Top 10 Things to do on the Lisbon Coast

This is a guest post by Chris Holt from 360GolfHolidays

Lisbon is a gorgeous location on the Atlantic coast with amazing year-round weather. As the largest city in Portugal, it has developed as a centre of culture and activity, making it a great destination for families, backpackers and any other type of traveller.

Below is a list of 10 possible activities to do along the city and Lisbon coast, many of which may convince you to consider the city for your next great city break or long vacation.

Visit the Beautiful and Sunny Lisbon Beaches

One of the biggest draws of Portugal’s capital city is its stunning beaches. There are also beaches situated in the small nearby town of Cascais, like Guincho Beach which make for a relaxing day in the sun. In addition, beaches such as Praia da Ursa and Pinhal de Leiria are great for all kinds of water activities such as swimming, surfing, sailing and more.

Lisbon Coast in Portugal

Lisbon Coast in Portugal

Step Back in Time at Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto is a neighbourhood that dates back to the 16th century and features an old town feel including some amazing architecture. While the area is relatively quiet during the day, it offers an amazing nightlife scene. Over 250 bars, restaurants and clubs populate the area, making the neighbourhood a fluster of activity during the night as people hustle into popular spots such as Lust, Ministerium, and Lux.

Taste Pasteis de Belem

The Pastel de Belem is a traditional egg tart pastry that is one of Portugal’s most popular creations. In fact, The Guardian newspaper publication even named the tart the 15th most tasty delicacy in the world. While an imitation known as the Pastel de Nata exists, nothing beats the Pasteis de Belem original that is found at the Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, the large bakery cafe that continues to keep the tart’s secret recipe under lock and key to this day.

Take a Swing on Lisbon’s Many Golf Courses

This location is also great for golfers and features many great courses along the coast of this city. Great courses can be found in the Cascais and Estoril areas as well as the Sintra hills. Lisbon Golf holiday resorts such as the Palmela Village Golf complex and the Penha Longa Golf Resort offer amazing courses, beautiful sights and exquisite accommodations that will spoil even the most experienced golfers.

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Penha Longa Golf Course

Visit the National Coach Museum

Lisbon is a centre of culture and the arts and plays host to many excellent museums and art galleries. Unique among these is The National Coach Museum which features an extensive collection of historical coaches. The museum allows visitors to take a step back in time while viewing many rare items and carriages which once belonged to members of the Portuguese royal family.

Sail Along the Paths Once Taken by Portuguese Explorers

Like many Portuguese explorers throughout history, you can also set sail on the Lisbon coast, braving the rocking ocean waves in search of adventure. The waves along the Lisbon coast are perfect for a day of sailing. Clubs such as The Clube Naval de Cascais feature training, competitions and function as hotspots for visiting sailors in the area. We also recommend the sailing cruises in the Tagus river.

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From the Tagus River you can get a unique sight over the city of Lisbon

Relax by the Waters Along the River Tagus

In addition to the amazing Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon also has the Tagus river which runs through the city. The Tagus river flow can be seen from old town as well as the city’s newer districts. There are lots of vantage points dotted along the Tagus all of which help the river become of the great characteristics of this gorgeous capital city.

Experience Lisbon’s Traditional Fado Music

It’s difficult to leave out a mention of Fado not least because the music has a large influence on the culture of the city. Tourists can be seen crowded into the various Fado Houses of the city enjoying the sounds of this unique musical style. For those who would like to take a more in-depth look at this important music style of Portugal, the city also features the popular Museum of Fado.

Discover Wildlife at Tapada Nacional de Mafra

For those looking to get back to nature, you can visit the Tapada Nacional de Mafra, a park of natural heritage that was founded in 1747. The park features many types of wildlife that you can view including deer, fallow deer, wild boars, birds of prey and foxes. The species coexist in a beautiful forest which spans a huge area just a small distance outside of Lisbon.

surf lisboa

Surfing along the Lisbon coast is a fun thing to do with a group of friends

Surf Lisbon’s Amazing Waves

Well known by water sports enthusiasts the Lisbon coast offers no shortage of great surfing spots. Lisbon is a great place to take surfing lessons and learn how to ride the coast’s rolling waves. In addition to the facilities and natural surf on offer, many come to take advantage of the cool breezes and great beaches whilst getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.

