Tag Archives: Tagus

Vino con Vista and UNESCO love Lisbon Portugal, Fado and Portuguese Wine Regions

English: Monument to the Portuguese discoverie...

English: Monument to the Portuguese discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), Lisbon. Detail of the eastern side, showing St Francis Xavier (right) and Afonso de Albuquerque (left)

Lisbon Portugal is an incredibly beautiful city on the Tagus River. Portugal is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a massive 350 mile southwestern Atlantic Coastline. Portugal is surrounded by 4 mountain chains: Caramulo, Bucaco, Nave and Estrela that protects some of the vineyards from cold Atlantic winds and continental storms.

There are over 250 indigenous grape varieties that produce wine with an impressive array of flavors! Portugal has the largest number of micro-climates per square kilometer in the world. There are a wealth of soil types: granite, schist, clay, limestone and sand.

Most Portuguese wine-makers are “Masters Blenders”; blending different grape varieties allows them to produce a desirable flavor profile. Wines from Portugal are influenced by the high precipitation, fog, moderate temperatures and high rainfall and cold and salty winds from the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea with hot and dry summers and mild winters and Continental amplitudes with low to moderate rainfall on the eastern Spanish border. The 3 largest wine producing regions are: Douro (23%), Alentejo (20%) and Lisboa (14%). After joining the EU in 1986, there was a huge infusion capital for technology and quality improvements  in Portugal’s Wine Industry.

The Lisboa Card is a sightseeing pass that helps visitors see Lisbon’s attractions, saving them both time and money.

  • Free entry in 26 monuments, museums and attractions
  • Unlimited use of Lisbon’s public transport, including metro, bus, tram, funicular and commuter train to Sintra and Cascais
  • 10 to 50% discount in several services, including hop-on hop-off busesriver cruises and fado performances

Portugal has a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

Cultural (16)

There are also many UNESCO side trips that are available from Lisbon.

I love the Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) monument overlooking Lisbon. It was inspired by Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue, the Cristo Rei (about 360 feet high) was erected in 1959.

Cristo Rei is open daily. Opening times: 9.30 am–6 pm (21 Sep to 30 Jun),

9.30 am–6.45 pm (1-14 Jul and 1-20 Sep)

9.30 am–7.30 pm (15 Jul to 31 Aug)

On December 25th opens at 2.30 pm; on  January 1st opens at 10 am.

Image result for Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) monument overlooking Lisbon.

Image result for Cristo-Rei (Christ the King) monument overlooking Lisbon.

When you visit Lisbon, schedule enough time in Portugal to explore central Portugal’s magnificent coast and charming villages. Visit the quaint streets of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for the captivating Pena Palace.

Sintra’s National Palace is the only medieval Portuguese palace to survive almost completely. The exact construction date is unknown, but it was mentioned in historic texts prior to the Christian reconquering of Sintra in 1147. It has been used continuously from the 15th century through the fall of the monarchy in 1910.

The palace’s most striking visual feature is the pair of unusual conical chimneys rising from the kitchen. The relatively austere exterior gives little hint of the elaborately-decorated rooms inside, the most famous of which is the ‘magpie room,’ meant to reflect the chattering and scheming of the royal court.

Ornate tapestries, a valuable copper celestial globe, and even a large model Chinese pagoda, are just a few of the other highlights of the palace’s collection of artworks on

Make time to visit the former fishing village of Cascais.

Santa Marta Lighthouse and Casa de Santa Maria in Cascais

Then head to the coast where you can soak up the sun in the famous beach town of Cascais.

Take the wine road to the coastal Lisboa region north and northeast of  Lisbon. These are the westernmost vineyards in Europe. Choose from the Rota dos Vinhos de Bucelas or The Rota da Vinha e do Vinho de Lisboa which has 3 options: Quintas de Alenquer, Linhas de Torres and Obidos. Check out this site for more information:


There are 2 Wines of Portugal Tasting Rooms that will allow you to taste wine from some of Portugal’s 14 wine regions and 31 Denomination of Origin areas. Taste some amazing blends from some of the 250 native grape varieties. Visit the Wines of Portugal Lisbon Tasting room in the Sala de Provas de Lisboa or the Porto Tasting Room in the Sala de Provas do Porto.

