There are two good reasons to visit Viana’s 228m eucalyptus-clad hill. One is the wondrous view down the coast and up the Lima valley. The other is the fabulously over-the-top, 20th-century, neo-Byzantine Templo do Sagrado Coração de Jesus. You can get a little closer to heaven on its graffiti-covered roof, via a lift, followed by an elbow-scraping stairway – take the museum entrance on the ground floor.
Behind the Pousada do Monte de Santa Luzia is another attraction, the Ruinas da Cidade Velha, ruins of a Celtiberian citânia (fortified village) from around the 4th century BC. You’ll see the stones peeking above the wind-blown savannah. Most of the site is accessible via a boardwalk.
You can get up the mountain by the restored funicular, which departs from near the train station every 15 minutes. You can also drive or take a taxi (3.5km) to the top, or hike 2km of steps (only for the fit and/or penitent). The road starts by the hospital, and the steps begin about 200m up the road.