The South of Portugal has a lot to offer: wide stretched beaches, beautiful lagoon caves and freshly grilled seafood. After living in Lisbon for almost a year, I finally took the leap and went on a road trip through South Portugal. Because this three day trip was more than worth it, here’s my guide to you for a three day road trip through south portugal with exclusive local recommandations, tips on where to stay, eat and go, and much more. If you are planning on visiting Lisbon first, then check out my insider’s guide here.

Day 1

Driving Down Beach Lane

Today’s direction: beaches! Hop in your car and drive straight to the other side of the river in Lisbon. Offering a whole range of wide stretched Atlantic beaches, the Western Coast of South Portugal will keep you fulfilled for the first day of your road trip.

Some tips regarding renting a car in Lisbon: if you want to return your car the latest as possible, book it at an agency which is located at the airport – the agencies in town often close a couple of hours earlier. If you want to book a rental car without having hundreds or euros blocked on your credit card as caution, book with a company that offers a caution free rent – for example, Centauro (be sure to save time and pick up your car at the main building, you don’t have to wait at the airport). If you don’t have a credit card at all, you can easily use Revolut to create one.

Here you can find my map for this roadtrip with all the beaches listed and pinned on Google Maps. Be ready to visit these pieces of paradise:

Praia de São Torpes

Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro

Praia das Furnas

Praia do Tonel

Praia do Carvalhal

Praia do Odeceixe

Praia da Arrifana

Praia do Penedo

Praia do Camilo

Praia dos Pinheiros

After heading to the South and driving past the West coast, you can drive to your accommodation – whether it be in Portimao, Lagos, or the romantic, beautiful and cozy village of Ferragudo where we stayed.

You can spend your first evening in the vivid and dazzling centre of Portimao. Enjoy some delicious and fresh seafood at Restaurante Marisqueira Carvi, a typical, local Portuguese restaurant.

Day 2

Surreal Cave Kayaking

Today, be prepared to use those arm muscles, because you are going on a 4-hour kayak or SUP tour around and in the Benagil caves. This is the best and most authentic way to visit the different lagoon caves, as you can enter them with your kayak or SUP – in contrary to other touristic boats which cannot enter them. Book your tour on Experitour, where you are sure of a safe handling of your order and you have an overview of all the best tours available for you.

During this tour, make sure to bring a waterproof camera or a waterproof case for your phone, because it can get wet! Nevertheless, if you go during summertime (June-September), you can be sure of pleasant water temperatures and a dive in the Atlantic ocean after the tour has finished.

But please, a little tip – when attempting to ascend the boat after your legendary jump in the water, don’t accept the help of the boat guide, because it will resonate in pulling him down in the water with you. So please, let us spare these guides because we all need them. Use the rope.

After the tour, energise yourself and stop for some lunch – not lanche (a Portuguese afternoon snack) at one of the many restaurants in blossoming Albufeira. Albufeira is really touristy, so make sure to keep walking through the touristic restaurants or enters small alleys, where you will find somewhat more authentic Portuguese or Italian restaurants.

¡Hola España!

Hop back in your car and prepare yourself for more vitamin sea at Praia Maria Luisa. After relaxing at seashore, the choice is up to you: either you drive to Faro and spend your evening there, or you drive through Faro and straight to the South of Spain. Crossing borders on a afternoon is really calm, there won’t be any hassle or waiting in lines.

You can also combine the two: drive through Faro to visit the city sightseeing through your car. Afterwards, you can drive to Isla Cristina, a nearby Spanish marine village, and watch an enchanting sunset at the port.

Day 3

Loosen Up In Lagos

This beach might be my second favorite from the whole trip. Praia dos Três Irmãos. It earns its popularity well, since this beach has it all: beautiful clear water, warm toned caves and rock formations spread over the entire beach. It almost creates a closed up bay, and attracts huge, long waves. It is mesmerizing just to be standing at the shore, watching the waves come and go.

If you’re feeling an afternoon snack or late lunch, you can always go to the local seafood restaurant Atlantida, located right at the beach. Ask for their homemade sangria, I can assure you, you will be far from disappointed.

Wonderful Wine Tasting

Next up: Wine tasting (to book yours, visit Wine Tourism Portugal, a website that gives you an overview of all the best wineries and activities that they offer throughout Portugal. We paid a visit to Herdade Canal Caveira and it was absolutely amazing. The owners gave us a whole tour of the factory and explained to us in detail the wine making processes. Then they offer you different together with bread, typical Portuguese sausage and cheese.

Praia do Vau

Praia de Carvoeira

Praia da Rocha

Setúbal

Arrábida

These are the final beaches from the winetasting location to Lisbon. You will also pass Setúbal and Sesimbra, as you can see on the map. While in Sesimbra, enjoy some local, fresh food at Lobo do Mar. Choose the fish you want made especially for you and enjoy it with some traditional Portuguese side dishes and wine. Oh and be quick for the desserts, because they may run out off soon! We just missed out on the bolo do chocolate (chocolate cake), I wouldn’t wish that pain to anyone.

Sesimbra

Afterwards, simply return your car back to the car center (if it’s Centauro, bring it back at the main office building) and enjoy your last evening in Lisbon. Boa noite!

I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by The Travel Architect. She gave me this incredible opportunity to be nominated for this award and challenged me to answer these 11 questions (+1 bonus question). They contain some really personal information that not a lot of people know about.

Because I am so passionate about my blog and I love sharing more personal details with you, I answered the questions here, for you, my loyal followers to read. Enjoy!

Where do you land on the introvert – extrovert continuum?  How about the homebody – out-n’-about and the night owl – morning person continua?

I wouldn’t label myself as an introvert nor an extrovert. Sometimes I can be social, outgoing, extrovert. Other days, I like to be on my own, social contact is less important, and I want to spend my day in my own bubble. I think we all have different sides to us – and it’s just a matter of which side we give more power and energy to.

