Lisbon – Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The last place I visited during my trip to Lisbon was the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, founded in 1969 to house the enormous art collection that belonged to Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. Calouste Gulbenkian was an obscenely rich businessman born in Constantinople in 1869. Over the years he amassed a massive collection of around 6,400 artworks dating... Continue Reading →

Lisbon – Castelo de Sao Jorge and the Alfama

The Castelo de São Jorge and the Alfama are among the oldest parts of Lisbon. This ancient, hilly district is home to a warren of winding cobbled streets and characterful old buildings, and it's where I decided to spend my final morning in the city. The Castelo de São Jorge is perched high on a... Continue Reading →

Sintra – Moors’ Castle

It's almost impossible to miss the Castelo dos Mouros or Moors' Castle in Sintra. The striking fortress, which sits high on a hill overlooking the town, dominates the surrounding landscape and is visible for miles. Its stone ramparts, towers and battlements are sprawled across the hilltop making it a formidable defensive structure. The castle was... Continue Reading →

Sintra – Pena Palace

High on the hills overlooking Sintra is the kitsch, brightly painted Pena Palace. It's a magnificent, romantic building surrounded by 85 hectares of gardens and like so many buildings in Sintra, unique. It's one of the quirkiest, most unusual palaces I've visited. The palace was originally a monastery built by King Manuel I in the... Continue Reading →

Sintra – Quinta da Regaleira

Nestled in the lush green hills surrounding Sintra is the extraordinary Quinta da Regaleira, a stately home quite unlike any other. This marvellous home and its unusual gardens were designed at the turn of the 20th century by the Italian architect Luigi Manini. The estate was built as a summer residence for António Augusto Carvalho... Continue Reading →

Sintra and its National Palace

Two magnificent palaces, an incredible hilltop castle and a quirky stately home are just some of the many things to do in the pretty, picturesque town of Sintra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site to the west of Lisbon is surrounded by lush, tree-covered hills in the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais and was the favourite summer... Continue Reading →

Lisbon – Belem

With two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a palace, a museum and a café famous for its pastel de nata, there was no way I was spending four days in Lisbon without making a day trip to its western suburb of Belém on the banks of the Tagus River. The easiest way to get to Belém... Continue Reading →

Lisbon – Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Built by King Manuel I of Portugal in the 16th century, the magnificent Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is one of Lisbon's most popular landmarks. The huge monastery, which is affiliated with the Order of St Jerome (hence its name), is situated in the western suburb of Belém and is the resting place of Portuguese monarchs and... Continue Reading →

Cascais

"If you're going to Lisbon, make sure you go to Cascais," said my father before I headed off to the Portuguese capital. Cascais is a small fishing town on the Atlantic coast to the west of Lisbon, renowned for its beaches and charming character. The town had been one of my beach-loving father's highlights when... Continue Reading →

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