Final Thoughts about the Lisbon Coast

The above list highlights some of the best things to do when visiting the Lisbon coast. This all year-round destination offers a huge range of activities and cultural discoveries including gorgeous beaches, watersports, amazing culture, music, food, wine and stunning views.

Sunset Lisboa

Things to do in Lisbon during the Web Summit 2018

We live in Lisbon. We love Lisbon. The capital of Portugal is a very welcoming city. These days, a lot of people, more than 70.000 to be more exact, will be visiting Lisbon to attend the Web Summit, one of the greatest tech conferences in the world. If you are one of those lucky people, read on, we’ve selected the best things to do in Lisbon just for you!

Lisbon, the city of the seven hills, is known for its nice blend of richness in culture, history, shopping, nightlife and startup scene. From all of its seven hills, you can find many “miradouros” – viewpoints – to enjoy the stunning sights over the imposing São Jorge Castle, the old city’s pastel-colored buildings, the Tagus Estuary and the 25 de Abril Bridge. Being a coastal capital city, some of the best things to do in Lisbon are related to the ocean or the river. Just outside the city, you’ll find a beautiful string of Atlantic beaches, from Estoril to Cascais.

The Web Summit takes place from November 6th to 9th. Usually, the weather in Lisbon is already a bit “winterish” this time of the year. For now, temperatures are expected to range between 14 and 22 degrees celcius and it seem to be some sunny days. We recommend bringing an umbrella as you never know. Keep up with the local weather here.

In our personal opinion, and as locals, the best things to do in Lisbon are:

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One of the best thing to do in Lisbon: eat!

1. Eat codfish and other fresh fish

Yes, if you love fish and other seafood, Lisbon is a paradise. In fact, you can eat a freshly grilled fish on every corner of the street in Lisbon. The fish is always fresh and usually served with boiled potatoes and veggies. Codfish is served in many different styles: grilled, cooked, baked with cream in the oven, fried with grated potato, and so on.

Of course, there are many meat and vegetarian options too. Our favorite restaurant for some freshly grilled fish and meat is “O Último Porto”. It’s not that easy to get there, but a taxi or a nice walk will take you there and you won’t regret 😉

If you want to get a truly local experience, why not join a walking food tour? Our friend Luciana is a specialist in all of Lisbon’s foodie secrets 😉

Oceanário SeaBookings

The number one things to do in Lisbon: Oceanarium

2. Go to the Oceanarium

I remember going to the Oceanarium back in 1999 when it opened. Since then, of course, I’ve been there again. The Oceanarium is one of the best things to do in Lisbon on a rainy day. The Oceanarium actually ranks #1 on the things to do in Lisbon by TripAdvisor! You can spend and entire morning or afternoon here. It’s very educational (for all ages), very friendly and easy to access, especially if you’re staying near Parque das Nações for the Web Summit.

One of our favorite museums: Contemporary Art

3. Enjoy Portuguese art at the National Museum of Contemporary Art

Personally one of my favorite museums of Lisbon. Another great thing to do if the weather is not helping. Located in Chiado, in the heart of the city, only the building is worth a visit. The building has a neo-modern architectural style that respects and honors the pre-existing historical vestiges. I really enjoyed the temporary exhibition that is on at the moment: a retrospective exhibition of the stereoscopic photographs of Francisco Afonso Chaves, a Azorean naturalist. The permanent collection crosses the history of Portuguese art from the second half of the 19th century until today. Open from Tuesdays to Sundays: 10am-6am and costs 4,50€.

Sailing tour Lisbon

Sailing is one of the best things to do in Lisbon as you get a unique perspective over the city

4. Feel the city vibe from a different perspective on a sunset sailing tour in Lisbon

On the blog of SeaBookings, of course, we have to recommend a boat tour. This 2h boat tour gives you a unique perspective over the city. It’s one of the most special things to do in Lisbon as it takes place during sunset, giving the trip a magical touch. Recently, Brazilian blogger Flávia tried the sailing tour in Lisbon and shared her experience on the blog. Make sure to book on time to assure your seat.

