Day trips: Sintra, Cascais, Alcochete..., Lisbon
Estoril it is located not far from Lisbon and near Cascais.
Its surroundings offer a rich variety of cultural and leisure activities. You will find the largest casino in Europe and if you like Golf you will have a selection of seven 18 hole courses within the Estoril-Sintra area, including the Palácio’s renowned Estoril course just 1 km away.
Estoril coast is host to many international events such as the Portugal Golf Tour, the Estoril Open, the World Windsurfing championships and international car racing at the Estoril Autodrome.
Cascais is a lovely town near Lisbon ( 30 minutes by train), actually one of the most attractive resorts on the capital's coastline. If you are in Lisbon the best way to go there, if you don’t have a car is by train. At Cais do Sodré station you take the Line of Cascais and this lovely town is just at the end of the line.
You will enjoy beautiful beaches and interesting buildings like the Cascais Municipal Museum, the 16th-century Fort of Cascais known as the Cidadela. Cascais is a place of famous and rich people spend their vacations and lives there.
If you want to know more information about Cascais take a look to my Cascais page.
If you fancy a change from the busy streets and noise of the city, why not take a day trip to Cascais? Only just over 30 minutes away by train, this little town has plenty to offer. There is an appealing blend of authentic local life and tourist-focused facilities. Fishing boats bob in the harbour just offshore from the town beach, locals shop or chat in doorways in the winding back lanes just a stone’s throw from the busy restaurants in Luís de Camões Square, traditional houses decorated with azulejos panels sit almost side by side with fashionable shops.
Spend your day strolling those same back lanes, following the path beside the sea to the rocky scenery of the Boca do Inferno, eating ice cream at the historic Santini gelataria or freshly caught fish and seafood in the open-air restaurants, browsing the shops or simply relaxing on the beach or in a friendly bar. There are no major sights, apart from the afore-mentioned Boca do Inferno and a citadel currently (May 2009) being restored to be opened up to the public, so there is no pressure to pack a lot into your day. And even the train ride itself is a delight, especially if you sit on the left hand side (on the outward journey) to make the most of the sea views.
There is much more information about Cascais on my separate page about the town.
Directions Trains run regularly from Cais do Sodre station, a few minutes' walk west of the Praça do Comércio, and the journey time averages 35 minutes
In contrast to Cascais, Sintra is packed with sights, and in a day you can only sample a few of them, especially if it as hot when you visit as it was when we were there. But I gather such temperatures are rare, and a trip to the hills of Sintra could be a great way to escape the city heat. My one day there has certainly given me a strong liking for the town and I would love to return to see more of its delights.
Sintra is home to no fewer than three national palaces: the Palácio da Vila, or Palácio Real (Royal Palace), the Palácio da Pena and the Palácio de Queluz. There are also two other palaces of note, the Monserrate Palace and Quinta da Regaleira, as well as a Moorish castle perched on top of a hill. The town itself, though rather touristy, has plenty of charm, as well as all the facilities you need for a day trip or longer stay.
The town has been the favoured home of royalty and nobility since the 13th century, although its history goes back even further to the founding of the Moorish castle several hundred years before that. It flourished especially during the 14th to 16th centuries, when the Royal Palace was several times expanded and elaborated upon, and was then rediscovered by the Romantics, including Lord Byron, in the early 19th century and given a new lease of life. It is not difficult to see why it appealed to them, as this mix of somewhat wild countryside and romantic architecture matched their ideals of beauty perfectly. Their enthusiastic admiration of its virtues led to further, sympathetic, development including the forestation of the Serra de Sintra and the construction of sumptuous revivalist buildings such as the Palácio da Pena.
Today’s Sintra continues this tradition of romance, and if this sort of landscape appeals to you I can really recommend a visit to the gardens of the Quinta da Regaleira in particular. There is more about this, and my all too brief visit to Sintra, on my separate page (to follow) about the town.
Directions Catch a train from Rossio Station in the heart of Lisbon. The journey takes about 30 minutes, and Sintra’s station is only a short walk from the centre. Once there you’ll need taxis, or horse-drawn carriages, to get to some of the further-flung sights.
Many people go to Sintra and only visit the palaces and the castle. Well, there's more to Sintra than that. There's this estate called Quinta da Regaleira, where you can spend an entire afternoon just wandering in its many paths (they provide you with a map when you buy the ticket). It seems there's always an interesting surprise just around the corner. The main bulding and the chapel are quite beautiful. Due to the many trees, this is the perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.
Well, how can’t we go to Sintra since it is so near from Lisbon?
After leaving the Hotel in Oeiras the next stop it would be in the beautiful Sintra.
Arriving to Sintra it seems that we are in the north of Portugal, it is so green in the middle of the woods.
And of course, knowing that the famous pastries (pasteis de Sintra) are delicious we stopped at a traditional pastry shop and we bought some to take home.
Oeiras is a beautiful town which has great leisure places and beautiful monuments to see and it is not far from Lisbon.
The Municipal garden of Oeiras is one of the many green spaces that have been restored in the zone. It has lakes, ducks, pigeons and a big playground, with swings and other amusements.
