10. Sesimbra and Arrábida National Park Tour with Wine Tasting
From Lisbon, we will cross the Tagus River and pass by the Portuguese Golden Gate Bridge, formally called the Salazar Bridge during the fascist dictatorship. At the end of the bridge, we will have the opportunity to see how big the statue of Christ the King is (it was erected in 1959 to thank God for sparing Portugal from the horrors of World War II). We will drive along the Albufeira Lagoon, a protected area where pine trees, cork trees, beautiful beaches, small lagoons (the deepest in Portugal), and birdwatching are all combined. Then, we will arrive at the impressive Espichel Cape (Cabo Espichel). It is the westernmost point of Arrabida Mountain where we can find frighteningly tall cliffs. There are a few constructions here, mainly built in the 1700s and related to an old story that dates back to the 1200s: a church flanked by two arms of pilgrims’ lodges, a lighthouse, a chapel, and an aqueduct. Then it is time to explore the fishing town of Sesimbra. Originally from the 12th century, it is now famous for fresh fish and wonderful beaches. Here we will visit a medieval and well protected Moorish Castle that stands in a dominant position overlooking a cliff, and it offers the best view of the village and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s lunchtime, and it’s recommended that you enjoy the best fresh seafood that Sesimbra has to offer. After lunch, we will cross the astonishing Arrabida Mountain, known as the blue coast. This is a protected area (Arrabida Natural Park) with many Mediterranean plants, from olives, pistachios, and strawberries, to lavender, thyme, and chamomile. Always close to the sea, we will pass by some amazing beaches with azure waters and remarkable views. At the end of the day, we will visit a small family-owned local cellar in the middle of the peaceful Arrabida Mountain, and learn more about this precious nectar and this stunning area. Enjoy the vineyards, and the beautiful landscapes, relax, and of course, taste some local wine. Finally, it is time to go back to Lisbon.