Salema is a village tucked away on Portugal's south-western tip. It is a wonderful beach town with a sandy and gently-sloping beach that sits between golden cliffs, and is ideal for families with children. On the beach it's easy to find the perfect location, near the cliffs, or in the shade, to spread your towel and settle in for a day of lounging.
But what truly makes this village a wonderful beach town is the open-hearted approach of the friendly, kind Portuguese people.
Catch a bus to Salema from Lagos.
The city of Luxembourg is served by an efficient network of buses. The main centre of the capital city is very compact and eminently walkable, in spite of the cliffs and ramparts which so characterise the old fortress city. There is no underground or tramway service. A ride on a City bus will set you back a flat fare of €1.50. This "billet courte-distance" (i.e. short distance ticket) is valid for one hour (or 10 km) from purchase on the whole of Luxembourg's public transport network, and also allows transits between city and country buses and trains. Readers might like to know that a block of 10 such tickets can be purchased in advance for the cost of €10.
www.autobus.lu (French language site)
tel: 352 4796 2975.
The hostel is very clean and modern. It is really large for a hostel and well organised but the feel isn't as personal as it can be in some smaller hostels. The staff were very friendly, and not at all intrusive.
Also called "the most beautiful balcony of Europe". It has superb views of the Alzette Valley and the hills around the city.
It runs along the Alzette Valley on the ramparts - from the Bock Promontory up to the lower part of the Holy Ghost Citadel
This is the unofficial heart of the pedestrian zone, surrounded by lots of restaurants and street cafés. It is the place where everybody meets, especially in summer. The bandstand has concerts every summer evening by visiting bands. Every second and fourth Saturday, a brocante (antiques/flea) market fills the square.
Place d'Armes is in the centre of Luxembourg City, between Neuve Rue Phillipe & Rue de Cure;
You won't find much seclusion on this coast, but if you want easy access to restaurants, cafes and public transportation, join the crowds at the vast beaches of Caparica. They are popular and lively in the summer, even at night, when most bars stay open until late with music and dancing.
Buses depart from Lisbon's Praça de Espanha bus terminal to Caparica town, which is a five minute walk from the beach.
This vast neoclassical monument has a huge dome and a façade with twin bell towers decorated with an array of statues of saints and allegorical figures. The spacious marble interior contains an elaborate tomb of Queen Maria I, and a life-size Christmas manger composed of more than 500 figures. Free entry.
Praça da Estrela (tram 28 stops right outside);
Open daily 7:30am-1pm, 3pm-8pm
The construction of the Cathedral took from the 16th to the 18th century. It was built over the former Central Mosque and shows a mix of gothic, renaissance and baroque motifs. It is also the centre point to begin a walk around the town to discover its secrets.
Plaza Pasiegas, just off the Gran Via de Colon.
Ericeira is a fishing village 50km northeast of Lisbon. It has the most beautiful beach, which is not as busy than those of cliched Estoril or Cascais. The hospitality of its people, the harmony of the old village with its narrow cobblestone streets, the characteristic housing, the sea, the fishing, the cuisine and the bold Atlantic views all interlace here in a grand way to welcome its visitors.
Buses run from Lisbon's Campo Grande terminal. Journey time: 1 hr 30 mins;
Quelez Palace was the summer palace of Portugal's royal families and dates from the 18 century. It is a splendid example of rococo architecture and has a magnificent interior.
Lg. do Palácio Nacional, on the western outskirts of Lisbon in the Amadora district. It is a 5 minute walk from the Amadora Este metro station (the terminus of the blue line). Closed Tuesdays.
This is an impressive monument dedicated to the many explorers who set off from the Torre de Belem to expand Portugal's empire in the Americas.
Praca da Boa Esperanca, Av. de Brasilia;
tel: 21 301 6228;
Tram 15 stops in front on the Torre de Belem which is a 5 minute walk away from the monument itself.
This octagonal tower is both the national landmark of Lisbon and a World Heritage Site. Inside the tower there is a small expedition about its history as a setting off point for voyages of discovery to the Americas, and you can climb up the top for views of the Tejo river.
Avenida da India;
Tram 15 stops right in front of the tower but you have to cross the busy main road via a footbridge.
This medieval castle built by St George to defend the city from invading Moors has endless views of Lisbon. It gives a great perspective of the city's gridiron layout and location of the great sights. Beware of slippery stones when it's wet though.
Largo do Chao da Feira, n the centre of the Alfama district. It's clearly signposted from the Praca de Comercio and the Baixa district (n.b: the metro doesn't cover the Alfama district);
tel: 21 887 7244
Get lost in the Alfama district. It is the real Lisbon, as it is the only district not to have been flattened by the great earthquake of 1850. The maze of confusing cobbled streets leading to the Castelo de São Jorge contain houses showing examples of azulejo tiling. Look out for the viewpoint with a beautiful mosiac of the city and a pond, looking out over the Tejo river and Ponte 25 de Abril.
A 5 minute walk to the east of the Praca de Comercio. The metro doesn't cover the Alfama area, but it's better to walk anyway.
Check out the pedestrianised streets of the Baixa district which is the comercial core of Lisbon. All the great fashion chain stores are here, and a wealth of cafes and restaurants. It comes alive at night as people meet to dine or go clubbing.
North of Praca de Comercio;
Nearest metro: Rossio or Restauradores
This is one of the most lively squares of Lisbon, and one of the most beautiful in my opinion. In the middle stands the statue of Dom Pedro IV and on each side there is a beautiful fountain. The D. Maria II National Theatre is situated at the northern side of the square next to the glorious Triumphal Arch. If you want to rest and have a bica (coffee), then choose one of the many cafés or pasteleria's situated on each side of the square.
At the southern end of Avenida da Liberdade, on the southern bank of the Tajo river.
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