Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Enjoy a self-guided walking holiday in Sintra
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Highlights

  • Discovering the historic delights of Sintra, a World UNESCO Heritage Site
  • Stunning inland and coastal trails through Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
  • Exploring the impressive “cork” convent of Capuchos
  • Spending time in the lovely seaside town of Cascais, with its trio of sandy bays
  • Staying in a lovingly restored convent and charming quinta
  • Admiring the awe-inspiring views from Sintra’s Moorish Castle

Follow footpaths through the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, easily accessible from Lisbon and filled with castles, palaces and monasteries from the 13th century.

Explore this area's rich architectural heritage and lush landscapes, and discover golden sandy beaches with wild and rugged coastline.

Whilst you walk you’ll reach the westernmost point of Europe, Cape Roca and ascend hilltops covered with verdant vegetation. Reach the highest point in the area with stunning views from Montserrate Palace and as dusk falls enjoy the ambience of authentic restaurants and bars.

Another highlight is a 2-night stay in the wonderful Convent of Sâo Saturnino, a very special place that has been lovingly restored from 13th century buildings. Colourful castles, a capuchin convent, palaces, all national treasures, plus delicious fresh seafood await you on this tour full of many delights.

DAY 1: Arrive Lisbon Aiport. Transfer to Cascais

This self-guided walking tour begins in the delightful seaside town of Cascais with its trio of beautiful bays. Wander through its pedestrianized old town and along the marina before lingering to eat alfresco in a local fish restaurant.


A transfer from Lisbon Airport upon arrival and orientation meeting is included.


Overnight: Vila Galé Cascais****, Cascais


This hotel benefits from views over the sea and is close to the marina. There are plenty of gardens and outdoor spaces (including a swimming pool) to relax in the rooms are incredibly spacious.


DAY 2: Transfer to Guincho Beach. Walk to Azóia

As today's walk is quite short you may wish to spend some extra time exploring Cascais before taking a short transfer (10 mins) to the golden beach of Guincho where your walk will begin. Make your way over the beach dunes on wooden pathways and then cross the beach, where you can watch the surfers' impressive skills! Your route then follows the rugged coastline before reaching the São Saturnino Convent at the head of a secluded valley. Your hotel has been reconstructed from several old ruins, but in the past was a sacred place honouring St Saturnino.


Overnight: São Saturnino Convent, Azóia


With its labyrinthine interior and tranquil setting, your 2-night stay here will be a unique and unforgettable experience. Each room has open beams, antique furniture and its own special charm. The pool has superb views south to the sea and over the majestic Touro Valley.


Walk: 9km, 400m elevation gain


DAY 3: Azóia Inland Loop

Today you'll complete a circular walk that will take you into the Sintra Hills or the ‘Moon Hills’ as they are known! This route goes up to one of the highest points in the area where you'll find the hill-top chapel at Peninhn with stunning views. This chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rock and it is said that in the past sailors’ wives would come here keep watch for the return of their loved ones. From here descend on other pretty trails that overlook the Atlantic.  


Overnight: Sâo Saturnino Convent, Azóia


Walk: 10km, 300m elevation gain


DAY 4: Walk to Colares

At breakfast you can contemplate great coastal walking with beautiful scenery over the cliffs. Later you'll reach Cape Roca, Europe’s westernmost point, a rocky promontory once considered to be the edge of the world. Continue walking over the cliffs on paths that  wind down to the wild and beautiful beach of Ursa and lovely Adraga beach. This is a great place to stop for lunch as there is a restaurant that serves delicious and traditional food.


Next turn inland passing through a pine forest and the traditional village of Almoçageme. Eventually reach Colares, where you'll stay two nights in a charming guest house.


Overnight: Sarrazola House, Colares


Walk: 15km; 510m elevation gain


DAY 5: Colares Inland Loop

Enjoy a circular walk today that that takes you into the heart of the Sintra forest and hills. En route there will be a chance to visit the remarkable Capuchos Convent, also known as the “Cork Convent”, because of its corked-lined miniscule cells. Squeeze through the warren of cells, chapels, kitchens and caverns. The monks  lived a simple, touchingly well-ordered life in this idyllic, yet spartan place.


Descend to the village of Colares, where you can eat lunch and perhaps try wine tasting at the Colares Winery.


Overnight: Sarrazola House, Colares


Walk: 15km, 600m elevation gain


DAY 6: Walk to Sintra

Follow forest trails in the Sintra hills until you reach the impressive Monserrate Palace, a Neo-Gothic mansion set within fine landscaped gardens. There will be ample time to explore the house and gardens which were built by a series of wealthy British merchants, artists and industrialists over many years. The house is a remarkable place, boasting ornate interiors and extensive gardens which include the first lawn planted in Portugal, a wonderful collection of ferns and a number of intriguing follies.


Continue to the town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and where you'll spend your last two nights.


