Lisbon

Lisbon

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Lisbon's most monumental and historical area is Belem. It was from here that many of the great Portuguese explorers embarked on their voyages of discovery: Prince Henry the Navigator and the first overseas expedition to conquer Ceuta in Morocco, Bartholomeu Dias to round the Cape of Good Hope, the first voyages of Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama to discover the sea route to India, and Christopher Columbus stopped here on his way back to Europe after discovering the New World. During this time Lisbon flourished with riches pouring into Portugal and saw the construction of great monuments like the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Today these monuments and their surrounding museums are essential viewing for any visitor. With so much to see, the Ajuda Palace and its ostentatious interior is often overlooked, but combined with the opulence of the popular Coaches Museum, it's the best place to see the regal grandeur of 18th century Lisbon and of the European royal families.


Porto

Porto

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Porto is Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon. The city is set on the northern bank of the Douro River, which gives rise to the dramatically undulated landscape and makes for spectacular vistas. Porto is a fascinating and vibrant city that is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations. The city boasts an extensive history, interesting tourist attractions and a buzzing nightlife. There is a lot to see and do in Porto and the city will appeal to a wide range of different visitors.As Porto is a major city, restaurants and hotels remain open all year round and do not shut during the winter months, as happens with the tourist towns.


Sintra

Sintra

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Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. This slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens. The variety of fascinating historic buildings and beautiful scenery has established Sintra as a top rate tourist destination and is the most popular day trip from Lisbon.The beautiful Pena Palace is the best attraction of Sintra. This 19th century palace was designed by a king who was passionate about the arts and wished his royal retreat to reflect that of an opera. The exterior is painted vivid colours, with decorative towers and battlements and statues of mythological creatures.



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