Unique tours and experiences in and near Lisbon

Unique tours and experiences in Lisbon – What are the other things that people do in Lisbon that you may not have thought of?  There are a lot of really cool things that you can do in or near Lisbon that most people never consider.

Note: I have no affiliation or financial interests with any of these businesses.

Be a Bee-keeper for a day

Definitely a unique experience to consider doing near Lisbon. Should be a lot of fun for kids as well!

This tour is in Loures, about thirty minutes from Lisbon.  When booking, transportation from your accommodations can be arranged.  

Adult tickets (15+) are  57 euros.  Children (5-14) pay 42 euros.  Children under four are free.  The tour lasts three hours and is designed for two to eight people. A minimum of two people are required.   

Upon arriving, you will be welcomed by the farmer and have a tour of the farm.  After learning about beehives, you will put on a bee suit in order to visit the apiary.  You will hold a frame of bees and identify workers and drones and try to find the Queen bee. 

You will learn about the importance of bees to the planet, enjoy tasting different types of honey, and finally have lunch at the farm.  To book or learn more https://wwwportugalfarmexperience.com/tours/beekeeping/ or book through Airbnb.

A cruise to the Berlenga Islands

This will be an adventure. Berlenga Grande is a nature preserve seven miles off the west coast of Portugal. 

On the island you will find one of Portugal’s most impressive forts, the St. John the Baptist Fort, secluded caverns,  and twisted rock formations. 

Viator operates a day tour for $123.59.  You will meet at Praça dos Restauradores, 24, in Lisbon at 8am. 

Then, you will go by air-conditioned van to the fishing village of Peniche, about an hour and fifteen minutes northwest of Lisbon.  From there, you will board a boat to Berlenga Grande. 

On arrival you will have time for a stroll on the beach and some refreshments, and then your guide will take you to the fort, a 17th century fortress built on the ruins of an old monastery. 

After lunch at the island’s restaurant (not included) or a picnic that you provide, you can choose the included cave kayaking excursion, or a more leisurely glass-bottom boat. 

There is also an opportunity to snorkel or relax on the beach for a short while. To register with Viator, click here.

Adventurous, independent travelers can also get to the island without the benefits of a tour guide. 

From Lisbon, take the metro blue line to the Sete Rios Bus station. There, buy a Rede Expressos bus ticket from Lisbon to Peniche for 9 euros each way. 

The trip is an hour and a half by bus. You will need to be on the first outbound bus from Lisbon at 7:30 am in order to make the ferry at 10 am to the Berlengas Islands. 

Race around Lisbon for a Scavenger Hunt

Let’s Roam has developed an app for the Lisbon Scavenger Hunt:  Princes, Poets, Playwrights, and Promenades. 

This is a two-hour app-led scavenger hunt beginning in Praça do Comercio.  No guides or reservations are necessary. 

Snap pics, explore, learn, and race against the clock.  Walk to the landmarks and hidden gems, answer trivia questions and complete challenges.  You can play with your friends or compete against them. 

Activity level:  moderate.  Walking required.  $20 per player. https://wwwletsroam.com/scavenger_hunt/Historical_Centre_Lisbon_Scavenger_Hunt

A unique experience near Lisbon: The Casino Estoril

Eleven miles southwest of Lisbon, the historic Casino Estoril was supposedly a hotbed of spies during World War II, and was the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel, Casino Royale.  Today, it is the largest Casino in Europe. 

While it is not Las Vegas, you can get some gambling in at this beachside casino and eat great Chinese food at the casino’s elegant Estoril Mandarim Restaurant.

To get to Estoril, you can take the Comboios train from Cais de Sodré station.  The 23-minute ride is $3.00 each direction.  Trains run every 15 minutes.

If you are interested in staying in Estoril or Cascais, see my article, Hotels, hostels, and houseboats on the Lisbon, Estoril, Cascais coast

On the Back of a Horse – A different perspective on Beach and Mountains

For experienced riders only.  Your guide, Sofia, will take you to Sintra where you either ride on the beach, or on a cliff overlooking the beach.  

