Hi everyone, today will be all about a Travel Guide to the Algarve. From my previous two Portugal blog posts, I’m sure you can understand that Portugal is amazing! It has a ton of personality with its’s colorful buildings and unique architecture. However, I have to admit, it wasn’t what I expected. Not many people I know have traveled to Portugal since it isn’t well advertised and the ONLY reason we decided to go here was because we found very affordable tickets ($550 Canadian total for the both of us)! I’m so glad we found these tickets and we went because Portugal was breathtaking and unforgettable! And the Algarve region was no exception! There is so much to see!
Praia da Marinha was definitely one of my favorite places here. The Algarve is located in the South of Portugal and is home to some of the world’s best beaches and this one is one of the world’s top 100! And I can definitely see why! This beach is also not easily accessible by transit and you definitely need a car to get here, which makes it not as crowded as some of the other beaches. It was a lot more peaceful and not as crowded here which made the experience that much better!
That rock formation to the right is quite famous and resembles an elephant. Gursheel did not agree!
We went down to the Atlantic Ocean and put our feet in the water. The water was COLD and the waves were HUGE!
Gursheel can’t swim but I made him go put his feet in the water. It took him a while but now he can say he’s touched the Atlantic Ocean!
We then went to the Lagos beach, which was a LOT more crowded and definitely not as impressive as Praia Da Marinha. But they did have this amazing burrito place called Beats & Burritos that had vegan burritos! These were really amazing and we were so glad we came early because the place was PACKED! For good reason, however.
We also went to the Gurdwara in the Algarve, called Gurudwara Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji Albufeira and it was beautiful! Seeing Sikhs in this area of Portugal was surprising yet made us so happy!
We spent a total of 2 days in the Algarve and this was our price breakdown:
July is almost over and it’s been a super busy month. My sister in law got married, my family came to visit and I got to spend time with my sister! It’s been an amazing month and I have a bunch of July monthly favorites to share with you all today.
Jillian and Justin: I’m not sure if you all know, but I am a huge Jillian Harris fan! I love Love it or List it and I love her amazing interior design style. So, when she announced she is coming out with a reality show about her life, I had to watch. Jillian and Justin is just 4 episodes long and you can watch it online on the W network as well. My favorite part has been watching her plan the renovations on her new house, from the design process to the cost! And the funny thing, Gursheel also really loves it, more than me I think 😛
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs: I LOVE this show! For those of you that don’t know, I LOVE Hindi/bollywood music! I don’t listen to any English songs or Punjabi songs, but Hindi songs, I listen to quite a bit! And this show is amazing. It is a singing competition for kids from age 5 to age 14 and their voices are amazing! The judges of this show are also some of my favorites singers. But it is the kids that steal the show. I think this season is already at episode 45 and it’s not even close to finishing! Which is fine by me, because any free time I get, I watch this awesome show!
AskPat: Pan Flynn is someone who I have been learning a lot from about blogging and growing your own business and the AskPat podcast he has is amazing. He does it every weekday where someone calls in to ask a question about any topic related to business, blogging and marketing. The podcast episode is always quite short (less than 10 minutes). So, it is basically getting one easy tip/trick for your business every day. Also, Pat Flynns’ other podcast, Smart Passive Income, is equally amazing!
Aloo Paratha: This has made my favorites before and it is making it again. I don’t have much to say except if you follow this recipe you will make the best ever parathas ever!! I definitely want to start sharing more Indian food recipes on the blog as I learn more myself!
Peace Collective Peace Treats: When Takdeer came, her one main request was we go to the Peace Collective, Peace Treats shop to get this amazing dessert! And I’m so glad we did. The milkshake is so decadent, but definitely something you share, because in no way can one person finish this themselves. It’s also the perfect treat on a hot summer day!
Vistaprint: I used this company for our wedding cards and also recommended it to my sister in law to use for theirs and both of us experienced amazing service and amazing prices. Gursheel also recently used to it to purchase some business cards for his new, but much awaited photography business. If you don’t already follow Gursheel on all his social media, make sure to check out his work and if you have any event coming up, keep him in mind! Anyways, Gursheel just purchased some business cards from Vistaprint and they turned out amazing! However, he didn’t ask me before he purchased them so he lost out on the oppurtunity to get them for much cheaper, although the price is already pretty affordable. But guys, if you need anything printed from vistaprint, I have some promo codes to hook you up with amazing prices! Don’t miss out like Gursheel did! I just had to include it in my July monthly favorites!
S’well bottle: I was fortunate to receive a S’well bottle from some friends for my birthday a couple years ago and I have literally used this water bottle every single day since then. It is seriously the best water bottle ever. It looks amazing and more importantly, it keeps my water fresh and cold. In the summer cold water is essential and therefore I wanted to give the company a shoutout. Also, If you go to their website and sign up for their email, you can get 15% off your first order. And I’m pretty sure your first order will be your last. Because this water bottle holds up very very well! And it is definitely one the my favorite July monthly favorites!
