As a fellow cabin crew member herewith, some of my favourite places to visit and foods to eat on a visit to Portugal.
1 Day tour:
Cross bridge 25 de Abril to Setúbal (Can stop at Cristo Rei Statue after crossing the bridge for a magnificent view of Lisbon. This statue, faces the Cristo Rei in Rio de Janeiro)
- If early take a ferry from Setúbal to Tróia (Bound to see dolphins on the way to Tróia)
- If you are late don’t go to Setúbal, go straight to Portinho da Arrábida. On the Serra da Arrábida you will have a beautiful view of the Convento da Arrábida
- Must visit my favourite fishing village Sesimbra on the way back or on the way there! Delicious fresh seafood reasonably priced if you eat at one of the beachfront cafés
1 Day tour:
- Visit Cascais, travel on the Marginal and not the highway for a beautiful view of the coast line leading to the Tagus River. Stay on the coastal road, visit Boca do Inferno, continue to Cabo da Roca and then Sintra. Must visit Palácio da Pena and a must seeis o Convento dos Capuchos
1 Day tour:
- Óbidos a quaint beautiful city built within castle walls- if you have time after Óbidos continue North to visit Nazaré.
1 Day tour:
Day trip to Lisbon
- As public transport is easily accessible make your way to Oriente Train Station and walk around or take a cable car to see the sights near the Oceanarium
- Take the train or bus to Belem on the route towards Cascais, visit Torre de Belem, Museu dos Coches, Monument to Discoveries and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos a block away from Jerónimos is the original Pasteis de Nata bakery (I think established 1887), where you can have freshly baked Pasteis de nata and a freshly brewed cup of coffee or an ice cold Sagres draft.
- Return towards Lisbon, and head towards Terreiro do Paço
- Walk straight up from Terreiro do Paço to Rossio (alternatively you can take the Metro) In Rossio must visit the famous Pastelaria Suiça have a pastry or two with a delicious “meia de leite” or have a meal of chicken, chips and spinach accompanied by a chilled bottle of Casal Garçia white wine, followed by an espresso “bica” coffee and a Licor Beirão at the famous “Chicken House” known as Jardim dos Frangos
- Take a taxi or a bus ride from Rossio square to the Castelo de São Jorge for a full view of Lisbon, the Tagus River, Ponte 25 de Abril and the Statue of Christ
- On completion of the Castle visit or prior to visiting the Castle take the Metro to Restauradores, go up the Elevador do Carmo also known as the Elevador De Santa Justa for a beautiful view of Lisbon
- If you are in the Restauradores area on a Tuesday or a Saturday a must visit is the Feira da Ladra “Thieves Market” for Stunning bargains. Remember you must negotiate the price!!
Other places to consider
2 Day tour: Porto
(minimum) preferably 3 days
Would be nice if you could overnight in Porto, you could visit the port wine cellars on the Rio de Ouro (Sandeman, Ferreiras etc) after all the Portuguese are famous for their port wine. You can even pick up a vintage of your birth date.
As for the visit to Algarve you will need at least 4 days. The most beautiful area is Quarteira everyone speaks English, even the menus are in English. I love the change in architecture what with all the Moor influence. I would certainly suggest Algarve if this layover takes place in summer.
Please note all of the above are personal suggestions. I know that you will have an amazing layover in the Iberian Peninsula because I am truly proud of being an Iberian Girl!!!!!
Boa viagem e boa estadia: Isabel de Oliveira.