Stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border, central Portugal is worlds away from the hotel-golf-beach scene of the Algarve, with lots to see from classical ruins to Manueline monasteries and hilltop towns. Here are some suggestions of what to see in central Portugal, easily toured from Lisbon.
You’ve climbed to the Mirador das Portas do Sol to admire the views of the brick-red roofs of Alfama, travelled the charming cobbled lanes of Lisbon on Tram 28 and eaten luscious custard pastries in Pastéis de Belém, but how about admiring this lovely city from above? Taking helicopter flights over Lisbon gives a brand-new perspective on the city and its surrounding countryside.
When my sister and I began planning our trip to Lisbon we knew we wanted to take a day trip to Sintra. We’re big fans of the “easy button” so we chose to take the Sintra and Cascais Day Trip from Lisbon. All we had to do was get to the conveniently located meeting place and our guide would take care of the rest of our day. So much easier than train timetables, taxis, waiting in line and hoping for audio guides!
Long before we left for Portugal, my sister was looking for day trips we could do from our base in Lisbon. When she saw the private day trip to Berlenga Grande Island, the largest of the Berlengas Archipelago, we put our plans in motion.
Tomás Eisele Meneses is a Viator private guide who conducts tours in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese. He has a degree in tourism information which included studies in the arts, culture, history, gastronomy and wines of Portugal, and he also loves surfing. Tomás grew up in Porto but now calls Lisbon home, and is enthusiastic about exposing visitors to Portuguese hospitality by taking them on tours in and around the city. He gave us some insights into the things he loves best about Lisbon.