When I was planning my holiday in Portugal I knew I would take a day off from Lisbon and go to Sintra. Sintra is best known for its numerous palaces and castles. It’s been on my list bucket list for quite some time, ever since I saw a picture of the Initiatic well in Quinta da Regaleira many years ago. I decided to combine it with Cabo da Roca (westernmost point of continental Europe) and Cascais as a full day trip.
It’s very easy to get to Sintra from Lisbon. I took a train from Rossio station, the journey takes around 40 minutes. Since my main goal was to visit Quinta da Regaleira I skipped all the other palaces and headed straight there by foot. If you want to visit other palaces there are two buses that go from the train station. Bus 434 that goes all the way to the Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors) and Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace) and bus 435 that stops at Quinta da Regaleira and Palácio de Monserrate (Monserrate Palace). More info about the buses can be found here. On my way to Quinta da Regaleira I couldn’t miss Castelo dos Mouros and Palácio Nacional de Sintra (Sintra National Palace) with two huge conical chimneys. The journey took me around 20 minutes.
Quinta da Regaleira is an estate that was bought by António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro also known as Monteiro dos Milhões (Monteiro the Millionaire) in 1892 from the Viscountess of Regaleira (hence the name). He wanted to build an estate full of symbols related to alchemy, freemasonry, the Templars, his main interests. The estate is full of symbolic and mystic architecture, you can find there various tunnels, fountains, benches, grottoes and even a chapel.
I spent two hours visiting Quinta da Regaleira then I had to go back to the train station to catch the bus 403 to Cabo da Roca. After 40 minutes I was at the westermost point of continental Europe. As expected it was extremely windy but the views over Atlantic Ocean were worth it. I took a nice walk around the area and when I started to get cold from the wind I headed back to the bus stop. The bus 403 goes from Sintra, stops here and ends in Cascais which was my last destination of the day.
Cascais lies just 40 minutes away from Lisbon and is easily accessible from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre train station which makes it a perfect day trip option. It has been also a popular seaside resort among european royalty. I took a stroll around town and headed back to Lisbon as I was pretty tired after all day of walking in the crazy summer temperatures.
Overall I was very happy with my trip. One of my long-time travel dreams came true, I saw beautiful nature and the Atlantic Ocean once again. I only regretted not bringing swimsuit with me as swimming at one of the beaches in Cascais would be a nice addition to a great day.