Unfurling like an amphitheater along the River Tagus, Lisbon casts its spell of antiquity. With its back to Europe, Portugal’s capital has long taken a back seat while its western neighbors strutted their stuff. Weaved into precipitous hills, the Alfama is where Lisbon began, a bewildering medina of cobblestone streets strewn with laundry, vertiginous alleyways, and jumbled houses encrusted with lustrous azulejo tiles.
Lisbon was the Cape Canaveral of the 15th century, the launch pad for Vasco da Gama’s epic endeavors that would see the Portuguese flag waving on five continents. In an ecstasy of maritime glory, megalomaniac monarchs enshrined their victories in stone, bequeathing an architectural confection that went by the name of Manueline. Portuguese pride reached its zenith, buoyed by hopes for an eternal glory, that were never to be. Along the Alfama’s shaggy streets, black-shawled divas sing Fado, Portugal’s national song, and a coping mechanism for unfulfilled promise.
In the late 1990s, Lisbon emerged from its cocoon. With all eyes on Portugal for Expo 98, the Portuguese government commissioned some of the world’s leading architects to create shimmering steel pavilions that resembled giant waves and metro stations like space pods. As a result of the financial woes that blight the Euro Zone today, Lisbon’s movida may have lost some verve, but it still goes on. Gilded Lisboetas emerge from sleek, warehouse conversions along the waterfront and arthritic trams chug up ridiculous gradients to deposit fashionistas and renowned DJ’s in the city’s ever vibrant, bohemian enclave, Bairro Alto.
Airports within a 15-mile radius of Lisbon:
- Lisboa Airport (LIS)
- Montijo Airport (PAF)
- Cascais Airport (LPCS)
- Alverca Airport (LPAR)
- Sintra Airport (LPST)
Popular aircraft charters* in the Lisbon area include:
- Citation Excel (super light)
- Learjet 45 XR (super light)
- Citation CJ3 (light)
- Learjet 31ER 400A (light)
- Learjet 60 XR (midsize)
- Citation III (midsize)
- Gulfstream G200 (super midsize)
- Citation Sovereign (super midsize)
*This is just a sample. Zephyr provides access to aircraft at every end of the spectrum, from luxurious VIP airliners, to ultra long range business jet, helicopters, and economical turboprops.