Overnight: Tivoli Sintra Hotel****,  Sintra


This centrally located hotel has a stunning location between the Serra de Sintra and the Palacio da Vila and where the sea can be seen on the horizon. All the very spacious rooms are filled with rustic furniture and you can enjoy the free Wifi while having a drink in the bar.


Walk: 13km, 500m elevation gain


DAY 7: Sintra Inland Loop

Spend your day exploring the scenic hills above Sintra village, passing by castles, palaces and old manor houses. Such is the grandeur and importance of these buildings and monuments that Sintra was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.


During your walk you'll pass by two of the most important monuments of Sintra; the amazing Moorish Castle and the Pena Palace situated high on a hilltop. With impressive multi-coloured turrets, dramatic architecture and exotic gardens it is well-worth a visit. From the gardens you can also access the highest point in the Sintra Hills, Cruz Alta. Many of these castles and palaces were build by Portuguese aristocracy in the 13th century.


Return to Sintra and at the end of the day, indulge in one last exquisite dinner.


Overnight: Tivoli Sintra Hotel****, Sintra


Walk: 9km, 450m elevation gain


DAY 8: Transfer to Lisbon Airport

The tour finishes after breakfast and you will be transferred back to Lisbon Airport for your flight home


Accommodation

This self-guided walking tour in Portugal includes 7 nights in 4* hotels, a guest house and a converted convent. All of the hotels have been specifically chosen for their comfort and some also for their great locations.



 

 

 



Vila Galé Cascais - Cascais



Vila Galé Cascais - Cascais

This hotel benefits from views over the sea and is close to the marina. There are plenty of gardens and outdoor spaces (including a swimming pool) to relax in the rooms are incredibly spacious.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Sâo Saturnino Convent - Azóla



Sâo Saturnino Convent - Azóla

With its labyrinthine interior and tranquil setting, your 2-night stay here will be a unique and unforgettable experience. Each room has open beams, antique furniture and its own special charm. The pool has superb views south to the sea and over the majestic Touro Valley.



 

 

 


 

 

 



Sarrazola House - Colares” title=



Sarrazola House - Colares

A small quinta style accommodation with lovely gardens located near Colares.



 

 

 


 

 

 




Tivoli Sintra Hotel - Sintra

This centrally located hotel has a stunning location between the Serra de Sintra and the Palacio da Vila and where the sea can be seen on the horizon. All the very spacious rooms are filled with rustic furniture and you can enjoy the free Wifi while having a drink in the bar.


 

 

 

Alternative accommodation

During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome for an additional charge which is unfortunately quite high due to the high cost of shared transfers not being divided.


Meals

7 Breakfasts are included. You can eat dinner in restaurants in the towns and villages close to your hotel or at your accommodations. We recommend trying the traditional and locally-sourced food, especially the fresh seafood which is simply delicious. For lunches you can find local cheeses, meats and breads in local shops or markets

Availability

This walking tour is available to start on any day all year round.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This trip is suitable for solo walkers and there is a solo walker supplement payable.


Grade & Terrain

This tour is graded moderate and will be most enjoyable if you already have a good level of fitness and enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the daily distances are not that far, you should be aware that there are some quite significant elevation gains through the Sintra Hills.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

You will be provided with detailed route notes and maps to help you find your way. As the local maps in this area are basic you will also be given GPS units and you will receive instructions on how to use them at your orientation meeting.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred as per your itinerary. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Lisbon and from Sintra

On arrival in Lisbon a transfer is included to your hotel. The journey from the airport to Cascais takes around 30 minutes. Lisbon Airport is served by many airlines, including TAP Portugal, BA, Air France, easyJet and Flybe.


On departure you will need to make your way from Sintra to Lisbon Airport. A taxi will cost around €50 and takes around 30 minutes. Or you can take a train from Sintra to Lisbon Rossio Station (they depart every 15 minutes and the journey takes about 45 minutes).


From here you can take an airport shuttle bus to Lisbon Airport. They leave approximately every 30 minutes and the journey takes around 20 minutes. Please find more information on the Airport Shuttle website.

Getting to Lisbon and from Sintra

On arrival in Lisbon a transfer is included to your hotel. The journey from the airport to Cascais takes around 30 minutes. Lisbon Airport is served by many airlines, including TAP Portugal, BA, Air France, easyJet and Flybe.


A transfer is also included from your last hotel back to Lisbon Airport.

Included

  • 7 Nights in 4* Hotels, a guesthouse and a converted convent
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • Transfer from Lisbon Airport to your hotel upon arrival and from your last hotel back to Lisbon Airport
  • An orientation meeting upon arrival at your hotel
  • Detailed maps, information pack, route notes, and loan of a GPS
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in Portugal and our office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Lisbon
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the holiday
  • Single room supplement if single room required.
  • Solo traveller supplement

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the area is very popular.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred as per your itinerary. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 20kg.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is graded easy-moderate and will be most enjoyable if you already have a good level of fitness and enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the daily distances are not that far, you should be aware that there are some quite significant elevation gains through the Sintra Hills.  

