The restaurant has the finest clams near Lisbon and a view of one of Europe's most beautiful beaches. The journey there has captivating views of Serra da Sintra and the coastline. Spend a day at the beach then slide into the restaurant for a late lunch of ameijoas de bulhao pato (clams in garlic sauce) and camaroes (prawns) washed down with vinho verde (Quinta da Aveleda). On your way home stop off for dinner on the coast road between Guincho and Cascais at either Porto da Santa Maria (where presidents and football managers dine) or the Faroleiro
Take the train from Cais do Sodre in Lisbon to Cascais, jump in a cab towards Guincho beach, a 2km sweep of fine white sand. Drive along the coast road, passing Sintra range on your right and the coastline on your left. Drive past Cabo da Roca and Pe da Serra towards Almocageme. This beautiful village will lead you towards Adraga road. Follow it to the end.
Google map: bit.ly/10fjL7j
Just over the river from Lisbon is the Setubal Peninsula. Take a full day there, and head to the Arrabida Natural Park area. It has one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, Portinho da Arrabida, where green hillsides drop dramatically down to white sandy beaches. As it is protected by the curve of the Sado estuary, the water is warmer and much calmer than the Atlantic coast, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. There are also plenty of activities - diving, sea-kayaking, walking - all in the middle of the natural beauty of the Park. Have some of the best seafood in Portugal by detouring for lunch in Setubal, where there are dozens of low key restaurants dotted around local squares, and finally visit the quaint village of Azeitao for a wine-tasting at the Jose Maria de Fonseca quinta, including the regional sweet wine, Muscatel.
Portinho da Arrabida - www.getportugal.com/en/poi-praia-do-portinho-da-arrabida-14032
Outdoor activities - www.vertentenatural.com/index_lang.php
Winetasting - www.jmf.pt
Portinho is a tiny village hugging a white sandy beach. There is a calm sheltered bay with turquoise waters- great for snorkelling. Behind Portinho rise steep limestone mountains, all part of the Arrábida nature reserve. Unspoilt, undeveloped and natural, the park is a wonderful area to explore- by car or on foot. Reminiscent of the scenery in Monaco, there are curving mountain roads, Mediterranean forest and views from on high over the bay. There are monasteries to visit as well as the village of Azeitão, with its vineyards and renowned wineries: José Maria da Fonseca and Bacalhôa. Great as a day trip from Lisbon, it takes about 45 minutes to get here, by car over the iconic 25 de Abril bridge. Otherwise, you could easily spend a week's holiday in Arrábida.
A couple of charming little B&Bs on the seafront in Portinho, great as a base for the area, and very reasonable, can be found here: www.hideawayportugal.com/modules/property/city-200.htm
Google map: bit.ly/ZURuD4
The Convento de Cristo in Tomar is probably one of the most spectacular places in Portugal. founded by the Knights Templar its a beautiful, mysterious and magical place. Just a wonderful place to discover and enjoy. Tomar is a bit of a trek from Lisbon and an overnight stay would be even better.
Just a short train ride from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre station is Cascais where sun lovers can enjoy the beach but for those seeking something more energetic pick up one of the free bikes for hire at the BiCas scheme located close to the station. You will need to show ID card or passport before heading off on the dedicated 16k cycle path out of town and down the coast. Perhaps purchase a picnic first, store it in the handy bike basket and stop off at Guincho beach, beloved of surfers. On the way back make a short and worthwhile detour to Museum Casa Historias das Paula Rego, Avenida de Republica 300, where entry is free. Here you will dazzled by the largest collection of paintings, drawings and etchings from the vivid imagination of Paula Rego, Portugal’s finest living artist.
These tasty custard treats can be found in one sole bakery at the edge of the city. The recipe is hundreds of years old and is a closely guarded secret. The bakery is open till late and is very popular among locals and tourists alike.
A day trip to Sintra is a must - don't forget to take a torch and visit the gardens at the Quinta de Regaleira.The first time I went I didn't take a torch and cut my nose on the wall of a cave much to my husband's amusement. It is a magical labyrinth of caves and tunnels that make you feel like you are in a fairytale grotto. If you have time you can climb the hill to the Pena Palace which is a fabulous, brightly coloured castle with extensive gardens to explore.
Less than an hour from the bustle of Lisbon, you can be in the rolling hills and vineyards of Estremadura, where some of Portugal's top wines are produced. Guided day tours of the vineyards are offered by Vitis-route: the guide owns a vineyard himself, and will take you to his favourite local villages and restaurants around Alenquer and the fishing village of Ericeira.
+351 912 002 847
This tiny, idyllic 16th century Franciscan Monastery in the Sintra Hills was built entirely from natural materials. It becomes part of the surroundings with boulders forming parts of the walls, and the small, sparse monks cells are designed so that it is impossible to lie down at full stretch. The only concession to comfort is the cork lining for some of the walls, hence its name. There are beautiful fountains and fascinating naturally sourced art works.
