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2
introductory to moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights hotel
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£710GBP

Overview

Trip Code: UPP

Trip highlights


  • Discover the unique and historic town of Sintra
  • Exploring Sintra's decorative and flamboyant palaces, mansions and gardens
  • Visiting the most popular summer residence for the families of Portuguese rulers and noblemen
  • Walking through fields, vineyards and forested hills to the rugged and dramatic coastline with its pretty fishing villages
  • Enjoying easy walks along coastal trails

Set amidst the pine-blanketed hills of the Serra de Sintra, Sintra has been plucked straight from a book of fairytales. Explore the former summer residences of the nobility of Portugal and its impressive Manor houses and national monuments over the course of a week. Arriving in Sintra, discover this unique and historic town, which punches well above its weight in terms of historic monuments and tourist attractions. Its elaborate 19th century design style was inspired by the mysticism of ancient cultures, and is Europe's finest example of the whimsical and colourful Romanticism architecture. Take your time exploring Sintra's decorative and flamboyant palaces, mansions and gardens, including the Palácio da Peno, Castelo de Mouro, the Palacio Nacional and hidden gems like the Arabic-inspired Palacio de Monserrate. Leave the crowds behind and transfer to a 16th century Franciscan monastery, which you'll have the opportunity to view before setting off on a walk through the mystical Mediterranean woodlands to Azoia. Traverse fields, vineyards and the forested hills of the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais to the rugged and dramatic coastline, which is dotted with pretty fishing villages, glorious sandy beaches, interesting rock formations including the "Boca do Inferno" (Hell's Mouth) and the most westerly point of mainland Europe, the "Cabo da Roca", whose raw beauty, epitomised by raging seas and wind-blasted cliffs, makes it a memorable detour to top off a week of diversity.

Countries:

Portugal

Starting Point:

Sintra

Finishing Point:

Cascais


Make your own way to Sintra and your hotel, located just outside Sintra’s town centre. Sintra is a picturesque town in the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. In 1995, UNESCO classified the area a World Heritage Cultural Landscape, the first to receive this category in Europe. Overnight Sintra. Note: Reception at our usual hotel is open until 7pm - if you are arriving later than this time please let us know at the time of booking.

Meals:  Nil

Your walking tour today takes in the three most prominent monuments of Sintra: Castelo de Mouro (Castle of the Moors), Palacio da Pena and the Palacio Nacional. To start, there's a steep ascent to the Moorish castle and the colourful palace of King Ferdinand, followed by a walk in the vast palace grounds. You then descend steeply and continue via Vila Sasseti to the town centre of Sintra, where you'll find the Palacio Nacional, the main residence of Portugal's royal nobility from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Overnight Sintra. 9.3km/5.8mi, +475m/1558ft -475m/1558ft

Meals:  B

Today you leave the crowds behind, with a transfer at 9:30am to the Convento dos Capuchos, a classic example of an austere 16th-century Franciscan monastery, which you can visit before heading off for your walk. The walking route leads you through mystical Mediterranean woodlands, past hillside menhirs and the shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Peninha. You then descend to Azoia where you can stop for lunch and later take the bus back to Sintra and your hotel. 11.5 km/7.8 mi, +425m/1394ft -500m/1640ft

Meals:  B

In the 19th and early 20th centuries a Romantic wind blowing through Europe was strongly felt in Sintra. Within a few square kilometres you will find extravagant palaces and mansions built by nobles and wealthy merchants, three of which can be visited: the Palacio Biester, Quinta Regaleira and Palacio Montserrate. Take extended strolls to the palaces and through their gardens. 5-7.5km/3.2-4.7mi, +250-375m/820-1230ft -300-425m/984-1394ft

Meals:  B

Today you leave the wealth and romance of Sintra behind as you walk north through fields, vineyards and pine forests toward the rugged coast. You can walk directly from Sintra to your hotel in Praia Grande, or transfer north to Amoreira (bus or taxi, payable locally) from where the walk is more hilly and adventurous, with less paved road and an extra 4km of coastline. Both routes meet in the pretty fishing village of Azenha do Mar, from where you pick up the GR11 trail and follow it south to your beachfront hotel on the "Praia Grande" in Colares. 14.9km/9mi or 16km/10mi, +300m/984ft -500m/1640ft

Meals:  B

From your hotel you follow the long-distance walking path, the GR11 "Costa Atlantica", heading south along fishermen’s trails towards the village of Ulgueira. There are beautiful views of the Cabo de Roca - the westernmost point of the European continent - and nice sandy beaches along the way. After a drink or ice cream in Ulgeira, return to Praia Grande and your hotel via an inland route which passes through the authentic village of Almoçageme. 13.5km/8.4mi, +475m/1558ft -550m/1804ft

Meals:  B

Your last walking day begins with a transfer at 9:30am to Azoia, where you again pick up the GR11 and follow it along the coast to the 17th-century fortress of "Fortaleza de Guincho", now a luxury hotel, with views over Praia do Guincho. You can stop off part way (after 8km, 2.5-3 hrs walking) and take the bus directly to Cascais, or walk all the way to your hotel (on a footpath between the road and beach). Cascais is a lovely seaside town with cobblestoned streets lined with restaurants and shops. Overnight in Cascais. 16.6km/10.3mi, +275m/902ft -475m/1558ft

Meals:  B

Your trip concludes after breakfast. You can travel back to Lisbon by public transport (train, one hour) or by private transfer - please ask for our rates.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts - breakfasts will be buffet style
  • 7 nights in 2-3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfers on days 5 and 7, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • Digital information pack including smartphone app with maps and guidebook per room booked
  • Transfers as described (days 3 & 7)
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Sintra and from Cascais
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide – this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Excess Luggage
  • Hotel taxes if applicable – payable directly to the hotel
  • Items of a personal nature

Accommodation


Suitability

introductory to moderate

2

INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE – GRADE 2 This is a self guided walk with average daily stages of 4.5 to 17.5km (3-5hrs excluding breaks). The trip is graded introductory to moderate as it is on hilly to mountainous areas using well kept, sometimes stony paths. The use of walking sticks is optional. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.


Departure dates

Daily

Notes

M
Mid Season
H
High Season
Note:
High season is from 26 Jun to 30 Sep. Mid season is from 25 Mar to 25 Jun, 1 to 31 Oct, supplement applies
DN2
.

Priceper person from

£710GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement - low seasonGBP£420
  • Solo traveller supplement - low seasonGBP£420
  • Single supplement - mid seasonGBP£520
  • Solo traveller supplement - mid seasonGBP£520
  • Single supplement - high seasonGBP£580
  • Solo traveller supplement - high seasonGBP£680
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

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