During the summer, horses are not allowed on the beach, so you will go mountain trail-riding.   You could ride during the daytime or at sunset. 

Your 220 euros per person reservation includes a guide, your own horse, riding equipment, and travel insurance. 

Due to the insurance, it will be important for you to communicate with Sofia in advance.  Also, some of the stables she works with allow children on their horses, but others do not. 

Communicating with her in advance is going to be very important. You will need to provide your full name and birthdate in advance of the trip for the insurance policy.

Pena Palace, Sintra, Image by Julian Hacker from Pixabay

Also, you might want to try to work out a plan where your guide could meet you in the town of Sintra (you arrange your own transportation), or see if she will leave you there after riding (you arrange your own transportation to Lisbon – hint: bus), so that you can spend a night, and then have a full day for exploring the castles.  For more information on Sintra, see my article, How to plan a day trip or overnight trip to Sintra from Lisbon

Horseback riding would be an awesome addition to a trip to Sintra, which really needs a day and a half to fully enjoy all of the historic sites.

Communicate with Sofia and get further details at https://www.withlocals.com/experience/on-the-back-of-a-horse-a-different-perspective-of-beach-mountains-e6f932aa/

Womens’ Empowerment Lisbon Walking Tour

Rita, your guide, is a feminist activist and native of Lisbon.  As she shows you around some of her favorite spots in Lisbon, she will make clear how things were as recently as 50 years ago, when in Portugal women were second-class citizens. 

Women could not vote and could not leave the country without written permission from their husbands or fathers, among other things. 

She describes the progress that has been made on behalf of women in Portugal and shares the stories of those who fought for those wins. 

Meet at Mercado de Sapadores and then explore Bairro Estrela D’Ouro. 

Go to Tasco do Jaime and learn about Fado music and its significance.  You will stop in at a tavern and have tapas and a drink.  

Rita will take you to Miradouro da Senhora do  Monte.  

You will see São Vicente and the Panteão Nacional before ending the tour in Largo Chafariz de Dentro. 

This is a private tour – just you and Rita, and she is happy to customize the itinerary for you. 

Meals and two drinks are included.  20 euros per person https://www.withlocals.com/experience/women-empowerment-lisbon-walking-tour-1d2606eb/

Personalized Photography Workshop in Lisbon

This workshop is open to beginner through advanced photographers. Pedro, your guide, is a skilled local photographer who will help you find great photo opportunities in the Alfama neighborhood, or if you prefer, on a walk down by the river. 

The two and a half hour walking tour costs 35 euros per person and includes a drink and admission to any sites that you will enter.  Meet at Jardim Botto Machado.  Register through http://withlocals.com/experience/

Jewish Heritage Lisbon Tour with a Local

Silvia will be your tour guide on this private three hour tour.  Jews have been an important part of Portugal ’s history. 

Learn about the Portuguese Oskar Schindler who saved thousands of Jews’ lives during WWII.  The tour begins in Praca do Comercio and you will move away from the river, going to the Jewish ghetto in Alfama, visiting the house of writer Jose Saramago, explore the Lisbon Cathedral and the synagogue. 

You will also visit the site of the Inquisition at Estaus Palace and the Church of Sao Domingos.  Coffee and a local Jewish snack are provided in the 35 euro price of the tour. http://www.withlocals.com/experience/jewish-heritage-lisbon-tour-with-a-local-646f24ea/

Viator Lisbon Jewish Heritage Private Tour

Prices from $176 depending on the size of your group of up to 14 people.  On this seven-hour tour you will learn about Portugal’s Jewish communities while visiting the Jewish Memorial to the 1506 Massacre, the Lisbon Synagogue, and the Jewish Cemetery. 

You will also tour the city’s old Jewish Quarter in the Alfama neighborhood.  Hotel or port pickup is available.  https://www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/Lisbon/Lisbon-Jewish-Heritage_Private_Tour/d538-8413P13

African Influences in Lisbon Private Tour

Portugal had six African colonies – Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Príncipe, and Equatorial Guinea.  But that is sort of modern history. 

