Geordie’s exploration of Portugal’s surf scene naturally began in Lisbon, through a myriad of cobbled, terracotta hued streets dressed in history as well as sumptuous scents produced by world-class chefs hidden away in rustic street-side restaurants. Not to mention the striking tiled façades; such variety of colour and design on the streets of the Portuguese capital is part of the city’s identity and provides a true work of art every corner you turn.
Steeped in history, a glamourous evening overlooking the city from the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz rooftop bar, followed by an elegant stay at the boutique Pousada de Lisboa, gave Geordie plenty of time to wander the historic hillside suburbs of Alfama and Mouraria in the shadow of the castle. From the famed monasteries and port, to of course sampling a Pastel de Nata (a Portuguese traditional pastry), Lisbon’s global standing of what it used to be is represented across the city, from restaurants and roof top bars, to quaint squares and immaculate gardens.
Leaving behind lively city life, Geordie followed in the footsteps of most Lisbon locals longing to escape the city on the weekend and headed to the peaceful coastal town of Cascais. Cold beer or Caipirinha in hand, this cosy beach hangout is the perfect spot to watch big-wave surfing, coupled with the luxuries of smart hotels like the Hotel Albatroz, where Geordie checked into.
Known to very few, Cascais boasts an tantalising cuisine scene tucked up in the hills. This, coupled with access to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, on the Portuguese Riviera to the north, makes it an extraordinary city escape and ideal first destination to begin your adventure of rural Portugal.
Before heading north, the call of Comporta and its secret beaches is certainly worth the detour. Only a short hour or so drive south of Lisbon, Geordie found himself pulling up to the modern-meets-rustic hideaway of Sublime Comporta. Knitted perfectly into the environment beneath the canopy of pine trees, this tranquil natural escape with architecture inspired by the region’s local heritage is the epitome of modern luxury and Mediterranean bliss. What’s more, it is only a short distance from the famed Atlantic wave breaks and arguably, some of Portugal’s most idyllic and hidden beaches; the ideal European retreat for those who would like to combine laid-back exploration and relaxation, as Geordie discovered.