Day one in Portugal involved some intense exploring which lead to some amazing memories! The journey starts off at about 12:30, just after noon, with the sun up high in the sky. A beautiful sunny day, a few clouds, warm but windy air, and the smell of the ocean! This is where breakfast starts…
I also have to mention that this is the time Rain and I woke up… unfortunately jet lag took the better of us…
Our first day was something quite special, we took a nice long walk, exploring all that we could. The area we were staying in was Praia do Magoito (Magoito Beach) in Portugal. This lovely area is located on the southern end of the country just 15 minutes outside the popular destination of Sintra.
One of the many amazing features of this area was the coastline. Practically the entire coastline was accompanied with massive cliffs, that separate the sandy beaches and country side land.
Rain and I didn’t put too much planning into this trip, we wanted to try to have a vacation, but soon realized that wasn’t the type of traveling we liked. We noticed that there is in fact a strong difference between “Traveling” and “Vacationing”. Rain and I are travelers, we don’t have the patience to vacation. It’s odd to think about, but when you vacation (at least in our eyes) you are at full leisure, doing your own thing at your own pace, mostly relaxing and enjoying a carefree environment for as long as you can. On the other hand, our preference, is to have our day planned out and do as much as we can with all the time we have. Including waking up early and staying out late, sunrise to sunset, eating on the go (sometimes missing meals).
Magoito, more specifically Praia do Magoito. The little beach town on the coast of Portugal, was a perfect place to immerse ourselves in Portuguese culture. Not a whole lot of tourists, in fact, I think we were the only tourists on that beach. If anything, I think the other “tourists” were just from further parts of the region.
The Atlantic coastline of Portugal is quite an extraordinary place. Most of the coastline has vast cliffs that stand anywhere between 30-40 feet to over a hundred feet!
Our time in Praia do Magoito lasted only two days, which was plenty of time for us to explore what we wanted, sleep in a little and of course enjoy the beach that was a 3 minute walk from our Airbnb! The other 2 days in Portugal were spent in Sintra and Lisbon.
The first day was our “get to know the land” day. We decided to walk along the coast line and enjoy the scenery and explore any photo opportunities. One thing we didn’t fully expect was the amount of hiking we were actually in for, and how close we had to walk along the road at some points. Nonetheless, it was an amazing hike.
Now, growing up in Maine, and having a rural lifestyle, farms were nothing new to me, and both Rain and I have been around live stock plenty of times. This time however, as we were enjoying our stroll along the coastal cliffs, we realized coming around a large bush was a full grown bull. In a state of shock, of course we kind of hesitated and then as we got further away the stress had died down. Then we saw two more just as close to us as the other one, and they started mooing at us.
I don’t speak cow, but it definitely did not seem like a “Howdy” or “Hi There” type of moo. More like a “Hey get off my grass or I’ll impale you with my massive horns… Oh and yeah all three of them had large horns…
Once we quickly got away from that madness, we continued our journey along the cliff side. Along the way, we came across a few areas where the locals gather to go surfing, which was pretty intense and cool to watch them gather by the crashing waves. We came across some old seaside forts, and made it all the way to Azenjas do Mar.
This is a small town just south of Magoito, that has gained some Instagram popularity recently. The cliffs come together to form a small cove where the town was built, and provide stunning view from the other side on the cliffs. Obviously we have photos!
Another interesting part of this town was the small tide pool that was made. From our view point this was made to keep out all the sharp rocks and provide a swimming area safe for all. If you ask me, it looked pretty relaxing, not to mention there was a restaurant right there at the bottom.
At this point, the sun was starting to get pretty low and we needed to head back. Thankfully we were able to witness an amazing sunset over the water!
To finish off Magoito, our last day relaxing was spent on the beach where we were able to sit on the sand, and enjoy the warm weather. The beach was a pretty popular place for the locals, however there was plenty of space for us to enjoy some personal space too. The beach was matched with towering cliffs, fossilized reefs and rock formations that made this place absolutely beautiful. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sleep for a few minutes. My sun burn can attest to that haha
Wrapping up Magoito, I would definitely visit again. The transportation method was mostly walking, but to and from Sintra we took the public buses. Bus 444 to be exact, which goes from the Portela de Sintra, all the way to Praia do Magoito. The ride is about 20 minutes, and about 4.50 Euros per person. An alternative would be an Uber which can be a little more expensive, but much faster!
For more on Sintra check out our next post!