8th July, 2018
Lisbon, Portugal. The ideal place for a weekend trip, we suggest a minimum of 3 nights in the city is enough to see the major attractions, and to get a great dose of culture, architecture and top-notch food and wine all in one.The unique sweetness of world-famous Port wine has been putting Portugal on the spotlight of wine lovers for many years.
That said, if you have the benefit of time then we recommend that you explore some nearby destinations. This is why we have put together a list of amazing one-day trips from Lisbon that will allow you to know a bit more about Portugal and its traditions. And its food & wines of course!
All of these destinations are at a drive able distance, we strongly recommend you do a road trip if you have the time as the drive is absolutely scenic and worth the wait !
Also, one or two hours by train is enough to get to some of the most beautiful cities in the north (and centre, actually) of the country.
See below our recommended 3 best day trips from Lisbon !
Sintra is the ultimate of the day trips from Lisbon. In fact, I honestly think you need more than one day to see Sintra properly. There’s so many fantastic sights to visit and the town of Sintra itself is a charming place. Definitely a must for any Portugal itinerary in my opinion.
Sintra was once a popular resort town for the royals of Lisbon, who built many villas and palaces here amongst the gorgeous pine forest. As such, there are plenty of landmark attractions for visitors to see, but they are spread out over the surrounding hilly countryside.
MIRINDA Suggests! – While we chose to walk everywhere during our visit, you don’t need to, with several bus companies offering transport out to the various sites.
Of the major sights, Pena National Palace has to be right near the top. This brightly coloured palace looks like something from Disneyland with its bold colours and odd architecture.
From the palace terraces, you have sweeping views out across the region and up along the distant coast. Aside from the palace itself, there are huge grounds to roam with chalets, farms and lakes scattered about.
Probably the best known sight of Sintra is the Inverted Tower found at the Quinta da Regaleira Palace just out of town. Here you find the curious and mystical Initiation well, whose spiral staircases weaving their way to the bottom and relate to the long abandoned practice of alchemy.
There are many other sights to see in Sintra, probably too many to count, including the Moorish Castle, the National Palace in town, Monseratte Palace and the Convento dos Capuchos. Sintra is quite possibly my favourite small town I have visited in Europe, so I can’t recommend it enough.
It combines serene nature, history and grand landmarks so you’re guaranteed to get something out of a visit/multiple visits.
Cascais is a gorgeous little town on the Portuguese Atlantic coast. Famous for being the elegant summer retreat of the European aristocracy in the XIX century, Cascais is now a world-renowned golf resort and holiday destination for local and foreigners alike.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – Regular trains connect it to Lisbon city centre in about half an hour and make it a perfect place for both a day trip from Lisbon or a longer stay.
In Cascais, you can stroll around manicured yet atmospheric streets, have fresh fish in one of the many restaurants and of course be sunbathing on one of its beautiful, family-friendly beaches. Cascais is also famous for being the home of the ‘boca do Inferno’ (hell’s mouth) an impressive stretch of coast where waves crash against steep cliffs.
Our favorite place in Cascais is Cafe Galeria House of Wonders. It lives up to its name; they do wonders to make fresh, delicious vegan food. Even as meat-eaters, we couldn’t stop talking about the delicious flavors of each of the mezze, the sauces, the zucchini noodles, everything. You can elevate your dining experience by grabbing a table on their rooftop terrace, complete with sea breeze and ocean view. Cafe Galeria House of Wonders is the best way to end a beach day.
3. CABO DA ROCA
This rocky promontory is both the westernmost part of mainland Portugal and the European continent.
It is only about an hour west of Lisbon to get here, and well worth a drive to discover the splendors of the coast. Steep cliffs overhang the waves of the wild Atlantic, flanked by huge granite boulders that stand like sentinels along the edge.
These wild cliff faces provide cliff side homes for nesting sea birds, and are an excellent location for birdwatchers to visit. Lighthouses, expansive views and large plateaus of rock and low-lying vegetation make for an eerily beautiful trip.
HOW TO GET FROM LISBON TO CABO DA ROCA
Cabo da Roca is 18km West from Sintra, 15km North from Cascais and 40km west of Lisbon. Despite these short distances, it is isolated and the most convenient way to get there is by private car. Parking is available at the Cabo and there is no parking fee.
Alternatively, it is possible to reach Cabo da Roca by bus: the line getting here is n. 403, covering the Cascais-Sintra Route. at the time of writing, the cost of a bus ticket to Cabo da Roca is 4.50 Euro.
As we soaked in the heated pool, we thought back to our day and agreed it was a beautiful day trip with some unforgettable sights and one we would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone visiting Lisbon and the surrounding areas.
Coming up next… PORTUGAL – The Perfect 10 Days Itinerary
Keep following up on www.mirindatravels.com to know all about it ….