Schedule a day trip to Fátima, Nazaré and/or Óbidos from Lisbon.

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1. Visit the Sanctuary of Fatima, which celebrates the 1917 apparition of the Virgin Mary
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2. See the Batalha Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “The Monastery of the Dominicans of Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castillians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It was to be the Portuguese monarchy’s main building project for the next two centuries. Here a highly original, national Gothic style evolved, profoundly influenced by Manueline art, as demonstrated by its masterpiece, the Royal Cloister.” UNESCO
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3. Admire beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean from the Nazaré cliffs and explore the fishing town of Nazar. Nazaré’s crescent-shaped main beach (Praia da Nazaré) has been voted one of the best in the country.

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Take the Funicular from the Beach to the Cliff. Have a magnificent Vino con Vista while you enjoy the specialties of the region. Barnacles, freshly harvested from the dangerous rocks nearby, and polvo à lagareiro, a whole octopus oven-roasted in garlic and olive oil. Have some wine from the nearby Obidos DOC in the Lisboa wine region.  Try the refreshing Quinta Do Pinto Estate Collection 2017 White Wine made with Antao Vaz, Arinto, Semillon, Viosinho, Marsanne and Roussane grapes. Many Portuguese Wine options involve blending grapes to generate the most desirable flavor profile.

Nazaré’s biggest claim to fame in recent years is the size of its waves. The presence of the nearby Nazaré underwater canyon—the largest such canyon in Europe creates huge breakers at certain times of the year. During stormy weather or king tides in winter, waves 100 feet high can form just offshore, attracting big-name surfers from all over the world.


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and the romantic medieval village of Óbidos


In Lisbon, there are so many beautiful sites. Stroll through Lisbon’s historic cobblestone streets. Walk through the city’s oldest quarter, the Moorish Alfama neighborhood and head over to the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte viewpoint, one of the best vantage points in the city. Visit Sé de Lisboa cathedral, Eden Theatre, and the famed Chiado neighborhood. See the scenic coast of Belém and a UNESCO-recognized monastery.


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FADO (Photo credit: Jose Carlos Babo)

English: Monument to the Discoveries is a monu...

If you want to visit a gorgeous city, head to Lisbon Portugal. I love the Monument to the Discoveries; it commemorates the Portuguese explorers who participated in the Age of Discovery of the 15th and 16th centuries. You will find this monument on the estuary of the Tagus river in the Belém parish of Lisbon.




English: Monument to the Portuguese Discoverie...

Padrão dos Descobrimentos. The Monument to the...

Padrão dos Descobrimentos

View of Lisbon Castle in an illuminated manuscript

View of Lisbon Castle in an illuminated manuscript (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Monument to the Portuguese discoverie...

On the left, their are the names of the navigators in the  Monument to the Portuguese discoveries:  Bartolomeu Dias, Diogo Cão and António Abreu raising a padrão (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monument to the Portuguese maritime discoverie...

English: The Monastery of Jerónimos, Lisbon, P...

Carlos do Carmo. 08 Novembro 2007, Pavilhão At...

Image via Wikipedia

The Castle of São Jorge occupies a commanding ...

The Castle of São Jorge occupies a commanding position overlooking the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and the Tagus River beyond. The fortified citadel, which dates from medieval times, is located atop the highest hill in the historic center of the city. The castle is one of the main historical and touristic sites of Lisbon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


English: The tomb of Vasco da Gama, in the Jer...

English: The tomb of Vasco da Gama, in the Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon.




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English: The Monastery of Jerónimos, Lisbon, P...

English: The Monastery of Jerónimos, Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. They were recently awarded a cultural UNESCO designation for Fado.

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English: The Tower of Belém, Lisbon, Portugal....

