If you’ve never been to Portugal, what should you do?
I’ve felt a connection with Portugal for years, because my sister lived there for a year and a half, I speak Portuguese (having lived in Brazil), and my daughter was there two summers ago. So I definitely love this southern European country! I’ve sent many clients there as well. Here’s an idea of what to put on your Portugal list for when you visit!
What should you do when you visit Portugal?
As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is full of vibrant culture, historical sights, and friendly natives. Also, Lisbon is an ideal place in the nation to take delight in authentic Portuguese cuisine and to enjoy live entertainment. Lisbon is known for its traditional Fado performances. Don't miss out on an opportunity to listen to some of the best Portuguese folk music!
See some beautiful historic churches and cathedrals
Visiting Europe and especially Portugal, you MUST see some of the gorgeous churches! Some of my favorites include Batalha, a 16th century Gothic World Heritage Monument, and The Abbey of Santa Maria, which includes a monastery, library, kitchen, dormitories, and the church.
Head to the beach
The coastline of Portugal provides some of the most stunning beaches you'll ever see. You can relax on the shorelines of the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the most popular beaches are Sagres, Aveiro, and the Praia da Adraga.
Try some of the foods
Popular Portuguese dishes include seafood (especially cod and sardines), rice, pork, French fries, eggs, and pastries and rice pudding.
Photo courtesy of Paraiso Escondido
Visit a wonderful, boutique guest house retreat called Paraiso Escondido
Paraiso Escondido is a beautiful gem of a property located 2.5 hours from Lisbon. It’s situated high on a hill, comprised of a main house which includes five bedrooms inside, plus five additional rooms outside the main house. Also on-site is a swimming pool, a spa, a wellness and yoga studio, an organic vegetable garden, and a number of quiet areas to see the views, read a book, sunbathe, or take a walk.
One of my favorite parts about the property is the different room types. Because there are only ten rooms, each one has its own unique feel. Three rooms in the main house are regular rooms with a king-size bed and separate bathroom. Four of the rooms are suites, and the last three rooms are wooden bungalows on stilts.
The main house has a large lounge and dining area, a wood-burning fireplace, a bar, and sitting areas, along with high white wooden ceilings and large windows. It’s very inviting and welcoming; it feels like a non-hotel, beautiful guest experience. Meals can either be included in the stay, or added on as desired.
Here’s a 4-minute video narrated by the owners, complete with a description of their background and purpose. It's beautiful!
Who is Paraiso Escondido for?
Paraiso Escondido is perfect for individuals, couples, or friends looking for a luxurious yet intimate getaway. Minimum age is 11 years old, so pre-teens and teens are welcome.
This area of Portugal has been called “the California of Europe.” The beach is just a 20-minute drive from here.
You can use Paraiso Escondido either as a home base to go out and explore (most people rent a car), or as a destination retreat. If you want to visit as a retreat member, Paraiso offers 4-night retreats, which include food, meditation, yoga, qigong, art classes, cooking classes, energy cleansing, nature walks, and clifftop horseback riding. Massages are also offered. Paraiso Escondido is also available as a location for a retreat group to stay while they offer their own experiences.
The staff at Paraiso Escondido is happy to act as a local concierge, recommending things to do in the area!
If Portugal hasn’t been on your radar previously, you might want to think about visiting this beautiful country. And I’ll teach you your first Portuguese word: Otimo! (pronounced ah-chee-mo.) It means “Awesome!”