The Lisbon region with its sports and cultural diversity is an excellent holiday place va-
cationers seeking variety. Whether it is concerts, theatre, museums, nightlife, history, gastronomy
or outdoor leisure sports like golf and surfing - the Lisbon region leaves no wish unfulfilled.
Located at the mouth of the Tagus River ("Rio Tejo") and presumably founded through the
Phoenicians around 1200 B.C. being a trading post, Lisbon fascinates visitors using its rich
cultural and historical heritage and it is always worth a weekend city break. In its eventful
history it's got witnessed many invaders such as the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Alans,
Vandals, Suebi, Visigoths and Moors. In 1147, the 400 years long moorish domination of
Lisbon was ended when crusaders led by Alfonso I of Portugal reconquered Lisbon during
the Christian Reconquista.
All rulers left their cultural imprints on the city, thereby making Lisbon an exciting and
unique mix of one of the most different cultural and architectural influences with Romanesque,
Gothic, Manueline, Baroque and Traditional Portuguese architecture. During the so-called
"Portuguese Ages of Discovery" relating to the 15th and 17th century Lisbon became strategi-
cally crucial as place to start to the Portuguese exploration of Africa, India, china and taiwan
and Brazil. The legendary Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama left Lisbon in 1497 to disco-
ver the sea option to India.
Although Lisbon was largely destroyed by a disastrous earthquake in 1755 and entirely
rebuilt in contemporary architectural style afterwards, many historical monuments have
remained untouched with that nature catastrophe and are evidence the cultural and historical
diversity of this seaport. Of these historical sites of great interest you will find Lisbon Castle/
Castle of Sao Jorge ("Castelo de Sao Jorge") internal a citadel-like style and Lisbon Cathe-
dral ("Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa" or "Se de Lisboa") built in the 12th and 13th century
in Late Romanesque style, simply to mention a couple of. The Belem Tower ("Torre de Belem")
featuring its Portuguese Late Gothic, Manueline and Renessaince Style and the Jeronimos
Monastery ("Mosteiro dos Jeronimos") with its Manueline, Plateresco, Renaissance and
Gothic style were built-in the 16th century and declared World Heritage Sites through the
UNESCO in 1983.
At the start of the 1800s Lisbon was invaded and pillaged by the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1910 the first Portuguese Republic was declared. In 1998 Lisbon hosted the entire world Exhibition Expo ?98.
Art lovers will relish various museums in Lisbon including the "Museo do Azulejo" (Museum
of Portuguese-style Tile Mosaics), the "Oceanario de Lisboa" (Lisbon Oceanarium) and the
"Museo Nacional de Arte Antiga" (National Museum of Ancient Art). Opera lovers will appre-
ciate the rich cultural agenda at the "Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos". Tourists may also love
the many cafes and restaurants as well as the numerous shopping possibilities for example the Vasco
da Gama Shopping center and Amoreiras Shopping center. Don?t miss a fado music performance
inside the Alfama, Lisbon?s oldest quarter.
The public transport system in Lisbon is extremely well-developed and allows fast and simple acces
towards the surrounding Lisbon region with Sintra, the Estoril Coast along with the Setubal peninsula.
Sintra along with the Estoril Coast come in the Ribatejo region north of the Tagus estuary
(hence the name "Ribatejo" this means "riba do Tejo" ("on, or beyond, the banks in the
Tagus")). The Estoril Coast with its beaches and holiday resorts comes with a large various
pleasurable activities including tennis, wandering, swimming or sailing which is your best option
for beach holidays. The prime density of golf courses in the Estoril Coast also causes it to be a pa-
radise for golfers. Surfers will favour surfing hotspots like Carcavelos and Ericeira.
Another daytrip destination simple to reach from Lisbon is Sintra. Its historic monuments such
because the 19th century Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Pena), the 9th and 10th century
Castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) and also the 15th and 16th century Sintra National Palace
(Palacio Nacional de Sintra) along with the Sintra-Cascais Park are always worth visiting.
Sintra was declared a World Heritage Site with the UNESCO in 1995.
The Setubal peninsula (also known as "Costa Azul" ("Blue Coast")) is found in the Alentejo region
south with the Tagus estuary (and so the name "Alentejo" meaning "alem do Tejo" ("beyond
the Tagus")). It really is famous for the Arrabida National Park. Visitors will be impressed using its
unique Mediterranean vegetation untouched by touristic development along with the unspoilt
wildlife and may count on seeing storks, flamingos and dolphins, flamingos. Dolphin watching
is often a major tourist attraction. The character protection area invites the traveller to numerous leisure
time activities including river cruises, walking, mountain biking, horseback riding, heat ballooning,
diving and golf.
To get more information about day trip from Lisbon see our new resource.