Prior to that, the North African Moors occupied Lisbon for 433 years.  As a result, some say that Lisbon is the most African capital in Europe.

You will meet your guide, António, at the beautiful Portas do Sol viewpoint.  You will explore Mouraria – the old Moorish hill, Largo de Martim Moniz, the Church of São Domingos, Cais de Sodré, Praca Dom Luis I and Travessa do Posso dos Negros. The With Locals tour http://www.withlocals.com/experience/african-influences-in-lisbon-private-tour-364dffa5/ lasts 3 hours and costs only 18 euros per person.

Traditional Fisherman’s Village Tour with lunch

With Locals tour.  Paulo will pick you up in Lisbon and drive you in his air-conditioned car to the town of Setúbal. 

On the way, you will pass through the Arrábida mountain range, with great views of the Sado Estuary, one of the most beautiful bays in the world. 

If you like, you can stop and fish for a bit on a beach surrounded by cliffs and pine forests.

You will learn about the history of fishing in Portugal.  You will visit the local fish market, an azulejo factory (azulejos are the beautiful blue and white tiles found all over Portugal, and finally, visit a family-owned seafood restaurant and enjoy a traditional lunch.  http://www.withlocals.com/experience/traditional-fishermen-s-village-tour-with-lunch-988dd049

Also, if you like seafood, check out my blog post https://lisbontravelideas.com/2021/05/seafood-in-Lisbon/ for more tips on where to enjoy seafood in Lisbon.

Salty Souls Portugal Surf School

Salty Souls offers group surf lessons, two hours long, with pickup from the Cascais train station for 35 euros per person. Same lesson without the pickup at the train station is 30 euros.

A private lesson with a maximum of two people is 100 euros for two hours.  A course-pack of five two-hour lessons is also offered for beginners or intermediate surfers for 125 euros. 

Boards and insurance are included for all lessons.  Lessons are organized based on best tides and water conditions.  Safety is emphasized and there will always be a professional instructor near you. http://www.saltysoulsportugal.com

For more information on beaches nearby, see my article, How to use public transportation to get to Lisbon’s beaches

Lisbon street Art Tour

I mentioned the Lisbon Street Art tour in my earlier blog post 25 things to see or experience in Lisbon  

Lisbon is such a colorful city and has a lot of murals scattered all over the city.  These guys know them all and have a plan to help you find them efficiently.  They will explain the history and social context that inspired these murals and tell you about some of the best muralists in Portugal and the world. In addition, a portion of your tour registration fee goes toward funding future street art projects in Lisbon!  Lisbonstreetarttours.com or get in touch on Facebook.

 Benfica Stadium and Museum Tour

Explore the Estádio de Sport Lisboa e Benfica (commonly known as Estádio da Luz) on a private tour which includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

At 66,642 seats, it is one of the largest stadiums in Europe and was host to the Champions League Finals in 2014 and 2020. 

Home team Benfica has won 37 Primeira Liga titles and is the winningest team in Portugal.

On this tour, you will see the locker rooms, the executive seats, and inspect the pitch.

You will get to explore Benfica’s history in the club museum and visit the team shop. 

Choose whether to begin the tour in the morning or the afternoon.  Cost of the 3-4 hour  Viator tour is $127.69.  To book the Benfica Stadium and Museum Tour click here. https://www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/BENFICA-STADIUM-AND-MUSEUM/d538-14365P9

However, if you can find your own way to the stadium (Colégio Militar / Luz metro Blue line), the club offers a tour of the stadium and the museum for 13 euros.  Go to Official Website of Sport Lisboa e Benfica – SL Benfica  Buy tickets online or at Benfica Official Stores. 

The stadium is open everyday from 10am -6pm.  The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am -6pm.

For information on attending a game, see my article How to go to a Benfica game

Knights Templar region – city of Tomar

Portugal.com offers a 3 day Knights Templar History Tour.  The Knights Templar are intertwined with the history of Portugal. 

The fighting monks founded the city of Tomar in 1160, and their castle and Convent of Christ (within the castle) are a UNESCO world-heritage site.

