The great period of "the Discoveries" accounted for phenomenal wealth brought back from India, Africa and Brazil by the great Portuguese navigators. Gold, jewels, ivory, porcelain and spices helped finance grand new buildings and impressive monuments in Lisbon, the country's capital city. As you sail up the Tagus River, be on deck to admire Lisbon's panorama and see some of the great monuments lining the river. Lisbon is one of Europe's smallest capital cities but considered by many visitors to be one of the most likeable. Spread over a string of seven hills, the city offers a variety of faces, including a refreshing no-frills simplicity reflected in the people as they go unhurriedly through their day enjoying a hearty and delicious cuisine accompanied by the country's excellent wines. Explore Condé Nast Insider Tips for Lisbon
May - September
Off the Beaten Track
Pilgrimage to Fatima - May 12-13 Every year more than four million visitors converge on Fatima, the site of the alleged appearance of the Virgin Mary on May 13, 1917.
Beautifully glazed tiles and soul stirring Fados are deeply rooted in Portuguese tradition. The tiles which can be seen on the walls of Monasteries, museums and even train stations all over the Lisbon, tell stories about the city's turbulent past. From the depiction of the conquest of Lisbon, to flags with crescent moons being hoisted, the stories are as varied as the tiles are colorful. Fado is believed to have originated in the sailor's bars near the end of the 18th century. It is thought that the sorrowful songs were born out of the pain of those who watched their loved ones set sail on voyages, without the assurance of their return. When a fadista sings, everyone is silent and no food is served.