Departing from Lisbon, we will head towards the surprising Sintra Mountain. We will start the day by visiting the amazing Sintra village (a UNESCO world heritage site since 1995) together and after you will have some free time to explore the village that the Greeks and Romans named the “Mountain of the Moon”, a true fairy tale village that is also full of Moorish influences. The best way to start the day is by going to an old bakery (in the same family since 1862) to enjoy the famous travesseiros (pillows), which are light puff pastries that are turned, rolled and folded seven times, and then filled with delicious almond-and-egg-yolk cream and lightly dusted with sugar. Or you can enjoy the Sintra cheesecakes (the first references date back to the XIII century; at that time, these cheesecakes were a form of payment for rent).
Next, it is time to cross the mystic mountain of Sintra towards the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to see the quaint Colares village and to learn more about local wines dating back to the 13th century. We’ll also pass by at Praia das Maçãs, a small and popular local beach town. Reaching the coast, we will stop in one of the most picturesque seaside towns, Azenhas do Mar, which has a stunning view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
It is now time to leave Azenhas do Mar and head in the direction of Cascais. We will make a stop midpoint in the wild Cabo da Roca, which is a sheer 150 meters cliff that forms the most western point of continental Europe.
Then it’s time for a lunch break. We´ll enjoy beautiful roads toward the village of Cascais, a former fishing village that gained fame as a resort for Portugal’s royal family in the late XIX century and early XX century. Nowadays, it is a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists, as well as a village with small museums, picturesque gardens, a shiny marina, and a pedestrian old town. In Cascais you´ll have the opportunity to try the most famous ice cream of Portugal, Santini’s Gelati, which is considered the best ice cream in the world! It is truly a gift from the gods! Santini’s has been tantalizing Portuguese tongues since 1947.
After lunch will be the right time for an amazing experience. We’ll go directly to the Pena Palace, (the Park and the Palace of Pena entrance fee are included in the price; 14€ per person). The palace’s history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the Sintra Mountain. According to the tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary. The current palace dates back to 1839 when King Ferdinand II bought the ruins of the Hieronymite Monastery of Our Lady of Pena, a 500 years old monastery, and started to adapt it for use as a residence according to his romantic taste. Today the palace constitutes one of the major expressions of 19th-century romanticism in the world, and it’s a true fairytale that appears to have come from Disney (read more here).
Then, it is time to go back to Lisbon.