From Sintra to Cascais

You might also want to save some of your vacation days to visit Sintra, one of the most romantic places of the country. A magical and unique place in Europe, Sintra is a beautiful old city located below the ridge with the same name. The unique characteristics of its heritage and natural images forced UNESCO to create the new title of “cultural landscape” when classifying the area. The town was always much appreciated by kings, royals and artists. Lord Byron, for example, called it a “glorious Eden”.

The city centre is composed by old streets and several palaces, above which shines the Palacio Nacional. On the ridge the biggest palace is Palacio da Pena, an arabesque sight located in the romantic set of dense vegetation, lakes and waterfalls that compose the Parque da Pena. The area has also an aura of enchantment and mystery present in Quinta da Regaleira, whose gardens are full of legends of alchemy and Free Masonic influence. Sightseeing in the Palacio de Seteais and Palacio de Moserrate is also highly recommended.

You can also have a taste of the sea by going to Cabo da Roca, the most occidental point of Continental Europe, or go to the beach of Guincho, to swim, surf or just stay in a calm esplanade, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. And on your way to Guincho, you might want also to stop by Cascais. This old fishing town was transformed into a summer retreat in the 19th century, with the construction of many palaces by members of the royal family and foreign noblety.  Its historical centre is worth a visit, as well as the Museu dos Condes de Castro Guimarães, which is set up in a palace by the seaside. You can also visit the Cidadela and the new and exciting museum Casa das Histórias, dedicated to the life and work of the famous Portuguese painter Paula Rego.

On your way back, we suggest you take the road alongside the coast line, also called “marginal”, and pass by Estoril, home of many hotels and famous for its casino, one of the biggest in Europe.