Lisbon is a vibrant European city that is known for its history, architecture, and delicious cuisine. However, many people overlook the natural beauty of Portugal's capital. Lisbon offers incredible landscapes of dramatic ocean-side cliffs, picturesque mountains, and sandy beaches. Nature lovers can escape the city for a day and visit one of these gorgeous natural sites nearby.
10 Scenic Views At Cabo Da Roca
Cabo da Roca forms the westernmost point of the Sintra Mountain Range in Portugal and is a scenic destination that travelers shouldn’t miss. It’s located between Cascais and Sintra, 42 km from Lisbon’s city center. It’s the most westerly point in continental Europe with a cliff that drops straight into the sea. The dramatic landscape is complemented by the quaint lighthouse from 1772 that still guides boasts along the coast of Portugal. Cabo da Roca is the ideal spot for visitors to take in the beauty of Portugal’s nature and unique landscapes. The best time to visit is at sunset when glowing orange light is cast over the sea.
9 Greenery In The City At Parque Das Nações
The gardens in Parque das Nações offer a unique piece of greenery for travelers to enjoy in Lisbon. There is native and exotic vegetation and esplanades set against the Tejo River, offering a relaxing environment for a stroll. The park combines art and nature in the country’s capital city, and it offers kid-friendly exhibits, so there’s something for the whole family.
8 Breathtaking Wild Dolphins In Arrábida
Travelers who want an adventurous and unique experience near Lisbon should consider booking a dolphin-watching boat tour in Arrábida. This is a fantastic opportunity to view marine animals in their natural habitat while staying comfortably in a beautiful city like Lisbon. The dolphins swim in the clear waters off Portugal’s coast for an excursion that travelers are not likely to forget.
7 Birds And Wildlife At Tapada Nacional de Mafra
Tapada Nacional de Mafra is a park covering 800 hectares of land near Lisbon. It was built under the rule of King João V for the purpose of the king’s leisure. He would go there to hunt for sport, but today it’s home to wild animals that are left unharmed by humans, including foxes, squirrels, rabbits, goats, deer, and wild boars. There are also many bird species, including eagles, owls, and falcons, here, so bird watching is a great pastime when visiting.
Tapada Nacional de Mafra is just 42 km from Lisbon's city center and is a fun destination for all ages. On a day trip from the city, travelers can participate in walking tours, go mountain biking, horseback riding, or crossbow shooting.
6 Beautiful Beaches Of Arrábida and Sesimbra
Lisbon is known for its picturesque walking streets, iconic yellow trams, and delicious cuisine. What most travelers don’t realize is that there are also some stunning beaches right near the city center. The paradise-like beaches of Arrábida and Sesimbra feature turquoise, clear waters, green hills surrounding the beach area, and warm golden sands for a perfect day of sunbathing.
These beaches are found on the coastline south of Lisbon, near Setúbal, and are some of the best to visit in the entire country. Spend a day of your trip to Lisbon swimming at either Portinho da Arrábida, or Praia do Creiro. Other beautiful beaches to visit from Lisbon include Praia dos Coelhos, Praia dos Galapinhos and Praia dos Galapos. After a day of swimming at these gorgeous beaches, travelers can sit down to a fresh seafood dinner on the coast.
5 Surfing In Ericeira
Ericeira is a seaside village on the west coast of Portugal that provides a surf haven from just half an hour away from Lisbon. There’s a World Surfing Reserve there that’s ideal for catching some big waves. The fishing village of Ericeira is worth dedicating a whole day to when visiting from Lisbon. After several hours of surfing and enjoying the water, travelers can head into the village for some fresh fish and seafood at the local restaurants.
4 Hiking Trails At Reserva Natural Do Estuário Do Tejo
Reserva Natural do Estuário do Tejo is a protected nature reserve in Portugal and is one of just 30 areas in the country under this kind of environmental protection. The reserve is in proximity to Lisbon’s city center and is one of the largest wetlands in all of Portugal. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore here, including the Lagoa Principal, Lagoa Rosa, and the Lagoa Grande.
There are stilts, spotted redshanks, common greenshanks, pied avocets, and plenty more unique bird species to observe in their natural habitats on the reserve. Bring some binoculars on the trail for a glimpse of these majestic creatures. Visitors to the site in autumn have a chance to see flamingos, a unique sight in this wetland landscape.
In addition to hiking and biking on the trails, travelers can go bird watching and appreciate this natural spot on a boat. There is a river in the reserve, so boat tours are a great way to gain a new perspective in this beautiful place.
3 Meditative Tranquility At Gulbenkian Garden
Travelers to Lisbon who are visiting the Gulbenkian Museum cannot miss this oasis in the heart of the city. The Gulbenkian gardens are the ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life in Lisbon and find a moment of peace without leaving the city. The gardens were created in 1969 and extend around the museum grounds with lush trees, manicured green lawns, and gorgeous botanicals.
2 Badoca Safari Park
Travelers who want a change of pace from the city life but aren't interested in hiking or learning to surf can engage with wildlife at Lisbon's Badoca Safari Park. Families with children will love this wildlife experience, where kids can get close to the animals in a supervised setting. Take part in African rafting experiences, feed the wild lemurs, or watch a presentation on carnivorous birds. While at the park, travelers can also visit Primates Island, African Forest, and Tropical Forest.
1 Estufa Fria
Nature lovers who thrive in settings full of lush greenery will love the botanical garden of Estufa Fria. It has three gardens within Eduardo VII Park, right in the city center of Lisbon. The closest metro station is Marqués de Pombal, taking travelers to this jungle within an urban area. Inside Estufa Fria, visitors can stroll peacefully amid lush vegetation while navigating caves and pathways. The atmosphere is fantastical and simultaneously romantic, making it a beautiful spot to visit with a partner for a date-type excursion or solo for a meditative walk.