Travel

Portugal II: Sintra, Azenhas Do Mar & Cascais

In the first blog post, I wrote only about the city of Lisbon, but here I will show everything we did outside of Lisbon. You will find the introduction about our trip to Portugal from the first blog post HERE. So let’s begin!

What we saw and where did we go outside of Lisbon?

Sintra

Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near the capital, Lisbon. You can get there easily by train from Lisbon.

Beautiful Rossio Railway Station in Lisbon.
Our train to Sintra. Ticket costs only a few euros, but free of charge with the Lisbon Card.
Sintra City Administration.

What to see in Sintra?

Pena Palace

Probably the most famous sight in Sintra, and also the most crowded. Pena Palace is located up on the hill and can be reached by bus. When we arrived at Sintra, we walked straight to the bus stop (where hundreds of tourists were already waiting in the queue) to get onto the bus that goes up to the Pena Palace. After waiting for 15 minutes and still so far in the queue, we decided to give up and take the walk to the Regaleira Palace and garden instead.

The picture is from Wikipedia.

Of course, if you have more time in Sintra, then definitely worth visiting, but we only had one day.

Being happy with our decision, we started walking towards Regaleira Palace. I can not describe these beautiful two kilometres that we walked with my mother to get to the palace. Mountains, castles, beautiful streets, flowers and the warm sunshine on our skin made us so happy. I definitely recommend taking the longer route so you can experience all the amazing views over Sintra and its surrounding nature. On the way to the palace, we bought souvenirs, took a lot of pictures and enjoyed warm weather.

On the way to Regaleira, you will see Sintra National Palace, which we, unfortunately, didn’t have time to visit.

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic centre of Sintra, Portugal. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO within the “Cultural Landscape of Sintra”. Along with the other palaces in the area such as the Quinta do Relógio, Pena, Monserrate and Seteais palaces, it is considered one of the principal tourist attractions of Sintra. The property consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park that features lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, and a vast array of exquisite constructions. It was opened to the public in the year 1998, after ten years of being closed.

The palace and chapel.
View from the palace’s balcony.

Toilet.

Underground towers lined with stairs at Regaleira. They were used for ceremonial purposes that included Tarot initiation rites.

Because the garden is so large, you don’t really understand how many tourists are visiting it at once. We definitely recommend this place for everyone!

There are many other beautiful places in Sintra to see, but since we only had one day, we didn’t have time for more. We had only one last wish left- and that was to see the Atlantic Ocean!

Azenha Do Mar

Azenha Do Mar is a small, lovely clifftop village by the Atlantic Ocean located only about 10 km northwest from Sintra and there are two options to get there: either by a 110-years old wooden tram (45-50 min) or by bus(15-20 min). Of course, you can go by car and foot as well.

We chose the old noisy wooden tram to get to Azenha Do Mar. The tram ride was very cool. It required two drivers and a lot of physical strength to control the vehicle, because everything was manual, of course. After sitting on a wooden bench for 45 minutes and listening to the very loud horrible yet funny sounds of this old tram, we were happy to arrive our end stop. However, as I said, it was all very awesome and totally worth it, the sun was shining and the views along the way were beautiful.

Tram drivers just chatting while we are waiting…

The end stop of the tram is actually in Praia Das Macas, about two kilometres before Azenhas Do Mar, our final destination. To get to Azenhas, we took a stroll along the ocean instead of a bus to enjoy the sunset and views over the mighty ocean. On the way, we also visited a local grocery store to buy some fruits and nuts to snack on.

When we arrived in Azenhas Do Mar, we took many pictures of these beautiful views, and we also went down the beach to dip our toes in the ice cold ocean water. It was such a lovely and memorable day!

Azenhas Do Mar clifftop village.

Cascais

Cascais is a coastal resort town in Portugal, just west of Lisbon. It’s known for its sandy beaches and busy marina.

After many days of running around busy Lisbon to see all the sights, arriving in Cascais was like a breath of fresh air! Such a peaceful atmosphere, beautiful beaches and parks, cute little streets with cafes, restaurants and shops. Palm trees, the sun and warm wind. Could it get any better?

It’s only 45 min from Lisbon by train. Definitely recommend if you want to relax, chill or just have a rest from the hectic city if Lisbon.

xo

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