As we have discussed before, more than once, there is plenty of joy to be had right outside the city. So, whether you have already experienced Lisbon in the past and are looking to expand your horizons, or if you simply want to experience a slightly off the beaten path track (great for social distancing!), then look to the Southside of the Tagus River.
Lisbon isn’t London or Paris where crossing the river is an everyday experience for tourists who go to check out museums on either bank. Lisbon is located right at the mouth of the river, and the bridges that cross it are several miles long. Both the 25 de Abril Bridge and the Vasco da Gama Bridge are architectural marvels considered pioneering achievements when they were finished. Take into consideration the fact that neither can be crossed on foot, so plan accordingly.
Here are some of the highlights you don’t want to miss:
1. Boca do Vento
If you decide to cross the river on one of the typical cacilheiros along with thousands of lisboetas who take it on their daily commute, you will exit the boat in Cacilhas. The first thing you will see as you leave the dock will be Dom Fernando II e Glória frigate. It is an 1843 wooden-hulled, 50-gun frigate that is worth a visit if you like – it is the eighth oldest sailing warship in the world! Less than five minutes away by foot is the Boca do Vento elevator. If you take a water-taxi, instead of the cacilheiro, you will arrive close to it as well. Take the elevator to the top of the hill.
This is the best view of the Lisbon skyline and the Tagus River estuary you can imagine. You will be able to see both bridges, the castle, the old city center. If you are in the mood, enjoy a cocktail and some tapas at the panoramic bar.
2. Cristo Rei
Have you seen the Christ the King statue in Rio de Janeiro? Well, there is one in Almada as well, clearly visible from the Lisbon side, known as Christ the Redeemer. You will be pleased to know it can be climbed as well! It is one of the iconic sights of the city, and much in the same way as the Boca do Vento, it provides some really awesome views of old Lisbon.
3. The Beaches in Caparica and Setúbal
Lisbon has some great beaches on the north of the city, like Cascais and Estoril, but most lisboetas will tell you that you must enjoy the magnificent beaches to the south. Beaches like Meco are quite well known, but how can you have ever been to the beach in Lisbon if you haven’t tried a Cai Bem, the official drink of the Cova do Vapor beach? Or if you haven’t seen the wooden huts used by fishermen in Praia da Saúde beach? There are dozens of beaches along the coast, all with their own unique quirks and specialties so exploring them is half the fun!
4. The Setúbal City Center
Setúbal is one of the truly underrated cities in Portugal. It stands so close to Lisbon that the capital tends to overshadow it, which is inevitable but unfair. But if you make it to Setúbal, you will find the wonders never cease. There are Roman ruins in Cetobriga, splendid wine-tastings in a grandiose palace in Bacalhôa, the natural wonders, and bird watching of the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, hiking at Arrábida, the history and heritage of the Fortress of São Filipe, and the Monastery of Jesus.
And even if that wasn’t plenty, there is the food.
Setúbal is one of Portugal’s premier fishing cities, and the local fare reflects that. Fried cuttlefish is the most well-known dish, but grilled sardines and mullets are also a must. Oysters as big as your fist. The most glorious fish stews (just ask for caldeirada). The possibilities are truly endless.
Amalia Home Collection’s Areia Matelassé
It is known that our Portuguese heritage and culture breathe life into Amalia Home Collection’s design choices; the vibrant nature of the south side of the Tagus, with its beaches, natural wonders, and hidden surprises are no exception.
Ready to fall in love? Our Areia Matelassé Bedspread has such a comfortable feel that would match any evening spent by the water watching the sunset over the ocean.