Secondly, the out-n’-about type suits me more. I love discovering places, going out to have a drink at any time of the day, go into the city to do some window shopping or visit my favorite places. I am living in Lisbon and it is such a beautiful city. Spending time at one of the many beautiful spots is something I love to do during my free time. On the other hand, to quote Drake: I only love my bed and my momma. I could lay in bed all day. But if I am out and about, I do not regret it at all.

Lastly, I would consider myself as a passionate lover of sleep and rest, slow & easy mornings/noons and long and calm nights. A.k.a.: a night owl. Let the mornings be short and filled with sleep and let the nights be long and tranquil. Amen. Sleeping out, going out for breakfast or brunch is my ideal start of the day.

If you could create one new law for your country, what would it be?

It would be a law concerning the wellbeing and peace of the habitants. People with mental health issues do not get enough attention nor help. In my country, you can get help, but there’s a huge waiting list. And that is very important – you want your people to be healthy, happy, enjoying their lives.

One of my favorite categories (to write about, not experience) on my blog is When Bad Things Happen to Good Travelers.  What W.B.T.H.t.G.T experience has befallen you?

My first night in Curaçao was disastrous. My luggage came out as very last ( on a long haul flight there a LOT of passengers), then I was too late to change my currency at the local bank so I couldn’t pay for the bus to my hostel. The ATM’s did not accept my credit cards; only special types of ATMs accepted non-local cards. Luckily, I found a store who accepted some euro’s and gave me change in local currency. Then I missed my bus which only came once an hour, but nobody knew when – so after one hour and a half, I took the bus and walked to the hostel. When I arrived at the hostel, I wanted to unpack, but my luggage code did not work and my suitcase did not open. In despair, I tried every code possible and looked up YouTube videos about how to open a locked suitcase. Nothing worked. I went to sleep thinking I’d have not suitcase the entire trip. The next morning, I saw messages of my mom (it was her suitcase) she sent some codes and fortunately, one of them worked. So all good at the ending, but you don’t ever want to be without money, transport or luggage.

Knowing what you know now, if you could do it all over again, would you have the same job/career?  If not, what would it be?

I am at the beginning of my career as a digital creator / travel blogger. My previous jobs gave me a lot of experience (I worked as a flight attendant, hostel receptionist, customer service representative and studied PR) and that experience is something incredibly valuable that I take with me everyday. If I had known what I know now, I would have started earlier with my passion – traveling and writing + documenting about it – so I could catch up earlier and build up my audience at an earlier stage.

Tell an interesting little tidbit or factoid about yourself that your readers probably wouldn’t know.

I think this a fact not a lot of people now about me. I played theater for 9 years. It was an amazing experience. I did fun plays, solo plays, poetic pieces – a bit of everything. I had the best teachers and a really close group of friends I played with.

If you could eradicate one of the world’s many injustices with just the snap of your fingers, what would it be?

Basic needs/rights. Health care, clean water, food, a roof above your head, the feeling that your voice matters. I believe everybody on this planet should have those. We are all equal. And we all deserve these basic human necessities and rights.

A lot of bloggers like to write about their bucket list destinations.  Let’s do the opposite.  Thinking of places that generate lots of travel buzz, what’s one place that just doesn’t interest you?

Do you know those surprise travel companies? You pay a certain amount, choose your travel dates and you get to hear your destination when you’re at the airport?

The thing that is holding me back to try one of those surprise travels is the fact that I dislike destinations in cold, northern countries. What if I secretly want to go to a warm country, but they send me to Berlin, or Norway? I like warm climates – tropical is the best description. Add a vivid and beautiful city to it and you’ve created my perfect travel destination. Offer me the complete opposite and I will run. To the Maldives.

You’re given a surprise day off work (or whatever obligatory time-sucking activity fills your days) – money is not an issue, you’re not allowed to do chores or errands, and there are no family members around to care for or accommodate – just unadulterated free time.  How do you spend the day?

I would go to nearest, most beautiful beach, grab my favorite food, a bluetooth speaker, and – since money is not an issue- rent off the whole beach for the day. (If I am not near a beach, I would catch my private yet to the most beautiful beach nearby, obviously).

Would you rather time travel to the past or the future?  What time/place would you travel to?

To the past, without a doubt. I would pay a visit to my dear friend and inspiration Cleopatra and walk around in that mystical, historical world. I studied Latin for only one reason: the stories. The myths. I love those. Being able to travel back in time to the ancient Greeks or Egyptians would be a dream come true.

What parts of travel/travel planning (regular travel that is, not theoretical time travel) stress you out the most and how do you deal with them?

Time planning. Finding days to get off work, the best flight tickets and then combining those two together and find an actual “perfect date”. Disastrous!

I started blogging because I wanted to write about my experiences while I was traveling. I’ve always loved writing, reading and traveling, so why not combine those? I also write some poetry occasionally.

A post I would love to see receiving more recognition, is make the jump: go solo female travel. This is a motivational post about why you should start solo traveling as a woman. I’ve written other posts with Q&A’s about solo travel, but this one really focuses on the solo female travel and offers inspiration and motivation.

Optional Bonus Question! (I’m something of a rule-follower.  Adding a twelfth question is an act of rebellion against my true nature.) If there is one question above that you’d skip answering and replace with your own question, which would it be and what question would you put in its place?

That would be the last question about which post I’d love to see getting more attention. I would replace it with: What is your truest passion, what makes you heart sing, what makes you happy while doing it? And is that what you are doing as a daily job or not? Why not?

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I also owe a thank you for this nomination to the very best @Thetravelarchitect. It has been a pleasure answering these interesting questions for you.

For the most of us, discovering a city happens in the same way: you look up the main attractions, the most popular spots, and you go check them up. For me, discovering a city during a citytrip isn’t about the popularity of attractions, monuments or places, but it’s about the experience. That is why I created an insider’s guide to Lisbon, especially for you, the curious, open-minded, adventurous traveler.

