Lisbon is Portugal’s capital and the hub of a multifaceted area that appeals to different tastes and senses. In a city that has been influenced by many different far-off cultures over time, there is still a village feel in each historic neighbourhood. Stroll through the Pombaline grid of streets in the Baixa district that opens on to the Tagus in Praça do Comércio, then follow the river to discover some of the city’s most beautiful parts: the monumental area of Belém with its World Heritage monuments, the mediaeval quarters and the latest contemporary leisure spaces, such as the Parque das Nações.
Cascais and Estoril, or the coast north of Lisbon, became one of the most cosmopolitan and touristic places in Portugal ever since King Luís I chose the bay for his summer residence in the late 19th century. Cascais was initially a fishing town, but today it is the outdoor terraces, the restaurants and the shops that bring the bay and the historic centre alive A former summer resort for Europe’s royal families, Estoril preserves the lively, relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere that made it famous.
Porto, a World Heritage city, is the gateway and departure point for a journey across the natural and cultural diversity of the region. It is known for the Port wine which is shipped from here all over the world, but also for a heritage which combines ancient churches and monuments, such as the Cathedral and the Church of São Francisco, and modern buildings, such as Casa da Música and the Serralves Museum. The region is crossed by the River Douro which enters Portugal between the ravines and mountains of the interior to flow through the entire World Heritage landscape where the Port and Douro wines are produced.
Sintra, the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted it Word Heritage Site status.