Are you in Lisbon soon? Then a trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca should definitely be on your itinerary. Both destinations are right on the outskirts of the Portuguese capital and are perfect for a day trip.
As great as Lisbon is, a visit to Sintra makes a stay in Lisbon really perfect. We promise you: You will love this little road trip and you won’t regret it. In this article on our travel blog, we tell you our best tips for a day trip with a rental car from Lisbon.
1. Day Trip Itinerary: Sintra, Cabo da Roca & Cascais First Stop: Sintra The first destination of our excursion is Sintra. The name alone sounds promising, right? So melodic and mysterious. Sintra is a small town, approximately 25 kilometers west of Lisbon, embedded in a beautiful hilly landscape. The city is home to some very famous palaces and castles.
Since time is of course limited on a day trip, we recommend that you limit your visit to Sintra to two highlights. limit: The fairytale Palácio Nacional da Pena and the fortress called Castelo dos Mouros.
Palácio Nacional da Pena The Palácio Nacional da Pena is the most important sight in Sintra and for many the highlight of the entire region. The palace can hardly be surpassed in terms of kitsch and special features. Knight’s castle meets fairytale castle. The colorful mix of countless architectural styles makes the building look as if it had come straight out of a fairy tale. So it’s not surprising that the Palácio Nacional da Pena has developed into an absolute hotspot.
You can not only admire the castle from the outside, but also look inside throw. During a tour through the premises, you will get an insight into royal life at the time and you will instantly feel like you have been transported back centuries.
Our Tip: It’s worth coming early, because then the crowds are still reasonably manageable. We were pretty lucky when we visited in February (during the week) because there were comparatively few people out and about. However, the rush should be enormous, especially in the high season.
Castelo dos Mouros The second highlight in Sintra is the castle ruins Castelo dos Mouros – a complete contrast to the castle. The castle ruins, which are worth seeing, date from the 8th or 9th century. A bit of physical fitness isn’t a bad idea for a visit, because the Castelo dos Mouros is enthroned on a hill.
The path to the castle is already a highlight per se. It leads to moss-covered rocks higher and higher. It smells of forest and nature. During our visit, wafts of mist shrouded the landscape, from which the tops of palaces and roofs kept appearing. Admittedly, we couldn’t have wished for better weather to experience this area in such an atmospheric way.
At the top, a wonderful view of Sintra and the surrounding area awaits you. You can walk along the fortress walls and enjoy the view in different directions. The kitschy towers of the Palácio Nacional da Pena also rise in the distance.
Our tip: Buy a ticket for Sintra If you want to visit both sights (Palácio Nacional da Pena & Castelo dos Mouros), there is a combined ticket. You can Buy at both attractions on-site, although the line at the ticket office of the Palácio Nacional da Pena is usually much longer – you should bear that in mind. We therefore first visited the Castelo dos Mouros.
Via Getyourguide it is possible to buy individual tickets in advance for both sights, with which you avoid waiting at the ticket counter. (Note: You may still have to wait a short time when entering.)
Palacio Nacional da Pena Ticket Castle dos Mouros Ticket
Second stop: Cabo da Roca Our day trip takes us further to Cabo da Roca. The Cape is the westernmost tip of mainland Europe. Here, the waves of the Atlantic beat against the rocks with a tremendous, impressive force. Thanks to the lighthouse, Capo da Roca is a pretty photo opportunity, although we have to admit that New Zealand’s Cape Reinga was a lot more impressive.
You can easily park your car not far from the lighthouse and then let the view of the rugged coastal landscape and the surf work on you. Visiting the cape is completely free. At the Cabo da Roca itself, there are usually quite a few people cavorting. On the trails along the steep coast you are (almost) alone.
Third stop: Cascais & Estoril From Cabo da Roca you can reach the coastal towns of Cascais and Estoril in about half an hour. Cascais has a very pretty old town with perfectly laid floor tiles reminiscent of the waves of the sea.
Our tip: It’s best to get some delicious pasteis de nata, sit on the shore with them and enjoy the warm rays of sunshine. In the summer months, the rush on the beaches of Cascais and Estoril is enormous. For our visit in the off-season, however, we had the waterfront almost to ourselves.
2. Map: The route for a trip from Lisbon at a glance To better guide you on your day trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca we can show you our route on the map. As you can see, the route is absolutely doable. All in all you sit in the car for about two hours.
3. Book a rental car for the day trip: Our tips So that you can make the day trip to Sintra and Cabo da Roca . flexible , we definitely recommend a rental car. In principle, you can also cover the route by train & bus, but of course it is much more convenient and practical by car.
We always rent our rental car via the Sunny Cars platform. It compares the offers of different local car rental companies and then shows you the cheapest options. The advantage of booking via Sunny Cars: You receive fully comprehensive insurance. That means: In the event of damage, Sunny Cars will reimburse you for the deductible.
Here you can search for cheap offers: Sunny Cars
4. Hotel tip for Lisbon In Lisbon we stayed at the wonderful Hotel Memmo Alfama, which we can highly recommend. The design hotel is, as the name suggests, in the middle of Alfama (the oldest part of Lisbon).
We love the Scandinavian style the hotel. The rooms in the Memmo Alfama are quite puristic and rather small, but still very comfortably furnished. We really felt comfortable all around. The absolute highlight is the wonderful terrace with a view of the Tejo. We were actually allowed to enjoy the view you see in the photo every day. When the weather is good, you can enjoy your breakfast on the terrace – a dream!
Our conclusion: The Memmo Alfama may not be exactly cheap, but it is definitely a hotel that you will remember . We would come back anytime!
Here you can book the hotel: Memmo Alfama
Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!1200
Have you ever been to Lisbon? and do you have any other experiences or tips for a day trip? We look forward to your comment!2014