A week seems like a short time, but there's so much that can be done and seen specially around Lisbon area. Normally, people who come for our Yoga Retreats in Portugal take a week holiday, some will take a couple of weeks from work and have a longer stay. Either way, if you're planing to join one of our Portugal retreats make sure you spare at least a couple of days before or after and make the most of your trip!
So here are some of my favourite spots close by our retreat centre or within an hour drive at the most. I would highly recommend it in case you want to extend your blissful retreat week to an unforgettable holiday!
1. Ericeira Village. Located only a 5 minute drive from our retreat centre, Ericeira has so much to offer. From cozy coffee shops and wine bars, vegetarian and seafood restaurants, a breathtaking ocean view and local culture. No wonder this place has become one of Europes hotspots in the last few years. Make sure not to miss my favourite coffee shop Dear Rose Cafe, a nice Middle Eastern style lunch at Balagan and a romantic setting sea view dinner at Ti Matilde.
2. Azenhas do Mar. This is one of Portugals most famous post cards and iconic tourist destinations. You can check for yourself the picture above, isn't it breathtaking? This typical Portuguese village is simply "hanging" from a 30 meters drop into the Atlantic ocean, is only 40 minutes drive away from our retreat centre halfway to our next destination Sintra. If you wanna make a stop to eat, Piscinas Restaurant is the place. You can't miss this one as it's the main restaurant right in front of the natural pool by the beach. Also make sure to stop at Aldea Coop afterwards. This beautiful decor atelier/health food shop/cafe/restaurant is the perfect place to buy gifts to take home and sit for a delicious cake and coffee combo in a cozy setting.
3. Sintra. This fairy tale town is a Unesco heritage site known for its castles and gardens, a longtime royal sanctuary. This variety of historical buildings combined with stunning natural scenery makes Sintra and outstanding tourist destination. All you need is an afternoon here and plenty of energy to walk up and down the steep hills of this beautiful cobblestone town.
4. Lisbon. Located only 40 minutes away from our retreat centre and an equal 40 minutes away from Sintra (in case you want to visit all these locations, they're in a great order to follow). And in case you don't have enough time to visit all these beautiful destinations and you have to pick just one, then this would be it. For a number of reasons: Lisbon is alive, breathtaking and combines beautifully the locals culture with the latest trends on bars and cafes. Just taking a day to walk around and get lost on the streets of Lisbon is already an experience on its own. Don't forget to stop for a local delicacy of "pastel de nata" and an expresso. My favourite one is Mantegaria, they have a few different locations in Lisbon and they're the freshest! Also stop by one of the "miradouros" or view points of the city for a glass of the famous Portuguese "vinho verde" or green wine. There are many view points around the city but my favourite one is Miradouro da Graça for a grand view of the whole city or Adamastor for a breathtaking view of the Tejo river and if you happen to be there on a Sunday you'll get lucky with some live music and fun crowd chatting and dancing. There are so many options of amazing restaurants you could get lost in options! My most favorites are Kefi Greek Bistro and Arkhe Restaurant. Best rooftop bar is Java at Cais do Sodre. Breakfast at Java cafe or any other amaaaaazing coffee shops, I could write about it all day haha but lets stay at that just enjoy the vibe of this alive city!
5. Parque Natural da Arrábida. A hour drive from our retreat centre and about 40 minute drive from Lisbon centre is Arrábida Natural Park. Hilly lush green hills lay over turquoise blue water and make the perfect place to spend the day at the beach. If you're feeling energetic bring your walking shoes and walk along the path that connects one beach to another. There are quite a few, my favourite one is Praia de Galapinhos.