Lisbon has a lot to offer. Gastronomy-wise, culture-wise, and viewpoints-wise! That category was invented by Lisbon. The many miradouros in the city offer breathtaking views from different hidden spots. Sure, you have some popular miraoudors, but did you know about the less known ones?

As you can see, I created three categories: what to visit, what to taste and what to see.

What to visit

What to visit is all about the most beautiful and impressing monuments, places and parques that are worth paying a visit to. You can enter these places, often for free. There are exceptions, however: Cristo Rei monument offers (at a rate of €6) an elevator that takes you to the feet of the monument, offering you panoramic views of not only Lisbon, but the whole surroundings over the river and the other side of the river.

What to taste

In what to taste, I put the main drinks and dishes that are deliciously Portuguese and often not so known, but so worth tasting. I also listed the places where you can get the best ones. Of course, this is just a recommendation and if you’re blown away by one of these dishes in another restaurant, please, let your fellow foodie know.

Let me give you some more explanation regarding the foodie part! Pensão Amor is an authentic cocktail bar and udes to be a brothel (many, many years ago). This theme is conserved very well, as they created their own signature cocktails , referring to the “madames” of their golden years! Take one of the cocktails (aphrodisiac level is also indicated) and enjoy a night back in time.

Ginjinha do Carmo is a local spot to try out a ginjinha. a cherry liquor, often poured into a chocolate cup. Yes, a cup made out of chocolate, which you can devour after your free refill!

At Casa do Alentejo, a hidden tavern in the Morrocan-inspired, hidden spot at Restauradores, you can enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes with products from the Alentejo region. My favorite ones are scrambled egg with farinheira and Migas’ fried roll with pork meat. Try out the Alentejo bread and olive oil and the house wine (red of course) and your lunch cannot be any better nor on a better budget.

A Tigelinha is my favorite dinner spot in Lisbon. Freshly grilled fish, homemade dishes, salads, sausages and 1 liter of delicious red wine for €3. Leave with a full stomach for less than €20 for two people at this local, hidden and small restaurant. note: their alheira sausage is to die for. Also is their homemade cheesecake.

Cova Funda is the place to be for a nice atmosphere, friendly waiters and good (and so much) food. Grilled salmon with cooked vegetables must be my favorite dish. Try it with the local green wine (vinho verde) for a refreshing taste.

Next up is the manteigaria. This pasteís de nata factory is the perfect quick stop if you want to try out this Portuguese deliciousness. Try it for only €1 and put some cinnamon on the warm goods. I guarantee you, this is the start of a pastel de nata- addiction.

I discovered Cruzes Credo on Momondo app – you can choose your city and the theme of things you want to explore (obviously, I choose dining) and they promised me the best chocolate cake was to be found at this little restaurant. Since you’re reading about it now, you already know the outcome.

What to see

In what to see, I listed places and viewpoints that will leave you breathless. Especially during sunset, Lisbon can offer stunning views – whether it be in summer or winter, the setting sun in the rio or the golden light shining over the city of Lisbon makes you not want to miss any sunset. At these places, you can just relax, order yourself a drink and enjoy the beautiful views by day, during sunset or by night.

Sidenote: if you are looking for accomodation, I stayed the Largo da Sé Guesthouse, as it name says: close to the Sé Cathedral. Our rooms were modern, luxurious and the facilities were great. Breakfast was served with local pastries and anything you would like to try, they would provide it to you. Largo da Sé Guesthouse is the perfect balance between a luxurious and authentic experience of Lisbon. The location is perfect for when you want to discover the colourful and authentic part of Lisbon – Alfama district!

Enjoy, fellow salty soul, foodie, discoverer, adventurer, photographer. And be aware: I cannot promise you that you won’t turn into a lisboeta (habitant of Lisbon). It is very contagious!

Solo traveling has become a huge trend amongst us youngsters in the last few years. After the phenomenon of backpacking, a lot of people decided to rewrite the travel rules and go on an adventure on their own. Solo travel, in others words. Whether its a luxury trip, a backpacking trip, or a citytrip: exploring new destinations on your own is inevitably a trend in tourism as we speak.
A big and important part of solo traveling is having confidence. And, in order to have confidence, you must be well prepared and comfortable with your decisions. Confidence starts within. In order to reach this point of confidence and secureness within, let’s discuss the most common questions regarding fears, worries and doubts about solo traveling.

Why should I solo travel? I am perfectly happy with going on trips with friends and family.

If you are wondering why you even should start with solo traveling in the first place, then I kindly redirect you to firstly read this post.

Welcome back. Now you know why you should make that jump, you feel more challenged, right? Are you ready to go on an adventure? Are you ready to connect with yourself more?

Solo traveling can be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Some find peace and calmth, some find adventure and challenge, some find a deeper meaning of life. It is personal and that is what makes it so special. While solo traveling, you can make your own choices. You are free. Free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Do you want to socialize? Or live as a monk for three weeks and leave behind your social life for a while? It’s all up to you.


I feel really unsafe and insecure about solo traveling.

First of all, you wouldn’t be the first one. The concept of solo traveling is all about taking a jump into the unknown, broadening your horizons and taking a leap of faith. In other words: it’s a just-go-for-it experience. It’s about fueling your courage, empowering the adventurous you and giving no power to your fears and doubts.

Confidence start within, but it continues on the outside. For me, having the biggest part of my trip planned means that I am confident about my trip and the external factors of it. I am sure of my accomodation, flights and my travel itinerary. When you exclude the external factors that could give you any worries or stress, you immediately feel more secure about your trip and the adventure you’re going on. Or, you could also book a trip with a travel company in a group. Then, you’re also solo traveling, while being on a guided trip where everything is taken care of for you.


“I don’t know where to go, all on my own.”

The most important thing is to start with yourself. Think back. What are the places you really want to visit? The things you really want to do? Write down a bucket list of the things you want to achieve and do in your life. Are they linked to certain destinations? More tips about where to go on a solo trip you can find here.

