Lisbon and Tagus Valley


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Why Travel to Lisbon and Tagus Valley?

The Lisbon and Tagus Valley region is a beautiful region surrounding the capital of Portugal, Lisbon. It consists of municipalities located on both banks of the wide mouth of the Tagus (Tejo) River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.  The breathtaking charm of the riverbank enhances the appeal of several towns along the path of the Tagus, such as Abrantes, Constancia, Vila Nova da Barquinha, and Santarém. It is the second largest region in Portugal in terms of population after the Northern Region, and it used to be an ancient Portuguese region that was formed by 4 districts: The district of Lisboa, almost all of the district of Santarém and about a third of the districts of Setúbal and Leiria.

The Tejo River: A Cultural and Natural Treasure in Portugal

The 14th century marked the onset of the Age of Exploration, a period revered as Portugal´s golden era. These remarkable voyages of exploration set sail from the bustling docks lining the western coast of Lisbon. As these pioneering expeditions gave rise to thriving colonies, the riches of these newfound lands flowed back to Lisbon, fueling the extravagance of the times.  Historically, the Portuguese are explorers and adventurers with communities throughout the world and this can be traced back to the close connection with the seas and the rivers of which the Tejo is the most important.

The Tejo River, the longest river flowing through Portugal, originates in Spain (Sierra de Albarracín) and covers a significant distance before entering Portuguese territory. It forms the frontier between these two countries over an area of 50km that has been declared a Natural Park. The spectacular natural setting extends across the picturesque landscapes of Castelo Branco and Idanha-a-Nova, nestled between the enchanting mountains of Central Portugal and the Alentejo region which in Portuguese means "beyond (além) the Tagus river (Tejo)".  This place is perfect for birdwatching enthusiasts, 154 bird species have been classified by the park, and it also offers its visitors a wide range of sustainability activities such as mountain biking, hiking, mountain climbing or canoeing.

Top Places to Explore in the Lisbon Area for an Unforgettable Trip 

Lisbon is situated on the northern banks of the Rio Tejo and the slow-flowing waters of the river. These characteristics helped create Lisbon as the magnificent and vibrant city that it has become today. The river was the first factor that made Lisbon an important Roman port as the estuary provided protection from the fearful Atlantic Ocean and from this founding the city has never looked back. Apart from the city of Lisbon, there are two major villages: Cascais and Sintra. The last mentioned is a unique place, with its humid and misty climate and its breathtaking castles, palaces and mansions. To the north of Lisbon is the “saloia” (rural) region, the Portuguese Extremadura, which is filled with cliffs, beaches, and pockets of interesting small towns. The local economy is made up of agricultural and services sectors. The coastline around Lisbon provides the perfect conditions for watersports such as surfing and windsurfing. However, sometimes the sea can be excitingly unpredictable and dramatic.

Savor Portugal´s Diverse Wines: From Vinho Verde to Touriga Nacional

Lisbon and Tagus Valley region has a rich wine culture, with a diverse selection of wines to explore. The region is known for producing a variety of wines, from crisp and refreshing whites to robust reds. Vinho Verde, a young and slightly fizzy white wine, is a favorite for its light, citrusy flavors. It is also famous for its red wines, with the Touriga Nacional grape being a prominent choice, offering deep, fruity notes. Some of these renowned wine regions are SetúbalColaresCarcavelos and Bucelas. In these wine regions visit historic cellars and wineries, where you can enjoy wine tastings, which makes an essential part of the Lisbon and Tagus Valley experience. Do not forget to taste Lisbon´s typical drink at one of the numerous tasquinhas (Portuguese taverns), the Ginjinha, this sweet liqueur made of bitter cherries can be drunk hot or cold, with added pieces of fruit or without, in a chocolate cup or a traditional glass.

Our food, wine and walking experts have chosen the best tours, experiences, hotels, wineries, etc... based around walking, food and wine vacations in Lisbon and Tagus Valley. You can check our list of the best food tours to Lisbon and Tagus Valley and recommended historic hotels in the sections of this Lisbon and Tagus Valley travel destination guide.

Capital of Lisbon and Tagus Valley: Lisbon
Population3,001 million (2023) inhabitants

Photo source: Main photo of Azenhas do Mar Image by wirestock on Freepik

Lisbon and Tagus Valley
Lisbon and Tagus Valley
Lisbon and Tagus Valley
Lisbon and Tagus Valley


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