Sintra, Cabo de Roca, and Cascais—Portuguese Treasures to Travel

by Teri E. Popp, Tastemaker in Residence

If you plan a trip to Lisbon, Portugal, make sure to do a day trip to the areas of Sintra, Cabo de Roca, and Cascais located a short distance away. Our group hired a wonderful private guide, Gonzalo Santos from Gold Compass, which enabled us to tour all three sights in one day without worrying about parking! Plus, he regaled us with the history of our environs!

Located on a hilly area of the Portuguese Riviera, Sintra offers an assortment of opportunities to tour and wander through. We first visited Pena National Palace, a fairytale-like 19th Century building in Romanticist architecture, which offers sweeping views of the coastline and town below.

We then made a quick trip down the hill into the town of Sintra for coffee and some souvenir shopping. From the town center, carriages are available for hire to take in the scenery.

From there, we spent some time viewing the soaring vistas from Cabo de Roca, the western-most point in Europe. Located at 38° 46′ 51″ N, 9° 30′ 2″, the Cabo lighthouse overlooks the vast expanse of Atlantic Ocean looking westward toward North America.

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Our guide, Gonzalo, expertly got us seating at one of the busiest restaurants along the Cascais beach—Panorama Guincho—and fantastic seafood eating ensued! It should be noted that there are a number of restaurants located along this surfboarding beach with views to savor for a lifetime.

We ended our day by touring the cobblestoned side streets and little shops of quaint Cascais (pronounced Cashkīsh). It’s a major tourist destination, so be prepared for lots of hustle and bustle, even in the late afternoon! Enjoy!!