Lisbon Surf

Feel the surf trend on a surf trip from Lisbon!

5. Grab your first wave during a surfing lesson

Lisbon has been in the news as a candidate to the new tech capital with sun, startups and surf. Yes, within 20min from the city center of Lisbon, you can go surfing. Surfing is a very popular sport under the locals and expats in Lisbon and going on a surf trip is a great way to feel this trend. Surfing in Lisbon will also count as the workout you needed during those days away from home!

We recommend booking a full surf trip. A local surfer will pick you up at your accommodation and take you to the best surf spot according to the conditions and your level of experience. You’ll get a theoretical introduction on the beach before jumping into the waves. A lot of fun is guaranteed and believe us, by the end of the day, you’ll be happy to be in bed!

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Wander or run around the narrow alleys and stunning “miradouros”

6. Get lost in Alfama / Mouraria

Alfama and Mouraria are our favorite neighborhoods in Lisbon. If feels great to wander around the narrow streets and cute squares to stumble upon hidden “miradouros”. Grab a coffee and a pastry so now and then or have a glass of Portuguese wine with a view. You can explore these neighborhoods on your own or you can get a local to walk you through or even run you to the most exciting points of interest.

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The imponent monument of the Discoveries in Belém

7. Discover Belém

Belém is the “Discovery” neigborhood of Lisbon. From here, the discoverers left Portugal to conquer the world. You can find several touristic attractions and monuments related to the Age of the Discoveries in Belém: Torre de Belém (the tower), Padrão dos Descobrimentos (the Discovery monument) and the impotent Monastery of Jerónimos. Don’t leave Belém without having one of the famous and delicious pastries – pastel de Belém. The cue to get them may look big, but it’s rather fast. You can eat the pastel in the cafe itself with a nice coffee or take away and sit on the grass by the river to grab some sun.

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Having a drink in Cais do Sodré is one of the must things to do in Lisbon

8. Grab a drink in Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré

Lisbon’s nightlife is amazing. In the famous Bairro Alto the idea is to grab a drink in one of the little bars and drink it on the street. You’ll be surrounded by hipsters, Erasmus students, LGBT, or others, depending on the street you’re in. Accept the challenge to find the cheapest beer: 0,50€ for 33cl or discover the best Caipirinha in town! After Bairro Alto, go with the flow down to Cais do Sodre for some more drinks on the streets or try some dance moves. Wanna dance a bit more? Grab an Uber or Taxify to Lux, the best discotheque of town and choose your music genre on one of the three dancing floors.

That’s Lisbon. What else. Of course there are many more things to do. Tourist things, like grabbing tram number 28 or going to a Fado concert, for example. Depending on your taste and available time, go and have some fun. We love Lisbon and are happy to share some  more tips & tricks with you, so feel free to throw some questions or suggestions! And enjoy the Web Summit! See you there!

We went surfing in Lisbon! And it was AWESOME!

Last Saturday finally I joined one of the surf days in Lisbon. Surfing in Lisbon had been on my list of the activities to test for a long while. I’ve been a surfer myself for many years. Me and my sister (and co-founder of SeaBookings.com) were pretty good surfers when we were kids. From our 12 to 18 years old we even used to participate in national surf competitions.

surfing in Lisbon

Good times we had while surfing along the whole Portuguese coast and participating in surfing competitions with our surf school. Then, at 18, when I moved to Lisbon to study, slowly I quitted surfing. It’s a pity because I love the sport. The close contact with the ocean in undescribable.

Surfing in Lisbon is hot. Young people who visit the Portuguese capital like its surf scene which is booming. For surfing in Lisbon, SeaBookings partnered up with a surf school owned by two young surfers who we know for many years. Tomás and António are pro surfers themselves and decided to create a school to share their passion for surfing in Lisbon.

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Our experience surfing in Lisbon

It was 9AM on a saturday morning when we were picked up by António at the previously agreed meeting point in the center of Lisbon. From there António drove me, my friend Ella and a customer, Tiago, to the best surf spot for that day. The flexibility of choosing the beach on the day and according to the level of the participants allows for a great surf experience.

