Berrio: a romantic esplanade

Berrio is the name of a spectacular esplanade in the beach of Parede, 20 km from Lisbon. It is the perfect place to go for coffee on a sunny afternoon. Even though it is located by the “marginal,” the coastal road that connects Lisbon to Cascais, when you are there, you feel like you are on a sea voyage.

If you take a date to Berrio, choose your date very carefully. Swept by the beauty of the sea and sky, you might find yourself speaking words chosen by the waves and whispered by the wind; words like: “You know, Berrio was the first ship from Vasco da Gama’s fleet to come back with news that they had found the seaway to India. It arrived in Cascais, not far from here. I could say that I, too, have been on a journey, and that I found my way in you. But I would never liken a search for cardamom and pepper to my quest for you. How could I compare earthly dust with your ethereal beauty?”

Berrio, Avenida Marginal, Praia da Parede, Tel. 21-457-7356, email: geral@berrio,net. Click here for website.

Areias do Seixo

You ring the bell as if you were visiting a friend’s house. The large weathered wood door opens to reveal a magical place overlooking the sea. Everything feels right: the driftwood benches, the pebble walls, the bare swimming pool, the wood fire burning outside.

You can walk to the beach through sandy dunes and fragrant pine trees to see blue waves crashing on white sand. Or you can drink a glass of wine while the sun and the moon exchange duties.

The restaurant staff make you feel at home while you choose from a small menu that changes daily. The food is wonderfully simple, prepared with great local ingredients: fresh fish, tender vegetables, succulent meat, briny seafood.

We hear that people in heaven like to return to this world to stay for a few days in this boutique hotel near Praia de Santa Cruz.  We have not been able to confirm this rumor. But one thing we know: Areias do Seixo is a little piece of heaven on earth.

Praceta do Atlântico, Póvoa de Penafirme, 2560-046 A-dos-Cunhados, tel. 261 936 340, email, click here for website.

Noble bed and breakfasts

Portugal has many ancient manor houses and palaces built by noble families and wealthy landowners. These houses are expensive to maintain, so in the 20th century many fell into disrepair. The government created a program called “Turismo de Habitação” (home tourism) that subsidized their restoration. In return, the owners agreed to turn them into “bed and breakfasts.”

You can tour the country staying, at very affordable prices, in aristocratic homes, with expansive vistas and warm hospitality.

These proud houses are silent witnesses to centuries of history. When you visit them, you touch the soul of Portugal.

Click here for the Home Tourism web site.