While Lisbon is most exciting and with plenty to see, it is also a fantastic base for several detours to get to know more of the surroundings. Below is a list of some of the best daytrips from Lisbon to put on your bucket-list.
Perfect if you like: History and nature
Sintra has been called the fairy-tale mountain village and has been occupied since the Neolithic, as it has been witnessed in the area surrounding the hilltop Moorish castle. Widely known for its romantic palaces and the way they blend with nature, in Sintra you will discover the romantic Pena Palace, built by the consort king Ferdinand II resemblance the palaces of its birthplace in Bavaria, surrounded by lavish gardens. The gardens surrounding the Monserrate palace are equally renown for the vast botanic species and the palace itself, standing in the middle of it, boasts a unique style of moorish architecture. In the centre of the village, Sintra National Palace was the seat of the queens and it strikes you immediately for its distinct twin cone chimneys.
Perfect if you like: Coastal areas
The peaceful village of Cascais invites you to slow living and long walks on the beach. With strong fishing traditions, this coastal village was once the summer residence of the Portuguese Royal Family, a choice that contributed to the development of the manor houses in the historic centre. You can walk along the sea wall, admire the strength of the waves at Boca do Inferno rock formations, enjoy the art at Fundação Paula Rego and relax by the Marechal Carmona Park. From Cascais, you can also visit the Europe Western-most point at Cabo da Roca.
Perfect if you like: Beach, wine and cheese
The turquoise waters of Arrábida Nature Park and the small beaches revealed at any turn of the road in this mountain range are certainly inviting. But aside relaxing at these small bits of paradise, Arrábida is also the place of Muscat wine (Moscatel), a delicious sweet wine, and Azeitão cheese, a soft buttery cheese that is just mouth-watering. The Espichel Cape as a scenic location and sweeping views and, in Sesimbra, you can visit the castle and delight with the fresh catch of the day. In Setúbal, admire the street art paying tribute to the fishing traditions and taste the marvelous fried cuttlefish.
Perfect if you like: History
Óbidos is one of the best-preserved medieval villages in Europe and a true voyage back in time. Walk along the wall perimeter and enjoy the views both of the village and of its surroundings. After such tiring walk, be sure to sip a Ginjinha, a sweet liquor produced here and widely appreciated. After, visit the castle, now a Pousada lodging, and some iconic buildings in the village, such as the beautiful medieval churches. One of them, the Santiago Church was converted into a beautiful and unique bookshop.
Perfect if you like: History and nature
The village of Mafra is known for its large 18th century convent, built by King João V after the birth of the promised heir. The majestic convent is known by its unique library space, the elliptic room and its carrilhões (bells). Next to the convent, the Jardim da Cerca is a pleasant park for walks and leisure and it features the convent’s kitchen garden, orchard and water tanks. Nearby, you will also find the Tapada de Mafra, originally founded as a game preserve, but now open to visitors and committed to show the beautiful grounds and working towards nature preservation. The is a train that takes you all around the property and during this ride it is frequent to meet some of the friendly residents.
Perfect if you like: Coastal areas and seafood
The white-washed Ericeira is widely known as a surfer’s hub, for its challenging waves, scenic beaches, such as Ribeira d’Ilhas and Foz do Lizandro, and also as a seafood haven. Sea urchins are the local gastronomic specialty, but seafood lovers will find that it is indeed a culinary golden mine. With your stomach full, go for a walk in the scenic cobblestone streets and admire the sea views.
Perfect if you like: Coastal areas and bird-watching
Often named as a secret paradise, Comporta beach stretches for miles, so, should you be willing to walk for a bit, it is easy to feel as in a secluded private beach. The sand is white, the sea deep blue and the waves, sheltered by the Arrábida range, very pleasant. The beach front restaurants with outdoor seating make up for the paradise scenario. Comporta has a tradition as a rice producing area, as you will see from the rice paddies in the surroundings, so be sure to taste one of the fantastic fish or seafood rices while you are there. On the surrounding fishing villages, you will find some gems, such as the Cais Palafítico da Carrasqueira, a wooden pier with its own stillness in time and simply beautiful at sunset. Part of the Sado River Estuary, Comporta is also a popular place for bird-watching.