Greater Lisbon: Explore The City’s Surrounding Area

There is so plenty to see and to do in the area of Lisbon. Within half an hour you can lie down on the beach of Carcavelos, stroll along the boulevard in Cascais or imagine yourself in a fairytale in Sintra.Get a rental car or take the train to discover the surroundings of Lisbon at your own pace.Palácio da Pena, SintraIf you thought that Lisbon is the only place worth a visit, you’d better get yourself a good travel guide! Because the surrounding area offers at least as much entertainment as the city itself. For example, did you know that the Costa de Lisboa is dotted with beautiful beaches? Long, wide sandy beaches for sunbathing, and the somewhat rougher beaches on the west side for the more adventurous type.

Castles and parks

Between Cascais and Sintra you will also find the Parque e Palácio Nacional da Pena, a beautiful nature reserve that surrounds the Royal Pena palace. Fairytale and UNESCO World Heritage!Convinced? Check all must do’s and must see’s for a day trip near Lisbon.

Praia da Conceição – largest beach in Cascais

Praia da Conceição vanuit boulevard

The largest beach of Cascais is Praia da Conceição and from Lisbon you can be there by train in less than 40 minutes. When you’re walking out of the train station you can be on the beach within 10 minutes. Clean and clear water Take your snorkel set with you…

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Pastelaria Gregório – the best pastelaria in Sintra

Pastelaria Gregorio terras

One of the oldest and most traditional pastelarias in Sintra, Pastelaria Gregório is exactly how a traditional Portuguese tea house should look like. It is a small café with a lot of history. It still belongs to the same family as in the time when Pastelaria Gregório was founded. The…

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Café Saudade – favorite teahouse in Sintra

On the spot where a baker used to bake delicious queijadas, today there is Café Saudade. Walking from the train station to the historic centre of Sintra, you’ll pass Café Saudade on your left hand side. Café Saudade is one of our favourite teahouses. Often you see people sitting in…

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Santuário da Peninha – hidden gem in the Pena

Convento da Peninha - paleis en kapel

Santuário da Peninha is a hidden gem in the Pena mountains where few tourists come. Which makes this a very nice and quiet place. Especially for an attraction in the middle of the Pena. Actually, Santuário da Peninha is not completely hidden, the shrine of Peninha is next to Palácio…

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Restaurante Central – classic village restaurant

Restaurante Central is a place where I (and my family) have been coming for years now, and it has never disappointed me. Well, maybe on Thursdays, when I again forget that that’s the only day they are closed. Restaurante Central is located in Colares, near the beautiful Sintra. Nice staff…

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Restaurante O Apeadeiro – dining among locals

If you’re looking for good and tasty local food in the heart of tourist Sintra, then go to Restaurante O Apeadeiro. The restaurant is easy to miss, because from the outside there’s not much to look at. It looks small but when you are inside and walk past the bar,…

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Parque Marechal Carmona – playtime in Cascais

Parque Marechal Carmona in Cascais is is one of the most child-friendly parks I’ve ever visited, it seems like everything here is arranged for children. The park is very charming and at the same time adventurous, because of the many chickens and roosters that walk around freely, and because of…

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Parque da Liberdade – adventurous city park in Sintra

When you walk around in Sintra it seems like you ended up in a fairy tale. The castles, palaces, the Pena and the historic centre. All equally beautiful to see and behold. Near the historical centre is Parque da Liberdade, which translates to Freedom Park. We highly recommended your spend…

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Óbidos – fortress city with ginja

The city of Óbidos, surrounded by castles walls, is an one hour’s drive north of Lisbon. In Óbidos time appears to have stood still. This city is located near the sea and had an important strategic function in defending the Portuguese territory in the past. The city is built on…

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Palácio Nacional e Convento de Mafra

Mafra is a 45 minute drive from Lisbon. This city is best known for the Royal Palace: Palácio Nacional e Convento de Mafra, one of the most beautiful Portuguese Baroque buildings. A visit to this palace is certainly worthwhile if you want to discover the surroundings of Lisbon. The overwhelming…

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Colares – wine region on the Atlantic coast

About 40 kilometers west of Lisbon, in plain sight from the heights of Sintra, lies the village of Colares. The borough (freguesia) with the same name spans a handful of villages in the area, including the most western village on the European mainland. Colares overview The main attractions in Colares…

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Azenhas do Mar – village against the cliffs

The skyline of Azenhas do Mar is one of the most famous images of the Portuguese west coast. The waves hitting the rugged coast, far below the houses built on and against the cliffs. The town of Azenhas do Mar is a small fishing village in the freguesia Colares with…

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Estrada Marginal – the coastal road Lisbon-Cascais

There are many nice roads in the world. Not the least in the Lisbon area. But probably none of them is as diverse and interesting as the N6, or the Estrada Marginal: a coastal road of about 30 kilometers or 20 miles that connects Lisbon with Cascais. Estrada Marginal: From…

