Many people if asked where Lisbon is, they may not be in a position to answer it. I should, however, bring it to your attention that it happens to be the largest city in Portugal. This ends up making it one of the most prestigious destinations for anyone who happens to be in that country and would like to enjoy what Portugal has to offer.
It is called the city of the seven hills because of the mountains that surround the town. It, therefore, ensure that there is specific weather that not only favors the people but also allows the people and what the land has to offer to them without restrictions. I tend to believe this is one of the greatest blessings that Lisbon has been granted.
Lisbon is known as the city of immigrants, meaning it has ancient structures and may be harboring some of the oldest cultures that may or may not be known to man. History lovers and sports fanatics would have an exciting time when they get to visit Lisbon. Surfers, scuba divers, kayakers, and even kitesurfer will never regret having taken such a chance.
The sandy beaches and the fantastic castles create a very appealing image for the foreigners who have only heard of the place and not had a chance to visit it before. Once you get to that place, you will be able to see where the famous Vasco Da Gama started his conquering expedition before moving to the rest of the world.
When you get to visit Lisbon, several things are a must-to-do before you leave there. I have listed a few that worked for me. I know you will need to participate in a few, too to make your visit memorable. Here is just a list of the items I would suggest.
1. Have a Custard Tart
I was in Lisbon for a while, and I can say without a doubt that the sweetest thing you could ever eat is the tarts. Those things are to die for. Anyone who has been to Portugal can testify that if you leave without having a few tarts, then you have surely not been to Lisbon.
They have mastered a way of merging it with cinnamon and the custard that has a way of making you want to eat and eat more. I once tried to make it on my own, but who am I kidding, I have never tasted plain tart like that ones. Since then, I just opted to keep going to the nearest NATA shop and have a tart to myself.
If you can, try and learn a few of the tricks that they make to ensure that it is charming.
2. Take Surfing lessons in Sao Pedro
Many of us can only relate to surfing through the movies we watch and the stories we hear. However, when you get to Lisbon, you are presented with an opportunity to make your imaginations a reality.
The vast beaches available give you perfect tides that allow you to surf safely. They also have various surfing trainers. These people help you get on that board while teaching you the right skills. This is to ensure that you remain safe and you won’t fall into the water.
There are several places you could choose from that offer such services. You could try the Carcavelos beach, or the S. Pedro do Estoril Beach if you end up interested in the surfing culture or if you have always had a thing for the surfing activity, but you have just never gotten the chance.
3. Scuba diving in the Marine Reserve
The closeness to the beach that Lisbon is ensures that it has a very active marine life. That is the reason why you will find very many naval reservations close by, that will try everything to be able to handle the adverse effects that the industrialization world has brought to the marine life.
As a mode of amassing funds, they have set aside scuba diving facilities where people can be trained and also have a chance to enjoy the facilities when they want to. The wind also creates a perfect opportunity to ensure that they get the best of the scuba diving exercise when they need to.
The fact that it is more than 45km south of the city ensures that you get exposed to very many various species of sea life that you get to dive with them even up to a depth of 5 m deep. How exciting is that? Swimming with aquatic life, like you were one of them. It will expose you to very many excellent chances that rarely will you find elsewhere in the world.
4. Take Part in Paragliding
Very few people in this world can confess and say they are okay with great heights. But the few who enjoy heights are then at an advantage. Paragliding is therefore only for a few people but I always an exciting activity to be part of.
From the flying spot advantage, you will be able to see the famous Fonte da Telha that is known for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking sights. You will also be in a position to see the impeccable Prais das Bicas that has a fantastic landscape where you will see the high waves and feel the fantastic mix of emotions of nature all in one place. To me, it was the greatest thing in Lisbon that I experienced and would not mind experiencing again.
5. Have a scenic helicopter flight over the Lisbon city
The beauty of having adventurous trips is to be able to see the town from a bird’s eye view. This is majorly done from a high building or even a helicopters ride. You could decide to do this during the day when you can see the nature of Lisbon at its best or even during the night so that you can experience the exciting nightlife that Lisbon is known to have.
The most basic company that will serve you best includes the Hellipass that offers a 1-hour long flight over the Lisbon city to allow you to see the beauty it has. Some of the things you will enjoy will include the Sao Jorge Castle, Commercial Square and the Santa Maria Maior Cathedral.
But I would advise if you are a person who has issues with heights, don’t make yourself go to such things. There are other less risky options for you to enjoy the city of the seven hills.
6. Hot Air Balloons Trip at Coruche
Some people have a natural phobia of air crafts. Therefore, the city of Lisbon offers you another advantage point. The presence of hot air balloons gives the people another option of seeing the city from a higher position.
The Coruche happens to be at a point that you will then be able to fly over the city and enjoy the beautiful sceneries that are also part of the town. You will be able to take part in the ride by maneuvering the balloon straight from up flight.
The other exciting thing about deciding to take on this adventure is that at the end of the flight you will be awarded a flight certificate and a Champaign toast to celebrate the strong chance of being on that adventure.
7. Kayaking and Snorkeling in the Arrabida Natural Park
Kayaking and snorkeling are one of the most indulged in practices in Lisbon. This includes the use of boats and full body swimsuits in enjoying what the aquatic life has to offer. The coast of Serra da Arrabida creates a perfect place where you can enjoy such facilities without feeling derailed or strained in any way.
You get to enjoy the perfection of the water. It offers access to excellent insurance facilities in case anything goes wrong when you are on or in the water. As a mode of being secure and delivering exceptional service, most of the companies that deal with such activities will provide well-trained guides and full-body suits, including the helmets to ensure that you enjoy it thoroughly.
The beauty of this kayaking experience is that it is open for both children and large family excursions. It is also not limited to weather hence can be done almost at any time of the year. If you would like to have a good time across the coast of Serra da Arrabida, there is no better way than the adventurous trips along with it.
8. Have a taste of the Cherry liqueur
I am not very much of an alcohol person, but I had previously heard so many high praises of the Portuguese cherry liquor that I was interested to know more about it. It happens that this is one of the great points of pride of the Portuguese culture. And the crazy part is that they will serve it to you in tiny chocolate cups. Interesting right?
The other fantastic thing is that the chocolate cups are edible. Therefore, after you have finished drinking, you are then supposed to eat the cup to compliment the taste of the cherry liqueur. Who would have thought of such an idea? I am still amazed at that culture that they have developed.
Not many places have the advantage of such so make sure that you make use of it while it is still available.
9. Take Part in a Caving Expedition at the Arrabida Natural Park
The park is not only a place you see the outer beauty of the land. It also has an underground passage that leads to caves that were used in the olden days. The passages were formed from the natural processes like erosion and the underground rivers that have since then dried.
For many of us who happened to have grown up in the rural areas, we enjoyed various games that included swimming in rivers, jumping from trees and the most exciting is the sliding on mud from a high place to low land. In such cases, you could still rekindle that fun flame without seeming mad.
If you are a clean freak, then you will freak out here, because there is no way you will come back looking clean. Natural Adventures team is one of the groups that will offer you an exciting time through that journey and back.
10. Drive a Twizy Electric Rental Car
I have met quite several people who don’t believe that electric cars can function as well as petrol cars. This is more so considering that they need some high levels of voltage for them to fully charge.
Lisbon offers you a chance to rent these cars at Sintra to allow you to maneuver through the city better and also have an experience of them. Such activities also help them get feedbacks of how the vehicles are and how best to make them better before they can be implemented further into the world.