After a pleasant week near Naples in Italy this year we are now contemplating to do something similar in the fall of 2014. We would really like to visit Lisbon, but do not like to stay in big cities.
We prefer to be based in a relatively quiet, friendly small town to relax and soak in some sun, from where we can make day trips into the City or other area attractions. We prefer public transportation over renting a car. One to 1.5 hrs on a bus/tram/train/ferry each way would not be an issue.
We prefer small towns which may be somewhat touristy, but which have kept some of their authentic flavor. With small restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Walkable. Preferably a decent beach. We are not into night life. Likely would rent a private place or stay in a smaller local hotel with some character.
When browsing Google Earth I noticed the villages of Sesimbra to the south and Ericeire to the north, each about 30/40 km away from Lisbon. Can anyone tell us which of these would better suit our preferences as described above? Or can anyone recommend any other towns near Lisbon?