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Cascais – from fishing village to seaside resort

About 19 miles west of Lisbon you’ll find the town of Cascais. In the past, Cascais was a small fishing town, traces of which can still be seen in the narrow streets at the old harbor These days Cascais is a proper city, especially because of the buildings around the…

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Praia Grande – see and be seen

Praia Grande is one of the largest beaches on the Costa de Lisboa, as the name suggests. The beach is located on the west side of the Serra de Sintra Serra de Sintra national park and has one access road for motorized vehicles. Among young people it is a popular…

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Restaurante Moinho Ibérico – fresh from the grill

When you’re in the vicinity of the town Magoito, you should stop at Restaurante Moinho Ibérico. Especially if you fancy a good piece of meat that comes straight from the grill. This is one of the best meat restaurants in the Sintra area. For fish lovers: it is also possible…

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Sintra – fairytale palaces and nature

Sintra is perhaps one of the most beautiful place in Europe as far as we’re concerned. It is not only the city itself that is so beautiful, it’s the whole area around Sintra: from the beaches to the Pena. The surroundings of Sintra are very romantic because of the many…

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Praia das Maçãs – beach of apples

Praia das Macas resutarants

Praia das Maçãs literally means “beach of apples”. The beach got that name because the Ribeira de Colares (Colares river) used to flow into it. Sometimes small ships would lose some of the fruits they were carrying, which then ended up on the beach. Former hotspot for the rich and…

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Parque e Palácio de Monserrate – 1001 nights in Sintra

In many travel guides and on various travel blogs we read that Palácio de Monserrate is not as spectacular as the other sights in Sintra. We respectfully disagree with that. The atmosphere in this palace is indeed very special. On the ground floor there are Arab influences that definitely recreates…

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Historical city centre of Sintra

The historical centre of Sintra is not that big and usually filled with tourists, but definitely worth a visit. The old centre consists of a number of streets that you can walk up, Sintra is built against a mountain. The city lends itself to beautiful photos, wherever you look there…

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Parques de Sintra – a wealth of monuments

Parques de Sintra is the collective name for all sights in and around Sintra and Monte da Lua. Parques de Sintra consists of a foundation that is responsible for the maintenance of the natural and cultural values of the surroundings of Sintra and Queluz. The Foundation receives no subsidies from…

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Casa Piriquita – best known bakery in Sintra

The bakery Casa Piriquita in Sintra was founded in 1862 and owes its name to King Carlos I, who was a daily visitor during his stay in Sintra in the summer months. The bakery belonged to Amaro dos Santos and his wife Constância. She was quite small in stature and…

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Palácio Nacional da Pena – fairytale palace

On top of Monte da Pena mountain you find Sintra’s dream castle. The pinnacle of romance and royal atmosphere. Palácio Nacional da Pena consists of many turrets and colours, it has all the looks of a fairytale palace. A visit to Sintra is equivalent to a visit to Palácio Nacional…

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Convento dos Capuchos – cork monastery

Hidden in the woods is the Franciscan monastery Convento dos Capuchos, built in 1560. A Visit to the convento is definitely worth it, it gives you the feeling as if you ended up in the movie Alice in Wonderland. The convento is often skipped by the tourists, which we think…

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Praia da Adraga – popular beach with locals

Praia da adraga reddingsboei

In less than 45 minutes, at about 27 miles from Lisbon, you can reach the most beautiful beach in Portugal, perhaps in Western Europe: Praia da Adraga. At the end of a narrow, winding road that leads you from the N247 through the town of Almoçageme, you are met by…

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Praia do Guincho – surfers paradise

PraiadoGuincho mensen op het strand

Praia do Guincho is considered to be the roughest beach of the Costa de Lisboa, known by many surfers as the surf beach of Portugal. Because of the location of the beach there is always a strong wind and the waves are quite high! But in addition to surfing, there…

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Bar-Restaurant Moinho Dom Quixote – fantastic views

Moinho Dom Quixote molen

Situated near Cabo da Roca, Moinho Dom Quixote is a restaurant / cafe with a fantastic view over the Atlantic Ocean and the cliffs. The restaurant is built around an old moinho (mill) and has several terraces outside where you can enjoy the views. View of Guincho beach It is…

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Monumento Cristo Rei – Rio on the Tagus

Cristo Rei - gezicht

Many of the miradouros in Lisbon look out over the Tagus. Next to the striking Ponte 25 de Abril, there is another eye catcher, but this time on the other side of the Tagus; the Christ statue Monumento Cristo Rei. The statue dates back to the time when Portugal was…

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Cabo da Roca – way out west

Enjoy the panoramic view of the Serra de Sintra and the Atlantic Ocean from 140 meters altitude. The best time to go to Cabo da Roca is around sunset. A visit to the westernmost point of (mainland) Europe is easy to combine with a day trip to Sintra or Cascais….

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