Discover the historic delights of Sintra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site that sits in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains where Moorish- and Manueline-style architecture comes together to form the impressive Sintra National Palace. Our Adventure of the Week, Sintra Coastal & Heritage Trails follows stunning inland and coastal trails through the Sintra-Cascais National Park.
In a nutshell...
Begin this Portuguese adventure in the beautiful seaside town of Cascais, only 30km from Lisbon, the included transfer from Lisbon Airport should give you plenty of time to explore the town's trio of bays and picturesque old town before settling down for fresh seafood in the evening. If you don't have time in the evening there is some time to explore Cascais in the morning before taking a short transfer to Guincho beach, from where you walk along the rugged Portuguese coastline before reaching your base for the next couple of nights, a converted convent dating back to the 13th century.
One of the 3 harbours in Cascais
Setting off from the Sâo Saturnino Convent you enjoy some scenic coastal walking on the way to Europe's westernmost point, Cabo da Roca, the rocky promontory was once thought to be the edge of the world. Continue along the coast past the beaches of Ursa and Adraga before turning inland and passing through a scented pine forest on the approach to your next accommodation in Colares. From your peaceful base in the village of Colares, slap bang in the middle of the Sintra-Cascais National Park, there are a number of walks to enjoy in the Sintra hills. The highlight of which is the walk around the Monserrate Palace, a Neo-Gothic mansion built in the 18th century and surrounded by landscaped gardens and tropical plants. Your final few nights in Portugal are spent exploring the area around the town of Sintra, where lavish building projects made Sintra the centre of European Romantic architecture in the 19th century and led to the area being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
The Palace de Pena
74km over the course of 6 days of walking.
We grade this tour easy to moderate with average daily distances and a few steep ascents/descents.
Why walk here?
- On Portugal's west coast the weather is warm, pretty much, year round with long dry spells through spring, summer and autumn. This makes for a great walking destination, but be aware of strong winds near the coast.
- Discover a country with a rich and varied food culture, developed over the centuries and heavily influenced by Portugal's maritime past when the country's ships were at the forefront of the age of discovery. Expect plenty of Sea Bass and langoustine as well as hearty stews and sauces prepared from a red wine base. Any trip to Portugal would not be complete without trying the best port wine - keep an eye out for Vasconcellos, a reasonably priced port that pairs nicely with a variety of dishes.
Delicious food and wine
- Explore the strikingly beautiful, UNESCO listed, town of Sintra - stroll the hallways and lose yourself in the gardens under the warm sun.
The lavish Monserrate Palace
Planning and preparation...
Getting to Lisbon
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. Alternatively 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 - more information can be found on the Airport Shuttle website.
A Moorish Castle in Sintra