Built on a series of hills overlooking the Rio Tejo, Lisbon is home to a wonderful mix of neighborhoods, each boasting their own individual character and style. To the west, sandy beaches dot the coastline and fascinating cities such as Sintra are waiting to be explored, while to the east, the vineyards and cork plantations of rural Alentejo make for the perfect break from city life.
One of the oldest cities in western Europe, Lisbon has a varied and diverse history dating back centuries, and throughout time has been ruled by Romans, Moors and Germanic tribes. Each of Lisbon's rulers has left its mark on the city's neighborhoods, from the Moorish influence in Alfama to the colonial history of Belém, giving Lisbon a truly unique character and culture.
Exploring Lisbon is a real delight, with the city's colorful buildings providing an equally vibrant atmosphere. Weave through the winding streets on foot, or hop on one of the city's iconic yellow trams to easily discover each of the districts. Head uphill to one of Lisbon's viewpoints, known locally as miradouros, to take in the incredible panoramas across the city's rooftops.
West of Lisbon, the Atlantic coastline is home to an array of sandy beaches, ideal for those looking to relax or take to the waves in some of the world's best surfing spots. Towns such as Cascais offer a glimpse at the traditional fishing villages of the past, while the magical mountains and palaces of nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site Sintra are straight out of a fairy tale.
To the east, Alentejo is Portugal's largest region and is covered with cork plantations and vineyards. Visiting Alentejo is like stepping back in time to the authentic, rural Portugal, where traditions are still kept alive in the hilltop villages and medieval cities. A fantastic destination for foodies, Alentejo boasts a superb culinary scene, thanks to the region's close connection to nature, and the local wine is well worth tasting.