Private tours in Lisbon & surroundings
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Lisbon by night
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Program
At night, the city's old quarters come alive with the sound of typical songs. The Fado Houses, where one can
savour the excellent local cooking and listen to the emotional music of Portugal, are unique. Down the hills,
the open air cafés, bars and discos, reflect their lights in the calm waters of the River Tagus, like in the Bairro
Alto quarter, the Expo area, Alcantara and Docas.

Cross bridge 25 Abril for a magnificent view over Lisbon.  From a height of 200ft you will see the glittering of
thousands of city lights, the seven hills with lit monuments, the XVIII century aqueduct.
The main squares and avenues of Lisbon by night: the ample and elegant Avenida da Republica with coffee
shops and tea rooms, central Marques de Pombal square facing Eduardo VII park, Liberdade Avenue - stylish
boulevard from the XVIII century with its cabarets - Restauradores square with theatres and restaurants.
Lisboa by night tour.
Continue by Rossio, square - the heart of Lisbon, the shopping area.
And we arrive to the wide and stylish Comercio square in front of the vast estuary of Tagus river and Sao Jorge castle as a background.
Not  far the ancient cathedral of Lisbon, followed by the narrowstreets of Alfama quarter.

The riverside with the discos zone, Bairro Alto with its famous nightlife, the Parliament of Portugal - superb XIX century building -
Estrela Basilica with an outstanding dome.
We finally arive to Jeronimos Monastery - famous Lisbon XVI century construction, lit by night - and the other monuments on the
water's edge - Belem Tower, Monument to the Discoveries.
This tour may end in a typical restaurant where you can have dinner and enjoy the local Folklore and Fado show.
 
Lisbon night tour
 
...Lisbon’s history dates back to 300,000 years ago and ranks as one of the world's longest founded
cities. As the legend tells, it is a city founded and named by Ulysses, which has its origins in the
Phoenician words "Allis Ubbo", meaning "enchanting port". Lisbon was a battlefield for Phoenicians,
Greeks and Carthaginians, however it was Romans who started their two-century reign in Lisbon in
205 BC. In 714, the Moors arrived and stayed till the 12th century. In the 13th century, Lisbon
became the capital of Portugal. The 15th century was the point of departure for the Portuguese
Discoveries, an era during which Portugal enjoyed abundant wealth and prosperity through its newly
discovered off shore colonies in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Today, Lisbon still maintaining the
marks of its early history, is one of the most beautiful capitals of Europe...
 
Brief introduction to Fado song and Folklore dances
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FADO
Fado is the tipical portuguese song about which nothing certain has been written or said.
Lundum
200 years ago there was in Brasil a ball that was called fado, which corresponded to what was called
lundum in Portugal. Lundum had nothing to do with Fado. Lundum was a superstitious night dance
used by women in west Africa and played with loud musical instruments and shaking indecently their
buttocks. It was taken to Brasil by slaves and became a Brazilian song. It was brought to Portugal by
slaves and sailors. It was considered as a ball of the lower classes but, in the XVIII century, Caldas
Barbosa, a Brazilian mulatto poet and singer, took it to the court and this obscene dance won
popularity to the traditional aristocratic dances. It also became a song with this mulatto poet called
Caldas because he wrote poems to this music. In the lower classes it developed as a ball danced
orgiastically by men and women.
Fado singer
But it died in the beginning of the XIX century: Fado and Fandango won. Lundum was already considered the grandfather of Fado.
Although sometimes both songs differ they also have similar rhythms. Another descendent of Lundum is said to be Tango.
Fado
Fado means the destiny, lot, fate, fatality, fortune, predestination, doom of life and love. Thus arising from Brazil, played, sang and danced
in a decent way, it was introduced be saylors in Alfama and then everywhere in Portugal with the court returning from Brasil in 1822. It
became popular and let down lundum, fandango and other dances and popular songs. In Coimbra, students sentimentalised it their own way.
It was at the beginning restricted, circumscribed to special quarters like Alfama, Mouraria, etc. Only between 1838 and 1840 that Fado was
brought to the court by Severa with the help of his love affair, the count of Vimioso.
Fado song was first accompanied by the Spanish guitar (like lundum) but after there was a new instrument added which was the English
guitar (which became made in Portugal in the XVIII century and descended from the harpsichord).
With the social promotion of Fado (which was sometimes danced (Fado dançado)) the variety of style and subjects was amplified and was
not only a sad and sorrowful song: it was also happy (gay, cheerful), funny, satirist, etc. Female voices were a great tribute to Fado. At first,
these women came from the lower classes and then from the artistic element.
The voice of the singer has to be very good. It has to express the deepness of the soul and to sing generously till exhaustion. “The heart’s
spasm expressing its pain”.
There are several kinds of Fado: “idler Fado”, “sailor Fado” (the most ancient one), “Fado batido” (the former danced Fado), “Fado corrido”
(sung from singer to singer by different singers, each at his turn), “nocturne Fado” (night Fado), “Fado ballad”, “Fado serenata”, “Fado
Bacalhau” (codfish Fado) etc.

