We just returned from a lovely six day trip to Portugal! I'm starting graduate school part-time in the fall, and wanted to take a quick trip before school started, so we settled on Lisbon because it was a pretty easy, direct flight from New York, and seemed like a place we could do in only six days.
We started in Cascais, a beach town about 40 minutes outside of Lisbon, then on to Lisbon, or Lisboa, and spent our last day with some new friends who took us up the coast a bit to see Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe, and then up to a small fishing village named Ericeira, which also gets a bit of tourists with their beaches.
Portugal is very picturesque with views of the water and the people are so nice. Also, most people seem to speak English very well, and given that it was August where there are a lot of European tourists everywhere, most menus had multiple language translations, so it was pretty easy for us to get around without knowing much Portuguese. We had lots of simply prepared and delicious seafood - grilled octopus, sardines, clams, fish, and of course, bacalhau several different ways. We also had a lot of great but cheap wine, tried the local cherry brandy, ginjinha and a bit of port.
And we met a lovely couple, Tito, a local chef, and Patricia, on our third night in Lisbon, who helped us order dinner, enjoy some local cheese, and then went out for a few drinks with us in the Bairro Alto. And, they were so amazingly nice, they offered to pick us up from our hotel and show us a bit of the coast outside of Lisbon on our last night in town! When does that ever happen? They were so nice, and told us all about Portuguese food, and things we should try and see.
Overall, it was a nice, relaxing trip where we didn't feel too much pressure to do tons of sight seeing. We had lots of great seafood, the weather was beautiful, and now, we are home facing a hurricane heading towards NYC!