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The well known Lisbon Coast or “Costa de Lisboa” offers certainly one of the most diversified landscapes of Portugal`s coast line.
Following the Northern part the region starts at the metropolis passing through the well known towns like Oeiras, Estoril, Cascais, Sintra, Mafra, Ericeira, Santa Cruz going until Lourinha and going South the Lisbon Coast stretch until Setubal.
None of these places should be missed during your visit as each town has its particularity and its very special flair.
The beauty of the coastline is breathtaking with its splendid variety of beaches, towns, fisher villages and resorts and is certainly very captivating due to its cosmopolitan flair, the abundance of historical sites, the diversified gastronomy, the incredible nightlife, the huge offer of golf courts and golf resorts and the never ending shopping possibilities. The large choice of luxury hotels and the sophisticated seaside resort “Estoril” with its Casino welcomes the entire year round the worldwide tourism.
DETAILS OF THE LISBON COAST
Nestled along the western shores of Portugal, the Lisbon Coast is a captivating region that offers a harmonious blend of rich history, vibrant cities, stunning beaches, and thrilling sports activities. With its picturesque landscapes, charming towns, and cultural heritage, the Lisbon Coast is a true gem for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience.
The Lisbon Coast encompasses several prominent cities, each with its own distinct character and allure. Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a vibrant metropolis that effortlessly merges ancient traditions with a modern lifestyle. Its history dates back to the Roman era, and over the centuries, it has witnessed the influences of Moorish, Renaissance, and Gothic architecture. Stroll through the narrow streets of the Alfama district, visit the iconic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, and explore the lively neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and Chiado. Lisbon is also known for its lively food scene, with delectable seafood, pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tarts), and vinho verde (young green wine) being popular culinary delights.
Cascais, a charming coastal town located just west of Lisbon, offers a delightful mix of history and natural beauty. Once a humble fishing village, it transformed into a popular resort destination during the 19th century. The town boasts beautiful sandy beaches, such as Praia da Conceição and Praia do Guincho, where visitors can soak up the sun and indulge in water sports like surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. Cascais is also home to several notable attractions, including the impressive Cascais Citadel, the elegant Estoril Casino, and the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, housed in a stunning palace.
Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a fairytale-like town located amidst lush green hills. This enchanting destination is renowned for its stunning palaces, romantic gardens, and mystical atmosphere. The most famous landmark is the Pena Palace, an eclectic and colorful palace perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. Other must-visit sites in Sintra include the Quinta da Regaleira, a mystical estate with hidden tunnels and grottoes, and the Castle of the Moors, an ancient fortress offering breathtaking views. Sintra’s narrow streets are lined with charming shops and traditional pastry shops where you can try the famous queijadas and travesseiros.
Ericeira is a picturesque fishing village located along the Lisbon Coast, known for its rich maritime heritage and excellent surfing conditions. It has managed to retain its traditional charm while also becoming a popular destination for surfers from around the world. The village is characterized by its narrow cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses adorned with colorful flowers, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Ericeira offers a variety of beautiful beaches, including Ribeira d’Ilhas, Coxos, and Praia dos Pescadores, which are renowned for their consistent waves and suitability for surfing. The town also boasts a vibrant surf culture, with surf schools, surf shops, and a relaxed beachside atmosphere that attracts both beginners and experienced surfers alike. In addition to its natural beauty, Ericeira offers an array of seafood restaurants where visitors can savor freshly caught fish and seafood delicacies.
Santa Cruz is a charming coastal town located to the northwest of Lisbon. With its stunning cliffs, sandy beaches, and unspoiled natural surroundings, Santa Cruz is a haven for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. Praia Formosa, the main beach in Santa Cruz, stretches along a wide bay with golden sands, and it is an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and beach games. The beach is equipped with facilities such as restaurants, beach bars, and water sports equipment rentals. Santa Cruz also hosts the annual Santa Cruz Ocean Spirit Festival, which showcases various water sports competitions, including surfing, bodyboarding, and skimboarding. Beyond the beach, visitors can explore the town’s charming center with its traditional whitewashed houses, local markets, and cozy cafés.
Lourinhã, located further north along the Lisbon Coast, is a town steeped in history and famous for its remarkable paleontological findings. It is often referred to as the “Dinosaur Capital” of Portugal due to the abundance of dinosaur fossils discovered in the region. The town is home to the Museu da Lourinhã, a fascinating museum that showcases a wide range of dinosaur fossils, including a nearly complete dinosaur skeleton known as Lourinhanosaurus. Apart from its paleontological treasures, Lourinhã also offers beautiful beaches, such as Praia da Areia Branca and Praia de Porto Dinheiro, which are ideal for relaxing and sunbathing. Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy activities like surfing, bodyboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding in the pristine waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Lourinhã’s charming town center is worth exploring, featuring historical buildings, quaint shops, and local restaurants serving delicious regional cuisine.