From Lisbon take the train to Sintra, and then catch the bus 'Turistico Monserrate and Capuchos'.
Estrada dos Capuchos, 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
+351 219 237 300
Google map: bit.ly/18b8x4p
A warm welcome after a marvelous walk in Lisbon! Cafe Pois is a very relaxing and friendly place, just what you want after a hot morning of walking around the historic Alfama district of Lisbon. The food is not the traditional Portuguese, it is salads with couscous, smoked salmon and hummus, these are just a few of the delights on offer. I will definitely return to this restaurant on my next visit to this charming area of Lisbon.
Some trams have machines which issue tickets (only coins accepted). Avoid these totally (advice from ticket inspectors). Pickpockets (carteiristas) working in pairs, target tourists doing so.
Lisbon trams (particularly long ones)
Only 40 minutes from Lisbon you reach Sesimbra, a fishing village.
The restaurant's service is very nice and the fish is so fresh. Try the "imperador"big fish.
I also recommend you to stay in accommodation "Casa da Terrina". You will not forget the nice hospitality and the great fresh breakfast.
Despite the bi-lingual menu and proximity to Lisbon's premier roundabout, this isn't tourist food - our fellow diners are ageing tango-partners and Benfica FC's faithful, fortifying themselves for the night to come. A poached egg floats on a raft of toast, in a broth teeming with scallions. Rupture it and watch the yolk form into little pebbles, bumping against globes of olive oil. Salt cod is muscular and tarry from the overhead grill, the vegetables glinting in garlic butter. As a 'Padaria' or bakery by day, dessert can be chosen from the luminous cases of pastries and sponges around the bar.
244 Avenida de Liberdade, Lisbon
Metro Station: Marques de Pombal
Google map: bit.ly/Lcl3Fj
Vegan-friendly, organic, international, Portugese, gourmet, salad bar, buffet, juice bar, beer/wine, take-out. Terra, meaning "earth", serves vegetarian meals made from mostly organic ingredients with many vegan options. The kitchen relies on the riches of ethnic vegetarian cuisine of the East as well as flavours of Portuguese and Mediterranean traditions. Specialties are presented in a buffet consisting of dishes like sushi, curry, veggie kebabs, and shoarma by way of salads and vegetarian versions of traditional Portuguese. Natural juices, bio soft drinks, beer, Mevushal and non-Mevushal kosher wine, and desserts. Set in a charming old building with a private garden, eat inside the cozy restaurant or al fresco in the shadow of century old trees, sometimes with live music. English spoken. Also a shop selling fair trade artifacts, bio snacks, incense, handcrafted soaps.
The warren of tiny streets in Alfama come to life after dark, covered with lanterns and streamers, makeshift restaurants spring up on every corner serving the local specialty – grilled sardines. There is a wonderful friendly atmosphere and the air is filled with live music and fragrant smoke. The freshly grilled sardines, served simply with bread and salad are delicious. Then wash them down with sangria or a beer, get lost in the crowd and dance the night away.
We spent Easter this year in Lisbon which is full of fabulous places to eat, but the best by a mile was our 'splash out' meal at Olivier Restaurant. By Lisbon standards it's pricy, but compared to a similar meal in London it's an absolute bargain when compared to other 'celeb chef' places. I had the most tender melt in your mouth buttered fish and my plus one had a perfectly cooked steak with champagne, decent wine and finishing off with the best crepes suzette ever. Go treat yourself if you're in Lisbon!
Feira da Ladra, also known as the Thieves Market, is a large open-air market in central Lisbon that is full to the brim with treasures and knick-knacks. Equally good for picking up souvenirs, antiques, furniture, crockery or just window shopping, the market has a great atmosphere and stalls for as far as the eye can see. It has a great location and it's a great way to spend a few hours wondering around marvelling at the things you find!
Campo de Santa Clara, Lisbon. 5 minutes walk from Santa Apolonia metro station and an even shorter walk from the tram 28 stop at Sao Vicente de Fora.
Google map: bit.ly/ADfeiE
An enterprise that turned the underground, the arcades and what nots of the vintage bull fight arena, into a self called leisure center. The indoor venue was already known for rock shows. Also a place for some quality time, on weekends. People riding on top of sightseeing bus will always hold their cameras up.
The eastern, Indian, moorish, whatever. Since the fascist tests on Tibet, it can all be, in a nut shell, trendy. So everybody can be inspired by the lifestyle, whether in the shopping center or in the museum, near Lisbon's founding castle outskirts and gothic monastery surroundings.
A lovely, relaxed restaurant in a former convent fuses incredible food with a warm atmosphere. Very romantic, reasonably priced and inventive; you're presented with an assortment of incredible starters for 12 euros - don't be scared.
Some of the best food we've eaten abroad, well worth the effort to find it, even if it took our cabbie four stops to ask for help!
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