The leader of the Knights, 70-year-old Gualdim Pais, successfully defended the city against a six day attack by the Moors. 

His men also built other castles in the region, including the castles of Almourol, Mosanto, and Pombal.  Pais also founded the town of Pombal, and granted land to Christians who were willing to settle in and defend the area. 

Over time the knights Templar re-Christianized  Portugal and expelled the Muslems.

On Day 1:  Start in Lisbon, Explore Almoural castle, as well as the castle and convent in Tomar, and the church of St. John the Baptist and the church of Santa Maria dos Olivais.

On Day 2:  Tour the Templar Tower in Dornes, The Monastery of Alcobaca, and the Battle of Aljubarrota Center in Dornes.  Spend the night in Sintra.

On Day 3: You will explore the Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra and finally visit the Belem Tower in Lisbon and learn more about the Knights’ role in the Age of Exploration.

The tour includes:  Accommodation and buffet breakfast at 4-star Hotel dos Templarios or similar in on the first night, and the 4-star Hotel Tavoli Sintra, or similar on the second night.  Lunches are included, as well as a guide, transport, and admission into all of the sites.  Contact https://portugal.com/package/templars for prices and registration.

Small-Group Tour: Knights Templar Historical Tour from Lisbon

A lot will be packed into this nine-hour tour. Explore the villages of Constância and Tomar. Discover Almourol Castle and its UNESCO World Heritage Site Convent of Christ, which was once a fortification where the knights resided.

Visit the church of Santa Maria de Olivais in Tomar. Tour size limited to eight people. From $105. Hotel pickup is offered. https:www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/Small-Group-Tour-Knights-Templar-Historical-Tour-From-Lisbon/d538-5507KNIGHTSTEMPLAR

Balloon Ride with Complimentary Drink from Coruche

Provide your own transportation to the town of Coruche – the cork capital of the world, and then Viator will help you get into a hot air balloon so that you can explore the beautiful Portuguese countryside.  Finish with a complimentary glass of Champagne. 

The trip takes three to four hours.  Depart from Zona Industrial Lote 37, 2100-051, Coruche Portugal.  Tour is $217.68 per person.   Reserve now and pay later.  http://www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/Balloon-Ride-with-Complimentary-Drink-from-Coruche/d538-14133P1

Two Rede Expressos buses make the two-and-a-half-hour trip from Lisbon per day, leaving at 9 am and 6:30 pm from Sete Rios or Oriente bus stations.  The bus ticket is $13.  There is no direct train to Coruche. 

Balloon ride with Champagne Toast from Montargil

Actual flying time is one hour to 90 minutes.  Watch the sunrise over the Alentejo landscape.  You will see medieval ruins, Roman templess, churches, and the rugged Costa Vicentina. 

Flights are planned for sunrise year-round, and sunset only in the winter.  Finish the trip with a Champagne toast.  http://www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/Balloon-Ride-with-Complimentary-Drink-from-Montargil/d538-14133P8    $1022 per couple.  You can reserve now and pay later.

The bus from Lisbon Sete Rios station takes one hour and fifty minutes.   The cost is $15.  Four buses on weekdays, leaving at 7:30 am, 12:30 pm, 3 pm, 6:30 pm.  On weekends, buses depart at 7:30 am, 3 pm, and 6:30 pm.

Speedboat tour through Arrábida National Park with Coasteering Experience

This experience starts at $61.00 per person. Coasteering is the physical act of moving along the rocky intertidal zone on foot or by swimming, without the use of watercraft – a combination of “mountaineering” and “coast.”  Basically, a physical adventure playing on the rocks – climbing, scrambling, swimming, jumping.  You will get to know the beauty of Arrábida National Park in a personal and tactile way. 

Insurance and technical equipment are provided on this trip, as well as a certified guide.  Not suitable for children under 8, pregnant women, people with mobility or heart problems, or wheelchair users.  Bring water shoes, no sandals or flip-flops. 

Meet next to the restaurant at Anicho-Bar” on the Praia (beach) do Portinho de Arrábida, where you will find a big flag with a “wind” logo.

