My dear friend Katherine made a bold move last summer and decided to follow the heat. Instead of staying in Amsterdam were the weather is unpredictable and typically very wet, she rented an apartment in Lisbon, said ‘doei‘ (goodbye) to rainy Dutch summers, and headed south. Smart girl. At the time, I hadn’t been to Portugal since my 2013 adventures with Amie, and that trip had been one of my favorite girl getaways to date. So I figured, why not find some Portuguese sunshine myself, visit my good friend, and re-live the best Lisbon lady-cation ever?! Tickets booked!
My friend Becky also wanted to visit Katherine, so we made plans to head to Portugal together on the same weekend. And to make the trip even more friend-tastic, Becky’s BFF from home was visiting Europe, so our threesome friend trip became a foursome, and we were all equally stoked to spend a weekend in the sun!While I’m Booking Blue through and through (just a cute way of saying I work at Booking.com and exclusively book hotels with them!) we found this yacht on Airbnb with three bedrooms and decided it would be the perfect home base for our time in Lisbon. I’ve never slept on a yacht before, and it was due to be a VERY sunny weekend in Portugal, so we figured being on the water and having a big deck to hang out on in the sun would be lush.And we were right – my favorite part of the trip was sitting on deck, drinking white wine and eating charcuterie as the sun set. Cooled by the salty sea breeze with waves lapping just below our feet, we had found nirvana and did not venture from the boat that first nigh in Lisbon.We also had some cute pets for the weekend who enjoyed basking in the sunshine just as much as us! Dozens of jellyfish surrounded our boat – making the water look mystical and also quite dangerous!
I arrived late in the evening on Friday, and enjoyed some wine and snacks on the boat with our small crew. However, we didn’t have a big one as our plans for the next day involved waking up early and heading to Cascais – where we would bake in the sun and do little else.
I’ve been to many beaches in my day, but this is by far the most dreamy one I’ve seen. Taking the train from Lisbon to Cascais was a breeze – we walked from our boat to the train station in 10 minutes, we road the train west for 30 minutes, and then got off at a stop called Estoril which was right in front of the Forte da Cruz (the dreamy fortress in the snaps above and below).While I love life in the Netherlands, it’s clear they need to step up their beach club game! Those palm leaf umbrellas! The romantic beach bed drapes! Palm trees!We each grabbed a sun bed, lathered in sun screen, and claimed our basking spots for the day!While I usually gravitate towards neutral colors, this bright beach towel caught my eye while on a work trip in Spain, and I wound up taking it home with me! One side is terry cloth and the other side is jersey, making it great for both snuggling and drying off after a dip in the sea. Speaking of lounge chair swag, no sunshine chill session in Lisbon is complete without an overflowing mojito :)Which can be used for cooling off a number of different ways.After a few hours of tanning, we decided to roam along the ocean front and find a lunch spot. We’d arrived in Cascais quite early in order to secure our beach chairs, so we were ready to eat at that awkward meal time slightly before lunch but well after breakfast. Which meant that we had our pick of beach front tables all open for the taking.
We ordered a selection of food to share, including a big bowl of clams which were soaked in a warm bath of lemon and butter. This delicious dish became our trip mascot and was ordered again and again.We spent the rest of the afternoon in the sun, lazing around, mojito in hand.We returned to Lisbon late in the afternoon, once the sun had made its glorious arch across the sky and the moon appeared as a small fingernail off in the blue.We then put on our coordinating rompers (completely unplanned!) and feasted on snacks and wine on the deck of our boat.We’d had plans to go out to dinner, but once again our rocking abode persuaded us to skip the fancy meal and stay put for sunset.We then hit the town for a night of adventure – it was a blast and the evening ended as it had started . . . with wine and giggles back on board our boat!The next day, we were all a little worse for the wear. Becky and her friend were champs, as they got up early to catch a train south. Katherine and I were a bit more lazy, starting our day off around noon. I met Katherine at her place, which was perched high atop a hill, and had glorious views of the sea.The views out back were also awesome – I wold love peering out over my kitchen sink every day to an array of pastel architecture!Keen to explore the city a bit, Katherine and I set off on foot.
Our first stop was a relaxing one – we had booked into a sailboat tour along the Tagus river, complete with complementary Portuguese beer.And so we spent the next two hours admiring Lisbon from the river, again soaking up the sun and enjoying some girl chat :)Afterwards, we stopped for frozen yogurt and set out to find a meal of more substance. But first we stopped at Topo for some rooftop views and a bit of caffiene. How glorious are these views? Next stop was real food, which we found in the form of a beautiful lunch menu at Cantinho do Avillez.The restaurant is one of Jose Avillez’s, a renowned Portuguese chef. Bairro do Avillez, another one of his restaurants, is my favorite in the city. So I was excited to experience another one of Jose’s creations!And of course, was NOT disappointed.We kept it light and both started with the tomato soup, and then shard some salads – which were refreshing and delicious!We ended the day with some shopping at LX Factory, an industrial complex in Lisbon with some cool artisanal shops and a market.At this point, I was exhausted from the sun and my belly was full, so we roamed the market casually, browsing goods and taking delicate scents from the stalls.After, we made our way back to Katherine’s place, where I grabbed my suitcase and then hopped in a cab for the airport! It was the perfect 48 hours in Lisbon, with a dose of the sea, a lot of sunshine, and friendship!
I am heading back to Portugal in three weeks, and will be there for almost 20 nights for a trip that’s a mix of work and leisure. I am SO excited to experience more of Portugal’s beauty, and make some new memories with friends in the south :) Here’s to more amazing Portugal adventures in 2019!