FOLKLORE DANCES
The most popular dance is “de roda”  (dance accompanied by a song, where everybody makes a circle hand in han)).
Some foreign influences were introduced in the Portuguese Folklore from many parts of the world (Africa, Brazil, India, East, Europe), even
eastern Europe like “polkas” (dance from Poland or Check Republic with a lively rhythm, famous in the end of the XIX century. polca-
mazurca is a variety of polca) and mazurkas (it’s also a dance from Poland with a lively motion).
Portugal can be divided in four regions in what popular dances and songs are concerned:
The north has varied and lively dances also considered harsh characterized by a simple, constant and steady rhythm.
In the north, “viras” (the name means to turn, rotate and they really turn and rotate) are the most common dances. But this dance is scattered
all over the country and the tune and movement differs from region to region. It can be danced or just sung. It has ancient roots and is
exclusively minho-galician. It belongs to the group of  “de roda” dances and is accompanied by wire-guitars, small guitars, french guitars,
fiddles, clarinets, triangle). The reque-reque (coming from Africa) was added latter. The Vira are the most ancient “de roda” dances with
strong Galician influences.
Another tipical dance in the north is “gótas”. They are, like “viras”, impelled and high-spirited.
In the north we also have “Chulas” (it has a slow rhythm and is the less lively in the north), malhão, modas, etc.
The center has light and sweet dances and songs like the climate but a little wavy  like the soil. In Beira, lots of songs are accompanied by
clapping their hands and playing castanets with their fingers. In Ribatejo there are several dances like “vira”, “fandango” (popular tap-dance  
used mainly in Ribatejo but also in Alentejo, Spain and south of France. In Spain, castanets are used but not in Portugal
The third region is Alentejo with a slow, sad and deep (profound) song like the land and harsh dances, sometimes lively and happy.
The fourth region is Algarve, with a merry, lively but superficial and sometimes erotic song and dance. The most common one is “corridinho”
(tipical of Algarve but also in other parts of Portugal, this dance is accompanied by bagpipes, triangles, mouth-organs. It has a hopping and
impelled rhythm with parts of prolonged tap-dance which makes it a high-spirited dance.
MINHO
Folklore is connected to fairs and pilgimages.
Tipical costumes are used. Those of women are very rich and colourful – sometimes women were adorned with all the gold they have at home
because this was thought to be the best way to invest their money, but today it is not seen so often. Some other costumes are used – although
not so often – of very ancient roots sometimes dating back from the pre-roman period. Clothes are often embroidered with lace-work.
Sometimes there sayings written like “Love”, “nostalgy” and others with prehistoric roots.
Songs are accompanied by several tipical musical instruments like: accordions, flutes, drums, clarinets, guitars, violins, triangles and play
castanets with their own fingers.
TRÁS-OS-MONTES E ALTO DOURO
They have a tipical dance called “Pauliteiros”. Each dancer has a peg which they skilful hit against each other, accompanying drums and
bagpipes.
 
 
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