If you are looking for a safe travel destination (especially for solo female travelers), then check out my top five of safest solo female travel destinations here.


“Is traveling alone boring?

The only one who can give you the answer to this question is you. What you get out of your vacation is whatever that you put into it. Happiness and fulfillment come from within.

To make the best out of a solo trip, you can write down the following list and answer it honestly. The answers to your questions already came from you.

  1. What makes me happy?
  2. What do I love to do in my free time?
  3. What makes me feel good?
  4. How does a perfect day look like to me?
  5. What do I want to do in my life? (Bucketlist)
  6. What do I want to see in my life? (Bucketlist)
After writing this list, check off as much as you can during your trip. Do things that make you smile, that give you fulfillment, or that scare you but that you always wanted to try.
Whatever you decided about solo traveling, I hope that you are happy with your choice and that you look forward to your (solo) trip. Because it is, after all, a vacation and you should enjoy it to the maximum.

Share with me your end results and funny stories and I will shout out the best ones on my social media channels!

For many, packing is the most annoying, stressful and time-absorbing activity of the whole trip. Often, we end up taking way too much luggage. And then we end up paying a fine at the airport, or even worse- being obliged to leave behind items from our luggage. And what about style? How about not looking like the obvious tourist, but instead packing your best pieces of clothing that make you shine and show the real you?

As a frequent traveler and a ex-flight attendant, packing was almost a daily routine for me. I learned a lot of lessons through experience, and I am happy to share these tips & trips about packing perfectly.

Finding the perfect inbetween – not packing too little, not packing too much – is not so difficult as it looks. Let’s take a look at how to pack perfect.

Less is more 

Be realistic. If you are going away for a weekend, don’t pack 7 different outfits and 10 pair of underwear. Try to be honest with yourself. Maybe pay more attention to how many clothes you consume during the length of your upcoming holiday. I tented to take a looot of clothes with me for a trip of one week. But when I really paid attention to my dressing habits for a week, I realised I don’t need that many different outfits. I was fine with half of them.

Only take the essentials with you, the key pieces of your wardrobe. That dress that you think you’re gonna wear during this trip? You won’t.

Pack lightly, be prepared for cold and warm nights, but don’t exaggerate. Only bring clothing you really need. Because you never know, maybe you find an amazing gift for somebody or a nice souvenir, and you don’t have anymore space in your luggage. Unfortunately, it happened to me too many times.

Out with the old, in with the new

As I said, you never know what you may run into while on holiday. I always fall in love with the local style. The grass is greener on the other side, yes, but don’t you want one-of-a-kind, stylish and cool clothing to freshen up your home garderobe? Getting inspiration from another culture is inevitable in my case.So make sure to keep some space left for these authentic pieces of clothing.

When I was strolling through the streets of Buenos Aires, I just wanted to sell everything I brought with me and buy a new garderobe completely in the Argentinian trendy style. And I wish I had.

It happened to be that one of my traditions while traveling is the following: when I arrived in a city, the first day I go shopping and buy an outfit that makes me feel comfortable there. It has been a typical Moroccan dress, a fashionable dress in Milan, a mythical Greek dress,… it serves as a souvenir and as a way for me to identify more with that culture, so I feel more at comfort.

So before you leave, take a look at your closet and throw away all the clothes you don’t have a passion for anymore. We all have clothes we will wear someday, but that won’t really happen. And you know it. So just throw away that T-shirt you only wore once. You can do it.

Glorious gadgets

This is especially about sanitary products/health products: don’t take gigantic 500 ml shampoo bottles, conditioner and a pot of mask with you. Please, buy the best invention of this century: travel sized bottles. They come in super handy, in different styles, colors and quantities. You can buy them in your local convenience store or online.

When it comes to perfume, I always need my favorite smell close to me. While traveling, it reminds me of home, of a person, or about a special time in my life. it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to take my whole perfume bottle with me. If it is bigger than 100 ml, and you don’t have checked in luggage, it’s a no-go. Or, if you just want to have some perfume in your bag, but don’t want to carry around your 90 ml bottle in your purse all day, I strongly recommend you a Travel Perfume Spray Bottle. It is easy to use, it doesn’t cost much, and you have you favourite perfume on-the-go, wherever that may be.

Gadgets are lifesavers. Whether it is a foldable toothbrush and mini toothpaste, it will save you from a morning breath on the airplane after a night flight. The feeling of gratefulness when you notice you snuggled in a mini deodorant when you’re in the middle of summer and you’re sweating to death will be indescribable.

Only take the essentials with you, the key pieces of your wardrobe. That dress that you think you’re gonna wear during this trip? You won’t.

S.O.S.

Ahhhh. Now your suitcase is a whole lot lighter, right? Good job.

Let’s not forget the absolute travel essentials. A toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, a padlock, a band-aid, tweezers, deodorant, a pack of mini refreshing towels, a copy of your passport, your insurance cards, an external battery, a travel adapter, a bag of tissues and finally: cash and a credit card on two different locations (for when you lose one). This is the list that should be on #1 priority when you make your suitcase. Being a flight attendant, this list also included: panty hoses. Lots and lots of panty hoses.

You can take your precautions and visit the doctor before going on a trip to an unknown destination. Be sure to ask your doctor about possible health dangers and what you can do in precaution. Of course, don’t start taking pills like a crazy person, but just be aware of what can happen and get a prescription of the most important medicine you should take with you. Just in case. You’ll be thankful to yourself. And me.

Traveling is a wonderful treat you can give to yourself and others. Going on an adventure or discovering a new destination never gets old. In many cases, you may already know which destination to go to. We all have that “dream destination” in our minds. But maybe you don’t. And then what? How do you know which destination is perfect for you to travel to? How do you know which destination suits you best?

Let me provide you with some tips that help you choosing your perfect travel destination, so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. We’ll figure your perfect destination out, together, using the W-W-W-W-H method (Who-What-When-Where-How). If you specify these points, you’ll get a lot closer to pinning down that place on the map.

