Lisbon captivates visitors with her cosmopolitan flair, exquisite architecture and natural beauty. Sprawling over seven hills along the banks of the Tagus river, the capital itself offers an abundance of historical attractions, fantastic shopping and great nightlife – a unique synthesis of old and new.
To the west of the city, enchanting Sintra is one of Lisbon’s truly unmissable sights – a lush, mountainous landscape of verdant forests crowned with castles, palaces and grand mansions. The bewitching atmosphere, cool mountain air and beautiful scenery extend to the coast, offering spectacular views across the beaches and cliffs of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park – the westernmost point of the European continent. Nearby Praia de Guincho attracts professional surfers and windsurfers from around the world.
Sunny Cascais is a chic seaside resort renowned for its history as a summer retreat for Portuguese nobility in the 19th century. This lively town boasts a number of sandy beaches and excellent restaurants. Heading south across the Tagus river, Costa da Caparica and Setúbal are also worth a visit for their natural splendour.
Places to see in the greater Lisbon area include the extraordinary Mosteiro da Batalha in Leiria, one of the most impressive examples of Gothic architecture in the country. Travel along the coast to discover the stunning walled town of Óbidos and Caldas da Rainha, famous for its ceramics. Plenty of fantastic golf courses can also be found in this region.
Seafood is widely available around the coast, while grilled sardines, bacalhau (salted cold) and cozido à portuguesa (Portuguese stew) are typical local favourites. Excellent wines are always on the menu and those with a sweet tooth can indulge in wonderful handmade pastries including the delectable pastéis de nata.