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  • Day Trips from Lisbon

    Day Trips from Lisbon

    Sintra, Cascais, and Beyond

Lisbon, the enchanting capital of Portugal, captivates travelers with its pastel buildings, golden sunsets, and vibrant street life. But the magic doesn’t stop there. Surrounding Lisbon are captivating destinations that make for unforgettable day trips, with Sintra and Cascais being the crown jewels. Dive into the adventures that await just a stone’s throw away from the capital.

Sintra: A Fairy-tale Paradise Sintra: A Fairy-tale Paradise

Sintra: A Fairy-tale Paradise

Travel Time from Lisbon: 40 minutes by train

Situated in the mist-covered foothills of the Sintra mountains is the dreamy town of Sintra. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts an enchanting mix of historical palaces, lush forests, and mysterious mansions.

  • Palácio da Pena: One of the most iconic landmarks in Portugal, the Pena Palace is a Romanticist castle that looks straight out of a fairy tale. Vibrant red and yellow towers, intricate tile work, and panoramic views of the surrounding forests make this a must-visit.

  • Quinta da Regaleira: Explore the mystical gardens, tunnels, and the iconic Initiation Well. It’s not just a mansion; it’s an adventure.

  • Moorish Castle: A castle ruin that stands testament to the Moors’ time in Portugal, offering sprawling views of Sintra and the surrounding countryside.

Where to Eat: Head to Tascantiga Sintra for traditional Portuguese tapas and a glass of local wine.

Cascais: The Riviera of PortugalCascais: The Riviera of Portugal

Cascais: The Riviera of Portugal

Travel Time from Lisbon: 40 minutes by train

Cascais, once a quaint fishing village, has transformed into a sophisticated seaside escape. With its golden beaches, stylish boutiques, and a lively atmosphere, Cascais is a sunny delight for travelers.

  • Praia da Ribeira: A centrally located beach ideal for a quick swim and sunbathing.

  • Boca do Inferno: A dramatic cliff formation where waves crash into open caverns, creating an impressive spectacle.

  • Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães: Dive deep into Portuguese culture and history in this beautiful museum located in a former aristocratic residence.

Where to Eat: Delight in fresh seafood at Mar do Inferno, located just a stone’s throw away from Boca do Inferno.

Óbidos: A Medieval Escape Óbidos: A Medieval Escape

Óbidos: A Medieval Escape

Travel Time from Lisbon: 1 hour by car

Enclosed within medieval walls is the picturesque town of Óbidos. Walk on cobblestone streets, explore its impressive castle, and immerse yourself in the charm of yesteryears.

  • Óbidos Castle: An imposing medieval fortress that offers remarkable views of the town and surrounding countryside.

  • Ginjinha: Don’t leave without tasting this cherry liqueur, often served in chocolate cups.

Where to Eat: Pousada do Castelo not only provides a historical atmosphere but also a gastronomic journey through Portuguese cuisine.

Setúbal and the Arrábida Natural Park Setúbal and the Arrábida Natural Park

Setúbal and the Arrábida Natural Park

Travel Time from Lisbon: 50 minutes by car

A combination of urban allure and natural beauty, Setúbal is known for its beaches, nature reserves, and delicious seafood.

  • Praia da Figueirinha: A beach set against the backdrop of the Arrábida mountains, known for its calm waters.

  • Arrábida Natural Park: A haven for nature lovers, offering hiking trails with views of pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Where to Eat: Restaurant Leo d’Ouro is an excellent choice for those looking to savor Setúbal’s famed cuttlefish dishes.

Mafra: Baroque Grandeur Mafra: Baroque Grandeur

Mafra: Baroque Grandeur

Travel Time from Lisbon: 45 minutes by car

Mafra is best known for the grandeur of its National Palace. A monumental Baroque and Italianized Neoclassical palace-monastery, it’s a testament to the affluence of the Portuguese kingdom during the early 18th century.

  • Palácio Nacional de Mafra: This sprawling palace is a blend of a royal residence, monastery, and a library that houses over 36,000 ancient books.

  • Tapada Nacional de Mafra: Once a royal hunting ground, it’s now a wildlife reserve where you can encounter deer, wild boar, and various bird species.

Where to Eat: For a traditional taste, try Restaurante Tijuana, famous for its Portuguese delicacies and welcoming ambiance.

Azeitão Azeitão

Azeitão: Wine & Natural Beauty

Travel Time from Lisbon: 40 minutes by car

Nestled between the hills of Arrábida and the coast, Azeitão is a region renowned for its wines, especially the muscatel, and the delicious Azeitão cheese.

  • José Maria da Fonseca Wine Cellars: Take a guided tour and taste some of the region’s finest wines.

  • Arrábida Natural Park: Extend your trip to explore more of this park, with its breathtaking Mediterranean landscapes.

Where to Eat: O Ganhão offers traditional dishes, and a perfect pairing with local wines.

Ericeira Ericeira

Ericeira: Surfer’s Paradise

Travel Time from Lisbon: 40 minutes by car

Ericeira, a seaside resort and fishing community, is renowned for its surf breaks, fresh seafood, and traditional Portuguese seaside charm.

  • World Surfing Reserve: Covering 8 km of coastline, it’s a haven for surf enthusiasts from around the globe.

  • Mercado Municipal da Ericeira: Experience local flavors, from fresh fish to Portuguese pastries.

Where to Eat: Check out Mar à Vista for panoramic ocean views and a seafood feast.

Tomar: The Templar City Tomar: The Templar City

Tomar: The Templar City

Travel Time from Lisbon: 1 hour 30 minutes by car

Tomar is the historic seat of the Knights Templar, and its history is intertwined with the early days of Portugal as a nation.

  • Convent of Christ: A UNESCO World Heritage site, this former Templar stronghold is an architectural masterpiece combining Gothic, Renaissance, and Manueline styles.

  • Mata Nacional dos Sete Montes: A serene park ideal for leisurely walks.

Where to Eat: Taverna Antiqua provides a medieval-themed dining experience with authentic Portuguese dishes.

The regions surrounding Lisbon offer an array of experiences, from the windswept coasts of Cascais and Ericeira to the historic majesty of Sintra and Tomar. Each destination, whether known for its nature, history, or gastronomy, adds to the rich tapestry of Portuguese culture. Extend your stay in Lisbon, and delve into the captivating locales that lie just beyond its borders.

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