8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Lisbon

Lisbon is the city of Fado, with a mythical and romantic light that enchants who visits it, Here are 8 interesting facts that will certainly sharpen your interest in getting to know the capital of Portugal.
BIKE MY SIDE & ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Lisbon, the city of Fado, with a mythical and romantic light that enchants who visits it, has so much to visit and to show beyond the obvious. There is so much to discover and here are just some interesting facts that will certainly sharpen your interest in getting to know the capital of Portugal. In the meantime, you can always make a good impression on your friends with these fun facts!

1 – Lisbon is known as the city of the seven hills (Castelo, Graça, Monte, Penha de França, São Pedro de Alcântara, Santa Catarina and Estrela). This designation goes back to the time of the Roman occupation, in which it is affirmed that Lisbon would have been founded under seven hills, like Rome. In each hill, we can find several belvederes with unique and magnificent views of the romantic capital of Portugal.

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2 – The Lisboetas are known as “alfacinhas” because in the time of the Arabs, the “alfaces” (lettuces) were cultivated abundantly in Lisbon. In fact, the word “alface” is of Arabic origin.

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3 – In the basement of Lisbon there are the enigmatic Roman Galleries of Baixa, unknown by the tourists and only open to the public for three days a year. The visits this year, will be held on 22, 23 and 24 of September and are already sold out!

grutas romanas

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4 –  The statue of Christ the King on the left bank of the river Tejo is a copy of Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, has a height of 28 meters and the monument in total reaches 100 meters in height.

cristo rei

5 – The Belém area has two buildings classified by UNESCO as World Heritage: the Jeronimos Monastery and the Torre de Belém – formerly guarding the entrance of the boats on the river Tejo.

Torre_de_Belem_02

Mosteiro dos jeronimos

6 – Lisbon it’s home to the oldest bookstore in the world. The Bertrand Bookshop has been around since 1732. It is located in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto neighborhood. The bookstore was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake that ruined the city, but was moved to the same location you can find it today and since 1773. And so it came to Guinness as the oldest bookshop in the world still in business.

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7 – Lisbon is older than Rome. Lisbon has been around four centuries longer than Rome and Portugal has maintained its original borders since 1139, making it the oldest country in Europe.

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8 –  The Vasco da Gama Bridge, inaugurated in 1998, is the longest bridge in Europe and one of the longest in the world, 17.3 km long, 12 km of which are on the waters of the Tejo river estuary.

ponte vasco da gama

Visiting Lisbon is in fashion and it conquers more and more tourists every year…It is easy to see why!

The wonders of Lagoa do Algarve

10 Wonders of Lagoa do Algarve will be in competition. Start your discovery here and pick your 5 favorites until August 31st. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG | PORTUGAL

Lagoa is already well known for its beautiful beaches, crafts and wine. But there is much more to discover … Historical places, breathtaking natural landscapes, secular churches, intimate convents, among other sites and monuments, revealing the culture, history and traditions of this Algarve county, undoubtedly worthy of a visit.

Now, 10 of these wonders will be in competition to elect the last five “Wonders of the Patrimony of Lagoa”. The voting takes place until 31 August and the winners will be announced on 2 September.

Here is the list of wonders to contest so that you can visit and make your choice.

1. Natural Coastal Landscape – Algar de Benagil, Praia da Marinha, Algar Seco

algar-seco

benagil-caves-algarve

Marinha-beach

2. Promontory of Senhora da Rocha

Senhora da Rocha P

3. Nossa Senhora da Encarnação Church (Porches)

igreja de porches

4. S. José Convent (Lagoa)

Convento-de-Sao-Jose-Lagoa

5. Nossa Senhora da Luz Church (Lagoa)

igreja lagoa

6. São Tiago Church (Estômbar)

Interior igreja

7. Misericórdia Churches: Lagoa and Estômbar

Igreja de lagoaMisericordia_estombar2

8. Sítio das Fontes Natural Park

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9. Santo António Chapel (Mexilhoeira da Carregação)

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10. Traditional urban hull of Ferragudo

Bike my Side Algarve in Ferragudo

You still have time to discover these wonders of the Algarve. Then, just leave your vote here. The invitation to participate in the selection of the “5 Wonders of the Municipality of Lagoa” is extended to all citizens, Portuguese and foreign residents in the county or not.

By the way, do not forget to share the photos of your experience in our Instagram and Facebook! #bikemyside_tours

Good rides through the lands of Lagoa do Algarve!

Guaranteed to make you smile

Touring the Algarve in a sidecar motorcycle has a kind of magical feeling about it. You will find yourself smiling and waving at complete strangers for the simple reason that you just feel happy! BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Yes! You are in the Algarve and it’s summer!

But, did you know that you can discover all the beauties of the region and at the same time, escape the tourist mess?

If you are visiting the Algarve on holidays and prefer a more quite adventure, our sidecar tours are the most enjoyable way you will find to experience the beautiful city of Portimão, the surroundings beaches, local treats and breathtaking landscapes whilst travelling in comfort, style and 100% safe aboard our classic motorcycle sidecar.

