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Algarve, Portugal Diary / Day 3

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As our days got closer to the end, we were excited to do the last activity of the our trip thanks to our lovely host, Conrad Algarve. They had planned an early boat trip with the executive chef, Andrew, from the hotel’s restaurant, Louro, so we can go clam picking! This was exciting for me as I’d never done anything like it. Typically, I’m a little skeptical when it comes down to doing things like that, but for some reason I was really looking forward to doing this activity!

The morning started off a little gloomy with some light rain, but it didn’t stop us from heading to our destination! Once we arrived, we put on our gear and grabbed our buckets and shovels. The local fisherman that we brought along taught us a little bit of how the process they go through is and showed us first how to go about looking for clams, razor clams and oysters. When it was finally time for us to give it a try, I was a little weirded out but went ahead and tried anyway… it was probably one of the coolest things I’ve done in while. It’s very time consuming so it made me appreciate seafood a lot more. It was fun to experience something new for me in a new country with new people!

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel with our buckets of clams, oysters and razor clams and rested for a couple of hours before heading to a cooking class with the chefs of the Louro restaurant. They gave us a tour of the back kitchen and how the kitchen runs; very cool stuff. It was great to really see it personally because I wanted to grow up to be a chef, now that I saw how it really goes down, I don’t think it would have been good fit for me! Whew! Anyway, we finally got into the cooking part and before you knew it, we had a whole 5-star dish right before our eyes! The experience of doing the clam picking ourselves to later cook it for dinner was definitely a first one that I won’t ever forget.

The rest of the day was pretty mellow as we were free to do whatever, so we laid out by the pool, took a quick drive around the town, did a little shopping and hung out at the hotel. We were sad to close out our trip in Algarve but were super thankful to have had the experience to enjoy the beautiful 5-star Conrad hotel, the village, inland, beach, and the many activities they had planned for us. The people of Algarve/Portugal were the most nicest and welcoming people we’ve met overseas; it was a breath of fresh air. It is a region full of blooming opportunities with so much to offer that I’m definitely looking forward to visiting again, only this time during the summer!

Big special thank you to everyone that made this trip possible; HL Group and Conrad Algarve. It was the sweetest trip! Thank you Ricardo for being the most welcoming host; you were awesome. Antonio, you were so fun and we loved your energy! Andrew and the whole kitchen, thank you for allowing us to come into  your space and showing us around, we loved every minute of it. Everyone else, thank you thank you thank you. This trip was perfect!

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Algarve, Portugal Diary / Day 2

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Day 2 completed! We started off our trip here in Algarve, Portugal rather thrilling the first day with our lovely host, Conrad Algarve hotel, setting up a fun safari tour the first day. For our second day, they planned a couple of other exciting things: golfing lessons and a wine tasting class. We had a lot of free time on day 2 to take advantage of the luxurious hotel, spa, pools and town after our activities which we loved.

I love sports; I’m a big fan of all kinds of sports, but my heart truly belongs to basketball, if I had to pick one. However, I’m always willing to try new things and was excited to finally try golf. I’ve never played golf or even bothered to watch it, but once I learned that golf in Portugal is huge, they have some of the world’s greatest golf courses and Algarve alone has over 30 golfing courses…that’s quite impressive, I knew that I had to try it out for myself! Conrad Algarve were sweet enough to treat us to some golfing lessons. After about an hour, I felt like a pro. I really did enjoy playing golf, although quite frankly, I still don’t know if I understand the sport, so confusing, I did like swinging the golf stick!

After a couple of hours at playing golf, we headed back to the hotel to rest, eat and work a little.. we then had a wine tasting class at 2pm at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Gusto by Heinz beck, where our charming sommelier, Antonio, taught us everything from the kind of grapes they use in wines, the different regions in Portugal where they make wine, the smell, taste, different types of glasses, etc. Definitely a fun experience!

As day 2 wrapped up with a fine dinner at Gusto, we got ready for day 3 which includes, clam picking and a cooking class! Stay tuned for Diary of Day 3. Follow @Conradhotels + @ConradAlgarve and myself for live photos of my day! #conrad555

 

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travel

Algarve, Portugal Diary / Day 1

 

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Olá from beautiful Portugal!  I’m currently located in the Algarve region (excuse me if I said it was a city in my last post!) and we just completed Day 1 of our stay in this gorgeous little getaway yesterday. We were super excited when Conrad Algarve Hotels & Resorts invited us to stay and experience their 5-star luxury hotel as well as explore all that Algarve has to offer! We couldn’t pass up on this unique trip so we gladly accepted.

They’ve been so sweet to host us and offer us an experience to remember, not only with the hotel itself, but with Algarve. Ricardo, our lovely hotel contact, has been beyond welcoming and really sweet in helping plan our itinerary. The itinerary they’ve planned for each day that we are here is definitely thrilling! The first day was packed with fun activities starting with a savory buffet breakfast followed by a safari tour of the Algarve inlands! We rode through the hills and valleys with a super cool Land Rover- it was a bumpy road but that was definitely the fun part. We stopped every time our tour guides, Marco and Monika, wanted to share something about what they saw on the fields: plants like thyme, rosemary, mint or fruits like medronho (wild strawberries) or oranges as well as carob- a powder extracted from a carob bean to substitute chocolate- and how they are useful. We learned that cork is a key material that is produced in Portugal and distributed worldwide; we saw some trees that were extracted from their cork and would be marked by the year they were extracted. It was very interesting to hear, see and learn!

We then visited a little store in Quinta do Freixo to learn about jam’s and fig firewater. We sampled some jams; my favorites were definitely the orange and strawberry jams! So yummy. We drove off to visit the near by village; Alte. It was definitely the most prettiest little village I’ve seen with pebbled roads, all white houses and narrow streets. After a few minutes of walking around the village we were then guided to head to Fonte Grande in Alte where a picnic was arranged for us by our lovely host, Conrad Algarve. A picnic setting with a table full of delicious looking plates awaited us. Food, wine, dessert, I mean, they really went all out for us. I thought it was the perfect detail to an already amazing day! To wrap things up, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a few mins while they arranged car service to pick us up so we can check out the beach as the sunset was about to go down. We raced down and caught the most breathtaking sunset full of pastel colored shades. Definitely couldn’t have asked for a better first day! Looking forward to checking out the rest of Algarve as well as doing the rest of our activities which include: golfing lessons, wine class, and clam picking with cooking lessons! Fun!

Below are some of my favorite photos captured of Day 1 in Algarve with Conrad Algarve! Make sure to follow along my trip by checking out our hashtag for the trip: #conrad555

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