A lot of cruises are now making port calls in Lisbon, and a fair number of cruises begin or end in Lisbon. Cruise lines are recognizing that Lisbon has a lot to offer their guests. In our never-ending quest to seek out new and different experiences, we discovered the "Delicious Tour" offered by Lisbon By Segway. On our most recent visit to Lisbon (prior to embarking Crystal Serenity), we scheduled a one-day pre-cruise stay in Lisbon. Since embarkation does not officially begin until 3pm, we had plenty of time to book the Delicious Tour for the morning of embarkation.
Fortunately, our hotel in Lisbon (Altis Avenida) is located within walking distance of the Lisbon by Segway offices. The concierge at the hotel was kind enough to highlight directions on a local map, making it very easy to find our way. Lisbon is a relatively easy city for walking, with street names that are clearly indicated. As soon as we arrived at Lisbon by Segway, we were greeted and quickly introduced to our guide for the day, Ruben Carvalito.
Look for this sign to find Lisbon by Segway tours
After being fitted with helmets (and hair nets!) it was time for Ruben to conduct a short training session on how to ride the two-wheeled marvel. Rickee and I are very familiar with the Segway, but the rest of our group had never ridden before. Ruben took the time to explain the operation of the Segway and there was ample time for everyone to practice their skills before heading out on the streets of Lisbon. One of the great things about a Segway is, if you can stand, you can ride a Segway!
Ruben explains the safe operation of the Segway to Barbara, one of the tour participants
Our tour took us through some of the most interesting parts of Lisbon, including a very interesting visit through the narrow (and steep!) streets of Alfama. Many of the streets here are cobblestone and uneven requiring the "rider" to remain alert; however, the Segways gobble up the bumps effortlessly and provide a surprisingly smooth ride. And, even though the streets can be quite narrow, the Segway has a zero turning radius, making it extremely well suited to the terrain. In some places, there was lots of traffic but Ruben made sure we navigated safely through all the autos, motor bikes and trolley cars.
Narrow, cobblestone streets are no match for the Segway
At one point, we arrived at an excellent lookout spot with a great view of Lisbon, perfect for taking photos! We dismounted the Segways and spent a few minutes just enjoying the panoramic view while Ruben pointed out areas of interest in the distance.
Amazing panoramic view of Lisbon
Next, we made a stop at Lisbon Cathedral, a famous 12th century church. We again had time to dismount, remove our helmets and go inside the church for a look around. At every stop along the tour, and there were many, Ruben would take time to give the history and significance of the location we were visiting. Everyone learned a lot about Lisbon and its place in history.
Ruben points out some of Lisbon's most interesting sights
The complete tour took about three hours. The final stop on our 'Delicious Tour' (59 € per person) was a visit to a local sidewalk cafe to try some Portugese specialties like codfish cakes and fried pork pies. Both dishes went very well with the local beer, Sagres. Our last stop was near the Lisbon train station at a little place where Ruben offered us a taste of the local Portuguese cherry liqueur, Ginjinha, which was served in a small cup made of chocolate. Delicious!
Codfish cakes are a Portugese specialty
All too soon it was time to return the Segways to their home, say goodbye to our new friends at Lisbon by Segway, and walk back to our hotel. We saw a lot of Lisbon that we had not seen before and did it in a unique and fun way. Next time we return to Lisbon, we will be sure to check out some of the other adventures offered by Lisbon by Segway.
Note: Lisbon by Segway offers a variety of unique experiences. See the menu of offerings below.
For more information on Lisbon by Segway, visit their website: http://www.lisbonbysegway.com