Lucia’s Lisbon: Insider’s guide to Europe’s coolest city (part 3) | 9flats blog – inside the world of social travel


Lucia’s Lisbon: Insider’s guide to Europe’s coolest city (part 3)

Day 3: Relaxing road trip out of town, to Buddha Eden Garden

At a glance… 

1. Have a Wine Day: for an historical, wine-y afternoon
2. Buddha Eden Garden: for a meditational day
3. Óbidos: for a ‘ginjinha’ in a chocolate glass
4. Lisbon Lux Magazine: for your amazing, personal Lisbon discovery

On the last day, I want to take you to a very special place that I discovered the last time I was in Lisbon. If you want to spend a relaxing day somewhere, but aren’t a crowded beach fan (who is anyway?!) here’s the perfect solution: Buddha Eden Garden in Bombarral.

‘Have a Wine Day’

For this trip we’ll need to rent a car, since the Buddha Eden Garden is 80km away from Lisbon. We could walk there, but that would probably take us more than 16 hours. If you prefer, you can contact Alex from Have a Wine Day, a new small company that offers small private tours. Alex will take you around some wine producers: the ideal day out if you want a taste of history combined with the taste of wonderful Portuguese wines. Buddha Eden Garden is one of the places that he’ll take you to…

Rescuing the Giant Bamyan Buddhas

Let’s leave Lisbon, cross the river Tagus to the other side, and go on to the famous Quinta dos Loridos estate in Bombarral, a few kilometres south of the popular old town of Óbidos. The garden itself occupies about 35 hectares of the 100 hectare property, and it’s the biggest oriental garden outside China.

When José Berardo heard about the destruction of the Giant Bamyan Buddhas by the central Afghanistan Talibans he was shocked. So he decided to rescue them. He managed to bring to Portugal, only Buddha knows how, this huge collection of six tonnes of marble Buddhas and figures that are now installed throughout the garden.

Entry is €3, and that includes a nice bottle of wine. So in the end… it’s free. As the official web page states: “This is a non-profit cultural institution in the service of the national and international community, whose mission is to sensitise the visitor to self-consciousness through this garden in dialogue with a vast sculptural heritage, predisposed for meditation and the promotion of social and cultural interaction, as the principles of solidarity and human dignity.”

What I loved most in the garden was the exotic mix of oriental sculptures and calm and quiet landscape that reminded me of Alentejo. It’s not hard to see that everything in this garden was carefully designed to give an authentic, relaxing feeling of peace. My favourite spot? The Forest Path full of seated Buddhas.

The Chocolate Village

Still inside the medieval castle, Óbidos is small village near Bombarral. In July you can attend their Medieval Market that recreates the spirit of medieval Europe. With tiny streets and traditional houses, you can take a walk along the castle walls and see the stunning view that surrounds the village. Óbidos is also well known for its ‘ginjinha’, served in chocolate glasses. And its chocolate festival. Humm! Yummy! To me… it’s an amazing place to go any time in the year!


This will be my last post about Lisbon. I hope you enjoyed the other two (downtown and Fado) and I hope that now you all want to go there. When you do, here are my favourite 9 places to stay that I found on 9flats.

The other day I found an amazing video from Matthew Brown about Portugal, filmed mainly in Lisbon. This could be my memory of the town, but it could also be yours.

‘With a little help from my friends’

Here are some webpages that can help you find some great events before going to Lisbon: Lisbon Lux MagazineLisbon Lovers and Le Cool Lisbon.

In the meantime, here are the links to my full insider’s guide:

Beijinhos e abraços!


S: Check out the new pins on my Lisbon Pinterest board! I added some cool music videos too, since this time we need to use a car. I think it’ll be a nice soundtrack for the road. And of course, don’t forget to follow us: 9flats on Pinterest.

Now I’ve shared my Lisbon secrets, will you share your city secrets with me?

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Written by , July 13, 2012