What equipment do I need?

Our pre-departure information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

When is the best time of year?

This trip is available year round as even in the summer it is not too hot due to winds from the Atlantic. Between November and February there is a higher chance of rain. Spring time is a lovely time of year for Portugal.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

Terrific outing for the weekend with my son!

5

Our custom trip along the coast was great for a three day getaway from the UK. Spectacular scenery, greats accommodations, lots of history and great food. If you're looking for a great, quick escape I highly recommend it

Expired Yuppie

Atlanta, Georgia

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What a great and different way to see portugal

5

I am a hiker but my husband isn't. We found the hikes to be interesting, challenging, and we looked forward to them daily. This MacAdventure was just a small part of our Portugal trip; but we found we missed the structure after we finished. Every member of the team that we encountered was fantastic and friendly!

Laurie

Oregon, USA

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Beautiful week!

5

Amazingly beautiful walks in this holiday. The distances were not overwhelming but there were hills that were challenging and gratifying. The views were worthwhile and the castles and palaces were very interesting. The inns were really nice, two were large modern resorts and the other two were smaller inns. All were lovely! A great trip!

Christine Harrold

New York, USA

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Beautiful country! Hike needs reclassification.

4

We were looking for warm weather hike in late winter and this hike was perfect! It was mostly Strenuous which was unexpected and required aid of a GPS. We were looking for easy to moderate hiking and a break from technology. The weather was gorgeous and the country was beautiful and friendly. Exceptionally quiet and safe. Hike does need a more accurate description though.

HPC

USA

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Great walks, impressive coastline and quirky palaces.

5

Enjoyed discovering a new area for us. Great walks - just keep an eye on the GPS so you don't miss turnings off the main track! Contrast between the cliffs at Cabo da Roca and amazing palaces, castle and gardens in the Sintra Hills. Sao Saturnino convent is the most tranquil place to stay. Don't miss the great value lunch at Refugio do Ciclista. Super seafood throughout the region.

Happy walkers

South East

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Beautiful walk

4

A very varied walk, coastal along beaches and stunning cliffs, inland through beautiful forests and lovely wild flowers- also many interesting palaces, gardens etc to see en route Nb in the quieter places, many restaurants etc needed cash not cards, so worth taking Euros Satnav worked well, when our GPS broke the local agent Portuguese nature trails sorted it for us- we were able to complete the walk on that day using Macs website on our phones which also worked well The accommodation was basically good - the convent was fascinating, the hotels detailed by MACs information were not exactly the hotels we stayed in, but the hotels we did stay in were fine We had a couple of days in Lisbon at the end

JPS

Dorset

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Great location for walking

4

The routes were very quiet, away from roads and traffic 95% of the time. The distances are not that long each day, which is good as the hills are steep, and it allows time to visit and enjoy some of the attractions along the way. Particular highlights were Monserrrat and Pena Palace. The hotel in Sintra is in a great location, with fantastic views. The GPS provided took us door to door from hotel to hotel which was great, as the signposting of trails/routes and local maps are patchy. We walked in January, and many restaurants/cafes along the route were closed, not a surprise this time of year as there are not many tourists around. There are just enough open that you can get by with a bit of preparation and the tour guide gave us details of specific places that were open.

Happy walker.

York

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Fabulous neither forest fire nor hurricane could thwart MACS

5

They were accomodating cheerful and planned well; wee bit of trouble using GPS

do it on foot!

Michigan USA

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A great experience

4

This is our 6th Mac's Adventure and we love the independence of self guided hikes as well as experiencing other cultures while visiting small towns, villages, countrysides and inns. Portugal Nature Holidays were excellent hosts. There was a fire in our area on the first day of our hike so the owner of the company took us to a different destination and guided us through an alternate, cliffside walk. Thank you for making this day a rewarding and special one! I would recommend arriving into Lisbon a day or two ahead as it is a lovely place to visit. There is an advantage to staying 2 nights in each place so packing up each night is not so tiresome. The hand help GPS, provided by Portugal Nature Holidays became our friend but we did occasionally use our phone (which had the downloaded Mac's maps) to clarify a troublesome waypoint. Once the map is downloaded, we didn't have to use roaming as the "blue dot" comes up as usual. Be aware, some of the "trails" are more bike trails than walking trails and most are not way marked. Also, walking poles are very helpful.

B&C

Victoria, Canada

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Wonderful trip!

5

This was our first Mac's Adventure, and we will definitely be doing another! It was wonderful to have the organization of a group tour (the hotels booked and routes mapped) without having to be with a group. Mac's provided maps, a GPS, a local phone for emergencies, and suggestions for things to do/eat along the way! Our luggage transfers went smoothly. The hikes were long enough that we got to see a lot of the area but short enough that we had energy left at the end of the day to walk around town and explore some more!

Laurel

Tennessee

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Sintra Coastal & Heritage Trails

4.6 17

100.0

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