If I were to build a fort, it would look like this

[LISBON] — High overlooking Lisboa, is the Castelo de São Jorge, one of the coolest forts I’ve seen. Lots of excellent shooting points, areas of properly dispersing hot oil and other general harassment.  It’s a great thing to do in the morning or sunset.  You can take the trolly up, or walk the zigzag streets. Excellent views of the red roofs of Lisbon.        

A classic hotel in a quiet seaside Portugal town

    [CASCAIS, PORTUGAL] — Another great hotel in Cascais, is the Villa Italia, just outside of the town, and right along the rock coast.  Within walking distance, it is a perfect location to serve as your base of operations for exploration all along the Lisbon coast.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, they upgraded me…and not to just a suite, but the entire $3,000/night penthouse!  A two bedroom, several thousand sf sprawling series of rooms at the top of the hotel, with it’s own hot tub overlooking the pool, ocean and the coming and going boats. Thank you!  Everyone was supremely nice and amazingly helpful and attentive. The pool is what makes the whole hotel. The perfect place to come back for a post-hike/post-beach dip

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A brand new pousada, built into a really old fort

[CASCAIS, PORTUGAL] — In a cool old fort ringing the Cascais harbor is the Pousada Cascais, a brand new hotel voted on Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List. Lot’s have been written up about it and it is certainly a cool location, nice and new but I was a little overwhelmed.  It is a little sterile, but still nice. More like a convention hotel on the inside; a little stark, but certainly nice. The location can’t be beat. Make sure you book a room with a harbor view, the inside rooms are a bit cold; my first room opened up onto the inside of the fort and faced the glass-walled workout room, so you kinda have to keep your drapes closed…which is what you don’t want

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A quiet beach town along the Lisbon coast

[CASCAIS, PORTUGAL] — About a half-hour outside of Lisbon, Cascais is a great little beach town along the coast and the perfect base to explore the entire Lisbon coast. You can rent a car or the commuter train from Lisbon can drop you right smack in the middle of the town and the beach. It’s not the most picture-perfect place — a lot of English pubs and shops selling tat catering to package tours from England — but certainly has many charms.  The best of which is its location, easy to ride a bike or taxi out to the killer Guincho beach or shoot up to Sintra, about 40 minutes away in the inland mountains. the in-town beaches aren’t the best, more convenient than pretty, but

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You Should Eat Here in Cascais

[Cascais, Portugal] — There are a number of great restaurants in Cascais. And a lot of bad English-touristy ones. You just need to know how to find them. My favorite was Gulli, highly recommended by everyone, right off the main square. Cool patio, great people watching and really, really good Italian — perfect for a breezy summer night. My friends that live in Cascais, Goncalo and Rita, also told I must eat at Don Manolo, a humble outdoor place right off the main square. As Goncalo quoted from an English travel show said “There are three things in Portugal: the sun, the sea and Chicken Peri Peri at Don Manolo.”  It was delish. And cheap. And still run by Don Manolo, a 90ish man who

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A BUSTLING NEIGHBORHOOD ON TOP OF IT ALL IN LISBON

  [LISBON] — Barrio Alto is it.  The perfect neighborhood to stay, to shop, to eat, to walk. Shop along Principe Real with all the cool local shops. Look over the city at one of the best parks. At night, all the pedestrian streets turn over to outdoor cafes, bars and excellent tapas joints. You should go here.                      

A HIP DESIGN DISTRICT ON THE SPRAWLING GROUNDS OF AN OLD LISBON FACTORY COMPLEX

[LISBON] — In a tucked away corner of Lisboa, in the no-man’s land between the core of Lisboa and Belem, is the bustling new design and arts district, the cornerstone of which is the LX Factory.  Set on movie-set looking ground of an old manufacturing district, the LX Factory is a great place to get away from the more tourist parts and hang out amid the design firms, production studios, restaurants and shops — all having a design-centered focus.  Very cool retail and restaurants, even a hotel, all tucked under the constant roar of the off/on ramps to the Big Bridge. It’s a destination place, so don’t do what I did and try to walk there from Barrio Alto on a 98 degree day!  The

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A SWANKY OLD SCHOOL OASIS HIGH ABOVE LISBON

[LISBON] — Coming back through Lisbon on the flipflop back to the airport, got to spend a night at the Lapa Palace, a fancy Old School hotel in the Lapa District, the Embassy quarter high above Lisbon. Best part about the hotel is the expansive grounds and pool stepped below the rooms overlooking the city.  It is movie-quality, like a CIA meet up place or where they’d film an Embassy party in a spy film.  Very cool. And great to come back for a dip after traipsing all over the hills of Lisbon. They were very friendly, even though I had to jostle rooms so I could stay an extra night on the cool coast.  But still, they upgraded me to a suite for some

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A perfect hotel in the heart of Lisbon’s Barrio Alto

    [LISBON, PORTUGAL) — The Hotel Barrio Alto is one of the most perfect hotels I’ve stayed in. A small hotel right of the main Praca Luis de Carnões square near Chiado, it’s the ideal location to explore all the shops, restaurants and sites of winding streets of Barrio Alto. The decor is elegant and understated, with muted tones and colors, exquisitely detailed furniture and a color scheme that just makes you want to lay down and take a nap. The bathrooms are my new favorite, of any hotel I’ve staying in. Elegant simplicity at it’s finest. Every single person working there remembers your name instantly and goes out of their way to help you, even just getting out the door.  Super nice people. Definitely

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