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Lisbon Blue Coast

Welcome to Lisbon Blue Coast . . .

Cross the Tagus river via the 25th April Bridge, Europe’s biggest suspension bridge and keep heading south and you’ll come to what is known as the Costa Azul (Blue Coast), home of trendy beachside restaurants such as Borda D’Agua, beautiful beaches and warm seas.

Fish naturally takes centre stage on the menu, though dishes such as feijoada Brazilia (black bean stew with rice) add an exotic touch.

The coast at Caparica heads all the way down to Sesimbra, a fishing port that thanks to a lovely promenade is now one of central Portugal’s best beach towns, and with a reputation for having some of the country’s finest seafood restaurants.

Sesimbra is also the gateway to the spectacular Arrábida National Park, covering the 35km-long Serra da Arrábida mountain ridge. The Azeitão region, effectively the area between the medieval castles of Sesimbra and Setúbal (Portugal’s third largest city), is well known for its palaces, wines and cheese made from sheep’s milk; ideally taken with a glass of the locally produced Moscatel de Setúbal .

And then there’s golf.  Visitors to Lisbon would tend to head towards Cascais for the more prominent courses of Oitavos Dunes, Quinta da Marinha, Estoril and Penha Longa, but there are a host of fine courses that golfers can choose from in the Costa Azul region that include Quinta do Peru, Aroeira 1 and II and, further north, Ribagolfe 1 and II to name but a few.

Gastronomy . . .

The region of the “Costa Azul” (Blue Coast) is made up of two very distinct areas of gastronomic traditions: the coastal area (Sesimbra, Setubal, etc) where fish dishes predominate, and the interior where the food has characteristic touches of Alentejo. 

As the “Costa Azul” is an area of the most freshly caught fish with an abundance of sea food, the customary high quality of the catch justifies that certain species are often associated with these places: whiting and swordfish from Sesimbra and red mullet from Setubal.
Visit one of the restaurants on the beach and try the popular “caldeirada” (fish stew) or some exceptional shellfish.

In the areas with more influence from the Alentejo, the most noted dishes are pork soaked bread, a special bread soup from the area, fried rabbit or pigs trotters roasted in the oven.

 

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