English: The Tower of Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. View from Northeast. Français : La Tour de Belém, Lisbonne, Portugal, vue depuis le Nord est. Italiano: La Torre di Belém vista da nord-est, Lisbona, Portogallo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Português: Estátua do Cisto Rei em Almada.

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I love the Vasco de Gama Bridge and the monument to Christ the King. The Cristo Rei monument stands on the southern bank of the Tagus River, in Almada where Christ stands with open arms. This statue was inspired by the Corcovado Christ the Redeemer  monument in Rio de Janeiro.

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I also love the Monument to the Discoveries representing the the maritime Portuguese Explorers during the 15th and 16th centuries. Expeditions started in 1419  along West Africa’s coast under Prince Henry the NavigatorBartolomeu Dias got to the Cape of Good Hope and entered the Indian Ocean in 1488. In 1588, Vasco da Gama led the first fleet around Africa to India. Methodical Portuguese expeditions started in 1419.

Padrão dos Descobrimentos” (Monument to the Discoveries) is located on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary; where ships departed to explore and trade with India and the Orient. This magnificent sculpture was conceived in 1939 by Portuguese architect José Ângelo Cottinelli Telmo, and sculptor Leopoldo de Almeida.

The Tower of Belem was designed to protect the Tagus Estuary from pirates, but it isn’t the only castle in Lisbon.

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When I was in Lisbon, I had an opportunity to attend a Fado concert at ST. GEORGE’S CASTLE. From the millennium-old walls of the castle of Sao Jorge, I had a panoramic Vino con Vista view of this historic city.

The castle of St George, Lisbon

Image via Wikipedia

I basically won the Fado lottery on this Vino con Vista adventure because I was introduced to Fado by listening to Carlos do Carmo. He belted out some incredible tunes. Most of the members of his Portuguese audience in Lisbon were singing along. He is like the Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley of Fado.


Lisbon Castle

Image via Wikipedia






The Castle of Sao Jorge was an outstanding concert venue. taking hilltop venue overlooking the city of Lisbon and the Tagus River.

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Fado en las calles

Fado en las calles (Photo credit: machbel)

This was my first exposure to Fado. Many Fado lyrics are drawn from poetry. I liked the mournful music so much, that I bought a Carlos do Carmo CD at the concert. Watch this video to see him in concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V66wB4aomvI&feature=related

The Fado, painting by Portuguese artist José M...

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Historians concur that Fado is a “multicultural blending of melodies by Portuguese  sailors, African slave songs and ancient Moorish ballads.” Fado songs are usually performed by a solo singer, male or female. The solo singer is traditionally accompanied by a wire-strung acoustic guitar and the Portuguese guitarra (a pear-shaped lute with twelve wire strings).

Verdes Anos fado group

Image via Wikipedia

Fado Museum in Lisbon, Portugal / Museu do Fad...

Portugal has numerous Fado venues where you can hear the soulful music. There is a Fado Museum in Lisbon.

Fado is Lisbon’s traditional music genre.  This “distinctive melancholic form of traditional singing, accompanied by  classical and Portuguese guitars has themes associated with passion, fate and regret.”

On November 27, 2011, Fado was inscribed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage ListsUNESCO is interested in protecting cultural traditions; Intangible Cultural Heritage includes “traditions and skills passed on within cultures.”


UNESCO describes Fado as the “urban popular song of Portugal”:

Fado (Lisboa - Portugal)

Fado (Lisboa – Portugal) (Photo credit: Patxi64)

“Fado is a performance genre incorporating music and poetry widely practiced by various communities in Lisbon. It represents a Portuguese multicultural synthesis of Afro-Brazilian sung dances, local traditional genres of song and dance, musical traditions from rural areas of the country brought by successive waves of internal immigration, and the cosmopolitan urban song patterns of the early nineteenth century.” (UNESCO) For more information visit UNESCO’s website here

Vasco da Gama - stone tomb in Jerónimos Monast...

