7 places to visit near Lisbon#sintra #belem #palacio-belem #padrao-dos-descobrimentos #torre-de-belem #mosteiro-dos-jeronimos
In the vicinity of Lisbon there are many beautiful villages and places to visit on day trips. At any time of the year, you can discover small towns, palaces, castles, beaches and beautiful landscapes.
Signing up for a private tour with a local guide can be a very good option, so that you don't miss any detail, learn about history, while optimising time and money. Otherwise, it is also possible to do it on your own, thanks to public transport or rental cars.
Which places do we recommend?
Just an hour's drive from Lisbon, Sintra is an incredible town that looks like a fantasy kingdom straight out of a fairy tale.
This enchanting village of cobbled streets was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village became a favourite place for the royal families, so lavish palaces were built here, which served as residences or summer villas. Thus, the aristocrats began to give life to this village, surrounded by a mountainous landscape full of vegetation.
It is worth visiting the Quinta da Regaleira, a fascinating palace full of mysteries, combining fairy-tale and esoteric styles, discovering its spiral staircase, admiring its romantic architecture. It was here that many rituals took place, immersed in a spiritual atmosphere. Don't miss its curious well and its mysterious meaning.
Also the Palác io Nacional, the oldest royal summer residence in the country, which preserves the largest collection of Mudejar tiles in Portugal. The building has an incredible mix of architectural styles and furnishings, ranging from Manueline to neo-Moorish.
The colourful Palácio da Pena is also a must-see.
See the Atlantic Ocean at its wildest? Just a 20-minute drive from Sintra is a natural ocean landscape: Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of continental Europe, breathtaking. From an incredible lookout point you get perfect views of the rugged coastline, the high cliffs and the churning ocean, furiously pounding the rocks. In the background, thanks to a beautifully coloured lighthouse, you get a perfect framing for a memorable photograph. Without a doubt, an incredible place.
One of the most beautiful and important seaside towns that Portugal's Atlantic coast has to offer is Cascais, which has a refined history as a place of residence for European monarchies during the last century.
The old town is home to the medieval fortress of Nossa Senhora da Luz and the Citadel, once a royal retreat. It is a town that went from being a fishing village to a summer resort for the Portuguese upper class, given the beauty of its beaches.
In this stately town you can see everything from grand mansions to ancient palaces. A charming mix of old and modern, where the typical Portuguese coloured tiles predominate.
On the Atlantic coast, you can also visit beautiful villages that seem to be hanging from a cliff. Among them, Azenhas do Mar, in the municipality of Sintra, offers one of the best panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Azenhas do Mar means Watermills of the Sea and the name derives from a once powerful current that moved the watermills on its way to the sea.
The white village on a hillside, the beautiful natural pools and the golden sandy beaches are a place of privilege.
Do not miss the experience of booking a table in one of its restaurants with a terrace overlooking the sea, and eat a good fish paired with the best Portuguese wine. A delight!
Situated just 80 kilometres north of Lisbon, little Óbidos is one of Portugal's architectural gems. It has an interesting history closely associated with the kingdom of Portugal and offers countless attractions as well as a medieval atmosphere, which harks back to the past.
Its beautiful castle is worth a visit, although only part of it is currently open to the public. It is also worth walking through its narrow cobbled streets, surrounded by white houses and flower pots, and discovering the old stone walls on which Celtiberians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs left their traces.
To round off a visit to this village, you must try its cherry liqueur, the famous 'ginjinha', served in its typical chocolate cup.
If you don't have much time, all you have to do is cross the Tagus River, in a beautiful boat trip, and visit Cacilhas. This incredible fishing village, famous for its colourful houses and its delicious gastronomy, is ideal to spend the day, and also to witness beautiful sunsets. It is recommended to sit in one of the most beautiful bars in the area, next to the river, and enjoy the incredible explosion of colours of the sunset with a glass of wine in hand.
Don't miss to admire the famous red suspension bridge while taking a gentle walk along the Tagus river.
To end the day there is nothing better than tasting the highlights of Portuguese gastronomy, its meat and fish in a picturesque restaurant in the village.
Belém is a suburb of Lisbon, 15 minutes away from the capital, which can be reached by a modern train, departing from the capital. Completely removed from the bustling Portuguese capital, Belém offers everything you need for an excellent day out.
Its vast history, its delicious gastronomy and its most important buildings will take you back in time to Lisbon's most prosperous era. The Jerónimos Monastery, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is one of them. The impressive Belém Tower, built in the beautiful "Manueline" Lisbon style, is a "must" to visit.
You must visit the oldest café in Belém and discover the secret history of its delicious pastel de nata, a pastry that is sure to be tasted during your stay in Lisbon.
We recommend a visit to one of the oldest and most traditional tile factories, converted into a laboratory of art and design. It is the most underground place in Lisbon, the favourite of the locals: the Lx Factory.
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