The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

The Vintage House Review: A Luxury Escape In The Heart of the Douro Valley, Portugal

This post was last updated on September 26th, 2017The Douro Valley immediately shot to the top of our travel bucket list the moment we decided to celebrate our six-year anniversary in Portugal. Luckily, this spectacular wine region did not disappoint.     From the rolling green hills to the rushing Douro River to the lush vineyards and olive groves, the Douro Valley is easily one of the most romantic places we’ve visited. Top it all off with spectacular wines from family-run wineries and mouthwatering local cuisine, and it’s hardly any wonder why we’re already dreaming of a return visit. For such a magical destination, it only makes sense to splurge on a memorable and luxurious hotel to match. And in the Douro Valley, there is simply no comparison to The Vintage House.   The Vintage House: A Luxury Hotel In The Douro Valley, Portugal     The Vintage House is a five-star boutique hotel just steps from the famed Pinhao Train Station. Located in what was once an 18th-century wine estate, The Vintage House is all elegance and style. From luxury bedding to sophisticated furnishings, you’ll find all the amenities you would expect from a five-star hotel. The true highlights of the rooms are the private terraces, each with unparalleled views of the Douro River. There’s nothing quite like sipping a cup of coffee in between wine tastings on your personal terrace while soaking in the outstanding views of the Douro Valley all around.     The Vintage House also boasts a lovely pool with panoramic river views, which looks particularly scenic when lit up at night. We didn’t...
Exploring Portugal’s Mesmerizing Minho Region

Exploring Portugal’s Mesmerizing Minho Region

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017   Many travelers to Portugal only make it as far north as the lovely—but increasingly touristy—city of Porto. However, continue a bit farther, and you’ll arrive at Portugal’s mesmerizing Minho region. This often overlooked destination is characterized by lush mountains, rolling vineyards, charming towns and sweeping beaches.     Though our stay in the Minho was short, the spots we did visit were some of our favorite on our entire road trip. In fact, we added one city to our ongoing “I could live here list.” Whether you’re planning a similar road trip through Portugal or you’re just looking for a semi off-the-beaten-track spot for your next European adventure, here are a few things to love about the often overlooked Minho region:   Highlights of The Minho, Portugal From the birthplace of Portugal to the home of Vinho Verde to some of the country’s most verdant landscapes, the Minho region offers a little something for everyone. Here’s a look at our top picks: Guimarães     Considered the birthplace of Portugal, it was here that revered King D Alfonso Henriques was born and later declared Portugal’s independence. Visit the medieval Castle of Guimarães to see Alfonso’s birthplace, also the site of many key battles in Portugal’s early history.     While you’re there, you won’t want to miss the Historic Center of Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage Site revered for its beauty and preservation. We recommend grabbing lunch amongst the gothic buildings in the lovely Largo da Oliveira, then taking the time to amble through the many winding alleyways.  ...
The Highlights of Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Highlights of Dubrovnik, Croatia

This post was last updated on September 5th, 2017If you’re planning a visit to Croatia, then chances are Dubrovnik has a spot on your travel itinerary. Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Dubrovnik offers stunning views, picture-perfect beaches, fascinating medieval architecture and plenty of adventure activities. Dubrovnik is also home to many locations used to film Game of Thrones, attracting quite a few travelers whose sole purpose of visiting is to see the real-life settings behind the hit T.V. show. Given its fame, beauty and UNESCO World Heritage status, it’s hardly a surprise that Dubrovnik also gets tons of tourists, especially within the Old Town. To be honest, knowing very little about Croatia prior to our road trip, I was shocked by just how touristy the city felt. Dubrovnik is still well worth the visit, but try to avoid peak season and know you’ll likely be sharing the views with many other tour groups.     The Start To Our Croatia Road Trip   After picking up the rental car in Split, Dubrovnik was the first destination on our road trip itinerary. The drive from Split to Dubrovnik is gorgeous, much of it hugging the coastline. Keep your passport handy, because you’ll even get to pass through Bosnia for a few miles!       Our rental car was courtesy of Nova Rent A Car, and we could not have been happier. The car was brand new and super easy to drive throughout Croatia and Slovenia. If you’re visiting these two countries, you really want to have your own wheels. The most...
Highlights From Our Spectacular Portugal Road Trip

Highlights From Our Spectacular Portugal Road Trip

This post was last updated on July 11th, 2017   We will never forget our honeymoon road trip across the USA, cruising around Costa Rica with the top down on our Jeep, winery hopping in Chianti region of France or gawking at the Fjords in Western Norway, having your own set of wheels adds a whole new sense of freedom while traveling. And Portugal was no exception.     While it is possible to reach some of the main cities by train, we much prefer the freedom of being able to go where you want, when you want, and there are plenty of spectacular destinations to explore throughout Portugal that would have been virtually impossible to get to without a car. We got a fun little hatchback from Booking Group which had more than enough umph to get us everywhere we needed to go. We’ll be diving into more depth about how to see and do the highlights in each of these locations yourself so stay tuned. We highly recommend turning your Portugal vacation into a road trip adventure. The most spectacular landsapes we saw were out of our car windows. Take a look below for more details! Highlights From Our Spectacular Portugal Road Trip   Lisbon   Unfortunately, due to a mix up of our airline carrier, we arrived in Lisbon 36 hours later than we had planned. This gave us only about 3 hours to explore the country’s biggest city. So we headed straight for the best of the best, Belem, to see the Monument Of Discoveries, the enormous Monastery of Jeronimos and the Belem Tower. But...
8 Things You Need To Know Before You Plan A Europe Road Trip

8 Things You Need To Know Before You Plan A Europe Road Trip

This post was last updated on June 1st, 2017   We’re gearing up for our next adventure – a road trip through Portugal! We’ll be heading from Lisbon through the Douro Valley up to Ponte de Lima, and we couldn’t be more excited. This will be the start of our six weeks in Europe, so be sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram for live updates along the way. ;) Road trips are one of our favorite ways to explore a destination. While it’s undeniably easy to get around much of Europe with public transportation, having four wheels offers another level of freedom and flexibility, while also making off-the-beaten-track gems much more accessible. Portugal marks our fourth Europe road trip. While of course we’re not experts on what it’s like to drive through every country on the continent, we have picked up some essential tips and tricks from our various (mis)adventures on the road.     Don’t be like us and end up with an expensive ticket in Italy or a potential fine in Finland. Before you jump behind the wheel, here are a few handy tips you’ll want to keep in mind for your Europe road trip:   8 Tips For An Epic Europe Road Trip   1. Find The Right Car     Obviously, the first step to a Europe road trip is finding the right vehicle! When renting a car, keep in mind that most Europeans drive manual. If you’re not comfortable with a manual, be prepared to pay a bit more for an automatic. For our last two road trips, we partnered with Economy...