The Ludoteque is installed in a tramway carriage where the smaller children can read, draw, paint and play, among other activities.
Now the gardens of the palace of Marques de Pombal is open, it is beautiful!
It's possible to visit a little bit of Algarve on a day trip from Lisbon, if you get up really early: we chose Albufeira - about 3.30 hours away. Albuferia has beautiful ochre-coloured beaches, clear green-blue waters, amazing caves and rock formations, a charming white-washed old town, many charming little white churches - and hundreds of really ugly modern white hotels and resorts all around. During the low-season it is quiet and pleasant enough, and if you can ignore the newer part, the landscape is truly amazing. You can walk along the beach for hours, or follow the coastal footpaths that climb up and down along the sea-shore.
Mandatory for anyone spending more than two days in Lisbon, a trip along the coast until Cascais allows you to see some beautiful beaches lined with classical palaces and modern villas. Estoril joins the best of the several beaches with the Casino that now has got some competition in Lisbon but keeps being a highlight in Lisbon's coast.
It's also commonly planned a trip to Sintra and/or Ericeira starting or ending in Estoril's coast. In my opinion, "ending" will be the best solution, because most of night animation may be found in this area.
Sintra lies about 30km (18 miles) from the centre of Lisbon and is many Royal Palaces, used by generations of Portuguese royalty prior to the 1910 revolution. The surrounding hills are surmounted by the remains of a Moorish Castle and by the nineteenth-century Pena Palace, all of which have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Its history dates back to at least the 8th or 9th century when the Moors built the Castelo dos Mouros (or simply, Moorish Castle) which overlooks down on the town and surrounding countryside. King Afonso Henriques recaptured the town in 1147 and promoted the development of the region by granting a foral (letter of feudal rights) to the inhabitants of Sintra and its castle in 1154. The decline of the castle began in the 15th century, when most of the population settled downhill, in today's old quarter of Sintra. It was around this time that the Sintra National Palace, said to be the best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal, was built in the centre of the old town, making it the highlight tourist attraction in Sintra town itself. The mixture of Gothic, Manueline and Moorish styles in the present palace is, however, mainly the result of building campaigns in the 15th and early 16th centuries. More palaces were built in the surrounding hills which add to Sintra's rather touristy feel.
The best way to get to Sintra is by taking the train from Lisbon's Rossio station. This is how I got here and tickets only cost €4 return plus trains leave every 10 minutes or so and take about 40 minutes. Once here, the best way of getting around all the sites, which are fairly spread out from one another, is to take the circular 434 bus. Tickets are only €4.60 for the whole day and can be purchased from the bus driver. If you choose to walk be warned that the trek to the Pena Palace and the Castelo dos Mouros can be a daunting, steep up-hill, one-hour climb from the city centre.
Fatima is a small town about 90 minutes from Lisbon - it's easily accessible by bus and it's a well-known pilgrimange site. It's the place where in the past the Virgin Mary had appeared 6 times and gave messages to the world. There's not much to see in Fatima, unless you are a believer - but the the sanctuary is really pretty. My reason for going there was to buy and send a postcard to make a 90 year old grandfather happy - and I still think it was worth the ride.
Before we went to Lisbon everyone kept saying, if you take one day trip out of the city, go to Sintra. So, we did. Sintra is packed full of highlights, making it actually hard to do in one day, if your main objective is seeing the sights, that is. There is a train that runs from Lisbon to Sintra but we found it easiest to rent a car. Also, renting a car affords you an opportunity to see more in the area. Sintra is comprised of a steep and winding hill that takes you up to a castle and a palace, both of which are beautiful and worth seeing. We found after one day in Sintra, we needed more time and so we called the car rental company and arranged for one more day and still found ourselves rushed. This is a day trip, but if you have more time, plan to be there a couple of days at least. But be prepared! Sintra seems much more touristy than Lisbon and everything costs more money: sights, food, etc.
I think most of the tourists miss a very nice place in the Lisboa outskirts. It's a village called ALCOCHETE. It's located in the south bank of the Tejo river, near Montijo. The place is beautifull, with buildings like the ones in the Baixa (Pombalinos, that's what we call them). The boat trip to get there it's superb and relaxing. Walk on the streets, there's a road along the bank very nice to see. Most of the restaurants are really genuine, and so for the price - between 10 to 20 euro for a meal, average. Good fish here, if you like
a visit to cascais is a very good thing when you have been to lisbon for a few days and need to breathe a little again after wonderful and chaotic lisbon.
cascais is a small seaside town in the outskirts of lisbon and a bit of a fancy place these days, but the place still has a lot of original charm too.
there is a nice beach there, s if you are lisbon and feel like a day on the beach, then cascais is not a bad choice.
Lisbon Region has many places to visit.
Theres a road called "Marginal" that comes from Lisbon trough Sintra (20km aprox).
It's a beautiful walk because all along the way u can see the sea.
There are several beaches u can stop by with several caffes and terraces, where u can chill out for a while!
In Carcavelos there are plenty of them!
When u arrive to Sintra u'll be delightfull with the landscape of the Sintra's Hill.
U can stop by Cabo da Roca, the most western spot in Europe....And u can almost see America!!!!! :P