As you can see by the driving times, Portugal is a small-ish country that can be driven across fairly easily. We hope this will encourage our guests to get out and explore! We know we are excited to!
The best way to handle the currency in this small town, is to use cash only. We ran into a number of issues with credit cards. Also, it is always easier to split a check at a restaurant if everyone has cash to contribute. Take cash out of an ATM once you arrive to utilize the most current exchange rate. There are ATMs located in the Lisbon Airport, at gas stations along the ride, in Ericeira, but I am not guaranteeing that there is an ATM in Gradil, which is where QSA is located.
The amount of cash you will need obviously depends on how many day trips you’ll be taking, and things like eating out and shopping, but we can help you estimate - just contact us!
Note: I forgot to mention this in the mailer booklet. Before you leave the US, BE SURE TO TELL YOUR BANK AND CREDIT CARDS where and when you are traveling. We ran into problems with our credit cards at first, and eventually even our debit cards stopped processing.
PHONES & WIFI
We recommend that you contact your carrier and add the International Phone, Data, and/or Text to your phone. When traveling in a group its nice to be able to coordinate via phone or text. Also, you will need a phone to call for a taxi if necessary. Data is only necessary is you need to be online when you’re away from the QSA or your hotel. All of the houses on the QSA and most hotels have complimentary WIFI. We do not think International Data is critical, but it is nice to have!
If you are renting a car, we recommend that you opt for the optional GPS. While the roads are very nice and the signage is perfectly adequate, we still managed to do a number of U-Turns and stopping to ask directions. GPS rental is about 24 euro/day.
Also, if you are renting a car ask about utilizing the V-Pass. This allows you to use the “no-stop lane” at the toll booths and pay all tolls at once when you return the car. There are many toll booths, so it was worth the 1.80euro/day charge for the device :)
We can tell you the price of gas per liter, but that probably won’t mean much to you! What may be more helpful, is how much money we spent in gas over our 4 day stay. We drove 3 hours to Porto and back, 1 hour to Lisbon and back, and all around the Mafra region for 2 days - we spent about 100 euros in gas.
Although taxis are available at the Lisbon Airport without prior arrangement, it would be best to pre-arrange a pick up since you may be charged a higher rate. To best ensure a good price, try to call these recommended services.
Taxis in the Mafra area are available only if called; there are no taxis driving around to catch.
The outlet type is “C” which looks like this. A simple adapter will work for most chargers with an integrated converter (such as the iPhone charger with the little white cube). However, a converter is necessary for other things like hair dryers and curling irons. The voltage is too high, and may ruin whatever is being plugged in. Let us know if you have questions and we can help you figure out what you need.
CLOTHING / ATTIRE
The region we will be in is a very casual and laid back environment. A sundress for a dinner out would be nice, but not necessary. The attire for the wedding is Summer Cocktail, but should include a light sweater for the evening as it usually cools off at night. Also, don’t forget your bathing suit!
GROCERY STORES & RESTAURANTS
This is something we don't know a lot about yet! We will locate a grocery store and pharmacy once we arrive. Each of the houses has a full kitchen and you are encouraged to cook only as much as you want. We will be organizing dinners most nights, but there may be a few lunches you will be on your own.
There are very few restaurants (if any) in and around Gradil. There are a number of options along the coast however, in the town Ericeira. We have been to a few and we can recommend some if you are interested.