Image via Wikipedia

Furthermore, Lisbon won The Academy of Urbanism’s “European City of the Year 2012.”  The organization was impressed with “Lisbon’s development of the River Tagus waterfront (now home to the annual Festival dos Oceanos) and the revival of Mouraria, one of the city’s typical historic quarters. Lisbon has successfully managed to sustain its classical and modern architecture. There was a tremendous amount of rebuilding after the great earthquake of 1755.”

The Academy  of Urbanism is “an autonomous, politically independent organisation whose goals are the recognition, learning and promoting of best practices in urbanism.”

Clockwise, from top: Eduardo VII Park, Commerce Square with the Alfama district, the Sé de Lisboa, panoramic view of the city from São Jorge Castle with the 25 de Abril Bridge at background, the Belém Tower and the Parque das Nações with the Vasco da Gama Bridge at background.

Here’s a great video to watch before you plan your trip to Portugal: http://youtu.be/qt-T6Zbry98

When I was in Lisbon, I also did some side trips. I went to see Portugal’s natural and architectural wonders of Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon.

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I visited Sintra; an old pedestrian village that was founded a thousand years ago. The Greeks named Sintra the “Mountain of the Moon” and today is still a true fairy tale village. It has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1995.

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The remarkable Pena Palace, dates back to 1839, when King Ferdinand II bought the ruins of the Monastery of Our Lady of Pena and started to adapt it for use as a residence according to his romantic taste.
Visit Estoril Castle. Estoril is a stylish and fashionable Portuguese beach resort that is situated on the beautiful coastline that extends to the west of Lisbon.
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We drove along the Atlantic Coast to Cascais; a former fishing village that gained fame as a resort for Portugal’s royal family in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Cascais was the summer retreat of the Portuguese nobility, and today the town is an elegant fusion of decorative 19th-century architecture and modern tourist facilities.

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I also visited, Óbidos and Nazaré from Lisbon. Fátima is one of the Christian religion’s most significant pilgrimage sites. In 1917, some children saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary (Our Lady of Fátima).
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Then, I visited the small medieval town of Óbidos,traveled to the the seaside village of Nazaré and admired the ornate architecture of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Batalha Monastery.
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Portugal’s Terroir is very diverse because it is so long and narrow and borders the Atlantic Ocean. From north to south, from east to west, from mountain to maritime vineyards, hot and dry or cool and green.  In every style, from sparkling to fortified port, from crisp dry whites to elegant reds Portuguese wines are unique.
Portugal has a long history of grape growing:

Grapes are thought to have been grown in the land that is now Portugal for at least 4,000 years. The Phoenicians probably introduced wine-making to the south, and the Romans spread vine cultivation and wine-making further north as they drove out the northern Celts. Christianity arrived in the second century AD, incorporating wine into Portugal’s ceremonies.

Here’s a video from the Wines of Portugal Roadshow:
In Lisbon, try some of the wine from the Lisboa region. West and north of the city of Lisbon, the Lisboa wine region was known as Estremadura until the 2008 vintage. In this “vinho regional” region, Lisboa has nine DOCs.
In the Lisboa region as a whole, the main traditional white varieties are: Arinto, Fernão Pires, Malvasia, Seara-Nova and Vital, and The red varieties are: Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Castelão, Tinta Miúda, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira.
There are 2 red wines that I liked from around the Lisboa region. Try the 2015 Colossal Riserva, made from 30% Syrah, 30% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz  and 10% Alicante Bouschet.  The vineyards in the Lisbon region are planted in Clay-Limestone soils. I also liked the 2017 Clavis Aurea Reserva from the Tejo DOC made from 40% Touriga Nacional, 40%, Touriga Franca and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Tejo DOC is east of Obidos on the Spanish border

A lot of wine is made in the Lisboa region in a wide variety of styles, much of it in co-operatives like:

A number of the top wine estates of Lisboa are in or around the DOC region of Alenquer in the DOC Obidos area, tucked east of the chalky hills of Serra de Montejunto. Near the walled city of Obidos, it is a little warmer, a little less windy. Grapes can ripen well, and red wines tend to be light and very elegant. Some of Portugal’s finest sparkling wines come from this area.


Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

Deutsch: Lissabon Fado

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