SOME SIGHTSEEING AROUND
Ericeira is just around the corner! A traditional Portuguese fishermen village and famous worldwide for the quality of its beaches and the perfect waves for surfing. Close to town you will find Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Sul. South of town you have one of the calmest beaches, Praia Foz de Lizandro, with a lot of good restaurants. More to the North are Praia do Norte, Praia de São Sebastião and Matadouro. And further north, 5 minutes from Casa Quintas, there is Praia Ribeira d'Ilhas, the main surfing beach and a regular venue for surfing competitions. Ericeira is the first and only World Surfing Reserve in Europe; this has transformed the peaceful village into a surfing mecca, but it still retains its pleasant Portuguese charm. The old village with its narrow cobblestone streets, the cute tiny white-blue houses, the friendly Portuguese people, the local fresh (sea) food and the amazing ocean views makes you gonna love this place.
Mafra is the main city near Barril and Ericeira and is mostly known for having one of the biggest palaces in Europe; the Palácio Nacional de Mafra. It’s a huge Baroque monastery and royal palace built by King John V in the 18th century. Inside the palace you also find an amazing library with over 36.000 ancient books. Since 2020 the Mafra Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After visiting Mafra you can have a stroll through the stunning nature of the Tapada Nacional de Mafra. This beautiful national park offers great walking and mountainbike trails while spotting wildlife such as deers, wild boars, foxes and birds!
Lisboa, the capital city of Portugal! Lisbon has 7 beautiful “miradouros”, viewpoints, since it is built on 7 hills. So be prepared to make a lot of steps or take the nostalgic tram nº 28. Visit the downtown area known as Baixa, the typical neighborhoods Graça, Mouraria and Almalfa, where you will find the famous Castelo de São Jorge.
Walk along the Tague river to spot the famous bridge, Ponte 25 de Abril, and the statue Cristo Rei on the other side of the bridge. Go all the way to Belém and taste the delicious Pastéis de Belém. Don’t miss out on the hip and happening Time Out Market (food hall). Another district that is definitely worth a visit is Bairro Alto. The center of entertainment and nightlife, attracting musicians and hipster youth. Don’t leave without listening to the sound of Fado; Portugal’s national music.
This city has everything you need; centuries of history combined with a modern lifestyle!
Sintra is a perfect day trip from Casa Quintas. It will be touristy, but magical! A fairy-tale village of castles and colourful palaces with a stunning natural scenery as background. It is even a bit mysterious because of the slightly cooler climate and the big variety of plants. The Palácio da Pena stands out as the well-known jewel in the crown of the Sintra hills. From the terrace, Relógio de Sol, you will have a magnificent view over the Sintra region.
On your way to Sintra, you should definitively stop at Cabo da Roca. The wild and rugged headland that marks the most westerly point of mainland Europe, amidst of beautiful cliffs and nature.
Only 15 minutes from Casa Quintas you find the extensive beaches and imposing cliffs of Praia de Santa Cruz. At one end of the beach there is a huge triangular shaped rock with an arch running under it; picture perfect. The beautiful stretched sand beaches are still very popular among the Portuguese tourists.
Within walking distance to town and right on the beach are plenty of nice restaurants to enjoy a full day at the beach!
Peniche is one of the largest traditional fishing ports in Portugal and reflects the fishing industry, having a raw and ramshackle appearance. Peniche was an island until the sixteenth century, when silt created a narrow isthmus. Because of this peninsula the surf conditions are almost always great in Peniche and Baleal for every surfing level. You can also do some other sport (water) activities like windsurfing or kitesurfing in Peniche.
Ideal for a fishing afternoon, a surf session at Supertubos or just a fresh and delicious grilled fish meal since you will be there within an hour.
The historic town of Óbidos is a 50-minute drive from Casa Quintas. This picturesque little old town is surrounded by a castle wall and filled with narrow cobblestone streets and charming tiny white houses. Visit the well-preserved castle, walk on the medieval wall, buy some local pastries and drink some typical Ginja (a cherry liquor) served in a chocolate cup.
Óbidos is a bit touristic, especially during summer, but still it’s worth the drive. Combine it with a visit to Peniche or Nazaré and it makes a great day trip!
Nazaré is home to the biggest waves of the world. The wave height at Nazaré often exceeds 20 meters, and sometimes reaches more than 30 meters! The big waves occur because of an undersea canyon and the best season to spot (and surf) them is between October and March. Nazaré is a fishing and sea village with an awesome view from the red lighthouse, there is a fort and some little cafés and restaurants.
It’s a 1-hour drive from Casa Quintas and possible to combine with a stopover at Óbidos and/or Peniche.
Cascais & Estoril
Cascais and Estoril are coastal towns, located west of Lisbon. Both are known as charming and delightful cities for the rich. Along the Estoril coast you will find countless beaches (like Praia da Rainha or Praia da Conceicao), plenty of good restaurants, a lot of palm trees and some historical charm.
After breakfast at Casa Quintas, you drive 50 minutes to Cascais and Estoril to enjoy the beautiful beaches, wander around the narrow streets, or to stroll along the promenade. Also good for some shopping!