Who would you like to bring on this trip? (Who)

In order to find your perfect travel destination, you have to make a decision about who is traveling with you. Is it nobody? Perfect, less hassle, more independence for you. Are you traveling with friends? Sit with each other and discuss the others needs, wants and availability. Are you traveling with family? Idem.

Communication is really important in the process of planning a vacation, and it is uttermost important that you discuss important factors with your fellow travelers. Even small details, like a preferred airline or accomodation type, can change your entire getaway. If you’re having difficulties finding time to travel in a group or even with yourself, then check out my tips on how to make time to travel.

What do you want to get out of this vacation? (What)

What is your main reason for traveling? Maybe you want to discover a new culture, city or language. Or you’re more the adventurous type that likes to go into nature, pack your backpack and go hiking for a bit. Maybe you want to relax and lay at the beach all day. or maybe, you’re the type that likes to get both out of a vacation: go to an interesting place and relax. Yin and yang, as they say.

If you decided this for yourself, than you’re making your quest for the perfect travel destination a whole lot easier. Do some research about the best beaches, for example, or the best hiking trails or cultural cities. Write them all down.

Which climate do you feel most comfortable in? (Where)

After you made this list, you can specify more by selecting the proper climate. This is a really important one and it requires some research. Because no matter when you go to a certain country or city, their climate can be a whole lot different than yours.

Do you want a sunny location? If yes, what is the maximum temperature that you could handle? If you’re going hiking in the mountains, what is the minimum temperature that you’d like to find yourself in?

Always prepared about any changes that this climate can bring, such as diseases or insects that can harm you.

After deciding on which climate you would like to find yourself in – cold, tropical, moderate,etc. – remove the destinations from your list that do not meet this requirement.

Which period would be best suitable for you to travel in? (When)

This is a really important filter. The date. You should check with different parties to have the perfect period to travel in. Is anybody traveling with you? When are their days off? Or are you traveling solo, and are you looking to find time to travel? Another helpful source is my previous blog make time to travel, where you find tips and tricks to pin down that travel date.

After checking off possible date(s), see which destination would be suitable to visit during this period. For example, if you want to go hiking on a trail or go to a beach that is closed during that time, you might want to find another destination. Cross out the destinations that are not suitable for your availability.

How would you like to travel? (How)

Last but not least: transport. How do you like to travel? Catching flights is my favorite. Get comfy in an airplane, put on that airplane mode, have some me-time, get served food and drinks, and fly with your favorite airline. There’s nothing better than a nice flight to start your trip with.

But maybe you don’t like flying, or the flights are overpriced, or the people you are traveling with are afraid of flying.

Whatever the reason may be, there are so many transport options these days. Bus, train, car, boat, you name it. If you want to do some island hopping but you don’t want to fly in and out or take the ferry all the time, you can consider a cruise.

If you’re planning on doing the yin and yang vacation (beach and city), a car may be a good idea, so you can drive to places you would like to visit and you have the freedom to visit any beach in your surroundings. If you’re traveling solo and you want to do a full city trip, public transport is your go-to!

Take your list of destinations with you and investigate on how to get there. If it’s overseas and you’re afraid of flying, check out alternates like cruises or an overnight boat. There are so many ways to travel nowadays. Find your way and make the best out of it!

The most important thing is to follow your heart. If you have a dream destination in mind, go for it. If not, the world is so big, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect travel destination for you after applying the W-W-W-W-H method. Save travels, adventurer!

Traveling. Getting on that airplane. Catching flights. Breathing in a new culture and country. That fulfilling feeling of adventure and jumping into the unknown.

Many of us love to travel. Especially if you’re reading this. I see you! The difficult things about going on a holiday? Budget and time. If you’re struggling with planning a vacation within a budget, read my tips here. If you’re struggling with finding time to travel, keep on reading then!

Make Yourself A Priority

Start at the beginning. Who wants to travel? You? Or your friend(s)? Or a spouse or family member?

If it’s just you and you are waiting on somebody to make time to join you on your trip, then leave that. Just plan your trip, since you want to travel so badly. Take a look at your budget, the flight tickets and availability of your desired accommodation. Next, compare it to your vacation days. When can you take a weekend/week/month off? The same goes for when you are the plus one. If you notice your friend really wants to go to a place and you don’t have the time/money/motivation to go with them, let them know. For the sake of all travelers out there, don’t keep us waiting.

The more, the merrier

If you are planning on going on a trip with somebody or a group, but you are struggling to plan dates, here’s what to do next. Firstly, ask around when everybody can take off to go on holiday, if somebody already used all their vacation days or they have a busy job and they have a strict schedule, ask them to request days off in advance and plan your trip later. If you really want the person to come with you, first make sure you’re all on the same line and with the same availability. Next, discuss a budget, and put it all together in one account.

Side note: I recommend to use Revolut. It’s an online bank where you can create a credit card in a second and opt to use a vault. Everybody can put money the credit card and put it in the vault or on the current account. Then, when you are traveling, pay all the common expenses with this card so it’s fairly divided.

It comes in extremely handy when you are traveling because it gives you the best currency rate possible. Plus, they offer a travel insurance that was better than my original one! I used Revolut for all my trips and I am a happy customer. And no, they didn’t ask me to write this.  

If you’re more of the “we’ll see what happens”, you can opt for an app that divides everything you spent. But you will divide it later on, so somebody will have to take the big bill into account first.

Maximize Your Vacation Days

As I already mentioned, vacation days are an important factor if you are looking for time to travel. Maybe you don’t have time in the weekend to go on a trip. I get that. But play it smart then. Plan you vacation days in advance and get everything out of it.

Take a look at the upcoming bank holidays. If there’s a holiday on a Friday, plan the Thursday. Like this, you put one vacation days and you win four days. Hello, city trip!

If there’s a holiday on a Thursday, same rules applies. Get that Friday and enjoy your 4 days off. Or put the Wednesday and Friday and enjoy 5 days off while only losing two days. It’s all about being smart!

