Although it is the smallest region in Portugal (less than 6% of the entire national territory), the Lisbon region is the most densely populated and the most visited by international tourists.
Most visitors focus on the Lisbon district to visit the capital or a few neighboring cities on a day trip, but in reality the entire region is rich in cultural and scenic attractions.
Why not build your own original itinerary to discover the beauty of the Lisbon region? You can include in your vacation program a stay in historic cities, visits to princely palaces, exciting hikes in the mountains, relaxation on the beach, tasty seafood dinners, and breathtaking ocean views. Ready to go?
One of the most beautiful capitals in the world, a romantic town that evokes fairy-tale atmospheres, seaside resorts worthy of James Bond, natural parks rich in vegetation and a lonely lighthouse that marks the westernmost point of Europe: the Lisbon region is the ideal destination for a dream vacation!
Here are the places not to be missed.
Lisbon, Portugal’s most important city, hides a subtle charm that makes it very different from other European capitals.
A dazzling light, picturesque alleys to discover without haste, wonderful examples of Manueline art, panoramic terraces from which you can enjoy a superb view of the Tagus River, Gothic cathedrals and churches, a languid and melancholic atmosphere. Lisbon is all this and much more: lively, sensual, colorful, rich in history and art.
If you have the patience to admire it with due calm, you will discover its ancient and timeless charm, which has enchanted poets and travelers for centuries.
After the capital, Sintra is the second most visited city in the region of Lisbon. One of the most romantic cities in the world, celebrated by poets and writers, Sintra kidnaps the heart of all visitors with its fairytale atmosphere and its unique mix of elegance and kitsch.
Immersed in the territory of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, the town boasts a rich artistic and cultural heritage, perfectly integrated with the surrounding landscape. The most famous and most visited palace is the Palacio da Pena, a fairy-tale nineteenth-century castle with pastel-colored walls, perched on top of a vertiginous hill where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the ocean.
Easily accessible by train from Lisbon, Sintra is often the destination of a day trip, but we recommend that you stay at least one night. When the sun goes down and the tourist crowds are gone, Sintra becomes even more seductive and magical.
Cascais is a lovely seaside resort just 30 minutes from Lisbon, a summer refuge for the capital’s citizens on hot summer weekends. The city’s beaches are pretty sandy inlets that alternate between equipped and free areas.
A former fishing village, Cascais still maintains intact its maritime charm with an active port, a lively fish market and a small but interesting Museo do Mar.
Another attraction not to be missed in the old town of Cascais is the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, housed inside a bizarre palace sumptuously decorated with typical Portuguese tiles and Asian furnishings. The highlight of the museum is a rare depiction showing what the city of Lisbon looked like before the devastating earthquake in the 18th century.
Not far from Cascais is Praia do Quincho, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Portugal. Long and wild, this suggestive beach is a real paradise for surfers.
Do you want to experience the feeling of being at the edge of the world? Visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. A solitary lighthouse has been built at the top of this striking promontory with cliffs more than 100 meters high against which the ocean waves break with a thunderous crash. It is located at about 18 km from Sintra.
A small monument reminds visitors of the peculiar geographic location of this remote place with a quote from Portuguese poet Luis Camones, but other than that there are no attractions to visit. You come here to savor a special “border” atmosphere and to admire a wild nature of breathtaking beauty.
Estoril is the elegant sister of Cascais: a less touristy and less fashionable seaside resort, perfect for couples, families and seniors.
Once the holiday destination of nobles and intellectuals, Estoril is now famous for its historic casino, which inspired the writer Ian Fleming “Casino Royale”, the first story of the James Bond saga, and was used as a location for the film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.
The coast of Estoril is dotted with beautiful beaches, one more beautiful than the other. Some are taken by storm by the Lisbonese in the summer months, but just move a little ‘to find a quiet corner.
Today it is famous as a seaside resort, but Sesimbra historically stands on a hill dominated by a Moorish castle.
Although very touristy, Sesimbra is a place suitable for those who want to experience an authentic atmosphere because it attracts mostly local and national tourists and therefore has not had to bend to the demands of international customers in order to develop.
In addition to sunbathing in the beautiful beaches of the area, you can also walk the paths of the Arrábida National Park, a protected mountain area rich in vegetation that extends behind Sesimbra.
In the following map you can see the location of the main places of interest mentioned in this article
The Lisbon region is located along the west coast of Portugal, in the central-southern area. It is bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and borders the Portuguese regions of Centro andAlentejo to the north, east and south.
The territory of the region is divided into two areas, the Lisbon district and the Setubal peninsula.