Torres Vedras, Portugal

Back in the early 19th century, the Duke of Wellington used this seaside city as a pawn in his martial chess-game with the French. At Wellington’s command, clusters of fortresses – the Lines of Torres Vedras – bristled along the coastline, repelling the would-be invaders. Today, Torres is a far more peaceful proposition. Where Wellington trod, the surfers followed, bringing their boards to the glittering beaches, and revelling in the sandy seclusion. The landscape is a visual tapestry: green-gold vineyards, shimmering turquoise coves, golden sand dunes, windmill-topped hills and crumbling castles. You could come here for the region’s ruby-red and sparkly white wines alone – like the landscapes, they’re intoxicating.

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Areas in Torres Vedras

When to go

Warm summers, mild winters and an ever-present Atlantic breeze make this a destination with all-year allure.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Lisbon airport is a half-hour drive away. British Airways (britishairways.com) and TAP (flytap.com) both fly direct from London to Lisbon; TAP also operates direct flights from Newark in the US to the city.
  • Trains

    It takes an hour and a half to get from Lisbon to Torres Vedras by train, and the journey involves frequent stops and at least one change. For a smoother (and quicker) ride, hop on one of the frequent buses from Lisbon’s Campo Grande terminal to Torres Vedras (around 40 minutes).
  • Automobiles

    A car is a good idea if you’re planning on exploring the nearby towns but if you’re tying in a trip to Lisbon, ditch your wheels beforehand – driving in Lisbon can be a hair-whitening experience.
  • Taxis

    Cabs are hard to come by, so avoid stressful searches or long waits by asking your hotel to book transfers.

Nha Cretcheu at Areias do Seixo, Torres Vedras, Portugal

Nha Cretcheu at Areias do Seixo, Torres Vedras, Portugal

Having removed bed-facing plasma TVs, formal service and the ubiquitous minibar from the menu, Areias do Seixo has set about redefining luxury, giving nature a starring role: fresh fruit in rooms and furnishings carved from wood. Inside Nha Cretcheu, the futuristic grey stone walls and floors create an austere space, yet the more natural touches – an elevated four-poster bed with a frame hewn from slender wooden boughs, a neatly stacked log pile next to the cosy fireplace, a collection of floor cushions, a private Jacuzzi and an astonishing view of the ocean – all result in a surprisingly relaxing environment.

Find out more about Areias do Seixo