Lisbon, the capitol of Portugal, with its mild, spring-like winters and cool summers, invites travelers year round. One of the first things visitors notice is Lisbon's unique cityscape with white bleached limestone buildings and lovely, narrow alleyways and backstreets.
Over 20 centuries of city's history has left many Gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and a strong influence of Muslim culture. For the tourists Lisbon also offers great choice of hotels, restaurants, shopping and nightlife for every budget.
Sightseeing attractions in Lisbon or in the vicinity include:
Cristo Rei - a monument of Christ, over 100 m (328 feet) tall with breathtaking views from the observation deck,
Alfama (Lisbon's oldest quarter),
Chiado (shopping district),
Belem Tower (Torre de Belem) and Jerónimos Monastery,
Ermida de Sao Jeronimo,
Praça do Comércio and downtown (Baixa),
Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian),
Museum of Ancient Art (Nacional de Arte Antiga),
Convento da Madre de Deus
or the Oceanarium.
Porto, Portugal's second largest city, is located by the Douro River, about 320 km (199 miles) north of Lisbon. The city of Porto was build on many steep hills - some buildings are even built into a cliff face of the Douro River.
The historical center of this very busy industrial and commercial city - the Ribeira district - was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996. It has plenty of of beautiful buildings, restaurants, bars and hotels.
Other tourist attractions include:
Vila Nova di Gaia,
Álvaro Siza Vieira’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Casa da Música,
Pavilhão Rosa Mota, Soares dos Reis, Livraria Lello, Igreja de Santa Clara, Torre dos Clérigos or Museu de David.
The town of Sintra is located just 28 km (17.4 miles) from Lisbon and is mostly known for its historic centre that’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This beautiful town, surrounded by wooded hillsides, once served as the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, now is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Places to see: Quinta da Regaleira (Regaleira Palace and Gardens), The Royal Palace, Pena Park and Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena), Monserrate, Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros).
Côa Valley Archaeological Park
The Côa Valley is located in the mountains of northeast Portugal.
In the late 1980s archeologists discovered there thousands of engraved drawings of horses, bovines and other animal, human and abstract figures, dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years BC. The site with these remarkable Paleolithic rock carvings was later designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Peneda-Gerês National Park
Peneda Geres was founded in 1971 and it is the only one national park in Portugal.
The park covers an area of 72,000 hectares and has a remarkable diversity of climate, environments and scenery. Park's flora and fauna are very unique, not to be found elsewhere in Portugal. It's also one of the last refuges of the wolf and the royal eagle in this part of Europe.