Bluetooth Headphones:I recently bought these and have been loving them. They are super useful and don’t get tangled in anything. Because they are wireless, they make life so much easier! Give them a try!
That’s it for the July monthly favorites! See you next week!
The next city we visited in Portugal was Sintra and it was amazing! Sintra is a very popular tourist attraction, and even locals go out to the city on the weekends for a perfect day trip. We didn’t want to take our car there and deal with the traffic and parking so we parked it in Lisbon, near the train station and took the train to Sintra. Since we were already used to the transit (we had taken it to downtown Lisbon the day before), this was the perfect option for us. Also, if you havn’t already, make sure to check out the Lisbon travel guide blog post first! Now on to the Sintra Travel Guide!
We left early in the morning because we wanted to make sure we were the first on the 434 bus in Sintra. And we sure were. The first bus leaves the station at 9:15! So, if you want to take transit to Sintra, make sure to get off on the last train stop which is Sintra. Then, right near the train station exit is the famous 434 bus that everyone takes to travel around Sintra. The cost of the bus is 5.50 euro per person and it is a hop on hop off bus. This bus starts at the train station, passes through the town center and then goes to the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace before returning back to the train station.
One thing to note is, it is very difficult to walk to all these places as the streets are very steep and the distance between them is also quite long. So, what we did was take the 434 bus to the Moorish Castle, explored around the castle, then hopped back on the bus to get off at Pena Palace and finally take the bus back to the city centre, from where after we finished exploring, we walked back to the train station (10 min downhill walk away).
So our first stop on the Sintra travel guide was the Moorish Castle and it was beautiful! In fact, everything in the city of Sintra was magical. It has so much history, beauty and greenery, along with thousands of tourists 😛
We bought our tickets for the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace here and if you buy both tickets together, there is a 15% discount. Also, for Pena Palace, there are two types of tickets you can purchase. One is just for the Pena Palace grounds and the other is for the grounds and the museum. We bought the one just for the grounds since I like to read up on the history on my own and the price is much cheaper (7.50 euro vs 14 euro)!
The Moorish Castle, or the Moors Castle is also called The Castelo dos Mouros and it is a ruined castle located on the hilly, forest-y area of Sintra. It was built by the North African Moors to guard the city of Sintra but was ruined after the Christians conquered Portugal.
I just loved how I could see the entire city from the castle. As I walked around the Castle, although I’m not sure exactly why it’s called a castle since nothing resembling a castle is located her, I felt like I was in a movie. It felt surreal! I thought of Lord of the Rights and Game of Thrones and couldn’t help imagining a battle going on around! The steps here at the Moors Castle are also quite steep and with the sun blazing down on you, it’s hard to walk around for a while. Again, our Swell bottle was just amazing! And don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
From the Moorish Castle, you can also see the infamous Pena Palace at a distance!
After, we finished exploring the Moorish Castle, we took the 494 bus (which comes quite frequently). Then we went to the next stop on the Sintra Travel guide: The Pena Palace. This a 5 min bus ride and then walked up the steep hills to get to the entrance. You can take a bus as well, but it costs an additional 5 euro each and not worth it to me, since the walk is just 5-10 minutes.
The Pena Palace was very interesting! It was a mix of bright colors and different architectural designs.
And it had an area with my favorite plant, the Monstera! I really want to get one of these plants next!
The Pena Palace is a castle at the top of the Sintra mountains, a bit higher up than the Moorish Castle. It is also one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal! The Pena Palace first started off as a chapel and after an earthquake in the 1700’s, the King of Portugal built the Palace of Pena. Finally, in the 1900’s, the Portugese government purchased the Palace and converted it to a museum.
Pena Palace is PACKED with tourists and every single one of them have cameras! This place is so photogenic since it was has so many different decor designs going on. We were no exception, we took a LOT of pictures!!
After Pena Palace, we took the 434 bus down to he city center to grab some lunch. We found this amazing Indian food place and Gursheel was happy to see other Punjabi people in Sintra. The restaurant, Bengal Tandoori, was a bit hidden away, so our GPS saved the day once again and we were happy to eat Indian food and drink some refreshing drinks in the shade!
After lunch, we walked to the National Palace of Sintra, before heading back to the train station to get back to the car and start our long drive to the Algarve! That’s all for the Sintra Travel Guide!
This was a beautiful shot of the Sintra City center from the National Palace. I would love to live somewhere like this place, if only there were more Punjabi people around!
I really hope you all enjoyed this Sintra travel guide! Our most expensive day for our entire Europe trip was the day we went to Sintra. Since Sintra is quite huge tourist attraction, the prices for everything here are quite high compared to other places. This is a cost breakdown for our day in Sintra:
Price Break Down (1 day in Sintra):
Food: 18.10 euro
Gas: 26.44 euro (to fill up our rental car)
Transit: 18.60 euro
Entertainment: 29.44 euro (tickets to Pena Palace and Moors Castle)