Our family holiday on the Lisbon Coast – Ginnie Phillips

We have a rich and ever-expanding portfolio on the Lisbon Coast. My brother, Matthew,  and I recently visited this area and stayed at the delightful, Villa Miri, and were overwhelmed with everything this beautiful part of Portugal has to offer.

As many of you may already know, Matthew and I run The Villa Agency together as a family business.  We love to travel and, over the years, have personally visited many of the houses we feature. This year, our brother, Richard, was visiting from Australia so we combined a familiarisation trip, visiting areas and new properties, with a family holiday to Portugal.

Flying into Lisbon from the UK is often cheaper than flights to the Algarve can be and we managed to obtain very reasonable flights with TAP Air Portugal.  We were greeted at the airport by our transfer partner with a very warm welcome and, as we passed through the city and across the Vasco da Gama bridge to Aroeira, he chatted away, pointing out the landmarks as he enthusiastically shared his wealth of knowledge and passion for his country and its rich history.

Villa Miri is located in a quiet neighbourhood, surrounded by sand dunes and pine trees, and within walking distance of Fonte da Telha beach.   It is a spacious family home with 7 bedrooms and on a large plot with delightful entertaining spaces.

Outside, there is a huge garden and swimming pool set amongst fruit trees and plants.  There is a charming, covered area which houses the barbecue and has a table and chairs to relax in the shade.  There is also table tennis under a gazebo, perfect for family competitions away from the sun.

Fonte da Telha beach is a few minutes away by car and about a 20 minute walk from the house.  It is a leisurely walk through the pine forest and dunes down some steps to the beach but, it is worth noting that, the walk back is a little more strenuous (particularly after dinner and a few gin & tonics!) as it is uphill.  The beach is stunning with seemingly infinite stretches of sand and soft surf.  There are some fabulous and reasonably priced restaurants here serving fresh fish and seafood.  They can get busy in the summer months, so we advise that you book ahead if you wish to eat alfresco and make the most of the views which are very special.

We dined in Grão d’Areia, Fonte da Telha Beach, a couple of times during our stay;  the staff were so welcoming and friendly and the food was delicious.  The menu included the fresh catch of the day alongside a variety of tasty dishes including meat, seafood, vegetarian options and a simpler, children’s menu.  The sunset views from here are amazing.

We also visited Senhor Patolas which is a sensational steakhouse.  The owner is a very passionate butcher and his wife the wine expert. Each of them was so proud of their offerings and served up personal recommendations of grilled meat and wine; we were not disappointed.  It was probably the best steak I have ever eater in my life!  We recommend ordering ahead as he gets very busy.

We ventured into Lisbon City for the day which was only about half an hour away and we highly recommend exploring this sensational metropolis.  Foodies will love it here as there are some exceptional restaurants to enjoy.  The architecture is beautiful with ornate buildings, bright colours and impressive gardens – you will need your camera at the ready!  We can arrange city tours and transfers and our drivers will be able to tell you all about the local area and point you in the right direction.

We wanted to try the infamous Bifanas – succulent, marinated pork stuffed in a Portuguese roll!  Our driver dropped us close to one of his favourite Bifana restaurants.  This is a no frills experience, it is basically fast food, but my goodness did it hit the spot!  Once fed and watered, we were ready to explore!  You can spend hours just wondering around the city taking in the amazing buildings and dodging the odd tram!  It is beautiful.  There is so much to do here with an abundance of museums, impressive churches, designer shops, market stalls – for a city adventure, it really does deliver.

In the evening, we dined at Fumeiro de Santa Catarina which is a quirky little restaurant serving small plates, all of which have a smoked element or ingredient.  Ox rib sandwich, grilled octopus, Gran daddy chips and duck confit with apple and celery amongst some of the exquisite dishes.  It is hidden away from the tourist traps and has a hip, intimate vibe with friendly staff, not to mention some delicious Portuguese wines.

Matthew spent the day in Sintra which deserves a blog all to itself – possibly the most enchanting place on earth.

We loved our stay in this area and all long to return to explore more of the region.  If you need any guidance on where to visit, please do not hesitate to get in touch.  Matthew and I are always happy to discuss individual requirements to help find the most suitable properties for your special holiday.

We look forward to hearing from you.