Lisbon

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Lisbon


A shining light on Europe’s city break scene, Lisbon’s winding streets divulge a treasure trove of Baroque palaces, artsy cafes and some of Europe’s finest museums. It’s a sightseer’s paradise, best explored by foot or via the city’s impossibly quaint trams. 

It may meet your culture quota, but Lisbon doesn’t stop there. As a seafront city, you’ll find no less than four unique coastlines within arm’s reach. Surf is big business in this corner of the world, but the coastline west of Lisbon is also renowned for its fine sandy beaches and calm waters. 

Our villas in Lisbon rest here, in the town of Cascais. A favourite of Portuguese aristocracy, consider it your springboard to the capital’s charms, as well as other highlights like the scenic Sintra Mountains.

Lisbon’s unique position means there’s a beach for every occasion. The Oeiras-Estoril-Cascais coastline passes right by your villa rental in Cascais and its poster child is Praia de Carcavelos. Oodles of facilities make this one of the best-loved beaches around. However, it remains pleasantly undeveloped with room to stretch out on its 1.5 kilometre sands. 

The pretty beaches of Praia da Conceição and Praia da Duquesa rub shoulders mere minutes from Cascais town centre. Both are blessed by clean, tranquil waters. 

Find your surfing fix on the craggy coastline below Sintra National Park. During the summer, Praia do Guincho is one of the best for beginners. The protected surroundings deliver a wild backdrop, making this Lisbon beach day trip dynamite.

Less what-to-see and more what-to-see-first, Lisbon’s attractions offer a wealth of possibilities. A great place to start is the city’s oldest district, Alfama. Now a maze-like network of traditional houses and trendy cafes, it’s crowned by the impressive São Jorge Castle. 

Those with a passion for the past also have Lisbon Cathedral, Jerónimos Monastery and the 17th century National Pantheon to look forward to. Top tip: the rooftop terrace of the latter affords stunning views across the city. Art-lovers, on the other hand, should make a beeline for the National Museum of Ancient Art. 

As well as the mist-shrouded mountains of Sintra, try to squeeze in a day trip to Mafra Palace. This Baroque beauty is astonishing in its grandeur, combining royal residences and one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

Effortlessly chic, Lisbon’s shopping scene embraces the latest fashions yet leaves plenty of room for traditional tastes. Flea markets, snazzy shopping streets and indie outlets nestle side-by-side, appealing to every pocket. 

Indulge in a spot of window shopping on swanky Avenida da Liberdade, where only the best designer shops reside (the central gardens are perfect for people watching). A visit to Feira da Ladra, Lisbon’s famed flea market, is always time well spent – especially in the afternoon when there are often bargains to be found. 

In Cascais, speciality boutiques sell everything from handcrafted jewellery to ornate Portuguese tiles. Many villas are close to the shops, and of course you’ll find a clutch of supermarkets for all your home cooking needs.

No villa holiday in Lisbon is complete without a taste of the city’s greatest snack: pasteis de nata. These gooey custard tarts, ensconced in flakey puff pastry, have taken on cult status and can be found in cafes all over the capital. 

More substantial scoffing awaits in neighbourhood restaurants. Freshly-netted fish dominates the menu, while pork dishes, locally produced sheep cheese and juicy tomatoes are also worth keeping an eye out for. When it comes to booze, natural wines are experiencing an upswing. A small glass of ginjinha, a sour berry liqueur, provides the ultimate after-dinner treat. 

Local at heart but with one eye on the future, Lisbon is a haven for cheap eats, five-star spreads and everything in between.

Choose to stay in a holiday apartment or family-friendly villa in Lisbon and you’ll find a comfy place to lay your head. Fully-fitted kitchens offer total flexibility, and the option of daily maid service takes the pressure off keeping your holiday home spick and span. 

Apartment complexes have playgrounds for the little ones, plus childcare services so the parents have time to grab a cheeky cocktail by the pool. Villas come with their own aces up the sleeve, like table tennis and private gardens.

When your water babies can be dragged away from the beach, Lisbon’s family-friendly attractions guarantee much entertainment. Two of our favourites are the sky-high Sintra National Palace and Oceanário de Lisboa, one of the greatest aquariums in Europe.

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