Plan Beforehand 

If you are wanting to go on a big trip of a month or two weeks and you are struggling with finding time, don’t panic. It’s all about planning. A big trip like this has to be planned in advance.

Firstly, make sure you have flights available on those dates and you have enough budget for it. If you really want to go to a certain Airbnb, hotel, hostel, etc.: also check that availability. Because since it’s for a longer period of time, it’s less evident to guarantee an availability for the whole period.

Secondly, request a holiday for that period. Since you’re planning it way in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you get the flight tickets at a normal rate and not at a higher rate close to the departure date.

And finally, don’t forget the important details about your trip. Vaccinations, a visa, a credit card, travel gadgets; you will thank your future self for planning in advance and being prepared. You can read all about preparations and gadgets that will help you here.

And there you go, off to your next destination. I’m so proud of you. Fly, discover, live, enjoy.

There are many advantages about living in the authentic and vivid city Lisbon. You can find a couple of them in my previous blogs about Lisbon. One of them is being able to travel quickly outside of the city center, direction praia – a beachy getaway. Or, if you’re more into mountains, move up to the hills of Sintra and see one of the many gorgeous castles in this area. Let’s take a look at seven easy and beautiful day trips from the Portuguese city of tiles.

1. Belém

Belém is the closest and most easiest city to reach from Lisbon. You can take the train, tram, bus, taxi, whatever pleases you most: it is only 2 km from Lisbon and it won’t cost you much.

Belém has a lot to offer. Get out at the train station and start walking on the beautiful riverside promenade, surrounded by the burning sun, birds flying around and the salty smell of the Atlantic Ocean. Must-see attractions are:

  • Torré de Belem, a beautiful tower surrounded by water
  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a monument dedicated to the discoverers of Portugal
  • Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, an impressive, 500 year old monastery

Stroll around the village of Belém and make a stop for a meia-de-leite and some delicious pastéis de nata at the famous Pastéis de Belém. This trip is perfect for all year round, since it is so close to Lisbon and you can also enjoy this village in winter time.

How to get there: by tram or train from Cais do Sodré station.

2. Cascais

Care for a trip to the beach, do some shopping and eat delicious meals in a wide variety of restaurants? Then Cascais is your pick for a perfect day trip from Lisbon. Cascais’ architecture is one of a kind, you will find beautiful picturesque buildings in this small town. Head over to the beach, small yet cozy and perfect if you’re not int surfing and don’t need big waves, this is a perfect place to relax at the beach.

How to get there: by train from Cais do Sodré station.

3. Sintra

Feeling like passing your day off in a fairy-tale village surrounded by dreamy castles, palaces and mansions? Or are you feeling adventurous and in the mood for some hiking? Then head over to Sintra by taking the direct train from Lisbon (Rossio).

While walking in Sintra village, you almost feel like being in a fairytale. Its surroundings are so surreal – especially if you visit the Pena palace, which architectural style is also based on the same elements. Game of Thrones fans, gather around for a hike to the castles of Walls (Castelo dos Mouros) and imagine you’re in the middle of a scene of GOT.

Castelo dos Mouros

As for the nature lovers; you won’t be left in the dark during this day trip. You can enjoy the tranquility of the Portuguese hills and mountains and instead of driving up from Sintra village to the castles, you can take a hike of one hour to reach the top.

Last but not least, the stunning mountain views overlooking the Serra of Sintra are a feast for the eyes of everybody. So relax, take a break and indulge yourself in the nature of Western Portugal.

How to get there: by train from Rossio station or Oriente station.

4. Arrábida 

My favorite city escape must be the area of Arrábida. The only barrier to overcome here is that you will need a car since traveling by public transport is very difficult in this area.

Arrábida is a region that stretches out from the coast until deeper in the Portuguese mainland. You can either visit the Park or you can go on a road trip, what I like to call: Rocky Road! It is basically one long road at the coastside. While driving past all the beaches, it is hard not to get out every 5 minutes and run to the every beach that you see. But it is definitely possible to do in one day.

The clear, blue beaches are separated from the road by immense walls of beige rocks and in between that you find the soft, light sand which gives you a beautiful contrast to enjoy to the maximum.

If you continue the Rocky Road, you will end up in the Natural Park of Arrábida. So, either way, it is all up to you: beach or park?

How to get there: by car.

5. Sesimbra

Sesimbra is my second favorite destination for a day escape from Lisbon. Why? Sesimbra is a modern. stunning city with a coastline bigger than your goals. Cozy, relaxing and beautiful is how I would describe Sesimbra.

Beach and city is the perfect combination for a daily getaway trip and that is what you will find in the Portuguese city of Sesimbra. Walk on the beach side promenade, breathe in the fresh air of the ocean and feel the sun burning on your skin. Look to your right and you’ll see pretty palm trees and Praia da California, Sesimbra’s beach of the Atlantic Ocean. Look to your left and you’ll find local Portuguese cafés, restaurants and shops.

How to get there: by bus (TST) from Praça de Espanha.

6. Setúbal

Setúbal is the perfect getaway for Southern Portugal vibes, and it is twice as big as Sesimbra. It has a cozy city centre with many locals restaurants, pastelarias and cafés. And, of course, you can also check of the beach, since it has a wonderful coast. So, again, it depends on what you are looking for exactly for your day trip. You can easily make a day or weekend trip to Sesimbra or Setúbal.

How to get there: by train from Oriente station or by bus (TST) from Praça de Espanha.

7. Caparica

Last but not least we have Costa da Caparica. This is one of the many beaches in the region of Caparica. These beaches are endless, and that is the amazing thing about this place. On a busy day, you can take the bus or taxi and travel away from Costa da Caparica. Like this, yo you can visit more private beaches, like Fonte da Telha or Praia do Castelo.

