Why not Portugal before now?  A hard one to explain – perhaps a stereotypical view of it as containing identikit resorts or not having the food or general range of a Spain, France or Italy.

It took a lot less than our ten days to reveal the error of our ways.  Lagos in particular had charm and character, and a plethora of great seafood restaurants – Al Forja and Lota in particular, and on the barbecue front The Garden.  A coastline of unending spectacle, and cliffs which have walking and mountain bike trails extending for miles.

Head west to Sagres for a wilder coast, and the surf centre of the Algarve.  Back west, and Carvoeiro’s centre and beaches have appeal, as the nearby Slide and Splash Water Park!

And Lisbon… another great European city from a heart of squares and wide marquee streets to the Bairro Alto tourist trap and the impressive Alfama District, including the Castelo, tuk-tuks and the infamous Tram 28.

A 40-minute train ride to Cascais or Sintra is a great interlude, and back near to Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre Station to the open air bars and atmosphere of Ribeira das Naus, ending the day with sunset at any number of rooftop bars around the city.

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