Sintra | Cabo da Roca | Cascais & Estoril

The enchantments of Sintra and Cascais
Per person 58

Sintra | Cabo da Roca | Cascais & Estoril


- The enchantments of Sintra and Cascais

Description

Come and discover with us this magnificent town where the Royal Family used to live during the summer and taste the traditional local pastry. In this charming region, you will also admire Europe’s Westernmost point (Cabo da Roca), the incredible Hell’s Mouth, the cosmopolitan Cascais and the Estoril casino gardens.

Useful Information & Don't miss

Whatever your plan, a good suggestion is always to start from the historic centre, after an invigorating breakfast to prepare for a full day.

Sintra, the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted it Word Heritage Site status.

Cascais and Estoril, or the coast north of Lisbon, became one of the most cosmopolitan and touristic places in Portugal ever since King Luís I chose the bay for his summer residence in the late 19th century.


Depart From

Lisbon

Marquês Pombal | Pick you up at your hotel, airport or other meeting point.


Schedule

  • Useful Information

    Don't miss

    Cascais and Estoril, or the coast north of Lisbon, became one of the most cosmopolitan and touristic places in Portugal ever since King Luís I chose the bay for his summer residence in the late 19th century.

    The mild climate and an annual average of 260 rainless days were surely strong reasons for his choice and for the most affluent families of the time to follow the royal family and set up their villas and mansions there. It’s worth going on a stroll around town to get a feel for the atmosphere of that period.

    To get there, follow the waterfront road from Lisbon to Cascais or take the train. It’s a very scenic route, always hugging the River Tagus and the busy beaches of the Estoril coast. En route, you will pass various forts erected to defend the capital, providing crossfire with the Bugio Fort, right in the middle of the river mouth, between Santo Amaro, on one side, and Trafaria, on the opposite ban.

    On the main square, you will see Vila Palace with its two distinctive cone-shaped chimneys, which are useful landmarks for helping you find your way back to this spot. From the late 14th century, it was a summer resort for many Kings throughout the history of Portugal. Each room is decorated differently, and has its own history to be learned; its interior is also a surprise since it is a veritable tile museum, with examples from the 16th century, when tiles began to be used in Portugal.

     

    Sintra, the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted it Word Heritage Site status.

    After a gentle stroll along the narrow alleys, past shops selling regional products, we suggest a visit to the Palácio and Quinta da Regaleira. This is a 19th century palace, although it looks older, boasting impressive decorations laden with Masonic references. Very close to the entrance to Regaleira, is Seteais, an 18th century palace, currently converted into an hotel. The gardens are worth a visit and from its belvedere you can see Pena Palace, Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) and the sea in the distance

     

  • Useful Information

    From early times Sintra has been the place of choice for the settlement of various peoples who have passed through the Iberian Peninsula and left traces of their presence, which are now displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Odrinhas, in the outskirts of the town.

    In the 12th century, Dom Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, captured the Moorish Castle, and his successors later built their holiday residence. Their physiognomy is marked by the two enormous conical chimneys built in the Middle Ages.

    Much appreciated by kings and nobles as a country resort, and praised by writers and poets like (inevitably) Lord Byron who called it "glorious Eden", Sintra has a wealth of cottages and manor houses, some of which now provide accommodation in the form of country-house tourism.

    Sintra's confectionery deserves a special mention, particularly the travesseiros (puff pastes stuffed with a sweet eggy mixture) and the famous cheese-cakes, which according to ancient documents were already being made in the 12th century, and were part of the rent payments.

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    To get there, follow the waterfront road from Lisbon to Cascais or take the train. It’s a very scenic route, always hugging the River Tagus and the busy beaches of the Estoril coast. En route, you will pass various forts erected to defend the capital, providing crossfire with the Bugio Fort, right in the middle of the river mouth, between Santo Amaro, on one side, and Trafaria, on the opposite bank.

    Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães
    Museums and Palaces
    The Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães, the former "Torre de S. Sebastião", was built in 1900 by Jorge O'Neill. A classic example of "summer architecture", the building features ecletic elements, inviting visitors to enter a kingdom of fantasy and wonder celebrated in this XIXth century revival of the era of romance.

    In 1910, the Count Manuel de Castro Guimarães aquires the house and after is dead (1927) donated his state, including his garden, to the people of Cascais. His desire was to built an art museum and a public library. The museum opened on July 12, 1931.

    The Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães collection includes significant national and international paintings, furniture, porcelain and jewellery. Another important part of museum collection is the Crónica de El-Rei D. afonso Henriques (Chronicle of King Afonso Henriques) (1505) by Duarte Galvão, whose Prologue page includes artwork by the miniaturistAntónio d'Ollanda.

  • Useful Information

    Estoril
    Towns and Villages
    Estoril, a world-famous resort, is a true cosmopolitan centre with wonderful nightlife and all the infrastructure for a summer centre - beaches, excellent hotels, golf courses, a casino and even a motor-racing circuit.

    The planned transformation of this area began in the early 20th century, due not only to its proximity to the sea, which was starting to be a focus of attraction, but also to the existence of thermal springs, at that time much in vogue (they are currently closed).

    The centre of this new luxury resort was the Park and the Casino (Estoril´s trademark), surrounded by buildings, arcades and excellent hotels.


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