Discover Sintra’s Extravagant Culture & Dramatic Atlantic Coast

Located just a short distance from Lisbon, Sintra was a popular summer residence for Portugese rulers and nobility between the 15th and 19th centuries. They have left a cultural landscape of extravagant palaces, manor houses and gardens which form a fascinating UNESCO world heritage site.

This walking holiday combines the richness of Sintra’s extravagant and exquisite cultural monuments, with peaceful and scenic walks in the Sintra Hills, and the rugged and dramatic Atlantic coastline, where the coastal trail leads you to the most westerly point of the European continent.

Highlights:

  • Prominent national monuments including the unmissable Palacio de Pena, a beautiful example of Romanticism architecture, idyllic Castelo de Mouro and the Palacio Nacional
  • Captivating and mystical gardens of Quinta da Regaleira
  • Beautiful Parque Natural de Sintra with its wild and rugged Atlantic coastline and opportunity to visit the austere Convento de los Capuchos convent
  • Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of mainland Europe
  • Bustling coastal town of Cascais
  • Savour locally sourced, traditional Portugese cuisine
  • High standard, historic accommodations

RouteSintra - Cascais
Duration7 nights/6 days walking
Length45.5 mi (72.6km)
GradeEasy to Moderate
Comfort3/4
AvailabilityJan - Jun, Sep - Dec
Price from£655
Holiday CodePOR-SNT

Why Choose Our Sintra-Cascais Walking Holiday?

Walking the Sintra and Cascais landscape is an open window into the past, following routes designed to explore the area’s foremost historical and cultural sites. Discover Sintra’s fascinating sights in the morning, before joining hiking routes out into the area’s peaceful surrounding woodland and rural landscapes later on in the day. Starting in the vibrant town of Sintra, discover the town’s extravagant palaces, gardens and manor houses, with the latter half of the walking holiday located on the breath-taking Atlantic coastline, reaching Azenhas do Mar and the fisherman’s town of Cascais – just one hour away from Lisbon by public transport.

The Path

Sintra-Cascais-Walking-Holidays-Map
Exploring the castles, palaces and manor houses of Sintra in the morning, you'll find even, well-defined footpaths around the town's palace grounds and surrounding hillsides. As you make your way out into the more rural areas in the afternoon, you follow a more shaded route, under the canopy of the forest along slightly more rugged dirt trails and woodland paths that lead out of the towns historic centre. A combination of circular walks, and sections that follow the established "Costa Atlántica" make up the coastal sections at the end of the itinerary. These routes that lead out of the hillsides to the coast take you through the Sintra-Cascais National Park, a landscape of vibrant colours, beaches and secluded coves.

The footpaths you follow are well way-marked with some steep ascents/descents, designed to accommodate around 4-5 hours walking each day, allowing ample time to experience the traditionally relaxed Portuguese lifestyle in the communities, towns and villages you stay in.

The Accommodation

As you walk out from Sintra to the Portuguese coast, you'll find a range of accommodation that reflects the character of the area you're staying in. You'll spend four nights in Sintra, with a sun terrace overlooking Pena Castle and the Sintra Mountain Range. Out on the Praia Grande, our standard accommodation boasts swimming pools and fantastic views over the neighbouring Atlantic. Our accommodations are selected with great care; high-standard, characterful establishments featuring en-suite rooms and many great places to eat (serving traditional Portuguese food) within a short walking distance.
Sintra Accommodation

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Itinerary: Walking Sintra to Guinchos

Days: 6 (7 nights) | Distance: 45.5 mi (72.6 km) | Difficulty: Easy to Moderate | Comfort: 3/4 | Price: from £655 p.p.

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Sintra

    From Lisbon airport, there are convenient public transport options to Sintra (approx. one hour). However, we do offer the option of a private taxi transfer directly to your accommodation.
  • Day 2

    Sintra Palaces

    5.5 miles (9km)

    Today's route explores the most prominent monuments of Sintra: Castelo de Mouros, Palacio de Pena and the Palacio National. Start with a steep ascent to the Moorish castle and colourful palace of King Ferdinand, followed by a tour of the spacious palace grounds, before joining the path that descends sharply via Vila Sasseti to the town centre of Sintra, where the National Palace stands. 475 ascent/descent, mainly on good paths, the descent is rather steep. Est. walking time 4 - 4.5 hours. Note: you can avoid the steep ascent and descent by taking the bus (approz. €5).
  • Day 3

    Convento dos Capuchos - Azoia

    7.1 miles (11.5km)

    Venture further out of the town with a transfer to the austere 16th century Franciscan monastery of Convento de los Capuchos, of which you have time to explore the grounds before setting off on today's walk. Today's route leads you through enchanting Mediterranean woodland, scattered with hillside menhirs and the shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Peninha. The path then descends to Azoia, where the taxi is waiting; you may also wish to stop off at Azoia for a typical Portuguese lunch before returning to Sintra. 425 ascent/descent, mainly on good paths, the descent is rather steep. Est. walking time 4.5 hours.
  • Day 4

    Sintra Manor Houses

    4.5 miles (7km)

    Today's route delves into some of the more impressive and noteworthy palaces and manor houses of Sintra. Within a few square kilometres, you have a collection of extravagant buildings open for exploration, starting with: "Quinta da Regaleira", a romantic, and quite ominous early 20th century palace built by an eccentric Brazilian coffee farmer and Freemason. He constructed a series of spiraling underground tunnels connected to the palace for his groups' secretive masonic rites. "Palacio de Setais", a 18th century Neoclassical palace, which is now a hotel where the extensive gardens are open to visitors. From here, you can take the 435 bus, or walk 2.5km along the road to reach. "Palacio de Montserrat", a Romantic building with Indian and Arabic influences, built by a Portugeuse-English Viscount and industrial magnate.
  • Day 5

