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  • Writer's pictureKurtney Noonan


My family and I recently traveled to Portugal and had the absolute BEST time getting immersed in the culture by learning more about the country's history. If you're planning a trip to the area and could use some recommendations, here are my key takeaways from where we visited to hopefully help you on your upcoming journey:


The VAT tax refund and beautiful luxury goods on the Avenida da Liberdade are the perfect equation for shopping math. This beautiful tree-lined boulevard is home to many of Portugal's most exclusive stores and the location of many fine restaurants and bars. Do a little shopping, then grab a drink and bite at JNCQUOI AVENIDA, a hidden little restaurant next to the LV store. Go to their bar on the bottom level, it's incredible, and don't miss out on looking at their coffee table books.


Quick lunch at Marina De Cascais to take in the boats and sunshine...we could have easily stayed in this quaint seaside town for 2-3 days and wish we had more time here.


Pena Palace and Quinta Da Regalerira were absolutely stunning castles rich in history and beauty! Take a day to enjoy lunch in the gardens and explore the incredible grounds and the buildings.

The Algarve Region

Lagos was a great central location to stay with a great casual vibe, went to a very fun beach club Portimao, and found some incredible grottos, caves, and an excellent cliff-jumping spot at Algar Seco. Restaurants we loved: MirMar + Barbosa ... for breakfast Abigails + Black and White Cafe both in Lagos.


Everything about this city is breathtakingly beautiful! Walk over the River Douro Luis I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia before sunset and have drinks at one of the fabulous bars and restaurants on the sunset side of the river. Go during Summer Solstic and enjoy one of the greatest firework shows in the world - think of the grandest Fourth of July fireworks you've ever seen then multiply it by 1000!

Douro Valley

I cannot wait to get back to this region of Portugal and take time to do some very serious wine tasting (wasn't in the cards for Tom and I this trip with 3 kids in tow). Imagine Tuscany but with the Douro River running through it and estates like the Quinta do Vallado which is one of the oldest and Most Famous Wineries in the Douro Valley established in 1716. Stay at the Sixth's incredible!


This small fishing village dates back to the 17th century and its iconic surf spot is one of the most popular big wave surf breaks on the planet. The notorious waves are formed by the Nazaré Canyon, an underwater geomorphological phenomenon that allows the swell to form perfect giant waves.

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