Visit the most popular summer residence for the families of Portuguese rulers and noblemen . From Sintra - famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, extravagant palaces, manor houses and gardens declared UNESCO world heritage site. The easy coastal trails on this tour will lead you to Cascais - charming resort with fascinating museums and attractive parks, surrounded by coastline which offers beautiful beaches.
♦ Sintra palaces
♦ Convento dos Capuchos - an austere 16th-century Franciscan monastery
♦ Cabo de Roca -the westernmost point of the European continent
Day 1. Arrival in Sintra
Your first accommodation when you arrive to Sintra is a family run business just outside Sintra’s town centre that has a quiet terrace with splendid views of the town and hills and is conveniently located opposite the train station and with a few restaurants nearby.
Day 2. Sintra palaces
Walking tour which takes in the three most prominent monuments of Sintra: Castelo de Mouro, Palacio da Pena and the Palacio Nacional. You start with a steep ascent to the Moorish castle and the colourful dream palace of King Ferdinand, followed by a walk on the vast palace grounds and finally a steep descent via Vila Sasseti to the town centre of Sintra, where the National Palace stands.
Distance : 9km, 4,5 hours, +475 m /- 475 m
Day 3. From Convento dos Capuchos to Azoia
Today you leave the crowds behind with a transfer to the Convento dos Capuchos, a classic example of an austere 16th-century Franciscan monastery which you can visit before starting off. Your walking route leads you through mystical Mediterranean woodlands past hillside menhirs and the shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Peninha. Then you descend to Azoia and get the bus back to Sintra.
Distance: 11,5 km, 5 hours, + 425m / -500m
Day 4. Sintra Manor Houses
In the 19th and early 20th centuries a Romantic wind blowing through Europe was strongly felt in Sintra. Within a few square kilometres you will find extravagant palaces and mansions built by nobles and wealthy merchants, most of which are still occupied or in use as luxury hotels.
Distance: 4,5 km or 7 km, 2 or 3 hours + time used for visiting the palaces inside
Day 5. Sintra - Praia Grande
Today you leave the wealth and romance of Sintra behind as you walk north through fields, vineyards and pine forests toward the rugged coast. In the pretty fishing village of Azenha do Mar, you pick up the GR-11 and follow it south to the 1970’s hotel on "Praia Grande" in Arribas, with its huge saltwater pool.
Distance: 15 km, 4,5-5 hours, + 225 m / - 485m
Day 6. Circular route Praia Grande
From Hotel Arribas you take a long-distance walking path, the GR-11 "Costa Atlantica", going south along fishermen’s trails to reach the village of Ulgueira. Beautiful views of the Cabo de Roca -the westernmost point of the European continent- and nice sandy beach along the way. After a drink or ice cream at Casa Doña Maria in Ulgeira you return to Praia Grande via a different route which passes through the authentic village of Almoçageme.
Distance: 11,3 or 12,6km, 4,5-5 hours, + 500 or 575 m / - 500 or 575 m
Day 7. Azoia - Guincho (- Cascais)
Your last day of walking begins with a transfer to Azoia, where you pick up the GR-11 and follow it along the coast to the 17th-century fortress of "Fortaleza de Guincho", now a luxury hotel with views over Praia do Guincho. You can stop off part-way (after 8 km and approximately 2.5 to 3 hours walking) and take the bus directly to Cascais or walk an additional 9.5 km all the way to your hotel (footpath between the road and beach)
Distance: 8 or 17,5km, 3 or 5 hours, + 175 or 275 m/ - 375 or 475 m
Day 8. End of programme
After breakfast, you travel back to Lisbon by public transport (one hour) or private transfer.