Back in May I went away for a few days with my best pal, L to Portugal (Melon, we missed you). It was a last minute plan but those are always the best, right? I can’t quite believe that we’re now nearing the end of July and I still haven’t had the chance to tell you about our trip. That’s not usually how things work around here.
Today I’m finally going share a few photos with you alongside an overview of our trip. There will be lots of Portugal focused posts coming next week. I’ll be writing about where we stayed, what we did, the fantastic airport lounge at Luton airport and of course, what we ate.
I was very lucky because L arranged everything, she’s really organised when it comes to travel. She worked in the travel industry for a number of years and has visited a lot of places so I trust her judgement. I simply needed to get myself to Luton airport for7:30am with my passport and suitcase. As always, I ended up with a busy week in the run-up to our holiday. I travelled from Sheffield to Cambridge for a couple of nights before heading into London on the Thursday for the Traverse Bloggers Conference. After a full-on but fantastic weekend at the conference I went straight to Luton airport on Sunday evening. This meant I was packed for both a city conference and a seaside holiday. It was fairly easy to do, though I had to leave my main camera at home and I also managed to pack the wrong camera charger. Whoops!
I also decided not to take my laptop away with me – this is a first for me. One of the main reasons for this decision was that my laptop was very new and I didn’t want to risk anything happening to it. Secondly, I knew that I could get a lot done from my phone and iPad alone. Finally, it’s good to take a break from time to time and I really needed it.
I stayed in the Ibis at Luton Airport the night before our flight, just to make everything a little easier. We’d arranged to meet at 7:30am at the airport entrance and as always, we were both super early. So at 7am sharp we checked in and made our way to browse the shops. We were kindly treated to the Aspire Lounge at the airport which I’ll be telling you more about in a separate post. I’m a big fan using airport lounges, especially if you plan on eating and having a few drinks before your trip. They’re also really good if you’re a nervous flyer. Having a calm and quiet space to rest before your flight is a real treat.
We had a comfortable flight with Monarch and tried one of the new Tails cocktails. They had both the Mojito and Passionfruit Martini available. We both opted for the latter which though quite sweet went down really well.
We decided to book a private transfer from the airport to our villa. There were lots of deals available for a coach transfer packages but if like us you don’t mind paying a little extra then I think it’s worth it. You can avoid waiting in long queues (in the hot weather) and it’s much quicker than a coach transfer with multiple drop offs. As we were staying for 4 days we wanted to make the most of our time in Portugal.
We stayed at Colina da Lapa Apartments, Carvoeiro. The villa exceeded our expectations. We were expecting an apartment but ended up with a full size villa which included a parking space. I actually think Portugal is a good place to rent a car. There are lots of pretty little towns and villages to visit. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and our villa was clean, comfortable and safe. As I mentioned before, I’ll be going into full details on accommodation, what we did and the best places to eat a little later this week.
We did a lot of walking on this holiday but we balanced it out with a lot of gin too. Portugal is big on gin, I had no idea ’til I visited the country. I’m now keen to try as many Portuguese gins as possible. I hear Big Boss and Sharish are two very popular ones.
We visited lots of little beaches during our stay and one of my favourite parts was a boat trip to the caves. This was quite adventurous for me, I usually like to have both of my feet firmly on the ground.
I can’t wait to share more about my first trip to Portugal with you. It was such a relaxing break and really good to spend some time with L. The last time we’d been away together was in 2005 to Zante but that’s a story for another day.