    Sintra to Azenha do Mar and Hotel Arribas

    9.3 miles (15km)

    Sintra's grand palaces are left behind with a route that stretches out through fields, vineyards and pine forests to the picturesque fishing village of Azenhas do Mar. You stay overnight on the "Praia Grande" in Arribas, in a hotel that comes with its own large saltwater and smaller freshwater swimming pools. 300m ascent/ 500m descent. Est. walking time 4.5 hours. You can also take a shorter route via the 19th century tram to Azenha (runs Thursday to Sunday) and walk just the last few kilometres, or take the bus directly to the Praia Grande (line 439), where you can stay 2 nights in the renovated "Arribas" beach hotel. All rooms have a terrace and sea views, with a range of restaurants nearby.
  • Day 6

    Circular Route Praia Grande

    7-7.8 miles (11.3-12.6km)

    From Hotel Arribas you follow the long distance walking path - the GR-11 "Costa Atlántica" - that travels south along the fisherman's trails of the coast to the village of Ulgueira. From here, you can walk to Costa to Roca and back, or loop back to Praia Grande via a different route. 475m ascent/ 550m descent. Est. walking time 4.5 - 5 hours.
  • Day 7

    Azoia - Guincho (Cascais)

    5-10.8 miles (8-17.5km)

    Transfer to Azoia, where your join the GR-11 as it follows the coastline to the 17th century fortress of "Fortaleza de Guincho", now a luxury hotel with views over Praia do Guincho. You have the option of leaving the route halfway (at approx. 7.5km) and taking the bus directly to Cascais, or walking an additional 9.5km to your hotel (footpath between the road and beach). 175 or 275m ascent/375 or 475m descent. Est. walking time 3 - 5.5 hours. Bus to Cascais (Line 415 or 405).
  • Day 8

    Departure Cascais

    After breakfast, you have the option of travelling back to Lisbon via public transport (one hour). Alternatively, we can arrange a private transfer.

Click ' + ' signs to view a detailed daily breakdown

PricesSeason 1
01/01/18 – 22/03/18 01/11/18 - 19/12/18
Season 2
23/03/18 – 31/03/18 20/12/18 - 31/12/18
Season 3
01/04/18 – 25/06/18
Season 4
26/09/18 – 31/10/18
Season 5
26/06/18 – 25/09/18
Two people sharing (p.p.)£655£705£780£805£865
Single person in a group£985£1070£1200£1245£1370
Solo person£1090£1175£1305£1350£1475

  • What's Included?

    We Include:

    • 7 nights' Bed & Breakfast
    • Luggage transfer
    • Transfers to/from the path (where indicated in the programme)
    • A Destination Manual and Road Book (route notes) showing directions to your directions and a local map
    • 24-hour back-up

    Optional:

    • Extra night in Lisbon

    Not Included:

    • Packed lunches: can be ordered either from your accommodation, or bought locally each day
    • Evening meals: Local Restaurants or in-house at your accommodation
    • Postage overseas - £5.00 (Europe), £10,00 (Rest of World), per Walk Pack
  • Price Info.

    Holiday arrival/departure dates: You choose which day you would like you holiday to start on.

    Please note that unlike our UK holidays, there are five separate price bands. Please check the dates and prices carefully before booking. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements (holiday price determined by your arrival date).

    Rest Days: Please enquire for extra night prices at each location.

  • Getting There

    Travel arrangements for arrival/departure:

    You are responsible for booking your travel to Portugal and to your accommodation in Sintra and return from your accommodation in Cascais.

    Nearest airport is located in Lisbon                    https://www.ana.pt/en/lis/home           

    (taxi transfers can be arranged from/return the airport if required).

    FROM LISBON AIRPORT to Sintra (public transport)

    • Shuttle bus from the airport to Rossio train station in Lisbon city centre. The shuttle runs half-hourly – travel time is approximately 20 minutes.
    • Lisbon Rossio Train station – Sintra. Frequent services through the day, travel time is approximately 40 minutes.

    https://www.cp.pt/StaticFiles/CP/PDF/Passageiros/Horarios/lx/resumo_azambuja_sintra.pdf 

    TO LISBON AIRPORT from Cascais (public transport)

    • Train from Cascais to Cais do Sodre Station. Frequent services through the day, travel time is approximately 40 minutes.
    • Lisbon city centre/Cais do Sodre Station to airport. You can take an airport shuttle, use the city metro system or taxi on to the airport.

    Aerobus shuttle:                                  

    https://www.aerobus.pt/en-GB/Home-2.aspx

    Metro:  

    http://www.metrolisboa.pt/informacao/planear-a-viagem/?idi=16&idf=55&d=s&v=r&h=1544

  • Best Time to Travel

    The best time to visit Sintra would be Spring and early Autumn. The days are bright and temperate, and the summer crowds have long since decamped. During the high season, the town's historic centre can get quite busy from midday onward, and the heat can make progress that much more difficult.

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Further Reading

Tucked away into the mountainside, coming across one of Europe's most magical kingdoms strikes an eye-catching first impression. Get a bit of background into the area's exotic gardens and glittering palaces with our helpful links detailed below:

Visit Lonely Planet’s page for more inspiration: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/portugal/lisbon/sintra or the Portuguese Tourism’s website here: https://www.visitportugal.com/en/content/discovering-sintra.

Enquire About Sintra – Cascais

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