavour and the surprise was there was no flavour! What a waste, but ate the whole thing anyway. The first two pictures are of the restaurant in Guai and a small church. The picture looking back up towards the apartments shows ours, it is the one at the top with red tile roof, last one going left. The picture of Rod sitting on a bench is from the main square that we can see from our balcony, pre Kinder 'Let Down.' Tomorrow we are going to Lisbon on the bus that comes with a stewardess! I believe they have coffee, beverages, reading material, etc. That should be fun. We are staying one night (Thursday) at the Rossio Garden Hotel. So a holiday within a holiday! We hope to get to see a Fado singer and will be going to a restaurant that Andrew highly recommends from his travels last summer. Next week we are planning to go to Sagres, which is the last piece of land that Columbus would have seen before falling off the edge of the world. I wonder what the gelato situation is there since I am now hooked again!Read more


    Since we had a beach house, we decided to take advantage & have a beach day!

    We ended up all wrapped in blankets, hiding behind a wind breaker because it was TOO windy. I ended up falling asleep & getting my lower back burnt (yes mom, i know you told me to put on sunscreen).

    I put my feet in the ocean just to say that ive been in both sides of the atlantic.

    We walked down to the capel along the boardwalk, where we found this cafe along the beach where we had lunch.... And drinks & more drinks & next thing you know, we're back at our place with a 4 case of somersby each, making pasta.

    We ended up going to our hosts apparetment to fix the wifi but ended up staying for 45 minutes talking, drinking portugese coffee, portugese beer & eating cake. We also play with Kaizen, their puppy, who is 1 year old golden. Reminded me so much of Pebbles!

    We finished the night by playing drinking card games & watching storage wars.

    We all packed & went to bed.
    Read more

  • We took the train a couple hours then walked in to to Viana do Castelo and it was pouring down rain when we got to the albergue. We are staying in the albergue attached to the Convent Sao Joao da Cruz dos Caminhos and the place is full! We got a spot on the tile kitchen floor. No WiFi at the albergue tonight.

    Update: One pilgrim is leaving due to problems with his feet so I got a top bunk and Dave will be on the floor since he is carrying a sleeping pad. It is good to be out of the rain.Read more