Within about 20 minutes drive, we arrived at Praia da Torre. Here, the waves seemed tiny but in fact they were perfect for a first time surf lesson. We got our wetsuits and went down to the beach where we could drop our stuff and get our wetsuit on. It was an amazing day in Spring, ideal for a day surfing in Lisbon. After suiting up, Tomás guided us through a short warming up to get our bodies ready to get into the fresh Atlantic.

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After the warming up it was time to practice the “standup” movement on the beach. Tomás showed us first and then we repeated several times. When Tomás though we understood the movement well enough, there was no further time to waste in the sand, and we got into the ocean. The surf lesson was very personalized and therefore Ella and Tiago learned very fast. Tomás was helping them to choose and catch the right waves. I was impressed by how quick both Ella and Tiago were able to stand up on their boards and ride a wave.

As you can see in this video we had a lot of fun. The surf day in Lisbon consists of the surfing lesson as I described here and in the afternoon, you’ll can use the gear to catch some waves yourself. Lunch is not provided, so you can either bring it from home or buy something at the beach. We recommend to bring a hat, sunscreen, swimming gear, a towel and water and a snack. Booking a few days ahead is recommended as some days the surfing trips in Lisbon may become fully booked.

Enjoy surfing in Lisbon and let us know if you’ve got any further tips, suggestions or questions!

Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016

It seems like tomorrow will be the big day! Tomorrow the Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is expected to start. Nazaré, about 125km North of Lisbon, is one of the most popular seaside resorts along the “Costa de Prata” (Silver Coast), Portugal. Since November 2011, when surfer Garrett McNamara, from Hawaii, surfed a record-breaking giant wave (23.8 m) at Nazaré, this seaside village became famous for its big waves.

Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016

Garrett McNamara’s wave from 2011 in Nazaré

In recent years, Nazaré has become a popular tourist destination being a picturesque seaside village. Its long sandy beaches are considered to be among the best beaches in Portugal.

After his record-breaking giant wave in 2011, McNamara returned to Nazaré several times in the search of an even bigger wave. In October, 2013, Carlos Burle, from Brazil, surfed another wave that is being studied as possibly the largest wave ever ridden. Surfing big waves in Nazaré is not without danger. In October 2013, female surfer Maya Gabeira experienced a near-death wipeout in Nazaré. Fortunately, she was rescued after losing consciousness.

Nazaré hosts such very high breaking waves thanks to the presence of the underwater Canyon. This canyon makes the waves much larger. The famous big waves of Nazaré gave origin to the Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016.

Andrew Cotton is already having fun at Nazré

Andrew Cotton is already having fun at Nazaré

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 has been called on with big-wave riders Andrew Cotton and Tom Butler, both from the UK, in the starting line up. Depending on the local wind, it looks like Tuesday December the 20th is the first possible day. Let’s keep our fingers crossed the wind and ocean conditions cooperate.

The the World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT), with a series of major swells heading towards Nazaré, confirmed the start of the event. All surf lovers around the world will have their eyes on the world’s best big wave surfers. The 24 selected big wave riders will take on the waves of “Praia do Norte”. This beach beak is notorious for its imposing waves and dangerous whitewater speeds.

According to Peter Mel, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner, the waves are projected to be 10-14m plus with favorable winds. “We are all eager to see how the world’s best big wave surfers push the boundaries with the debut of this event” he says.

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is an all-new event on the WSL Big Wave Tour. The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 will be the first paddle-in competition to take place at Nazaré. This happening reaffirms Portugal as a big wave haven.

The event will be contested by 24 of the best big wave surfers. Our friend and local surfer Alex Botelho is among these 24 courageous surfers. The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 is scheduled to start early in the morning Portugal time on Tuesday, December 20. Depending on the conditions, the organization is also keeping the option open of competition days on Wednesday, December 21 and Thursday, December 22.

The Nazaré Big Wave Event 2016 will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL app. The total prize purse for the Nazare Challenge is $100,000.

