When autumn approaches we usually look for a destination to spend some more sunny days to extend the summer. Autumn is the perfect season to travel to Portugal since it offers visitors a wealth of culture, beautiful landscape and great golf courses! Besides from stellar boutique hotels, of course…
The region around Lisbon – Portugal’s capital – is not only a fantastic region for golfers, though. Whether you care about history and heritage, great beaches or the unique landscape, the country makes for an excellent autumn getaway!
These are our recommendations for golfers and those who love small yet stylish boutique hotels:
Travel itinerary for a tour around Lisbon
We first headed eastwards toward Évora in the Alentejo region. When leaving Lisbon we crossed the impressive “Vasco da Gama” bridge, one of the longest bridges in the World!
After visiting the enchanting Alentejo region we travelled back west, to Cascais, before we continued our trip up north:
Places of Interest around Lisbon
Évora – Bursting with History and Culture
Traveling to Évora, the capital of the Alentejo region, you will find a sleepy landscape, white villages, vines, olive groves and small towns that have remained practically unchanged for centuries. This region is truly charming!
And the city of Évora – a UNESCO World Heritage – is like an open air museum with many cultural sites, palaces and churches.
There are so many nice cafes and bars in Évora that we enjoyed walking around, savoring local wine every now and then. The region is also known for its genuine cuisine, by the way. We had a delicious black pork at a restaurant called “Maria Luisa”.
Cascais lies on the far western coast approximately 30 km from Lisbon. The former fishing village has reinvented itself into an elegant seaside resort and one of Lisbon’s most sophisticated destinations. Locals flock here for a relaxed weekend.
Sintra is yet another UNESCO World Heritage site nearby. There are many things to see in Sintra, starting of course with discovering the natural and architectural buildings, the historic palaces, castles, monasteries and monuments.
Unfortunately, the day we visited Sintra it was rainy and foggy. Hence we don’t have any great pictures to show here :-(
The wide variety of city hills and heritage buildings make Lisbon a well rounded city. The picturesque capital, built on a series of hills with scenic vistas from every angle, is very charming and we enjoyed the city’s parks, gardens, belvederes, cafés and esplanades.
Besides of all the heritage monuments Lisbon also boasts modern architecture as for example the impressive Champalimaud Foundation building in Belém.
Belém is one of Lisbon’s neighbourhoods with the largest number of heritage sites. Here you will find the picturesque Tower of Belem and Jeronimos Monastery (both World heritage sites).
At the “Antiga Confeitaria de Belém” (simply known as “Pasteis de Belém” or “Belém pastries”) we bought Lisbon’s famous custard tarts. Be prepared to queue, though! The pastry shop gets the most visitors around!
Once you’re back in Lisbon you shouldn’t miss the ride across Alfama – Lisbon’s old medieval district – with the legendary tram No. 28 – what a great experience!
The view from the terrace of the “Elevador de Santa Justa” is also very recommendable. You get a 360-degree bird’s-eye views of the city!
Dont’ miss the “Parque das Nações” – the former exhibition site of Expo 98. Its futuristic architecture offers a strong contrast to the city’s old quarters. Most of it was built by innovative architects for the World Fair that took place in 1998.
Charming Boutique Hotels
Besides the traditional “Pousada” hotels Portugal also boasts charming boutique hotels. We were amazed by the following great retreats:
Amazing Golf Courses around Lisbon
Portugal is also very renowned for its fantastic golf courses. Many of them are situated at Portugal’s south coast, in the Algarve. However, Purtugal’s centre region has some great and remarkable courses, too!
Read our separate report about the amazing golf courses around Lisbon: Troia, Quinta da Marinha, Penha Longa, Oitavos Dunes, Praia del Rey and Belas.
Fly into Lisbon and Rent a Car!
Lisbon’s international airport is located quite closely to the city centre and you get to the city in no time. If you’re planning to travel to remote golf courses and different hotels you might want to book a rental car. The Portuguese driving behavior is relatively easy given its latin roots…