Travel Portugal Itinery – A short trip starting in Lisbon
We all love short trips, getting away from it all, even if its only for a few days to experience something new, something different, something wonderful that doesn’t cost the world but having made the right choices, it could make you feeling special, leave you energized and full of fond memories before returning to the job you love but sometimes need a break from.
In Portugal you can get away from it all, in many places, scenarios and settings for all budgets and specifically close to the main airports. you will find many places undiscovered, with amazing potential, heritage and nature.
This article concentrates on your starting point being Lisbon airport with a aim to travel to the provinces just North of Lisbon.
Lisbon is a wonderful, lively city. Its full of history, points of interest, food, decadence and old and modern traditions. Its also busy, popular, touristic and a trendy place to visit and since not so long it also has budget airlines which has sent this lovely city to the tourism universe it has aimed at for many years, However most of the visiting tourists will never visit the wonderful provinces surrounding it, will never see the Unesco sites close to it, will never experience the immense and diverse landscapes that surround it, will never engage in the “real Portugal” just outside Lisbon’s urban borders, where mountains, rivers, beaches history gastronomy wine and monuments frame its glory and multiply its magnificence.
Where traditions rule along side the new generations, immigrants, organizations like Unesco and local incentives to breath life back into an area that is so beautiful, unique and impressive that it manages to impress over and over again, many of the places you may never have heard of.
Scenario of the short break: you have only a couple of days, your flying to Lisbon, you want nature, monument, wine, small town or nature hiking, food and tradition.
Situation: public transport
Location: Away from tourist masses
itinerary 1: travelling by public transport from Lisbon Public transport limits what you can see but what you will see will be wonderful.
Advice: If you have only a couple of days, travel by train as bus lines can be tiring, badly connected and relatively expensive
The warmest district in Portugal is Santarem, which even though lovely in Summer is best visited out of season unless you enjoy 35 – 40 degrees during the winter months it is a perfect place to get dry sunny afternoons that can reach 23 C. It is inland and revolves around the Tejo river which flows steadily across the Spanish border and is one of the bigger rivers in Portugal. It was the first district in Iberia to grow wine grapes and played a very important role in the reconquest of the Moors, that gave birth to the country called Portugal. It is laden with castles, historical churches and villages,impressive medieval towns, vineyards, bulls and wild swine, a lot of its flora and fauna are unique in Portugal as is its climate. Its get almost no tourism but to me, its as amazing as the French Dordogne without the crowds.
The city of Santarem is 70km from Lisbon and roughly 40 minutes by train, touristically it is far from famous but it has some gorgeous monuments, squares and a lively history. Make sure you get the views from the castle. Santarem and Ribeira de Santerem are both on the Unesco pending lis.
Tomar, Tomar is120km form Lisbon and is more famous than Santarem as it is the home the location of the Famous UNESCO monument the convent of Christ, however, although the monument is visited by bus loads of tourist all year round, most never wander into the lovely medieval town below. The town is home to many monuments and homes the oldest synagogue of Portugal. It has many restaurants and bars and a generally laid back atmosphere that make it perfect for relaxing breaks and getaways.
Tomar is roughly 1 and a half hours by direct train from Lisbon.
Coimbra is roughly 200km from Lisbon, the train takes roughly 2 hours. Coimbra is the first capital of Portugal, most famous for its 15th century university. It is a very impressive city built on a steep hill accessible by small winding, fast climbing roads framed by medieval and Moorish buildings and marks.
Smaller towns and villages, hikes Along the Tagus river you will find many hiking paradises, one that is easily accessible by train are de Vila Nova da Barquinha, Tancos, Almourol and Praia do Ribatejo hikes This is a stretch of roughly 14km that offers hiking paths right along the river, giving access to its unique flora and fauna, fantastic monuments and small villages that offer a unique view into the past.
These hikes are roughly 100 km from Lisbon and take 1 hour by train,
Canoeing could also be your reason for visiting here!
Scenario of the short break: you have only a couple of days, your flying to Lisbon, you want to travel around, get a real feel of the dynamic fast changing landscape, you want fresh air, tradition and peace.
Situation: Car rental
Location: Away from tourist masses on mountains and beaches
itinerary 2: Your best start is Serra dos Candeeiros and Serra d’Aire by highway it is a 1.5 hour drive, direction Torres Novas/Mira d’ Aire. The mountains are easily accessible but you will find a world of difference , small villages, the owl eagle, orchids and lengthy walks accompanied by amazing views and light await you.
From the Serras travel to the west coast beaches Nazare is at 40km distance and most famous for its high surfing waves , from Nazare drop down to Salir do Porto famous for its natural springs, Peniche and Ericeira.
Having refreshed yourself on the mountains and beaches, take the road back to Lisbon through the mountainous district of Alenquer, you will be amazed at the experiences, views and thing you have seen in such a short time and trip from Lisbon!
Scenario of the short break: you have only a couple of days, your flying to Lisbon, you want to travel around, You want to Discover an important part of Portugals history and heritage.
Situation: Car rental
Location: In various towns close to Lisbon, you will find the most prominent architectural sites in Portugal
itinerary 3: Your best start is Obidos, Batalha, Alcobaca, Tomar and Sintra.
Obidos: 80km from Lisbon airport is a lovely old medieval town in Central Portugal that is most noted for its castle and old city wall. It often hosts medieval fares and festivals has lots of little traditional shops and folklore and is famous for its local drink Ginginha.
Read more about Obidos >>
Batalha 114 km from Lisbon airport Batalha is home to the most amazing Gothic monastery in Portugal it is Unesco world heritage and located right in the centre of this small town.
The town also hosts some nice restaurants and hotels most situated around the main square where the monastery is located.
Read more about Batalha >>
Alcobaca 102km from Lisbon Alcobaca is home to another amazing monastery filled with mystery. This monastery is also UNESCO world heritage
Read more about Alcobaca >>
All the mentioned monuments are within 40km of each other.
All the places we have mentioned in this article are reachable by highway with exits with a few km.
We hope this article has helped you make your choice for best short break itinerary for travelling from Lisbon. If you need help booking, advice or would like us to help with accommodation, activities or restaurants, please contact us. We offer this service for free.
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