Discover Margaret River region – Western Australia

My recent Western Australia trip wouldn’t have been complete without visiting the famous Margaret River region. 
The small town of Margaret River is aprox 3 hours south from Perth and although I expected a proper river, Margaret is just a regular creek. However, there was no place for disappointment because the town has so much to offer and it’s very welcoming. Cute boutiques, restaurants with personality and great live music all around, Margaret River has been my  temporary home for two days and I loved it. 
Of course, there’s no person who’d go there and not visit the wineries.

The region is one of Australia’s best wine producer with plenty of small, family owned but also world famous wineries.

I’m not a wine expert whatsoever, but as a regular consumer and on behalf of fellow travelers that joined the same wine tasting tour, I say that the regions best product is certainly the Chardonnay. Delicious taste of wine, but also the food has been remarkable, making the day a succes and the tour full of joy and laughter. 


It’s certainly wine lovers paradise here, but if you’ve got sweet tooth you’ll be happy too. The chocolate factory welcomes you with several different types of chocolate and you can taste as many as you like and you are in the right location also for the best nougat I’ve ever eaten. 


After so much and wine and sweets, if there’s still space in the stomach, you shouldn’t miss out on the cheese tasting either, you’ll be amazed by the selection on offer.
Our tour ended at the distillery, where  we’ve been spoiled with a signature liquor offered by the sarcastic, yet friendly bartender.


Amazing atmosphere at all wineries, very friendly and generous wine makers with interesting stories to share, a wine tasting tour is the ultimate must do.
Although the Margaret River wineries may be the most popular in the area, it does worth checking out more.

Dunsborough

Greeted by the colorful double rainbow, I liked this cute town as soon as I got there. The rain stopped soon and I was excited to go on a discovery walk and try to stay away from wine at least for a day. The latter didn’t quite work out because they serve everywhere the tasty Chardonnays that I couldn’t say no to. On the other hand, I was more than pleased with the walk. Discovered a long stretch of walking path right next to the sea and on my way I met a few rabbits hopping around and some smiley locals that walked their dogs. It looked like everybody had a dog there, very dog friendly place. 


I didn’t expect to end up staying a few days in Dunsborough, considering it’s small size, but then it felt so good being there that I didn’t bother hitting the road, just until the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

From the lighthouse the view is amazing, but I recommend doing a bit of bushwalk to properly explore the Leeuwin – Naturaliste National Park. 
The main attractions around are Sugarloaf Rock and Canal Rocks, both impressive and interesting. 

Busselton

A few minutes drive from Dunsborough is another small, but fascinating town, Busselton, home of the famous Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the world. 


At the end of the nearly 2 km long jetty is one of only 6 in the world underwater observatories. The $34 entry fee that includes the optional train ride to and from the observatory, aprox 30 min tour and another 30 min free time in the observatory, is money well spent. You’ll experience looking at the marine life in their natural habitat without even getting wet. 

Before this trip when I heard Margaret River I just thought about wine and that’s it. Little did I know about the natural richness of the area, but now that I’ve got a glimpse of it, I feel that I must return and dig for more.

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Porto – Portugal

Arriving to the second biggest city of Portugal was from the first moment a positive experience. I was welcomed by a very generous sunshine and an even more impressive Portuguese hospitality, together with honest smiles and kind words of the locals I met on the bus from the airport to the city center. Though English is only briefly or not at all spoken by the big majority, I found it extremely easy to get around using some Spanish and a lot of sign language. In Porto wine is impossible to avoid, not that I would want to do that, and once tried it’s hard to stop drinking it. A huge variety of local and regional wines are served for as less as 2 euros per glass. No wonder that in the company of my girls on the riverside we made unforgettable memories from the very first evening already.

  
Though it’s the second half of October, while the rest of Europe prepares the winter gear, Portugal still enjoys a short taste of summer: 14 degrees at 10 pm. The view is fabulous, wine is divine, food is great for those who are not too picky?!

   
 
Speaking of food…well…Franzesinha, or Franciska – as I liked to call it, look like this:

  
and tastes like… hmm… cheesy ! It’s an absolute local dish, luckily comes with some fries – in this way I didn’t leave the restaurant as hungry. However, for who likes a toast with meat covered with a lot of cheese, might be tasty. For me: no thanks ! On the other hand, batata de carne – potato with meat- serve me, please, warm is the best! 

  
Yes, it’s 1 euro, nothing fancy but simply delicious and good before and after a wine tasting event. Wine had an important role in my two days Porto adventure and I still think about it with pleasure. Quevedo Port Wine tasting event is just one of the many going on every day in the romantic city of Porto.

   
 
Wine is not the only delicatese you bump into though. We managed to find things that I didn’t except. Fancy some cannabis chocolate?

  
Or your love life needs some inspiration? 

  
I definitely declare this shop my favorite in Porto! 

  
I was distracted several times by the great wine and the variety of chocolates, but a visit at the local market brought me back to reality, thanks to the big bunch of garlic.

  
Porto has the positive vibe, the romantic atmosphere, a convenient climate, over decorated churches and very pretty sights.

   
    
    
  
It’s the city where all you need to do is just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! Even cats do that…