Diana is the travel blogger behind Contramapa, targeted at Portuguese and Brazilian independent women travellers.
8 MUST-SEE LOCATIONS AROUND LISBON
Diana lives in Lisbon, the vibrant and growing capital of Portugal. It’s a beautiful city, near the sea and famous for its seven hills. On the weekends, she loves going out of the city to explore other places. Here’s her top 8 places around Lisbon (less than 2 hours away by car).
1 | Tomar
Tomar is the city where you can revisit the history of Portugal. Here, the main must-see is the Convento de Cristo, a beautiful monastery from the sixteenth century. Follow the river out of the city and discover the Castelo de Bode dam, where you can swim in the summer. Near that area you have the Constância, a small village preserved from ancient times, and the Almourol Castle, built in a tiny island. You have plenty of activity for one weekend!
2 | Sesimbra
If you go south of Lisbon for 45 minutes, you find Sesimbra, a cozy beach town with crystal-clear water, great seafood and a busy nightlife. Enough to convince you? You can head for the main beach, discover the secret Ribeira dos Cavalos beach or take the opportunity to practice your deep dive skills. Don’t forget to go do Cape Espichel, one of the western points in continental Europe.
3 | Peniche
Located one hour and a half north of Lisbon, Peniche is a surf paradise, especially in Supertubos and Medão Grande beaches. It’s also a great seafood beach town. The main must-see is the Berlengas islands, an archipelago of small islands Only the main island is inhabited, with a lighthouse and the ruins of an old fort.
4 | Troia
The Troia peninsula has a beautiful harbor with good restaurants, bars and a casino. The beaches are as good as they can get, especially a bit south, in Comporta. Here you can visit the Carrasqueira port, a traditional and very photogenic fisherman’s dock. Rent a bike, explore the region and eat the choco frito, fried squid. Delicious!
5 | Óbidos
Óbidos is a medieval town, located on top of a hill, one hour away from Lisbon. Enjoy the castle and the small stone streets while you drink ginjinha in a chocolate cup, the specialty of the region. If you’re around for more than an afternoon, you can also visit the Rio Maior salines and the Buddha Eden Park. The Batalha and Alcobaça monasteries are also major trademarks of the region.
With a long history, Évora is the heart of the Alentejo region. The roman temple, the Bones Chapel and the cathedral are the main must-sees. But there’s a lot more to experience. Here is the place to enjoy a wine tour and to go to Monsaraz, a traditional stone village with a great view to Guadiana river. Beyond that, what you can see is already Spain.
7 | Ericeira
Less than an hour away from Lisbon, Ericeira is a Paradise for sun-lovers and surfers. The fishing village has a lot of great seafood restaurants. Other interests in the region include Mafra and Lisandro river’s mouth. You also have Cape Roca, the westernmost point in continental Europa, and Sintra, with its beautiful Pena Palace.
8 | São Martinho do Porto
São Martinho do Porto is located in a sheltered bay, one hour and a half north of Lisbon. Besides the beach, holidaymakers can also enjoy activities such as paraglide, hang-glider and boat trips. Around the area, you also have the Foz do Arelho beach and the fishing town Nazaré.