The main attractions in Costa da Caparica are the spacious beach bars and restaurants, the long decks and of course the possibility to do some surfing. The main reason Caparica has so many visitors is for water sports, like: surfing, wind sailing, etc. Be sure to visit the centre of Caparica, where you will find shops, restaurants of all ethnics (like a decent Greek restaurant – finally found one in Portugal!) and some hotels if you are planning on spending the night there.

How to get there: by bus (TST) from Praça de Espanha.

Praia Fonte da Telha

So whether you’re living in Lisbon or just on a holiday there and you want a quick getaway for one day or a weekend, then your options are endless. It all depends on how you want to spend your day or weekend. Enjoy the Portuguese nature and hospitality, dear salty soul. 

Catching flights. To me, it is my passion, my hobby. The moment you walk in to an airplane, you make yourself comfortable at your seat and a few moments later, you feel the plane taking off and the ground disappears more and more with every mile you’re ascending.

While others are looking less forward to being inside an airplane, we can all make a difference and make the flight as comfortable as possible. It all starts with you. Think about what made your flight uncomfortable in the past. Was it an annoying passenger? Was it miscommunication with your flight attendant? Was it the fact that you forgot something?

Whatever it was, you can make sure it won’t happen again. Or, at least, you can learn how to be a perfect passenger and make a wonderful start on a stress-free flight. 

Be prepared

It’s all about preparation. Before going on board, make sure you got everything you need.

If you are taking carry-on luggage, be sure to check the sized that are allowed at your airline to avoid trouble inside the aircraft or having to pay extra for putting it in the hold.

Take with you a bottle of water, some snacks, and a pull for when it would get cold in the airplane. You never know how the food is like or when you get thirsty during landing or take-off, thus have to wait approximately 10 to 30 minutes before asking your flight attendant for some water. Just bring your own.

Not all airlines request boarding passengers to show their boarding pass, but it can never do any harm. So be sure to not put your boarding pass away until you are sitting on your seat. I’ve had lots of delays because passengers cannot find their boarding pass anymore while boarding and thus hold up an entire line of passengers behind them.

Be polite

Treat the flight attendants and passengers with respect. We are all in one space, one aircraft, for a certain amount of hours. Don’t make a hassle for nothing, don’t get drunk or high, just stay decent, polite and show manners to everybody.

Your flight attendants are trained to be polite to you. So greet them back, say thank you and please like they do to you. It is just one word, but it means so much more. Just your smile can make someone’s day. And don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them, it’s a pleasure to talk to passengers and it makes time pass quicker, too.

Be realistic

Schedule changes, delays or cancellations can happen. It is not always due to logistical or organizational reasons. Nature happens, too. Unfavorable wind, a rainstorm, snow, a tropical storm, you name it: natural changes can happen and they can affect your flight. Be reasonable and don’t blame it on your crew, airline or fellow passengers. It is natural and it will pass. Be patient and accept whatever solution your airline gives you – vouchers for another flight, hotel coupons, etc.

The same things is applicable for overbookings. Often, it is hard for passengers to understand the concept of overbooking. Airlines always overbook their seats. Depending on the airline, a certain percentage of all seats is overbooked, just in case people cancel, get sick, or just don’t show up ur check in.

“But why do they sometimes call a name of a passengers who didn’t arrive yet? If the seats are overbooked, shouldn’t you call for everybody who didn’t show up and not only one person?”

When we call for a certain passenger, it means they checked in themselves and their luggage, but didn’t board the plane yet. An overbooked seat that somebody purchased, but never checked in for, will not be given anymore attention to, since that person obviously was no longer interested in the flight, got sick, etc.

Be on time

Do the check-in and boarding on time, so there will be no delay because of this. If everybody is on time, the flight can depart at the scheduled time of departure and there will be no unpleasant surprises.

Be clean

Keep your seat, table and area in the airplane clean. Do not leave behind a mess during or after the flight. The planes are cleaned after every flight, but show some respect for the next passengers and your crew and just keep it clean. Flight attendants pass by often with waste bins so you can easily pass is to them. Also, there are waste bins in the galley (kitchen) of the stewards, so you can always go to them and give it personally. We always appreciate that!

After paying a visit to the toilet, don’t leave it like a kid’s pool at the beginning of summer. Clean up, wash your hands, and if there is a problem, there is a flight attendant call button inside the toilets as well.

Be calm

Stay calm and relaxed. There is no need to stress. The world is far below our feet now so it has no use to get caught up in delay stress. If you are scared of flying, talk to the flight attendant, they will help you. There are a lot of things we can do to help you cope with that fear.

When a passenger in front of you is making too much noise or if there is a problem, don’t freak out immediately. Talk to us so we can help you.

If you see, hear or smell something that concerns you: again, communicate with us. Let us know. Why do you think the window blinds have to be opened during take-off and landing? It is so you, our passengers, can let us know if there is a problem. So everybody can keep the situation in control.

Hopefully you take these tips into account next time you hop on a flight. And remember, flight attendants are here to keep you safe and comfortable. It’s our job to do so.

Solo female travel. It is a delightful thing, isn’t it, ladies? You have all the freedom and adventure in the world. You can broaden your horizon just by taking a plane on your own and going on a solo adventure. You expand your limits by jumping into an unknown experience. Yes, most of us have been bitten by the travel bug. And that’s okay.

The taste of freedom while traveling solo is even sweeter when you travel to a safe environment. A place where you don’t have to worry about being harassed or robbed. A serene yet interesting travel destination, perfect for perhaps your first solo trip.

But where can I find these perfect destinations, you might wonder? Let’s see what are the top 5 of safest cities for solo female travel in my experience. I went to each of these cities alone and I am happy to share with you my honest and true review about solo travel to these destinations.

5. Uruguay, Colonia

Colonia is a small Uruguayan city close to the border with Argentina. Yet, even though it is close to Buenos Aires and the habitants have the same accent, the safety changes drastically when you’re at the other side of the pond. Colonia is a warm, cozy and beautiful city. You feel yourself at home while strolling through this city , smelling the fresh forests, the salty ocean and the sweet flowers. This is a place where you can find true and deep peace.