You must arrange your own transportation to the beach. It is a 30-minute drive from Lisbon. You could also take a train from Campolide Station in Lisbon, or combine bus 754 in Lisbon to Vila F Azeit

You must arrange your own transportation to the beach. It is a 30-minute drive from Lisbon. You could also take a train from Campolide Station in Lisbon to Coina (24 minutes) and then get a cab for the last 16 miles. Or, another option is to combine bus 754 in Lisbon to Vila F Azeitão (one hour), and then take a cab the last 10 miles to the beach.


Full-Day Private Dolphin Watching – Withlocals

Meet at 8:30 am at Praça Marquês de Pombal in Lisbon for this six hour private tour by car.  Head to the town of Setúbal, where depending on the weather, you will either board a modern catamaran or a fully-restored salt galleon for a thee hour cruise of the Sado Estuary. 

Learn about and hopefully spot bottlenose dolphins.  Also learn about the area’s history and food.  See historic monuments such as the Arrábida Convent and the Saint Filipe Fort.  On the way home, you will stop at a few sights in the Arrábida mountain range. Entrance tickets, private car, driver, travel insurance, and non-alcoholic drinks are provided. https://www.withlocals.com/experience/full-day-private-dolphin-watching-eb7de804/

For more information on Roaz do Sado dolphins, see my article Roaz do Sado Dolphins | Where to watch dolphins near Lisbon

Dolphin Watching Costa da Caparica – Viator

From $74.44   https://www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/Bartholomew-Diaz-Dolphin-Searching-Expedition-Dolphin-Searching-from-Lisbon/  

Look for dolphins, sea turtles, and seabirds and enjoy the beautiful scenery off of the Costa da Caparica, which lies across the harbor from Lisbon.  The excursion lasts four hours. 

Your guide has been studying dolphins for more than twelve years and will take you on a learning quest.  In addition to learning about dolphins and whales, you will also discuss the history of the landmarks and landscape that you pass by.  Depart from Avenida Brasilia, 5, 1300 in Lisbon at 9am.

To learn more about dolphin-watching near Lisbon, see my article, Roaz do Sado Dolphins | Where to watch dolphins near Lisbon

Fishing Charter in Peniche, Portugal – Viator

5 hours. Free cancellation. $365 per group (up to 6), Peniche, Portugal.  Facemasks are required for guides and passengers. 

Rods and reels and bait are provided.  Each passenger must also purchase an onboard fishing license for 5 euros per person. https://www.viator.com/tours/Lisbon/Fishing-Boat-Rental/d538-134520P2

Depart from Travessa do Lingueta 8, 2520-464, Peniche and return to the same point.

In order to get from Lisbon to Peniche, take the blue line to Sete Rios metro station and get the Rede Expressos bus.  The trip takes one hour and thirty minutes.

Fishing charters in Cascais – Dreamboats Pacífico

The Pacífico is a 30-foot Faeton 980 offshore Sportfisher with twin 230 HP Yanmar engines.  There is enough room on the boat for eight guests, making it ideal for family or small group trips. 

The local fishery is diverse, and the crew will help you find shark, cobia, snapper, gilt-head, or whatever you prefer.  You keep what you catch, and if you get lucky early, the crew will cook your catch on-board for lunch.  All rods, real, tackle and bait provided. 

Four-hour trip, shared boat, starting at 9 am.  $183

Two-hour Sunset trip, starting at 6:30 pm $427

Half-day trip (4 hours) 9 am or 2 pm, $549

To choose your charter https://fishingbooker.com/charters/view/4299?booking_days+1&booking_persons=2&booking_children=0    

To conclude, Lisbon is well-known for its medieval castle and UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will see those within your first 48 hours in Lisbon. Go beyond that, and enjoy some of the unique tours and experiences in and around Lisbon. Lisbon offers many great experiences on land or sea, some within the historic district of the city, others not too far away and easily reached by public transportation.

Thanks for reading! Know that I am not associated with any businesses mentioned on this page.