Nazaré Challenge Competitors in 2016:

Greg Long (USA)

Billy Kemper (HAW)

Nic Lamb (USA)

Carlos Burle (BRA)

Damien Hobgood (USA)

Cristian Merello (CHL)

Ramon Navarro (CHL)

Gabriel Villaran (PER)

Grant Baker (CHL)

Trevor Carlson (HAW)

Koa Rothman (HAW)

Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Aaron Gold (HAW)

Kai Lenny (HAW)

Pedro Calado (BRA)

Will Skudin (USA)

Kealii Mamala (HAW)

Kohl Christensen (HAW)

Alex Botelho (PRT)

Hugo Vau (PRT)

João de Macedo (PRT)

Antonio Silva (PRT)

Andrew Cotton (GBR)

Tom Butler (GBR)

Visit Nazaré these days to be impressed by these heroes or book your own surfing lesson in Portugal!

All you need to know about surfing in Lisbon

Lisbon is becoming more and more popular as a holiday destination. Looking at its cuisine, the Portuguese capital is famous for its delicious codfish and wines. Musea, Fado and a great fusion of architecture attract culture lovers to the city. Lisbon, as a capital city, is unique due to its blessed location next to the Tagus River and the Atlantic. The weather in Lisbon is also an attraction. The weather and the Atlantic make Lisbon a true surfing Paradise. Surfing in Lisbon is growing.

Surf school

Surf school

For many reasons surf in Lisbon is becoming more and more popular. Locals do it after their work by catching a train to one of the nearby beaches. For visitors there are many surf tours in Lisbon too. Surf tours in Lisbon can be found for all kind of budgets. The budget to go surfing in Lisbon depends on transfers, duration of the lesson, size of the group, equipment included or not, food included or not, etc.

When choosing which surf tour in Lisbon is the best for you, check out what’s included or not. Most surfing tours in Lisbon don’t include transfers. You should go to the beach by yourself. You can do so by train or car. If you prefer to have a transfer by the surf school, feel free to ask for the options.

We like to work with local surfer guys from Lisbon who know the surrounding beaches of Lisbon like no other. Taking into account  the weather and ocean conditions,  the best beach will be decided. Usually surfing in Lisbon takes place on one of the following beaches: Costa da Caparica, Carcavelos, Guincho or Praia Grande.

Lisbon Surf Connection

Lisbon Surf Connection

Our partners for surfing in Lisbon are passionate about this sport and great surfers themselves. They vision to deliver the best surf experience for those traveling through Lisbon. We guarantee you’ll get the best surf experience in the Lisbon region. The local wave riders will will share their secrets spot with you and teach you all the tips and tricks to surf, adapted to your level of experience.

When visiting Lisbon, learn the art of surfing waves safely, in a correct, fun and relaxed way and under the attentive and close supervision of our instructors. Surfing is an extremely fulfilling experience in complete connection with nature. The ocean will make you feel small and you’ll respect the Atlantic like never before. If you’ve never tried surfing, have a go – we have no doubt you’ll love it! If you already know a bit about surfing, we’re happy to help you evolve.

surf carcavelos

Surf Carcavelos

Still not convinced to go surfing in Lisbon? Check these 9 reasons why you should go surfing in Lisbon:

  • You can do it all year round. Weather is irrelevant and we’ll always be able to find some nice waves;
  • Surfing allows you to stay fit during your holidays;
  • No prior experience is required as an introductory class in the sand will be given (if needed) before you go into the water;
  • There are packs for all budgets. If you’re traveling on a budget, just grab a train to avoid the transfer costs;
  • If you’re travelling with a group of friends or family, feel free to give us a call to arrange a special price and personalized service;
  • Around Lisbon you can find a very broad range of amazing beaches with awesome waves, from Costa da Caparica, Carcavelos, Guincho or Praia Grande;
  • The broad variety of beaches allows us to chose the best beach, matching the wave conditions to your level of experience;
  • The surfing schools we work with are all accredited by the Portuguese Surfing Federation and highly experienced in surf teaching to guarantee safety and fast learning, in a fun way of course!
  • All the surf lessons are given to small groups for a more personal experience (max 6 pax).

Do you have any tips, suggestions or maybe questions about surfing in Lisbon, let us know!

If we’ve convinced you to take a surfing tour in Lisbon, go ahead and book now!