As you can already imagine, this Uruguayan pearl is super safe for anyone to visit. The locals are super friendly and relaxed, making you feel welcome in their tranquil city.

4. Belgium, Bruges

Being born in Belgium, it is easy to know which places to go to and which places to avoid. Bruges is definitely a must-see when you have to chance to visit the country of beer and chocolates (and let’s not forget the waffles). Besides the rustic architecture and the many cafés (and types of beer) you can find here, you can come to complete relaxation when in Bruges.

Belgium is overall a very safe country to stay at, and in Bruges, where tranquility meets history, you will find yourself in a safe environment. You can pass your time strolling through musea and visit old, big buildings and get to know their stories.

3. Italy, Venice

I don’t think Venice needs an introduction. With is romantic rivers running through the whole city and its small islands all sticking together to create what may be the most beautiful city in Italy, it is well known worldwide.

Venice may be a destination not so loved by solo female travelers because it is so popular and crowded. But if you are as much an Italian food and culture lover as me, then you will find a way to make this destination an amazing solo trip.

I recommend you to stay not in Venice itself, but on the mainland of Italy, close to the train station. A train will take you to Venice in no-time. It is totally safe to stroll around this authentic city, and since there are so many people, you will never be alone so you can always address somebody to ask for help if you – like me- are really, really, really bad in orientation (and the little Venetian roads don’t do no good, trust me).

2. Portugal, Lisbon

Lisbon is the central hub of Portugal. With its charming style and stunning architecture, this is perfect destination for solo female travel. Spend your golden hour at one of the many rooftops bars with gorgeous views – stretching all over city until the other side of the river – order some pastel de nata and drink a café meia-de-leite in peace without anyone bothering you. Lisboetas are in general really friendly and social, so you’ll make local friends in no time. Also, there are lots of international visitors and especially Brazilians who love to visit this Portuguese capital, which makes the atmosphere in the center so vivid.

I took a trip to Lisbon with a friend last year and a couple months later, I found myself living in the capital of tiles. I love a lot of things about Lisbon, and a big factor is that it is so safe. As a woman traveling alone, you will experience a city that is so popular and crowded, but peaceful at the same time. The only strangers that will address you are some guys in the popular streets asking if you want to buy something. But they even address the locals, and they will do no harm to you.

1. Malta, Valletta

Valletta, the capital of the small island Malta, was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2018. And does this marvelous, Italian-influenced city deserve this title. Not only historical and architectural lovers will adore this lovely city; I am talking to you, dear foodies, because Malta has an amazing gastronomy. That is why I chose this destination to spend my first solo trip. And after returning for a couple of times, I still do not regret discovering Malta- more precisely, Valletta.

Lose yourself in the interesting history and architecture of the ex-British colony and pay a visit to the many museums. Stroll around the dockside for a lookout to the Three Cities (Birgu, Senglea and Bormla) and grab some pastizzi for on the way.

But let’s not wander too far from the real subject here, which is: safety for solo female travelers. Valletta always made me feel comfortable and welcome, since the moment I set foot in this city. It is a completely safe and cozy city, where you can be sure to enjoy your travels the most.

I was 19 years old when I set foot in an airplane, leaving for my first solo trip.

I was 20 years old when I went on my 6th solo trip, 6 times zones away from home.

We can conclude that the travel bug bit me – in a maybe slightly disturbing way. But that is not the subject here. Because what about you? What is stopping you?

Why should one go solo travel, you might wonder?

Let me sum up the most important reasons one needs to go solo travel at least once in a lifetime.

You gain independence

Let’s start by the beginning. You arrange everything yourself: you plan your trip, you saved up for tickets, you take leave at your job and you just go. Doing things on your own and taking care of your own requires independence. You are fully in control. You have to take care of your own. There is no family member or colleague or friend to assist you. You have to figure out things all by yourself. And that is where the fun begins. Because that is when you get to make mistakes and learn from it. That person you asked for instructions became your friend. The flight attendant whom you spoke to about your travels, gives you tips and invites you to a night out. The life begins. All because you gain confidence, courage and  independence to live your life.

You gain strength

Going through an adventure alone strengthens the mind and spirit of a person.

You miss your family, lover and friends, but that makes you realize what you really have in life. Because you are separated from your normal life and the persons in it, you start to appreciate it so much more. And you become more grateful for everything that life gives you.

Mentally, you become more reliant on yourself and stronger as a person. You learn more about yourself and you trust yourself more.

Another important factor is that you broaden your horizon. You gain more courage and the true adventurer inside you steps out to the front.

You overcome fears, because you are out of your comfort zone.

When I was in South-Africa, I was so afraid to go hiking on the huge Table Mountain. After I collected all my courage and I did the hike, I felt like I was standing on the top of a mountain. Literally and figuratively. It was an accomplishment that I was proud of. I had became more stronger and had overcome a big challenge.

And that feeling, standing on the top of the mountain, is something we all need to have at one point in our lives.

You gain knowledge

Cultures, stories, languages, food, people: they are all part of new discoveries in your travels.

The moment you set foot into another country, you can smell it’s air, observe the people, learn their ways of communicating, dancing, eating, etc.

You learn about so many wonderful places, events. Your eyes won’t believe what they see.

And again, because you are alone, you have to figure things out alone. Every time you do that, you learn something new. All the mistakes I made traveling solo, I immediately transformed into lessons and learned from them for the better.

You gain life experience

After you travel solo, you have been through a lot. You can be very proud of yourself for accomplishing this trip. You have witnessed beautiful moments, made a lots of friends from around the world, maybe learned more about a language, a culture, etc.

You can become a travel expert and knowing the world little by little.

You learn about stories of people and you will share memories with some you will never forget. And you can be proud of yourself, because this is your accomplishment, your independence, your life.

So I invite you to try solo traveling at least one time in your life. Be the best version of yourself. Experience your moment on the top of a mountain. Be bold. Go solo travel.

More moments. More world. More life.