Três Irmãos

All you have to do is sit back and relax in the freedom of an open-air  environment  as your experienced Bike my Side driver and guide entertains you with stories and interesting facts about the Algarve – all the most famous tips and secrets that only a local knows.

Flavours on the go Algarve

As this is your own private tour we can stop at any time for you to take pictures and videos so you will be able to share your special journey for years to come with friends and family and have memories that will last a lifetime!

Algarve Sweets

Bike my Side Sidecar Tours are ideal for people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities as we travel at a leisurely pace and do our best to avoid  busy main roads.

sardinhas assadas

Touring the Algarve in a sidecar motorcycle has a kind of magical feeling about it. You will find yourself smiling and waving at complete strangers for the simple reason that you just feel happy!

Bike my Side Sidecar Tours Algarve winerays

Yes, it’s summer. Yes, you are in the Algarve and you can make the most of it!

For more information & reservations just visit us www.bikemyside.com 

 

5 Great reasons to visit Monchique the top of the Algarve, Portugal

Monchique, a quite different Algarve so genuine and so interesting to discover.
BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

When choosing the Algarve for your holiday’s destination you may not know that besides the sun, sea, beach, golf, culture and delicious gastronomy and all other amazing activities related to a holiday destination of sun and beach, you can find not far from the coast, a green paradise, fresh and full of alternative attractions, called Monchique.

The municipality of Monchique is characterized by a diversity of activities that have lasted in time and continue to be developed in traditional ways, with great interest and an important part of the Algarve identity.

Do you like honey, original handicrafts, firewater and mountain products?

If so, here are five good reasons to take a leap up to Monchique hills while you’re in the Algarve.

 

1. CALDAS DE MONCHIQUE

The Caldas de Monchique are known as the “Sintra” of the Algarve. A cool, green, serene spot, where there is a small square wrapped in large trees and refreshing water fountains, perfect for a picnic. If you like thermal baths, the Monchique Spa is excellent with its mineral-medicinal waters, used since ancient times for treatments.

Caldas

2. MONCHIQUE VILLAGE

In the centre of the village you can enjoy a magnificent view from the belvedere of the São Sebastião park, visit the Monchique main church dating from the beginning of the 16th century, the Convent of Nossa Senhora do Desterro, enjoy the narrow streets of the village, contemplating the vast white houses with the typical chimneys and stop to visit some of the craft houses. And of course, taste the traditional firewater, here called “Aguardente de Medronho” .

Monchique Experience I

3. FOIA

Climbing to the highest point of the Algarve – Foia – is a must. From Foia you can see a great stretch of landscape from the Cabo de São Vicente to the Serra da Arrábida. A breathtaking landscape! Prepare to be amazed!

Foia Way II

Foia view

4. MOUNTAIN FOOD AND ANCIENT TRADITIONS

In Monchique, in addition to being able to enjoy architectural, historical and cultural heritage along with the many natural beauties, you have a very rich traditional gastronomy, honey, traditional sweets and the medronho.

In Monchique, there is an important artisan activity of producing very good pig sausages and “presunto” from the “Porco Preto da Montanheira”.

Beekeeping is also a typical activity of Monchique and the “Honey of the Monchique Mountains” is a high quality product with “Protected Designation of Origin”.

The manufacture of the Aguardente de Medronho and make bread are another traditional activities of the Monchique hills.

Flavours

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5. GREEN BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPES

The Serra de Monchique is affectionately nicknamed “Jardim do Algarve” – the Algarve green garden. Crystalline banks, leafy trees and a natural freshness that contrasts with the warm Algarve coastline that complements even more, your holiday experience in the Algarve.

Monchique hills

Monchique hills2

Monchique, a quite different Algarve so genuine and so interesting to discover.

Keep the suggestion and … have a good time during your Algarve holidays!

 

Discover Portugal street art and free spirit

The next time you come to Portugal, do not forget to ask where you can find some open-air-museums, with criations of street art and free spirit. You will like it for sure!

When you come on holidays to Portugal you expect to find tasty food, excellent weather, breathtaking scenery, warm water beaches, amazing historical monuments and truly hospitable people.

What you might not be expecting to find is a true open-air museum on the streets of Lisbon and also a bit throughout the Algarve, as we can start seeing on the streets in Portimão, Lagoa or Lagos.

Although graffitis has existed for decades, in recent years, artists have been progressing their works from mere scribbling that were often even visually polluting, to the point that one can in our days even speak of street art.

In Lisbon, the creation of the GAU (Urban Art Gallery) and the 2010 CRONO project, where some of the best international artists participated, including Momo, Blu, Sam3, The Gemeos, and Vhils gave a true impetus to this freedom of creation that began to be quite impressive for the most attentive eyes.

In Portimão, the Mário Belém mural on a side wall of a house in Praça 1º de Maio, in front of the Portimão City Hall, with the theme “Be careful of everything”, is a good example of these ephemeral creations which are more than simple graffitis, but rather, true expressions of a free creative spirit that feels so good to discover when least expecting, when turning a corner.

The following photographs are only small samples of the street art that you can find in Lisbon or in the Algarve.

