We went to Portugal with the pure intent of exploring. Having no itinerary was exciting but also oh so nerve-wrecking. Chan and I tend to have our itineraries planned to a T. Correction... Chan plans the trip, and I say yay or nay. I'm just keeping it real, in our partnership... this is what works. And don't get me wrong, I have ideas, but Chan really does well with trying to explore and finding that place before it is insta-famous.
While we were in Lisbon, our wonderful host at Feeling Chiado 15 advised to us that we "go North." We. Were. Sold. This host (sorry I forgot your name) told us of an amazing countryside, with rolling hills of vineyards, and a more authentic feel of Portugal and she did not disappoint. One thing is for sure, she strongly advised that we make a reservation for our stay in Douro ahead of time.
We decided to go with Quinta de Casaldronho Wine Hotel, a little lap of luxury in the hills of wine country but with a very affordable price. It was perfect. The hotel had a fancy pants feel to it without the snooty employees. Everyone was super helpful with making sure we were enjoying ourselves. There was a pool and a rooftop deck, perfect for tanning. This sun and lack of clouds would you have bronzed in no time. Our rooms had some minute details that were a little off, like a broken door stop in the bathroom and a leaky sink, but overall, the hotel's beauty itself was definitely breathtaking. Some folks complained on TripAdvisor that there are quite a few power lines that ruin the view but it didn't really bother me. It's a necessity and I get it. Either have the power lines or no electricity. I pick power lines! That may sound like I was excusing the hotel for the semi-obstructed view but the reality is if this hotel was anywhere in Napa, South of France, or even Stellenbosch, it would be super expensive and the fact that we paid well under $200USD for the night... I'll take the semi-obstructed view. I still slept damn well that night.
I've got lots and lots of Portugal to post so stay tuned. TRULY, an underrated treasure of Europe.