Two in One – How to effort­lessly enhance a trip to the Azores with a tour of Lis­bon

I would like to recom­mend a great way to com­ple­ment your trip to the Azores with no extra travel.

Every time I was fly­ing to the Azores I had a stop­over in Lis­bon. I did not want to waste my time wait­ing at the air­port, so I always decided to have a look around in the city. So it was just me and my guide book, try­ing to make the most of my stay in this won­der­ful city – but some­how it did not feel right. Even though I have seen a lot, I did not have the full pic­ture of Lis­bon, and how this city truly is. I have to admit I felt a little dis­ap­poin­ted, espe­cially after doing my home­work and read­ing so many good things about the cap­it­al of Por­tugal. How­ever, the last time my friend Virag and myself were in Lis­bon, anoth­er friend of mine, Kriszt­ina – who is a tour guide and has been liv­ing in Lis­bon for 9 years – took us on a 3.5 hours long sight­see­ing tour.

We could choose between sev­er­al half-day trips, and we ended up tak­ing the one show­cas­ing the Alfama and lower Baixa dis­tricts. I can­not even com­pare how much bet­ter this tour has been than me wan­der­ing the streets alone. Kriszt­ina poin­ted out build­ings, places, and shops, explain­ing us why they are there and why do they look like they do. I had lots of ques­tions about Lis­bon before, to which I could find no answer in my guide­book. But with Kriszt­ina all these ques­tions have been answered, and I did not even need to ask them – her explan­a­tions were so thor­ough and detailed. For example: I adore the Por­tuguese painted ceram­ic tiles (Azulejo), and thanks to Kriszt­ina I know more about them now and why they are so pop­u­lar in Por­tugal. I have even found out new things about the Azores, which made me very happy. I think a tour like this can be a great warm-up before or a wind-down after a trip to the Azores. We have been to a store selling Azorean products. We have made sev­er­al stops and got a taste of the cul­ture, the loc­al drinks (we tried a fruit-flavored alco­hol­ic drink called Ginjinha), and spe­ci­al­ity food (we tasted Pas­tel de Bac­al­hau – salted cod frit­ters – and observed how it is made). There was even time left for shop­ping. We spent a lot of time in a store selling everything made of cork, you can see what we bought in the album below.

We have seen lots of beau­ti­ful, and high qual­ity souven­irs. Kriszt­ina knows all the hid­den treas­ures. Cork products are very pop­u­lar on the Azores, too. You can buy cork bags, back­packs, shoes, even a cork tie!

When I was sight­see­ing by myself and had way more time to spend, I saw less than half of what I dis­covered with Kriszt­ina. There­fore, I highly recom­mend tak­ing a 3.5 hour Lis­bon sight­see­ing tour dur­ing your 4 – 5 hours (or even a day or two) long stop­over to or from the Azores. Also I think it is worth doing so with the help of a pro­fes­sion­al tour guide. This way the cul­tur­al and nat­ur­al won­ders of the Azores are com­ple­men­ted with a real Por­tuguese exper­i­ence. When you are trav­el­ing to the Azores with TAP Por­tugal air­line, you can opt for a stop­over in Lis­bon or in Porto (you can find more inform­a­tion about this at the end of this post). Kriszt­ina is a fant­ast­ic tour guide. My per­son­al high­lights of the tour were first of all the new inform­a­tion about the Azores, and secondly the loc­al food and drink spe­ci­al­it­ies. We even vis­ited a fruit and veget­ables shop where we looked at typ­ic­al Por­tuguese pro­duce and dis­cussed pre­par­a­tion meth­ods.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Kriszt­ina for show­ing me this excit­ing city and chan­ging my ori­gin­al impres­sion of Lis­bon based on my solo wan­der­ings. I am look­ing for­ward to dis­cov­er­ing more of Lis­bon and its sur­round­ings with her in the near future.

Those of you who would like to com­ple­ment their trip to the Azores with a Lis­bon exper­i­ence – with a 3.5 hours sight­see­ing, or even a multi-day tour – please con­tact us here. Also drop us a mail if you need advice on how to make the most of your stop­over in Porto, Algarve or Madeira.

Fur­ther hints for a tour of Lis­bon

Bag­gage Stor­age

At the Lis­bon air­port after the bag­gage reclaim once you exit the ter­min­al and turn right next to the P2 park­ing you will find the BAGGAGE STORAGE AREA which is open 247. You can leave your lug­gage here if you decide for a short city trip.

Pri­cing inform­a­tion (per day and item based on weight):

2.90 EUR for a bag of 10 kg or less
4.30 EUR for a bag weigh­ing between 10 – 30 kg
8.60 EUR for bag over 30 kg

Of course you can store your lug­gage in Lis­bon, too, for a few hours if you would like. More info here.

Best Ice Cream

Oou really need to check this out. This Itali­an ice cream par­lour recom­men­ded by Kriszt­ina has been one of the high­lights of our trip. To my amazement they had gluten-free cones and gluten-free ice cream, too. YUMMMM.… and the ice cream was divine. Next time I am in Lis­bon I will def­in­itely return here to ask the Itali­an own­er about how he ended up mak­ing ice cream in the Por­tuguese cap­it­al. I apo­lo­gise for the pic­ture qual­ity, I was so focused on enjoy­ing my ice cream that I only took a quick snap without adjust­ing the set­tings. How­ever, now I have bet­ter pho­tos thanks to Kriszt­ina. Click on this link to find out the loc­a­tion and open­ing hours of Gelato Dav­vero.

Stop­over with TAP Por­tugal

What is the cheapest way to make a stop­over with TAP Por­tugal when fly­ing the Bud­apest – Lis­bon / Porto – Azores route? TAP Por­tugal is advert­ising stop­over with the slo­gan „2 des­tin­a­tions for the price of 1”. This is how it works.

  • TAP Por­tugal offers a stop­over if your final des­tin­a­tion is the Azores, Madeira or Algarve. If this con­di­tion is met, you can choose from the fol­low­ing options: sev­er­al hours between con­nect­ing flights (if you would like to spend only a few hours in Lis­bon), round trip stop­over (both ways), one way stop­over.
  • If you selec­ted stop­over in your book­ing, you can define how long it should be (between 1 – 5 days).
  • TAP Por­tugal has spe­cial offers and exclus­ive hotel and car rent­al deals to help with the stop­over travel arrange­ments.

You can find out more about TAP Por­tugal stop­overs by click­ing here.

Kriszt­ina and myself are look­ing for­ward to shar­ing more inform­a­tion with you about Por­tugal. Please con­tact us if you are inter­ested.

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