Tagus Arch

Including Alcochete, Vila Franca de Xira, Montijo, Barreiro, Seixal and Moita

Welcome to rural and traditional Lisbon dedicated to horse riding, fishing and farming on one side of the river. And don’t miss the more industrial and water sports-oriented Lisbon on the other. Between the traditional and the contemporary, it is also possible in this region to see farmers driving bulls through the streets. It’s a contrast that is well worth seeing.

The Tagus Arch, which surrounds the huge river estuary and its impressive nature reserve, offers an incredible venue for water sports, mainly canoeing and sailing. Less adventurous but also as prevalent is artisanal fishing south of the Tagus. When the tide is low, dozens of fishermen can be seen toiling away, almost surreally fishing standing up in the middle of the huge river. Besides the unique photographic opportunities that arise during this visit, the Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve has one of the largest wetland areas in Europe. The habitat of various species of fish, crustaceans, birds and lovers of ornithology, here you can observe all the species of birds as they rest during their migration south.

But whereas the birds fly south, to discover something altogether different but equally impressive, you should head north. The flood plain dictates the landscape and the former marshes are now farming and pasture lands where the tradition of wild cattle remains unchanged. After all, you’re arriving in the land of the Festa do Colete Encarnado (Red Shirt Festival), where they pay homage to the farmers and a way of life that is becoming rare to find. Discover the rich regional cuisine and the unique traditions, but don’t forget to plan some calmer activities and to take the chance to take a boat trip around the mouchões, or islands, in the Tagus. Discover the amazing and varied scenery surrounding the river estuary which illuminates Lisbon.