Lisbon guide’s service ‘impeccable’

By Lee & Vicki Kessler
This item appears on page 39 of the February 2019 issue.

To help us prepare for our first trip to Lisbon, Portugal, in July 2018, Simply Transfer & Tour ( [in Portuguese only]) came highly recommended by a friend of ours who had recently visited Lisbon.

Never wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, we made arrangements with the owner, Andre, for two full-day private tours plus airport transfers. We contacted him three weeks in advance of our trip, finalizing it a week ahead.

For a day trip to towns near Lisbon, we paid Andre 175 (near $200) for his guide services. For a day trip through Lisbon, we paid him 165. Airport/hotel transfers cost 30 each.

Our first full day included visits to many historical sites, including a "no-waiting-in-line" tour of the National Palace of Sintra, plus Cascais, absolutely breathtaking views of the coastline at Cabo da Roca (complete with a lighthouse) and the picturesque cliffs and beach resort town of Azenhas do Mar.

Seafood lovers should check out Restaurant Casa da Galé (Avenida Alfredo Coelho 61), in Colares, overlooking the beautiful coastline.

When all was said and done, we had thoroughly enjoyed 10 full hours.

Our second full day, in Lisbon, was just as exciting. We visited Alfama (one of the oldest districts in the city) as well as Praça do Comércio, Rossio Square, Santo António Church, Belém Tower and Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a concrete monument completed in 1960 to mark 500 years since Henry the Navigator's death.

After visiting Jerónimos Monastery, we sat down for lunch at Pastéis de Belém (Rua de Belém;, known for pastel de nata, a Portuguese egg tart pastry (4) created by the master confectioners of Jerónimos Monastery back in the 1830s.

Our final stop was Parque das Nações, created in 2012 with a marina and a spot for bird-watching.

We rode in a spotlessly clean, 8-passenger Mercedes van. Andre was an amazing driver, effortlessly navigating through narrow alleys.

His knowledge of Portuguese history, his attention to detail and his desire to ensure that we received the most from our tours were impeccable.

Williamsburg, VA