Day trips: Sintra, Cascais, Estoril..., Lisbon
Visit the town of Sintra, nearby Lisbon, with its royal palaces and breathtaking views over the sea and hills.Do,t forget to bring your camera with. Enjoy the views.
A Day in Sintra
Sintra is divided into two distinct zones: the new area, where banks and services are concentrated, and the old district – the historic centre, chosen by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1995. The special charm of this old town comes from the contrast between the green hills reaching up to 500 metres, and the majestic monuments that guide us through a journey into the past.
The first interesting point is precisely the Train Station which, although recently renovated due to changes in the railway line, still maintains its original lines. Roman archaeological remains, actually rare in the city, were discovered in place. Similar vestiges were identified in other train stations along the railway, demonstrating that Romans chose this road to make part of their communication system.
From the train station, descending to your left, you reach the City Hall, where the City Council is located. It is a 1908 building, in Portuguese Neo-gothic (Manueline) style, strategically built between the Old City and the Estefania District, the two main areas where Sintra developed its economic and social life.
Continuing left, a few meters ahead, you find one of the reference locations in the Shower Curve (Volta do Duche), which got its name from the public baths that were created here in 1848. Later on, water from watering the gardens continued to fall over its walls and so the name remained.
From this sidewalk to your right, you can see a unique sight of the town, with its vegetation, its palaces and houses, their inhabitants, their lives. A little further you find one of the entrances to Parque das Merendas (Picnic Park) and the fountain where people from town and the surrounding areas come to collect fresh water. A few more hundred meters and you reach the town centre, where shops and visitors are concentrated.
Here stands the majestic Sintra Palace. After you visit the palace, you can walk towards Quinta da Regaleira, a five minute walk to an estate that owes its name to the superb view that you can enjoy from high towers of the house. It is actually unforgivable to visit Sintra and not see Quinta da Regaleira. The 1:30 p.m. visit is recommended, so you can still have time to visit other places.
Coming out from Quinta da Regaleira, walk back down to town but only a few meters, until you reach the sign directing you towards Palácio da Pena. Then, you will climb towards the Eden of Sintra. It is a long walk, but well worthwhile. A little further ahead you will also reach the door to the Moorish Castle.
Coming back down to the city centre, you should take one of the buses that run until the Palace closing time. And if you still feel tired once you are down there, you can return to the Train Station by carriage pulled by two horses. It will be a grand goodbye to the town that Lord Byron and Eça de Queiroz chanted as one of the most Romantic places in the world and that Portuguese kings chose as their summer residence.
Carriage tours (April to September): City tour, 5000 escudos; Quinta da Regaleira, 5000 escudos; Seteais, 7000 escudos; Monserrate, 10.000 escudos; Lagos (Palácio da Pena entrance doors): 15.000 escudos.
And, don't forget to go to 'Periquita', and try to eat queijadas (cakes made from cheese and beans) and travesseiros de Sintra (it's delicious).
There are excellent beaches around Lisbon. However in summer it's normal they get extremely crowded. The best beaches are in the South of Lisbon. Beaches of Costa da Caparica e Sesimbra have good water quality and are yet generally unspoiled. If you go to Costa da Caparica don't stay in the city but go either north or south places where beaches are bigger and better. In the area of Cascais, Carcavelos and Oeiras beaches are nice but some on them are polluted. Give an eye at the site below and try to find how's you're beach standing. Don't trust just in the fact water is clean, that's not enough! Parede, Rainha, Carcavelos e Conceição got extremely bad water analysis in 2000. The beaches of the area of Sintra and Guincho are good options for surfing lovers and windsurf. Guincho and Ribeira de ilhas are musts in the international circuits. You can find more information of suitable beaches for surf at www.globalsurfers.com . The beaches of the area of Sintra are very good places to visit generally unspoiled but for beach holidays not a nice choice due to the weather and big waves.
