Off the Beaten Track Travel

Enjoy a break in a coastal Idyll at a holiday apartment in Lisbon

(This article was written for Tuivillas)

Lisbon is Portugal’s capital city situated at the mouth of the Tagus River, just before the Atlantic ocean. Given its stunning location, Lisbon is one of the most visited destinations in Europe, also thanks to its vibrant atmosphere, historic architecture, pleasant climate, and range of attractions that capture the interests of visitors of all ages. Your dream vacation starts with a comfy holiday apartment in Lisbon that you can return to after exploring the sights and sounds of the city. Extending your long weekend to a week will allow you to discover the unique towns surrounding Lisbon.

Experience the romance of Portugal’s coastal capital from a holiday apartment in Lisbon

Your exploration begins the moment you are settled in your holiday apartment in Lisbon. Being famous as a welcoming city, Lisbon entertains all ages and interests with its thriving creative scene and rich cultural heritage. Unique traditions mingle with modern lifestyles to create a charming city that takes you from one surprise to another.

The famous number-28 tram

Your visit to this exciting yet historic city is not complete until you have taken a sightseeing tour aboard the famous number-28 tram. Dating back to the 1930s, this tram line is a historic symbol of the city. While sitting on the historic tram, navigating through the narrow streets of Lisbon will give you a nostalgic feeling of Portugal in the old days. It passes through all the famous districts of São Bento, Baixa, Alfama, Graça, and Chiado and terminates in front of the impressive Estrela Basilica church. Booking in advance is recommended to find a holiday apartment in Lisbon near the tram station, as it gives you easy access to exploring the city from the comfort of your apartment.

Experience the Bairro Alto nightlife

Bairro Alto is the place to be for experiencing Lisbon by night, and one of the two best hot spots for nightlife in Lisbon – the other one being Cais do Sodré. Live music venues, clubs, and trendy bars are situated next to one another, perfect for bar-hopping tours. The real fun begins at weekends, when people spill out onto the street late at night, creating one large party. In Bairro Alto, the night starts late and continues until early morning. Lisbon has an open and accepting attitude when it comes to people of all backgrounds and ways of life, so the party environment is always friendly and relaxed. Book your holiday home in Lisbon near Bairro Alto if you’re looking for a cocktail of nightlife in a coastal setting.

Don’t forget the beaches

Whether you have come to explore Lisbon’s nightlife or the culture and history of the city center, all visitors are inevitably drawn to the spectacular beaches lining the coast. These unspoiled beaches are also just a few stations away from the city centre by tram. The Costa da Caparica coastline extends along the western part of the Setubal Peninsula, offering pristine beaches, quaint resort towns, and great locations for surfing. On the southern part of the Setubal Peninsula is Serra da Arrábida coastline, which is famous for its calm turquoise waters. For a short beach day trip, consider visiting Praia São Pedro do Estoril or Praia de Carcavelos where the waves are ideal for surfing. Booking your holiday apartment in Lisbon early will ensure that you find the perfect ocean view.

Throw a coin for the statue of Saint Anthony to meet your match!

Are you single and looking for some holiday romance? You are in luck. In Lisbon, they have an interesting tradition that you can take part in. It is said that, if you are able to throw a coin and get it to land on the open book of the Saint Anthony statue, you will soon find a new partner. If you end up meeting your future spouse on holiday, you’ll have a great story to tell! The Saint Anthony statue is located in front of Igreja Santo Antonio, which is a small but historical Roman Catholic church dating back to the 15th century. You can get here by taking a tram from your holiday apartment in Lisbon.

Other popular destinations and neighboring locations

As the capital city, Lisbon is a great entry point in your journey to Portugal for exploring the rest of this scenic country. Ideally located on Portugal’s stunning coastline, Lisbon also has great transport links for exploring the country’s picturesque surroundings. From Lisbon, you can hop on a train from the Rossio station to get to Sintra, a small city praised for its natural beauty – British poet Lord Byron even described it as ‘a heaven on earth’. Located near Mafra, Ericeira is a fabulous seaside resort that is well-known to international surfers. From Sodré station, visitors can also reach Cascais, a charming coastal town about 45min away from Lisbon.

How to get to Lisbon from the UK

The fastest way to get to Lisbon from Great Britain is by plane, and many airlines offer competitive rates for this journey. You can depart from several cities in the UK, including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. If you’d prefer a more off-the-beaten-track journey to Lisbon, consider taking the train. Starting in London, you can take the Eurostar train to Paris, and from there, the high-speed TGV service to Barcelona, which offers ever-changing scenic landscapes. Once in Barcelona, you can take the AVE train to Madrid, where you can book the famous overnight Lusitania ‘train hotel’ to Lisbon, which disembarks in the heart of the city. Once in Lisbon, you can get around easily by train, bus, car, tram, and bicycle.

The best time to book your holiday apartment in Lisbon

The best time to visit Lisbon is during the shoulder months from March until May, or September to October, as the weather is still nice and warm and the ocean temperatures are swimmable. Rates are also reduced in the off season and there are fewer visitors, creating a more quiet and relaxing atmosphere. Holiday apartments in Lisbon and the surrounding area are usually very modern and come equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. TUI Villas offers a wide selection of trusted and reliable holiday homes in Lisbon with secure payment and dedicated support.

Off the Beaten Track Travel

Top Off-the-Beaten-Track Routes in South Africa (And How to Plan Your Trip)

If you want an affordable trip where you’ll be able to get up close to the lions, hyenas, elephants, relax in a hut in the middle of a jungle, enjoy enormous feasts days in days out, and get to taste some exotic wines, you definitely need to come to South Africa. The country offers a diverse landscape that changes dramatically when the season changes. After arriving by plane, the best way to explore the country is by car. A well-planned South Africa road trip will offer some of the best moments in your life.

What makes South Africa a great destination for a road trip?

For the intrepid travelers, getting in a car and drive from one point of interest to the next is the joy of the journey. You can drive from Johannesburg to Cape Town and visit countless points of interest on the way, such as the Wild Coast, the Drakensberg Mountains, or Kruger National Park. Road condition is generally good here, and traffic jams are minimal, with the exception of Cape Town.

The best road trips in South Africa

With its changing landscapes, wide-open spaces, and abundance of quirky towns, South Africa will never disappoint you on your South Africa road trip. Here are the top 5 road trip routes in South Africa for your reference.

The Garden Route

The Heads at the entrance to Knysna Lagoon, South Africa, looking north towards the town.

This is by far the most famous road trip route. Tackling the picturesque 200km stretch from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the numerous sublime beaches, beautiful lakes, dense forests, and varied vegetation along the way.

Route 62, Western Cape

Route 62 got its name from the R62 road that brings you to quaint rural towns, mountain farms, lusty green mountains, and lovely vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

The Wild Coast, Eastern Cape

The 350km trajectory will take you from the beautiful coastal city of East London to South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal. Most people spend about 7 days completing this South Africa self-drive road trip.

The Waterberg Meander

The 350km South Africa road trip will take you through the heart of Waterberg Biosphere where you can enjoy an excellent view over the countless Kalahari bush savannah below. And don’t miss the chance to get up close to the animals at Marakele National Park.

The Panorama Route

If you want dramatic vistas and countless walks in pure nature, take the Panorama Route across the Blyde River Canyon where you can enjoy a panoramic view over the whole region, or take a stop at Kruger National Park, one of Mpumalanga’s most famous attractions.

Tips and advice for touring South Africa by car

Start your road trip in South Africa with proper planning. It’s relatively easy to rent a car here, and if you need help organizing your routes, accommodations, and on-the-road visits, the guys at Evaneos can be a great source of information.