|Private tours in Lisbon & surroundings||
We leave Lisbon crossing “25 Abril” bridge over Tagus river and have a superb view.
As we approach the countryside we will be pleasantly surprised by a unique scenery of huge pine forests,
eucalyptus and cork trees.
We go up the hill to visit the XII century castle of Sesimbra, lying at the foothills of Serra da Arrábida. Stop to
enjoy the beautiful view over the ocean, Sesimbra beach and scenery of this picturesque fishing town. Sightseeing
of Sesimbra, seaside resort with crystal clear water and where we can have a glimpse of the fishing port, to see
fishermen unloading the catch.
We then go up to Arrabida mountain - a unique nature reserve on the highest cliffs of the Portuguese coast,
providing splendid panoramic views over Lisbon, Setubal, Sado river estuary, Troia peninsula and the ocean.
Arrábida Natural Park is a beautiful protected area covered with pine trees and rich Mediterranean vegetation,
including many rare species. Down below, the crystal-clear waters of the sheltered snow-white sandy beaches.
This promenade will let us see from the road the old farms, once the dwelling of noblemen from Lisbon.
Stop at Setubal, an important fishing harbour, where once again we can watch the typical Portuguese fishing boats.
On the Rio Sado waterfront are the docks, the marina and the fishing harbor, where brisk auctions take place every
morning when the fishermen have unloaded the day's catch.
Drive across the largest cork region in the world for an exciting journey into the past. Evora is one of Portugal's finest and most delightful
towns. It is a true open-air museum with a large number of wonderfully preserved monuments and buildings of public interest. The
whitewashed houses, arches, and twisting alleyways that characterize the town reflect the Moorish presence. Evora is a UNESCO World
Heritage Site, showing off its Roman and Moorish history.
The main square, Praça do Giraldo is now filled with shops and cafés, and surrounded by attractive townhouses with wrought-iron
balconies, adorned with medieval arches and is an ideal place to relax and do some people-watching. From there, the pedestrian Rua 5 de
Outubro (lined with souvenir shops) leads to the Roman temple, Loios Convent and the Sé (cathedral), built in 1186. The Gothic interior has
one of the longest naves found in any cathedral in the country. The Sacred Art Museum is worth seeing. Adjacent to the cathedral is the City
Museum, representing Evora's long history.
The roman temple of Diana, dating from the 2nd century, it is one of the Iberian Peninsula's best preserved Roman monuments.
A short walk behind the cathedral leads to the Jesuit University, where you can mingle with students and admire this superb XVI century
A staircase beside the cathedral leads down towards Porta da Moura Square, a picturesque place. It is surrounded by Moorish architecture.
Amongst all churches, the one that should not be missed is the Church of São Francisco, a Manueline-Gothic structure completed around 1510.
On display, are the bones and skulls of some 5000 people covering the walls and columns of the church's Chapel of Bones.
After that it is a good idea to take a little break in the delightful public gardens near the church, which are also home to the 16th century Dom
Manuel Palace, built in Gothic, Manueline, neo-Moorish, and Renaissance styles.
Outside the city walls is Ermita de São Brás ("Hermitage of St. Blaise"), built in 1485, an extraordinary building that looks like a medieval
castle, complete with large battlements, gargoyles, and round buttresses.
Around Evora are also numerous prehistoric monuments - dozens of sizeable Neolithic menhirs, cromlechs, and dolmens.
Travel back to Lisbon by Vasco da Gama bridge, 12 km long, for another unforgettable view of Lisbon and one of the widest estuaries in the
|...With a beautifully untouched provincial atmosphere, fascinating whitewashed old town, Evora has been|
a cultural oasis for 2,000 years. Part of the town is enclosed by ancient walls and has been preserved in its
original state, as well as its monuments dating from various historical periods. It was known by the Romans
and vestiges from this period still remain. Évora was wrested from the moors by a Christian Knight and
flourished as one of the most dynamic cities in the Kingdom of Portugal during Middle Ages. The court was
resident here for long spells and Évora became the scene where many important decisions were made. During
the XIV, XV and XVI centuries, it was formerly a major center for the humanities. The university was founded
in 1551, and it was here that great European Masters passed on their knowledge. The many monuments erected
by the major artists of each period now testify to Évora's lively cultural, artistic and historical past. The variety
of architectural styles (roman, gothic, manueline, mannerist, baroque), the palaces and even the squares and
narrow streets are all part of the rich heritage of this museum-city...
|...The forest-clad, elongated hummock of the Serra da Arrábida is a veritable oasis of natural vegetation amid|
the suburban sprawl of the Setúbal peninsula, with an incredibly diverse wildlife to match. Along the shore
of the Sado estuary, its sheer flanks drop sharply into a turquoise sea, the pale limestone cliffs eaten away
at the base to form small sandy coves. Although the 50km-long ridge of the Arrábida attains a maximum of
only 501m (Alto do Formosinho), the views from the top are truly spectacular, giving the impression of
much greater altitude. More than 1,000 species of vascular plants have been recorded from the Arrábida
natural park. Situated to the south of the peninsula is the hub Setubal, actually Portugal's third largest port
after Lisbon and Porto. Renowned for both its fishing and fish restaurants and its many historic buildings
and museums, Setubal makes a superb Portugal holiday base or indeed a day trip. To the west of Setubal
centre are stunning beaches backed on by the Arrabida Natural Park. To the south is the natural reserve of
the Sado estuary, home to numerous birds and bottle-nosed Dolphins...