Round trip Lisbon to Sintra (train from Rossio)
Visit to places of interest (circular bus)
Sintra to Cascais (bus)
Cascais to Lisbon (train)
Amazing buildins and scenery at Sintra - quite outstanding. Lovely ride to Cascais and fine views of Belem on the way in to Lisbon. Trains very frequent and cheap. May be a good idea to eat at Cascais.
The Palácio Nacional at Sintra
If you have time, a day trip to Sintra, up in the mountains, is well worth the effort.
When you drive along the twisting road into the city's valley, the Palácio Nacional's twin-chimneys immediately draw your attention.Do visit the castle's interior. In the huge kitchen you can look up the inside of the chimneys. The rooms are splendid, all furniture is clearly labeled, giving you an idea where they came from and how a room was arranged. I especially like the romantic small inner courtyard.
The National Palace in Queluz is a palace in the style of Versailles. The large gardens are decorated with statues and fountains. Make sure you walk all the way to the back of the garden to admire the azuleo-decorated canal.The garden is beautiful, actually Eddy's friend Jose had his wedding pictures made here. The tour of the palace shows you the most important rooms, all filled with original furniture. Actually, a picture says more than a thousand words, check out all three chapters of my Queluz travelogue!
Take a train to Cascais, a nice coastal town where you can spend a lovely day at the beach. The train will get you there in about half an hour.
This is the western-most point of the European mainland. In Europe only Iceland and the western part of Ireland are located more to the west.
To see more pictures from this cape look at the 'Cabo da Roca' travalogue that can be reached by clicking this link.
Take the train from Lisbon up the coast to the beach at Estoril or to the Castle at Sintra. (Picture is of the beach at Estoril)
The beach is popular and has many ammenities nearby but, if you want something more quiet just walk down the road for ten minutes and you'll find something you like.
Go on a Day Trip to Obidos-Alcobaca-Batalha-Nazare-Fatima :
* Experience a bit of the rural life inside a fortified town in Obidos
* Marvel at Manueline architecture at Unesco World Heritage Sites- Alcobaca Cathedral and Batalha Monastery
* Sample seafood and soak some sun on a beachfront restaurant in Nazare
* Most important for Catholics...pay homage to Our Lady of Fatima. Inset, view of Fatima Shrine Square.
Strongly recommend joining an organized day tour by coach to cover these places unless of course one has the luxury of time and specific interests in the places mentioned
Between leafy woods is this pretty and old city. A lot of palaces in the middle of the town mixed with the humble houses and the little streets makes of it a very special place in a very romantic atmosphere.
You can see i didn´t choose the best day to go but even with the rain is a fantastic place.
El Palacio Nacional de Sintra o Palacio Real.
Palacio de Pena.
Palacio Nacional de Queluz.
Castillo Dos Mouros.
Once you are in Lisbon you MUST visit Sintra!
I had it on my plan but arrived in Sintra only on my last evening in Portugal. When I arrived there I realized that there is a lot to see and the area is very beautiful, in the mountains, between green forests, lots of of historical buildings etc.
I just had not enough time to visit all this and you should plan at least minimum 2 days for Sintra.
It is eays to get there by train from the Lisbon Rossio station, the costs are ~250 Esc one way and the ride takes about half an hour so you can go there for a day from Lisbon or you can stay in Sintra. Adress for a very nice accomodation is at Maria's house under http://www.planeta.clix.pt/paderna or you may email to Maria at email@example.com.
She is a very nice Ladie and lives in a beautiful old house 10 minutes walk way from the historical part of the city.
You definately should go to Caiscas (25 km from Lisbon) and see Cabo da Roca!!! That's the most beautiful and adorable place!!!
The red and white lighthouse is the second main attraction of Cabo da Roca, just after the wonderful landscape :) I wish I could see it at nighttime... Next time, for sure! :)
Visiting the castles in Sintra!
The Pena Palice on top of the hill was as if I came into a Disney world adventure! Pretty nice!
A pleasant short day trip is to take the train to Cascais or Estoril. The trains leave from the Cais do Sodre station.