DAY 23: Lisbon, Portugal

If you’ve been following this journey, Portugal was our first stop three weeks ago! (see Day 1). Today’s wine is again from Portugal – from the Lisboa region, located west and north of the city of Lisbon. The region is a friendly area with great food, wine and weather making it a popular destination for European travelers.

Drenched in sunshine, history, and old-world charm, Portugal’s capital, “The City of Seven Hills”, can be discovered via electric bike or walking tours, taking in its sweeping and charming views from on of its hilltops, and visiting architectural highlights and historical neighborhoods. 

There is a good variety of activities to keep you busy – from exploring the Fado clubs, to taking in the views from atop one of several lookout points, to treasure hunting at the historic Feira da Ladra flea market. Or take a romantic sunset cruise on the Tagus River, or experience a beloved musical tradition of dinner and a local fado show.  Uniquely Portuguese, Fado is folk music played on acoustic Portuguese guitar to accompany expressive, melancholic singing often performed in pubs, cafés, and restaurants.

Near Lisbon you can reach the western most point of continental Europe, Cabo da Roca, or enjoy the beaches and old town of Cascais via a 45 minute train ride. Lisbon’s central location provides easy access to Northern Portugal’s Douro Valley and Porto, or to the seaside resorts of the Algarve.

Popular day trips from Lisbon include wine tours in the surrounding countryside, as well as to the historical village of Sintra, a UNESCO site, where a picturesque castle is perched in the magical landscapes reminiscent of a fairy tale.

Photos courtesy of Lisbon Tourism and Viator

Vacation options for enchanting Portugal are plentiful. Whether you prefer your vacations catered or independent, by bike, car and/or train, the ease of an ocean or river cruise or in a comfortable villa, the beauty and charm of this laid-back Mediterranean world will reveal why it is one of Europe’s best kept secrets. While Portugal is a year round destination, the best time to visit Lisbon is March to May or September to October. The weather is still warm, but the city and surrounding areas will be less crowded

Plan your Portugal vacation for a minimum of seven days to ensure you can immerse yourself in the most popular locales’ culture, customs, and traditions. More time would allow you to venture further to experience less touristy areas or stay longer in an area to scratch beneath the surface. Part of the southern Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is ideally positioned to be part of a multi-country vacation with nearby Spain and/or Morocco for a vacation of a lifetime!

WHEN TO GO: Year round destination, but March-May, September/October are best; Allow at least 7 days

POPULAR TRAVEL STYLES: River Cruises, Small Private Groups, Independent Travel, Regional Vacation

IDEAL FOR: Culinary/Wine, Golfing, Biking/Hiking Vacation, Romantic Travel, History, Active Travel, Family & MultiGenerational

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Published by Cheryl Walton

Travel changes your perspective while creating special memories along the way. My goal is to always help create the vacation experience you imagine - whether it's bucket list travel, a celebration or a special interest vacation - history, WWII, heritage, wine, beer, culinary, language, art, and genealogy (just a few of my favorites). My first trip abroad was to southern Belgium as part of a town twinning program to help keep French culture alive in Louisiana. My host family provided an inside view of their country, lifestyle and culture, creating a friendship now 30+ years strong through 4 generations! That trip definitely impacted my style of travel - getting off the beaten path and engaging with locals - as well as a later career change to travel advisor. I strive to provide similar experiences tailored to your interests and comfort level.

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