Hello cat Urban art Portimão
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Fado style Portimão
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Urban Art Fado
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Urban Art at Portimão
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Street Art Lagos
Lagos, Algarve Street Art
Fado urban art Lisbon
Lisboa, Portugal Street Art

So, the next time you come to Portugal, do not forget to ask where you can find these open-air-museum works of art, totally free of charges and so pleasing to the eyes.

You will like it for sure and you will add this to the long list of wonderful things to discover in Portugal.

Feel relaxed, free and cultivate yourself in every way, while you are in Portugal!

Urban art Lisbon
Bike my Side discovering Lisboa Street Art

10 Things to do in Portimão, Algarve

If you are on holidays in Portimão, in the Algarve, here are some suggestions for things to do to make the most of your vacation!

If you are on holidays in the Algarve, in Portimão, our advice is to think and act like a local, because only then will you truly feel the magic of this region, escaping the confusion of the tourist concentrations.

There are lots of places and things to do, but here are some of our favourite things to do in the Algarve, Portimão…

1. Visit the Local Market

Here you can find the famous fresh Algarvian fish. Now it is summer, there are sardines already, but during the rest of the year, you can taste a lot of fish and shellfish. The fishmongers are friendly and always available to tell a good story.

Local Mercado

2. Go to Rua do Comércio

Although some stores have already closed, there are some that remain and share with us some of our history. Clothes, pastries, articles in linen and cotton, shoes …. It is always a good opportunity to look for an original souvenir.

Rua do Comercio Portimão

3. Portuguese canned fish are among the best in the world

If you want a light meal, at Maria do Mar you will find good suggestions of canned fish for connoisseurs and collectors.

Canned Fish Portimão

4. Regional sweets for all tastes

After a taste of the sea, nothing like a sweetie to cheer the heart. In Portimão there are several pastries with regional sweets and homemade cakes, but our preference goes to A Casa da Isabel for the many prizes that have been received and for being a stopping point for residents throughout the year.

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5. Our local flavours

At Mercearia do Algarve a local grocery store like in the old days, you can find a variety of regional and organic products with a great idea of ​​what is produced in the region. The regional Algarve bread is a delight and here is sold the bread of Monchique which is one of the most famous and tasty.

Mercearia do Algarve Portimão

6. Praia da Rocha and Fortaleza de Santa Catarina

Praia da Rocha and its extensive beach are one of the most famous beaches of Portimão. Now that it’s summer, of course, there’s no need for a swim. In the rest of the year, strolling on the beach is also very pleasant.

Praia da Rocha

7. Alvor and the ria

Alvor is a few minutes from Portimão and well worth a visit. The view of the Ria de Alvor, a stop at one of the local restaurants or simply wander the streets, are worth it.

Alvor

8. The Portimão Museum and the history of the city

An old fish factory, which is now a museum, tells the story of the city’s relationship with the canning industry, the sea and the river. An interesting way of knowing the origins of Portimão, the evolution of the community and the most striking aspects of the industrial and maritime history.

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9. The Waterfront of Portimão

The riverside area of ​​Portimão, all of it crafted in the typical Portuguese sidewalk is a great spot for a late afternoon stroll. With garden benches along the seafront, this wide pedestrian promenade is a pleasant place to rest and enjoy the scenery.

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10. Bike My Side sidecar tours

All these places and many more in Portimao and in the surrounding area are part of our list of favourite things to do in the Algarve. Bike my Side tours offers you these and many more discoveries and adventures! So, lets go and have some real fun!

Visit Portimão with Bike my Side

To the sky and beyond! Are you ready?

If you are looking for a real fun and excitement during your Algarve holidays you cannot miss this combination of a sidecar ride and skydiving tandem jump!

 

For those who are in the Algarve for holidays and looking for an epic and unforgettable adventure, Bike my Side and Skydive Seven have found the perfect combination!

Are you ready?

The adventure begins on land, with a unique and unforgettable classic sidecar motorcycle ride in the stunning city of Portimão, Praia da Rocha, Alvor and surroundings, with so many secrets and natural beauties to discover.

Bike my Side Algarve in Ferragudo

Get ready to zigzag along picturesque streets and feel the freedom to ride in a sidecar!

Bike my Side Original sidecar tours

Riding in a sidecar allows you to see the world in a totally different perspective while having such a fun!

England Girls Sidecar tours

Then from Portimão Aerodrome is time to let the adrenaline rise! Securely harnessed to a qualified tandem skydiving instructor you will experience the thrill and excitement of freefall and enjoy the breath-taking sea views over the coastline of Portugal.

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There’s a short ride in an awesome plane before you take an exhilarating leap from 5000m! Your instructor will then open the tandem parachute after 65 seconds of free-falling and fly you safely back to earth.

Skydiving Algarve

This amazing combination of land and sky experience – sidecar ride and tandem jump – allows you to discover unique land and sky views with a real sense of freedom and pure adrenaline.

Skydive Algarve

Have you been able to catch your breath now?

Definitely, a once in a lifetime experience and your real summer adventure in the Algarve!

Can you imagine? To the sky and beyond! Just come and do it!

More information and reservation: http://www.bikemyside.com/contacts-reservations/