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Sintra District

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Sintra District Nature & Adventure

Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

1. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

2. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

3. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

On this full-day tour you’ll discover Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the villa that’s surrounded by an amazing natural park, a castle, beautiful palaces and chalets. Take a walk along the medieval streets of Sintra an drive through the national park and see the rare fauna, the unique trees, the Moorish castle, Monserrate Palace and the chalets. Visit Pena Palace, one of the most impressive expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in architecture in the world and one of Portugal’s seven wonders. Say goodbye to Sintra with an optional visit to mystical Quinta da Regaleira, a palace surrounded by luxuriant gardens, lakes, caves and enigmatic constructions that hide obscure alchemist meanings, evoked by Freesmasons, Knights Templar and Rosicrucians. Continue on to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Roca Cape. Travel along the coast and embrace the Atlantic, and stop in Cascais and Estoril, once retreats for the royal family and the European aristocracy.

From Lisbon: Paragliding Tandem Flight

4. From Lisbon: Paragliding Tandem Flight

Run, launch your inflatable canopy, and enjoy the ride while your experienced pilot takes you on a flight over the Lisbon coastline. Depending on the weather conditions, your flight will take place either at Praia das Bicas (Sesimbra), Fonte da telha (Almada), Arrábida (Setúbal), or Santa Rita (Sintra). All pilots have several years of experiences which why you do not need any. The canopy is made from very resistant materials such as ripstop nylon and Kevlar.

From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights Full-Day Tour

5. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with magical Sintra, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period. Its stunning landscape is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity site that is begging for exploration. Start the tour by exploring the exotic Pena Park and the magnificent Pena Palace. This remarkable building is complete with different decorative styles, symbols, and intriguing features, and was once the royal family's official summer residence. Walk through Sintra's charming city center. Stop by the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate. Explore the initiation well as well as its many lakes and fountains, and the aquarium on its grounds. Spend your lunchtime strolling through the historical village. Enjoy a quick stop at local patisseries to try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. Conclude your journey at the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court.

Sintra: Hidden Gems Guided Walking Tour with Pastry

6. Sintra: Hidden Gems Guided Walking Tour with Pastry

Uncover the mysteries of Sintra and discover hidden gems on this guided walking tour of Sintra. Listen to local curiosities, legends, and secret stories from your guide.  Meet your friendly and passionate local guide outside Sintra train station. You will start your tour admiring the fantastic city hall building. Walking along the promenade towards the center of the village, admire the statues displayed along the way. After a brief stop at the Moorish fountain, head into the historical center. Now it's time to have a tasting of the typical pastry from Sintra, the famous Travesseiro. Enjoy the impressive views of Moorish castle from the National Palace. Next, head towards the Palace of Seteais, passing by the church of San Martinho, the oldest hotel on the Iberian Peninsula, and a small romantic waterfall. From the Palace de Setais, you can enjoy a fabulous view of the Pena Palace and the Atlantic Ocean. End the tour by visiting the impressive Quinta da Regaleira and explore its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well.

From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

7. From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

Depart Lisbon and journey by air-conditioned, 8-seat vehicle to Pena Palace atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Hear the romantic story of the palace and feel like a member of the Portuguese royal family. Then, head to Cabo da Roca for panoramic views from continental Europe’s westernmost point. Pass the stunning beaches of Cascais, including the scenic Praia do Guincho. Experience the mystery of the Devil's Mouth cave, created by the crashing of the waves on the rocky bluff. Stop in the elegant resort town of Cascais, favored by the nobles of Europe for its idyllic setting. Stroll along the harbor before traveling back to Lisbon.

Sintra: Jeep Tour of Regaleira, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais

8. Sintra: Jeep Tour of Regaleira, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais

Climb aboard a vintage Portuguese 4x4 Jeep and get ready for an unforgettable adventure that will tackle the best of the Sintra region. Discover some of the secrets and mysteries of Sintra, see the most beautiful monuments of the region and escape all common tourist traps by going off-road on a fun and cultural experience. You will start your day being picked up at the meeting point and travel directly to Quinta da Regaleira, a palace filled with mystery, metaphors, and underground tunnels. Enjoy an informative, guided visit here. After the visit, you will have an overview of all 5 palaces and the 8th-Century Moorish Castle as you drive. You'll also pass by the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.  On the way to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in mainland Europe, take hidden paths through the park and break at impressive scenic viewpoints to see the beauty of the Portuguese coastline.  At Guincho Beach you'll have the chance to taste the typical, local century-old recipe "Travesseiro" pastry and homemade "Ginja" drink. You will finish your tour around 4.30 PM at the beautiful beach town of Cascais.

Sintra, Natural Park and Cascais Beaches: Full-Day Tour

9. Sintra, Natural Park and Cascais Beaches: Full-Day Tour

Sintra was selected by Portuguese royalty as the place to live. Experience the unique atmosphere of Sintra Natural Park and visit its stunning palaces and villas.  This full-day tour begins with a hotel pick-up in Lisbon and continues with a 30-minute ride to Sintra. The first stop will be Pena Palace, an architectural masterpiece in the European Romantic style. Next on the itinerary is a visit to Sintra Villa. Continue to Roca Cape, the westernmost point in Europe, and then to Guincho, a beautiful white sand beach. The last stop on the tour is Cascais, once a fishing village, and later a resort for European royalty. The Cascais waterfront is now considered the Portuguese Riviera.  

From Lisbon: Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca Coast Day Tour

10. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca Coast Day Tour

Escape noisy Lisbon on a visit to nearby sites of natural and architectural beauty. See Sintra's historic center, Pena, Cascais, and more on this day excursion. On this full-day tour, start off with a walk-in Pena Park. Feel like royalty in Pena Palace while your guide explains its history. Marvel at the views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. Next visit Sintra's historical center. Enjoy lunch or visit the National Palace. Continue on with a drive through the Sintra Mountains. Stop at the great cliffs at Roca Cape, which are the westernmost point of continental Europe. The last stop of the tour is the stylish town of Cascais, where you can take a relaxing walk along the bay before heading back to Lisbon.

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What people are saying about Sintra District

If you're spending a full day on tour the guide has to have enough charisma as well as information to keep you engaged throughout the tour. Machado (Max) hit the bullseye! I would sign up for another one of his tours any time. He was especially thoughtful with the member of the tour who had two children with her as well as an older woman.

This experience was for sure worth it! Maria made sure we experienced everything with minimal wait times! She also provided an endless amount of facts about Sintra and Lisbon! Couldn’t recommend it enough :)

The most beautifull scenerys from beginning to start. The palace has a rich history and an amazing view as wel as the view of the ocean on your way to Cascais. I would defenitely recommed

Enjoyed it to the most the group was fun and they were all nice, comfortable bus too. The pena palace was interesting also we enjoying the relxing trip in cascais

Wonderful day with Iain! He is a gracious driver/guide who makes every effort to cater to your specific requests--and in his beautiful car! Highly recommend!