Destination Weddings in Costa de Lisbon
The Lisbon Coast of Portugal is probably the most contemporary and most densely-populated region of the country. It doesn’t matter if your idea of romance and fun is nightclubbing and dancing all night or if you prefer exploring museums, castles and ancient fishing villages, you can find it all right here on the Costa de Lisbon.
Geographically the Costa de Lisbon is the smallest of the mainland regions of Portugal, but within its small area surrounding the Tagus estuary are packed a wealth of entertainment as well as monumental historical sites.
Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since it was forcibly taken from the Moors in 1147. That means that Lisbon and the surrounding area is filled with beautiful and ancient Moorish architecture and artworks as well as ancient treasures from the Christian era. Few world capitals are as beautiful or as easy to stroll hand-in-hand in as the stunning and romantic city of Lisbon.
There is virtually nothing that you could wish for that you can’t find in Lisbon. If you crave nightlife there are more than 100 fabulous restaurants spread throughout the city, and you can find places specializing in food from almost anywhere in the world! In addition to a multitude of excellent restaurants Lisbon boasts more than two dozen discos and almost as many disco bars.
If you are interested in history, Lisbon has one of the oldest surviving quarters in all of Portugal, the Alfama, which is little changed since it was first constructed almost five centuries ago. And if you are looking for one of the best photo spots in all of Lisbon, try the Castle of Saint George which sits on a hill overlooking the entire city. The views are spectacular and the castle itself is like something out of a book of fairytales!
For sheer size and for the beauty of its architecture another “must see” is the famed Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon. There is a superb guided tour of the Monastery which almost makes you feel as if you are living 300 years in the past. The grounds of the Monastery are magnificent and well worth your time to explore.
Just slightly north of Lisbon, almost a suburb of the capital, is the incredibly beautiful Borough of Sintra. In addition to all of the ultra modern hotels and restaurants that you normally associate with a seaside tourist community, Sintra is also home to some of the most ancient prehistoric archeological remains to be found anywhere in Europe.
In fact, this delightful region, with its picturesque rolling green hills which overlook the Atlantic and its almost perfect year-round weather was so attractive to the ancient nobility and wealthy class of Portugal that the area is literally crawling with incredibly beautiful castles and ancient palaces. In fact, there are three ancient palaces in Sintra, and no visit to this delightful region would be complete without visiting all three: the Palacio da Vila, the Palacio da Pena, and the Palacio de Queluz.
Each palace is a work of art, colorfully painted and filled with exquisite detail that is simply not found in most modern architecture. In addition, each palace is a museum, filled with ancient artifacts and awe-inspiring works of art.
On the lighter side, Sintra is also home to one of the most charming and fascinating Toy Museums you’ll find anywhere. The museum contains more than 20,000 toys, many dating back more than 400 years.
Sintra is such a place of both beauty as well as culture that the Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira once said of Sintra – “In all the land of Portugal, the whole expanse of Europe, Sintra stands out as one of the loveliest, rarest places that Nature’s prodigious hand has created.”
In addition to romantic walks through some of the most beautiful palaces and castles ever built, Sintra also offers an excellent locally-produced wine, to-die-for candies and pastries, and a wide selection of local handicrafts. If you enjoy shopping you’ll fall in love with Sintra!
Just south of Lisbon, at the end of the A-12 roadway, is the charming town of Setubal, around which you will find more than 20 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches. Setubal is also home to one of Portugal’s largest nature preserves, the Arrabida Natural Park, as well as half a dozen other protected areas, natural reserves and an area of protected landscapes.
The Arrabida Natural Park covers more than 10,000 acres and protects some of the rarest plant species in all of Portugal. The hills along the coast between Setubal and Sesimbra are some of the oldest in Portugal, dating back more than 180 million years. The area is rich in fossils as well as rare and endangered plants. From the tops of the white chalk hills the views of the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking!
The Costa de Lisbon is truly a diverse and romantic region. Whether you are looking for five-star luxury along the coast in Lisbon or Sintra, or whether you are searching for the finest shopping experience or you just want to immerse yourself in ancient history and marvel at ancient architecture, or whether you wish to relax and be a part of nature, the tiny Costa de Lisbon region has it all.