In conclusion, the Lisbon Coast is a captivating destination that seamlessly combines historical charm, stunning beaches, and thrilling sports activities. From the vibrant city life of Lisbon to the enchanting palaces of Sintra, the surf culture of Ericeira, the coastal beauty of Cascais, Santa Cruz, and Lourinhã’s dinosaur treasures, the Lisbon Coast offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers of all interests.
The gastronomy of the Lisbon Coast is a celebration of traditional Portuguese flavors, offering a delightful array of dishes that will enchant food lovers. The coastal region has a strong connection to the sea, which is reflected in the abundance of fresh and flavorful seafood that is part of the local cuisine.
One of the most iconic dishes in the area is caldeirada, a fish stew prepared with a variety of fresh fish such as sea bass, red snapper, grouper, and monkfish. Slow-cooked in a rich broth with tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and spices, caldeirada is a true delight for the taste buds. Another popular seafood dish is açorda de marisco, a bread soup with shellfish such as shrimp, mussels, and clams, seasoned with garlic, coriander, and olive oil.
The region is also famous for its traditional pastries, offering a variety of irresistible desserts. Pastéis de nata are an undisputed star of Portuguese sweets, and along the Lisbon Coast, you can savor these famous custard tarts with their crispy puff pastry and creamy filling at one of the many local pastry shops. Another sweet treat worth trying is Sintra’s travesseiro, a puff pastry filled with a delicious almond cream.
In addition to seafood dishes, the region also offers a rich variety of meat dishes. Cozido à portuguesa is a classic example, a stew that combines a variety of meats such as pork, veal, chicken, and sausages with vegetables and beans. It is a hearty and comforting dish, perfect for the colder months.
To accompany your meals, be sure to sample the local wines. The Lisbon Coast region is known for producing quality wines, especially fresh and aromatic white wines. Red wines are also highly regarded, with full-bodied flavors and smooth tannins.
Furthermore, the Lisbon Coast is famous for its markets and fairs, where you can explore a variety of fresh local products such as cheeses, olives, breads, and jams. These markets are great places to experience the authentic flavors of the region and meet local producers.
In summary, the gastronomy of the Lisbon Coast is a fusion of fresh seafood flavors, traditional dishes, and irresistible sweets. With a wide range of dishes and regional influences, the region is a food lover’s paradise, inviting you to explore and indulge in the authentic flavors of Portugal.
The beaches of the Lisbon Coast are a true haven for sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts. With their variety of breathtaking coastal landscapes and numerous leisure activities, they offer a paradise for those seeking relaxation, fun, and adventure.
The region is known for its long stretches of golden sandy beaches, which line the coast and are caressed by the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. These beaches provide the perfect place to soak up the sun, cool off in the refreshing water, and unwind in the warm sea breeze.
The beaches of the Lisbon Coast also offer a variety of activities for water sports enthusiasts. Surfers from around the world come here to ride the perfect waves. Ericeira, a picturesque fishing village, is one of the most popular surfing areas in Europe and holds the title of a “World Surfing Reserve.” With its top-notch surf spots like Ribeira d’Ilhas, Coxos, and Praia dos Pescadores, it attracts both beginners and experienced surfers. There are also surf schools that offer lessons for beginners and the opportunity to learn or improve your surfing skills.
In addition to surfing, the Lisbon Coast offers other thrilling water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and jet skiing. The beaches are equipped with water sports rental shops where you can rent the necessary equipment to try out these activities and feel the adrenaline rush.
For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, the beaches of the Lisbon Coast also offer opportunities for snorkeling and diving. The clear waters and rich marine life make these activities an unforgettable experience. There are diving schools and centers along the coast that offer courses and organize excursions to fascinating dive sites.
Away from the water, the beaches of the Lisbon Coast also provide numerous opportunities for other sports activities. The wide sandy beaches are perfect for beach volleyball, beach soccer, and beach tennis. There are also fitness and yoga classes offered directly on the beach, providing a wonderful opportunity to harmonize body and mind.
For nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts, the coastal sections of the region offer spectacular cliff walks with breathtaking views of the sea. The coastal trails meander along the cliffs, offering both easy walks and more challenging hikes for experienced hikers.
In summary, the beaches of the Lisbon Coast offer a wealth of opportunities for relaxation, adventure, and sports activities. Whether you want to sunbathe, surf, dive, snorkel, or simply enjoy the natural beauty of the coast, you’ll find everything you need to have an unforgettable vacation.
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