Doris Visits Lisbon
Lisbon is the richest region of Portugal by GDP per capita, and as such it is a busy commercial city. Trying to find a good map that is not designed to sell you something is not easy. The wealth of tourist leaflets may swamp you, so you are advised to visit with some research, a plan and a route worked out. The tourist offices will be busy especially if there are lots of ships in. Lisbon is on many cruises because of it’s position. You may be on a World Cruise, off to the Aegean or out to the Canaries.
Note, the port is undergoing works and improvements. On the other side of the dock sea front road are excavations, vast excavations. In short, the buses and coaches cannot turn left as they wish, out of the dock into the town. They have to turn right, travel, turn round and come back. It can take 40 minutes to get back to the ship, so, if you can, consider the short walk into town.
Rise early and see some of the best views as your ship approaches the Portuguese capital along the Tagus River. You will pass the Belem Tower and the impressive Monument to the Discoveries with its statue of Henry the Navigator, then go for breakfast as the ship docks and prepares for you to disembark. You will also sail under the second longest bridge in Europe.
Although small for a European capital, this city does sprawl a little so you would do best to concentrate on three districts – Baixa, Bairro Alto and Alfama, each with its own distinctive style, making Lisbon cruises a must see.
Baixa has busy streets of inviting shops, cafés and restaurants.
Alfama is the atmospheric old town with narrow cobblestone streets, medieval and Moorish-style buildings, wrought-iron balconies with trailing flowers and a mix of small shops and bars.
Bairro Alto is another historic district with narrow streets and is a steep climb from Baixa so look out for the 100-year-old lift (Elevador do Carmo) near Rossio Square.
We decided to do a Segway tour of Alfama which was great fun and we covered much more ground than we would have had we been walking. This was great for easy and fast orientation as we found the map quite difficult to follow and self-discover the town. The Segway was so worth it though finding that from the map was not easy either. A good starting place is Commercial square.
Alfama is beautiful and as the city is built on 7 hills there are viewpoints everywhere. St Georges castle is worth a visit and we found a lovely restaurant which was made from an original number 28 tram.
The trams are easy and cheap. The time went much too quickly and I can’t wait till the next visit to Lisbon.
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Tours available from your ship will probably include
- Lisbon by Land and River
- Walking Tour of the City
- Lisbon by Tram and Coach
- Lisbon Highlights and Coast of Estoril
- Sintra, Guincho and Cascais
- Charming Obidos
- Free (on your own) time at 3 sites
- Jeep Safari
- A Journey to Fatima – Small Group Tour
- City Drive and Oceanarium
- Views of Lisbon and Estufa Fria Garden
- Calores Winery and Cape Roca
Cruises that take in Lisbon can be very diverse. An ambitious cruise might be out to the Aegean, and include similar stops to the Fred Olsen cruise, Islands of the Aegean which, sails from Southampton on the 11th September for 28 nights and is an adult only cruise. From Malaga you could also visit the donkey taxi town in the mountains, Mijas which is a fantastic excursion by coach or taxi, just 20 minutes outside Malaga. That cruise also takes in Lisbon, which also has a Doris Visits film. The rest of the Itinerary includes Valletta, Malta, Piraeus (for Athens) Greece, Tourlos (Mykonos) in Greece, Kusadasi, Limassol, Antalya in Turkey, Rhodes in Greece, Thira in Santorini and Cartagena
We have a great film of a Canary Island cruise seeing all the main islands and the ship , that will give you a flavour as to why the Canary Island Cruise is so popular. All the operators will cover similar itineraries. Find a LATE DEAL over a coffee from your arm chair? Doris Visits allows you to SEE THE CRUISE BEFORE YOU CRUISE THE SEA. We have videos of many of the cruise stops you might make from Miami to Tahiti, from Bruges to St Maarten. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and share.