Portugal – My Home Away From Home

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I first visited Portugal 4 years ago. I didn’t have the chance to see the country properly and because I spent only two days in an area called Valle de Douro, it was impossible to understand the whole beauty of this place.  This year I had the chance to be in Lisbon for the spring holiday and this is when I fell in love with this country. I’ve been madly passionate about it since then and due to a turn of events I was there again last month.


There are plenty of reasons to visit Portugal, today a much livelier country than I expected it to be. The country has developed rapidly and it’s more teasing and inviting than ever.


Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is special city where one finds perhaps not everything but a great number of good things at once. It offers all the delights you would expect from Portugal’s first attraction. It’s no secret that you can discover gothic cathedrals, impressing monasteries and a good number of museums. But the real delights of discovery lie in wandering on the narrow lanes of Lisbon’s lovely backstreets. You can find dozens of restaurants and bars that line the streets, with jazz, reggae, electronic and fado filling the air, making the party last until dawn.




Lisbon may not be especially famous for its architecture but it does offer a rich menu to visitors in that regard. There are many historical structures in the city, where one can see many beautiful works. All you have to do is to stroll the streets and you will be surprised at each step you make.

Portugal’s longstanding traditions, geographic isolation, extended period under an authoritarian government, along with a group of very talented architects, have kept Portuguese architecture clean of capricious imitations. Portugal has an architecture that carefully evolved within the local tradition through a balanced process of absorbing universal influences, until slowly emerging onto the center stage of the architecture world (Wikipedia)

On The Streets Of Lisbon






This place is like a page torn out of a fairy tale. It’s often described as a Disneyland for grown-ups. My favorite place was Palacio da Pena – it stands on top of a hill above the town of Sintra and on a clear day it can be easily seen from Lisbon.



Castel Sintra

Castel Sintra



With many of the country’s safest and loveliest beaches, and a great climate the whole time of the year, it is not surprising that the Algarve is Portugal’s most popular region. This area is rich in culture and diversity. If you are looking for fast paced resorts or a calm setting, both of them are possible.

I was fascinated by Vale do Lobo, a golf resort located in this region in the south of Portugal.

Vale Do Lobo

Vale Do Lobo



All the Portuguese people I’ve met were very warm and welcoming. A lot of people in Portugal speak English and they speak it well. This has made it so much easier to get around and not be dependent of the map all the time.

If you like to read more about Portuguese people, you can read this article on Popanth I found it pretty interesting.



Food plays an important role in the Portuguese culture. Traditional dishes are often made from simple ingredients, based on regional production, with an emphasis on fish. So although the Portuguese food doesn’t have the same high profile as other European cuisines, you can still find the best fish and seafood you had in your life.

My favorite places in Lisbon were Belcanto, a restaurant with Michelin stars, Pinocchio, a seafood place in the heart of the city and SeaMe, one of the best  Japanese restaurant I have been.

For me, Portugal was not just a holiday place. It was the home-away-from-home, when I was away from my country.


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Luca is the founder of XPATGirls.com. No, it’s not a he, but a she and she’s not Italian but Romanian. She’s currently based in sunny Portugal and in her past life she was a world traveling fashion model jumping from one exotic location to the next. Her motto in life is that the world is a book – the more you see the better the story. While she has a great interest for fashion and travel, her love for people is greater. She is a certificated coach in positive psychology and a happiness trainer. On top of that, a proud mom of twins. She thinks being a mom is the most challenging, difficult and definitely most rewarding jobs she has ever had.

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