Surroundings

Surroundings

LISBON - CITY OF THE 7 HILLS

With countless hours of Sun, 7 hills, Portuguese hand-cobbled streets (the known “calçada Portuguesa”) and ancient history, Lisbon is the largest city of Portugal and one of the oldest and most visited cities of Europe.
The light of Lisbon is spoken of in the lyrics of Fado (Portuguese traditional music genre). The personality and hue of Lisbon’s light is admired by filmmakers, writers and photographers from all around the world. It is, in fact, unique. The city was virtually destroyed on the 1st of November of 1755, when an earthquake and the consequent tsunami and fires almost levelled the capital of Portugal. But amidst the ruins a new city arose with all its might, with a huge geometric Masonic architectural inspiration and its corners built with stones, filled with secret signs.
Lisbon is an ancient city, charming due to its inherent decadent features, primed by a new energy that emerges from every corner. It has everything you can and should expect of a global city, with which you can fall in love with: a castle, ancient roman ruins, and beautiful sights; it also has a magnificent river, terraces, gardens and mature trees. Its unique architecture mixes modern buildings designed by great international names and old buildings full of colour, with their colourful tiled walls and flowerpots hanging on the windows. There's music, commerce and the tasty traditional pastry that you can't fail to prove, like the Pastel de Belém (custard pie) and the Pastel de Bacalhau (cod-fish pastry).
The airport is very close to the city centre, so before melting into the experience of your life - the ZNA Gathering – we recommend you to get “lost” in the magical streets of Lisbon.

ALGARVE - BEST EUROPEAN BEACHES

If you are into dazzling beaches of white sand, a peaceful and transparent sea, and warm slow days, you have to go to the South of Portugal to visit Algarve. In here time has a different pace, it always smells like flowers and honey. Visit the beach of Ponta da Piedade - considered the most beautiful in the world - and lose yourself in the giant caves with unknown bays on the beaches of Carvoeiro.

OPORTO - CITY OF CULTURE

Oporto has an aura which is hard to match, with its narrow winding streets located at riverside, and ancient bridges, churches and towers that you can find around each corner. It’s one of the oldest European centres, which historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Also it’s the city of Port Wine, where you may eat and drink like a king!
Like in all of Portugal, Oporto is a place full of friendly people. While in town we suggest you to visit the Livraria Lello (book store) with its 19th century looks that look straight out of Harry Potter´s world. If you get the chance also check out the Clérigos Church, and walk across the bridge Dom Luís, designed in 1880 by Gustav Eiffel.

AZENHAS DO MAR - THE HIDDEN GEM

Portugal is full of hidden gems ready to be discovered. There are some well-hidden villages that to find them you need a good map, a GPS or some knowledge; and there are others that are very close to most touristic centres of the country, that are very charming and easy to reach - but that are not publicized by traditional guides, and therefore become hidden paradises.
Azenhas do Mar is one of them. 40 km from Lisbon, this small village is made up of traditional chalk-painted white houses built on high rocks, next to one of the most famous sights of this region. At the bottom of the bay, there's an oceanic swimming pool naturally carved on the rocks, where you can dive in and spend all the afternoon spellbound by the pristine natural scenario…. A peaceful place, ideal for a rest after an unforgettable week with your ZNA family.

THE DOURO REGION - WORLD HERITAGE

The Douro region is a world heritage site, and if you think that all you find there is wine you're wrong… but you are in fact also right!
If you want to taste the best of Portuguese wines, go for a stroll and discover this beautiful region of Douro. Here you will find centennial paths, with farms where the “nectar” is produced, and small villages surrounded by vineyards, located on endless slopes facing the majestic Douro river. Catch a boat and make a cruise, rent a car and lose yourself in the winding roads, make your way and let yourself go without fear. Here you will always be well taken care of by the charming locals.

SINTRA - THE MAGICAL HILL

Sintra is like stepping into a fairy tale. Within Sintra’s cultural landscape you can find beautiful castles and palaces with their unique architecture, an unbelievable natural park and many other mesmerizing places. Find the time to visit Quinta da Regaleira, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, a luxurious park that features lakes, grottoes, wells, fountains, and a vast array of enigmatic constructions that allegedly hold symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, and the Knights Templar.
So close to Lisbon that is almost unthinkable not to visit. Fill your stomach with the fine local pastries, so you may have the strength and energy of a leprechaun to explore this magical lush forest. In fact, this place has for long been a source of legends, due to its magical energy and old ritualistic cultures.

GERÊS - THE NATIONAL PARK

Secret hidden trails, waterfalls, Nature as far as the eye can see. The National Park of Peneda-Gerês is one of Portugal’s richest treasures. Deep in the north of Portugal, it’s a wildlife sanctuary and natural paradise you must visit. Get ready to hike up the trails, dive in crystal clear fresh water, and find small villages that will dazzle you. Search for a place called Soajo, the waterfall of Arado, and continue to Barjas and Castro Laboreiro, where you will find many of the oldest signs of human presence in the Peninsula, like cave paintings, dolmens and megalithic structures.







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