Road trip from a Portuguese palace to a surfers’ paradise

Road trip from a Portuguese palace to a surfers’ paradise

LIFESTYLE

Heritage sites, sunshine, wonderful food and great surfing – for many people it’s the dream holiday. So climb aboard our ŠKODA KODIAQ and join Ambre and Aljaz, who will take you on a tour of Portugal and Spain in our new series.

21. 2. 2022

Putting your worries behind you, chucking a few things in the car boot and going on an adventure – it’s something we all need to do from time to time. Surfer and yoga teacher Ambre and photographer and filmmaker Aljaz know all about this kind of travelling. They spend most of the year on the move, and this time they loaded up a ŠKODA KODIAQ and drove it over the Pyrenees. Check out their first video, which focuses on Portugal, its beauty spots and monuments and everything else the country has to offer.

Our first stop is the breathtaking Monserrate Palace, nestling in the gardens of the same name near the famous city of Sintra. In 1858 Sir Francis Cook, Viscount of Monserrate, had the palace built and made it his summer residence. The architect James Knowles sited the building on the ruins of a neo-Gothic castle on land belonging to the Order of Monserrate. The Romantic palace was praised, among others, by Lord Byron in his poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, and was also the home of the English writer William Beckford. Since 1949 the palace has been in the property of the state and in 1995 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with the whole area around Sintra, as a site of enormous historical value.

Ambre and Aljaz in the romantic Monserrate Palace

ŠKODA KODIAQ

The Czech carmaker’s second SUV and its biggest, the ŠKODA KODIAQ, which was modernised last year, offers loads of space for up to seven occupants, a lot of on-board equipment and a whole series of clever driver assistance systems. Thanks to the increased ground clearance and its all-wheel drive it has no trouble dealing with rough coastal terrain when you want to catch your dream wave.

Cabo Da Roca, the westernmost point in continental Europe treated our guides to spectacular views. The cape, which was known to the ancient Romans, lies about forty kilometres west of Lisbon and eighteen kilometres from the Serra de Sintra natural park. Beside the lighthouse, on a cliff some 140 metres above the Atlantic there is a monument carved with the geographical coordinates of the place “where the land ends and the sea begins”, as the poet Luís de Camões put it.

Sunset over Cabo Da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe

The third stop is the little town of Ericeira on the ocean coast about fifty kilometres north of the Portuguese capital. Narrow cobbled streets, typical houses, shops of all kinds, the mouth-watering smell of grilled seafood and old men sipping their cafezinho. Everywhere is infused with a long tradition of ocean fishing. It’s no coincidence that this is a renowned surfing location – in fact, it’s not wrong to call it the European surf capital. With around forty beaches, countless rental shops where you’re sure to find the right board, fine sand and plenty of space to catch your wave, this is the ideal surf spot.

The little town of Ericeira has a long fishing tradition but is now the European surf capital.

Ambre

“My name is Ambre-Victoire and I’m a surfer and passionate traveller. I’ve always loved discovering new places. What can be nicer than the open road ahead of you and beautiful views all around? There’s no doubt that travel broadens your horizons and creates bonds with the people you meet on your travels. I like stepping out of my comfort zone, and that’s exactly what I get from travel. It’s so easy – just take one more step and it will happen. You just need to keep your eyes open and take in the beauty that’s all around us.”

ONA

With its massive fortifications, large stone castle and historic centre where time seems to stand still, the well-preserved medieval town of Obidos grabs you and doesn’t let you go. The town’s name actually means fortification, as it comes from the Latin oppidum. The place is a favourite destination for newlyweds. In 1282 King Dinis I of Portugal gave it to his newlywed wife Isabella as a wedding gift, and the tradition was continued by local rulers until the 19th century. Like the area around Sintra, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Throughout the year you can experience a series of festivals, there are medieval markets with jousting, you can visit opera performances or let your imagination run wild at the Folio International Literary Festival.

The well-preserved medieval town of Obidos, a popular destination for newlyweds and art lovers.

Aljaz

“I’m a photographer and I love travelling. I like driving and simply going with the flow. And from time to time I’ll take a detour. It’s worth it just to dive in have an unforgettable experience. Get out of your day-to-day routine for a while and spend time with people you love. Travel teaches us new things and lets us experience moments of happiness. So what are you waiting for? Start your car and hit the road!”

ON

Our duo ends the first stage of their trip to the Iberian peninsula with one world record. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it was at the surfing paradise of Nazaré that the highest ever wave was surfed: it was almost 25 metres high. A hundred-metre-high cliff towers above the town, where you’ll find the ancient Sitio district with its baroque church, original cottages and unbeatable sea views. Today, surfers flock to Nazaré, but they are not the only ones – the place is famous for the legend of the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary, which makes it a popular destination for Catholic pilgrims.

Nazaré - a surfers’ paradise, with the little town perched atop a hundred-metre cliff over the sea

And where will Ambre and Aljaz go next? The ŠKODA OCTAVIA iV will take them to the famous city of Porto and to the schist villages and vineyards of the Douro Valley.

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