Hidden Gems of the ​Lisbon Region

Rent a car, grab a map, and off you go. Portugal is the perfect destination to explore by car as there are quite a few areas that you would not find otherwise. We wanted to focus on the Lisbon area, for now, to make the most of your trip to the city. Instead of taking the highways and main roads, take the side roads so you can go at your own pace. The Lisbon region is filled with glowing beaches, medieval castles, fabulous seafood, and historical architecture. 

img_1418Terreiro do Paco

Get lost in Alfama:

Wander the steep, narrow cobblestone streets of Alfama neighbourhood to see Lisbon’s more historical side of the city. You’ll come across cute boutiques and charming coffee shops, fresh fish and drying laundry.


This neighbourhood gives you the perfect sense of what it is (and was) like to live in Portugal. In the evening, you have to make it a mission to get to the highest point in Alfama to see the sunset. The reds of the buildings come alive and it’s like nothing you’ve witnessed before.


Take in the colours and views of Sintra:

Colours are what draw you to Sintra, but the views and architecture are what keep you there. A short drive from Lisbon, you can do the trip yourself and explore at your own step.

IMG_1410.jpegView from National Palace of Pena

You can’t go wrong with any of the attractions in Sintra but the National Palace of Pena is a must see as it is considered the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal and will capture your full attention with the vibrant colours alone. As well, the magical villa Quinta da Regaleira will capture your attention with its gothic features and underground pathways. Just watch out for the insane amount of cats wandering the property. Once you have finished with all of the castles and landmarks, you can wander through the beautiful town and enjoy the cute shops.

IMG_1402.jpegStrolling through the town of Sintra

** You can visit a few castles in one day but if you don’t want to feel rushed, stay for a few days and really soak in the history and beauty of Sintra**

Enjoy the coast of Cascais:

As a hidden gem just outside the hustle and bustle of Lisbon, Cascais is a town worth adding to any Portugal itinerary. If the beaches aren’t enough to get you there, then maybe the old town is. With Portuguese Azulejo ceramic tiles lining the streets and building, lively flowers taking over the wrought iron balconies, and delicious restaurants drawing you in with their freshly picked fish, you are bound to have a fabulous time.

IMG_4197.jpegOld church with ceramic tiles lining the windows

The waterfront is lively and colourful, no matter the season. Whether you’re on the beach soaking in some rays or on a patio sipping a refresher, you can expect to be relaxed. There will be dogs running off leash, people swimming freely, and an abundance of wine.

IMG_4165.jpegWaterfront walkway; looks different depending on the tide

The hotel scene is also worth checking out as you can stay in places you would never expect; an old fort called Fortaleza do Guincho or on the cliffs at Hotel Albatroz Cascais.

Experience the drive to Cabo da Roca:

The most western point in Europe is a beautiful, picturesque spot overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This destination is worth the visit because of the views and the landscape. You can spend a few hours here wandering the trails and exploring the coast a bit more upclose, or you can spend a few minutes just to see the monument to acknowledge the significance of the spot. The drive along the N247 makes the adventure to Cabo da Roca that much more amazing.

IMG_1412.jpegThe view of the Atlantic from Cabo da Roca

The coral rock and sandy beaches will capture your attention on the drive to Cabo da Roca; do not hesitate to pull over and explore. This coastline is where surfers come to catch a wave in the privacy of the hidden beaches. If you want an extra treat, make sure to come this way for a stunning sunset or sunrise.

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 12.00.08 pmHidden beach with surfers                                                                  Random beach untouched

Lisbon is a lovely spot to explore but it’s outter region makes it
even more exciting to visit. Make sure to share your experience of
these spots or any other hidden gems that you have come across.


Brian + Shelbs



3 thoughts on “Hidden Gems of the ​Lisbon Region

  1. it was amazing to read your post about my hometown 🙂 I live close to Cascais but I spend my days in Lisbon, because I´m lucky enough to work there 🙂 you have great photos! hope you can return here! cheers, PedroL

    Liked by 1 person

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