Cascais, Portugal: The land of palm trees and custard tarts

Happy Friday!

Hope you are as excited for the weekend as I am! I’m heading to the cinema this evening and then to a brewery tomorrow afternoon. Bring on delicious craft beers 🙂

Even though I’m seriously looking forward to the weekend, I’ve still been reminiscing about my recent trip to Portugal — aka my favourite citybreak so far! I’ve covered the fabulous cities Lisbon and Sintra so far on the blog, but now it’s time to focus on this little gem — the sea-side Portuguese town of Cascais. Only 30 minutes away from car or metro, this is the perfect day trip from Lisbon.

What is there to say about this darling little palm-tree lined town? For starters you have quaint streets filled with shops, cafes and bars. Every shop window seems to have something that literally triggers stars and hearts in your eyes — whether that’s a cute little leather crossbody bag or a healthy scoop of gelato.

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Clearly, I could not resist from indulging in the traditional Portuguese custard tarts. These are absolutely to die for! If you go to Portugal and do not try one (or two or three!) of these perfects little treats you might as well not have even gone! I’m serious, they’re just that delicious! Why not pair it with a little cappuccino for a caffeine boost 🙂

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Although the streets that weave in and out of Cascais are absolutely adorable, the real gem is where the sand meets the sea. We enjoyed fab views of a turquoise marina and a quiet little beach… the perfect place to perch up and get lost in your favourite book or have a picnic (if it’s not too windy!).

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Although Lisbon seems to be the star attraction in this part of Portugal, Cascais is the perfect little day trip to break up your sightseeing in the capital. I mean, just look at that view 🙂

xxx

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Sintra, Portugal: Colourful castles and sun-kissed sea

Good morning loves! Hope your morning is off to a fab start!

It’s sad the Easter weekend has come and gone, but at least spring days are on their way! Definitely something to look forward for 🙂

As you may have read in my last post, I recently went to Portugal and literally FELL. IN. LOVE. I spent most of the trip in Lisbon, but also ventured out to Sintra to see the stunning Pena Palace. Just look at those colours! It’s a short drive from Lisbon – about 30 minutes or so. A day trip well worth it!

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The palace is just outside the city centre of Sintra, where you’ll find an abundance of quaint shops, cute cafes and cobblestoned streets. It’s the absolute dream 🙂

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And strolling through the town isn’t even the cherry on top. On the way back from Sintra, you will enjoy GORGEOUS views of the water — I mean it looks like an air-brushed painting! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

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Sintra is an added bonus to travelling to Lisbon. It’s like winning the golden ticket, meeting your celebrity crush AND finding the most perfect pair of pumps all in one day!

I think it’s time for you to pack your suitcase and head to Portugal! You won’t be sorry 🙂

xxx

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Jet set: Istanbul

Istanbul. Istanbul. Istanbul. What can I say about this city? The first thing that comes to mind is the following confession: I am currently going through Turkish withdrawal – it’s been a struggle.

It’s been a month since I was in Istanbul and I can genuinely say I wish I were gazing at the beautiful architecture of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque from the rooftop of my hotel, cocktail in hand with a bag of Turkish delights, RIGHT NOW. 

Beautiful sights? Check. Delicious food and drinks? Check. Amazing, hospitable people? Check, check, check. This city has it all. Take a look at some of my photos … you’ll want to pack your suitcase and jet set, too!

Our hotel in the historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, the Pasha Ibrahim Hotel, had a gorgeous rooftop overlooking the entire city.  Breathtaking.
Our hotel in the historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, the Pasha Ibrahim Hotel, had a gorgeous rooftop overlooking the entire city. Breathtaking.

Beautiful by day…. and beautiful by night.

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A vibrant, technicolor fountain at the entrance of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Simply gorgeous – and look at that beautiful sky!

Some details you might want to unravel before you head to Turkey:

  • Be sure to obtain a VISA online prior to arriving. You’ll need this in addition to your passport. It’s just $20 and lasts 90 days. You’ll save a lot of time at the airport by purchasing this ahead of time!
  • Istanbul is EXTREMELY inexpensive. My travel buddy and I went to a nice dinner at a four star restaurant (equipped with a bottle of wine of course!), hit several cocktail lounges, bought several knick-knacks and consumed way too much baklava, Turkish delights and other sweets. In two days we had EACH only spent 149 Turkish Lira (TRY) – the equivalent of $70…. Yes, THAT cheap.
  • Half of the people we encountered knew English, while half only knew Turkish. No biggie – you get around it. That’s the fun in going to a foreign country!
  • There are stray dogs and cats everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE.
  • Now, time for more photos 🙂
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Diana and I have the biggest sweet tooths on the planet – Hafiz Mustafa is our heaven. Baklava, chocolate croissants, gelato, Turkish delights… pure heavenly goodness.
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Turkish delights on Turkish delights … Yum!
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Beautiful Turkish lamps in a nearby market in the historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul.
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Amazing ceramic glass architecture and artwork in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque.
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Diana buying beautiful prayer rugs for family – gorgeous!
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Stray kitties surrounding me. I was loving every second of it.

This city is such a gem – I will be returning in the near future. That’s a promise.

What’s your favorite international city to travel to? Stay tuned for more travel pics – coming soon! 🙂

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