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Lisbon and Surroundings

The central-western region of Portugal is dominated by the city of Lisbon, but there is more to it than just the big city. The entire region is steeped in history, and it is possible to spend considerable time visiting sites of cultural and historical interest while day tripping from Lisbon. There are also excellent beaches.

The province of Lisboa is home to more than just the capital: the beach resort town of Cascais is found there, as are the magnificent palaces around Sintra.

You’ll also find the city of Santarém, which has been inhabited since before the Romans. The province of Santarém is also home to the world famous city of Fátima, where the Fátima shrine was built in 1917 on the site where three children allegedly had visions of the Virgin Mary. Santarém also features the fortified town of Abrantes and the historical city of Tomar, which was where the Knights Templar had their Portuguese headquarters. Every year in May on the anniversary of these visions, thousands of visitors converge on the city and shrine. Other visitor sites in Santarém include the Castle of Ourém and the Roman Ruins at Vila Cardilio.

The Province of Leiria is where you’ll find the popular visitor destinations of Alcobaça and Batalha in addition to the fabulous medieval walled city of ÓbidosCaldas de Rainha is where you’ll find a hot springs which allegedly has healing powers. The city is home to several interesting museums as well as many ceramics factories and shops. The beach town of Nazaré is a popular destination.

There is good golf in the northern part of SetĂşbal province. Palmela is home to an interesting castle. Sesimbra is home to a castle and is a good place for sport fishing.









By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
19 Sep 2007

Things to do in Lisbon and Surroundings

Lisbon Oceanarium

113347Lisbon’s new Oceanarium is a true marvel of modern engineering. Built as part of Nations Park for the 1998 Expo, the Oceanarium has become one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist draws. Inside the ...
Museum, Entertainment
Lisbon, Portugal

The Monastery of Alcobaça

113458The Monastery of Alcobaça (Portuguese: Mosteiro de Alcobaça), also known as the Abbey of Santa María is one of Portugal’s greatest visitor destinations: just ask the Portuguese themselves, who ...
Historical Building
Alcobaça, Portugal

Walking the Wall

113403The entire town of Ă“bidos is ringed by a high stone wall, constructed during the medieval era. Back in the day, defenders would man the wall and guard towers with bows, crossbows and other weapons ...
City Walk
Ă“bidos, Portugal

Palacio da Pena

113374One of Europe’s most magnificent castle/palaces, The Palacio da Pena often draws comparisons with Germany’s Neuschwanstein, which it predates by about 30 years. Construction began in 1839 on the ...
Historical Building
Sintra, Portugal

Queluz Palace

113361Queluz Palace is often referred to as “The Versailles of Portugal,” and it’s easy to see why: the two elaborate, enormous palaces were built around the same time and in a similar style. In ...
Historical Building
Lisbon, Portugal

SĂ© de Lisboa

113359Lisbon’s official main cathedral, the Sé is but a shadow of the much more impressive Hieronymite Monastery located along the waterfront. Somewhat lost in a maze of narrow streets, the Sé has ...
Historical Building
Lisbon, Portugal

Torre de Belém

113358Situated on the Lisbon waterfront, the bleached-white Belém tower is a local landmark and one of the city’s must-sees. It is a monument to Portugal’s glory as a great maritime nation. ...
Historical Building
Lisbon, Portugal

St George’s Castle

113352St George’s Castle (Castelo São Jorge) is a Lisbon landmark, occupying the symbolic heart and the highest hill of the city. Because of its strategic location, the hill has always been fortified, ...
Historical Building
Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Zoological Garden

113350The Lisbon Zoological Garden is a modest zoo on well-kept grounds slightly outside of the downtown area. The zoo is home to many traditional favorites like lions, giraffes, elephants and bears, but ...
Museum, City Park
Lisbon, Portugal

Tile Museum (Museo Nacional do Azulejo)

113348The Portuguese have been experts at porcelain, ceramics and tile for centuries. Many of the exteriors of older buildings in Lima are covered in centuries-old tile, as it was discovered long ago that ...
Museum
Lisbon, Portugal

Monastery of Batalha

113482Commissioned in 1385 to celebrate the Portuguese victory over an overwhelming Castilian force at the battle of Aljubarrota, the impressive Monastery of Batalha is one of Portugal’s greatest Gothic ...
Historical Building
Batalha, Portugal
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