The Lisbon region with its sports and cultural diversity is an excellent holiday destination for va-
cationers seeking variety. Whether it is concerts, theatre, museums, nightlife, history, gastronomy
or outdoor leisure sports for example golf and surfing - the Lisbon region leaves no wish unfulfilled.
Found at the mouth with the Tagus River ("Rio Tejo") and presumably founded by the
Phoenicians around 1200 B.C. like a trading post, Lisbon fascinates the visitor featuring its rich
cultural and historical heritage which is always worth a weekend city break. Rolling around in its eventful
history they have witnessed many invaders for example the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Alans,
Vandals, Suebi, Visigoths and Moors. In 1147, the 400 years long moorish domination of
Lisbon was ended when crusaders led by Alfonso I of Portugal reconquered Lisbon during
the Christian Reconquista.
All rulers left their cultural imprints about the city, thereby making Lisbon an exilerating and
unique mixture of probably the most different cultural and architectural influences with Romanesque,
Gothic, Manueline, Baroque and Traditional Portuguese architecture. Throughout the so-called
"Portuguese Ages of Discovery" between your 15th and 17th century Lisbon became strategi-
cally significant as starting place for your Portuguese exploration of Africa, India, the Far East
and Brazil. The legendary Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama left Lisbon in 1497 to disco-
ver the ocean option to India.
Although Lisbon was largely destroyed by the disastrous earthquake in 1755 and fully
rebuilt in contemporary architectural style afterwards, many historical monuments have
remained untouched with that nature catastrophe and therefore are evidence the cultural and historical
diversity of the seaport. Of these historical sites of interest you find Lisbon Castle/
Castle of Sao Jorge ("Castelo de Sao Jorge") built in a citadel-like style and Lisbon Cathe-
dral ("Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa" or "Se de Lisboa") built-in the 12th and 13th century
in Late Romanesque style, simply to mention a few. The Belem Tower ("Torre de Belem")
having its Portuguese Late Gothic, Manueline and Renessaince Style along with the Jeronimos
Monastery ("Mosteiro dos Jeronimos") using its Manueline, Plateresco, Renaissance and
Gothic style were integrated the 16th century and declared World Heritage Sites through the
UNESCO in 1983.
At the start of the 1800s Lisbon was invaded and pillaged through the army of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1910 the first Portuguese Republic was declared. In 1998 Lisbon hosted the planet Exhibition Expo ?98.
Art lovers will love various museums in Lisbon like the "Museo do Azulejo" (Museum
of Portuguese-style Tile Mosaics), the "Oceanario de Lisboa" (Lisbon Oceanarium) as well as the
"Museo Nacional de Arte Antiga" (National Museum of Ancient Art). Opera lovers will appre-
ciate the rich cultural agenda on the "Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos". Tourists may also love
the many cafes and restaurants and the numerous shopping possibilities such as the Vasco
da Gama Shopping Mall and Amoreiras Shopping Mall. Don?t miss a fado music performance
from the Alfama, Lisbon?s oldest quarter.
The population transport system in Lisbon is incredibly well-developed and allows simple and fast acces
to the surrounding Lisbon region with Sintra, the Estoril Coast as well as the Setubal peninsula.
Sintra and the Estoril Coast come in the Ribatejo region north in the Tagus estuary
(hence the name "Ribatejo" meaning "riba do Tejo" ("on, or beyond, banking institutions from the
Tagus")). The Estoril Coast featuring its beaches and holiday resorts offers a large selection of
free time activities including tennis, wandering, swimming or sailing which is your best option
for beach holidays. The top density of golf courses at the Estoril Coast also causes it to be a pa-
radise for golfers. Surfers will favour surfing hotspots for example Carcavelos and Ericeira.
Another daytrip destination simple to reach from Lisbon is Sintra. Its historic monuments such
because the Nineteenth century Pena National Palace (Palacio Nacional de Pena), the 9th and 10th century
Castle in the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros) along with the 15th and 16th century Sintra National Palace
(Palacio Nacional de Sintra) and the Sintra-Cascais Park are always worth visiting.
Sintra was declared your global Heritage Site with the UNESCO in 1995.
The Setubal peninsula (also referred to as "Costa Azul" ("Blue Coast")) is found the Alentejo region
south with the Tagus estuary (and so the name "Alentejo" which suggests "alem do Tejo" ("beyond
the Tagus")). It is famous for the Arrabida Park. Visitors will be impressed with its
unique Mediterranean vegetation untouched by touristic development and also the unspoilt
wildlife and will count on seeing storks, flamingos and dolphins, flamingos. Dolphin watching
can be a major tourist attraction. The protection area invites the traveller to varied leisure
time activities for example river cruises, walking, biking, horseback riding, heat ballooning,
diving and golf.
To read more about day trip from Lisbon check out this popular website.