I had visited previously in December and really enjoyed the visit, but this time I knew what I definitely wanted: a great bed and a good surf school.
Onto Tripadvisor and top of the list was Boho Cais do Sodre Guesthouse. With a score of 9.4 and only Excellent or Very Good it seemed like a good place to book. Not only that, in February 4 nights came to €113 in total!
Back onto Tripadvisor for a surf school and my search yielded Carcavelos Surf School. I made contact with them and Pedro whatsapped me each day with the surf lesson times.
This time I decided to mix the flights. While there is a Ryanair flight from Dublin at 6:45am, it's a lot of hassle especially if you're not already based in Dublin. I decided to go with Aer Lingus flying out as they had a 3pm flight. I flew home with Ryanair at 9.30am.
Like many European cities-transport on arrival at the airport is a dream. Follow the signs to the metro. They use a reusable card (50c for first one) and there is a huge supply of machines. Be the tourist and use the customer service desk, there always seemed to be one manned at each station!
I had to use two lines to get from the Airport to Cais do Sodré at the very bottom. This journey cost €1.40.
I'm a huge fan of google maps. Beforehand, when I had wifi, I opened up Google Maps, searched the route Lisbon Airport-Boho guesthouse. Then instead of car I selected train (see it along the top) and hey presto the metro routes, journey times, stations were all listed for me. I then took a screenshot of the route so I wouldn't have to worry about finding wifi.
I would recommend doing the same every time you travel. Practically every accommodation has a listing now on Google maps.
First of all, Pedro the host was very helpful, told me about the Time out Market, advised me on activities and then best of all, left me to it. Breakfast which was included was everything you could think of: cereal, breads, cheese, meats, yogurts, fruit, juice, cake! Guests are welcome to use the kitchen all day, including the tea/coffee/milk supplies.
There was a communal sitting room with satellite TV, magazines and books. The decor reflected the lovely atmosphere of the house: chilled out, hipster and definitely cool.
Carcavelos is just over 20 mins by train from Cais do Sodre station. Again this was a great bonus of staying in Boho guesthouse, within two minutes of leaving the train, you were in the shower.
The promenade is lined with restaurants and cafes and it's a real chill out place, especially at the weekend. While it might not be a hard core surf spot, it's ideal for a beginner/improver.
And all the rest...
A walking tour is always good to get the lie of the land, I took the 10am Lisbon Chill-Out Free Tour. I like these free tours as the customer pays the guide at the end whatever amount they believe they should be paid. I did a tour like this for the first time in Copenhagen and I find the guides work really hard and give great local info.
On my arrival at Boho, Pedro recommended Time Out Market. I ended up there nearly every night as most of the major restaurants have a kiosk with a number of dishes on offer. It's great with friends or as a solo traveler. Very informal and not as daunting as arriving into a restaurant alone.
On my last night, I was lucky to go to Povo restaurant on Pink St to hear some traditional Fado singing. This restaurant comes highly recommended because the songs are explained in English, the food is great and the singers were excellent.