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Palaces & Pathways of Sintra

From dramatic coast to hill-top splendour
 
The unique cultural and historical sights are as much a part of this self-guided holiday as the walks and the glorious coastal views, and there’s plenty of time to visit the ornate palaces. You stay in accommodation of character, where your luggage will be waiting for you at the end of each walk.
Palaces & Pathways of Sintra. 7 nights
Palaces & Pathways of Sintra. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday to Sintra

Not far from Lisbon, the hills and coastline of historic Sintra are a remarkable national treasure. Rising from rugged cliffs, a succession of hilltops are capped by luxuriant vegetation, and it is amid this bucolic landscape that the old Portuguese aristocracy built their ornate summer palaces and enriched the area’s natural beauty with exuberant gardens.

Our delightful route meanders along the spectacular coast, passing wide bays of golden sand and rugged headlands once thought to be the ends of the Earth. Sweeping inland through rolling wooded hills and unassuming vineyards, you arrive amid the grandeur of Sintra and its amazing architectural heritage. 
Featuring accommodation of real character, this holiday is as much about delving into the region’s rich past, culture and cuisine, as it is about exploring its gentle landscapes.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 14 15 17 18 21 24 26 27 26 22 17 15
    mm 123 121 78 70 46 26 7 8 31 89 122 120
  • Arrival in Cascais 
    Night 1: at Pergola House (where you spend one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Cascais to Azóia: 10.5km, 4hrs; ascent 400m/descent 225m
    We suggest you begin your first day with a short exploration of this colourful seaside town, perhaps picking up some local delicacies for lunch from one of the small cafés or supermarkets. To reach the start of the walk, you are taken on a short taxi ride along the coast, before continuing on foot to the expansive golden sands at Guincho, where you could pause for a swim or linger over lunch. Your route continues along the undulating coastal path, scented with herbs and wildflowers, before heading inland to reach the Convento de São Saturnino at the head of a secluded valley near Azóia, where you stay for two nights.
    Cascais to Azóia: 10.5km
    Guincho beach on the route from Cascais to Azoia
  • Circular walk around Azóia: 12km, 5hrs; ascent/descent 450m; shorter option: 9km, 4hrs
    If you can tear yourselves away from your hotel, we suggest a circular walk that leads via the striking hill-top chapel at Peninha, rewarding your efforts with far-reaching views. From here, you continue up through wooded hills, before descending through eucalyptus trees back to the hotel. You can shorten this walk by returning once you reach the chapel.
    Circular walk around Azóia: 12km
    Peninha on the circular walk around Azoia
  • Azóia to Pé da Serra: 12km, 5hrs; ascent 530m/descent 400m
    Your day starts with a short transfer to the lighthouse at Cabo de Roca, mainland Europe’s most westerly point, a wild and rocky promontory once thought to be the edge of the world, from where the views are superb. The walk itself then begins with a visit to the cove of Praia da Ursa, known for its distinctive rock stacks. From here, you head inland to the traditional village of Ulgueira, before weaving down to the coast again, passing sandy fields planted with Colares vines. You reach the golden sands of Praia da Adraga and continue along the clifftops, before turning inland via a workaday village and rolling hills. Your destination is the delightful hillside hamlet of Pé da Serra, where you spend two nights at the Colina Flora.
    Azóia to Pé da Serra: 12km
    Praia da Ursa on the route from Azoia to Pe da Serra
  • Circular walk around Pé da Serra: 11.5km, 4.5hrs; ascent/descent 435m
    We suggest a delightful circuit that takes you to the remarkable Capuchos Monastery, where Franciscan monks lived an ascetic life in isolated cork-lined cells, hidden within oak woodland. The ‘Cork Convent’, as it is called, is a rambling collection of atmospheric buildings that sit in complete harmony with their surroundings, amid a vestige of ancient Sintra forest. Take time to follow the nature trail, to discover the secluded chapel of the crucifixion, and to enjoy the tranquillity of the cloister.
    Circular walk around Pé da Serra: 11.5km
    On the walk around Pe da Serra
  • Pé da Serra to Sintra: 9.5km, 3.5hrs; ascent 370m/descent 450m
    Leaving Pé da Serra, you follow wooded trails deeper into the hills to reach the Palace of Monserrate, a Neo-Gothic mansion set within fine landscaped gardens. It’s not a long walk today so there is ample time to explore the house and gardens. Developed by a series of wealthy British merchants, artists and industrialists over many years, the house today is a remarkable place, boasting ornate interiors and extensive gardens which include the first lawn planted in Portugal, a wonderful collection of ferns and a number of intriguing follies. Continuing on foot to Sintra, you also have the opportunity to call into Quinta de Regaleira, famed for its luxuriant gardens and remarkable spiral well, before reaching the centre of Sintra's Old Town, where you spend your last two nights at the historic Lawrence’s Hotel.
    Pé da Serra to Sintra: 9.5km
    The Palace of Monserrate from Pe da Serra to Sintra
  • Circular walk around Sintra: 5.5km, 2.5hrs; ascent/descent 350m
    There are many architectural treasures to discover in Sintra. Close to the hotel in the centre of the town is the National Palace, the best preserved medieval royal palace in Portugal and summer retreat to the royal family for centuries. Within walking distance – or a short bus ride – are the astonishing Pena Palace (dominated by its golden onion domes) and the imposing Moorish Castle, both set high above the town and worthy of leisurely exploration. Such is the grandeur and importance of these buildings and monuments that the ‘Cultural Landscape of Sintra’ was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. And when the day is done, indulge in one last exquisite dinner, relaxing in the elegance of sumptuous Sintra.
    Circular walk around Sintra: 5.5km
    The town of Sintra with the Moorish castle above
 

Accommodation

The varied accommodation on this holiday is truly delightful. 

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. Wherever you stay in Sintra, we recommend adding an extra night so that you have more time to explore. 
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
Currency converter

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  • 7 nights: 01 April 2020 - 30 June 2020 & 01 September 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 30 Apr 2019 £770 £375
    1 - 31 May 2019 £795 £410
    1 - 23 Jun 2019 £830 £395
    1 - 14 Sep 2019 £860 £425
    15 - 30 Sep 2019 £830 £395
    1 - 24 Oct 2019 £815 £385
    1 - 30 Apr 2020 £795 £395
    1 - 21 May 2020 £825 £435
    22 May - 23 Jun 2020 £850 £415
    1 - 14 Sep 2020 £885 £445
    15 Sep - 24 Oct 2020 £850 £415
    3rd & 4th person discount -£20 to -£25
    Single traveller supplement £20 to £25

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Pergola House, Cascais
    Twin with terrace (no doubles): 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £12
    Twin with terrace (no doubles): 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £12
    Twin with terrace (no doubles): 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £12
    Twin with terrace (no doubles): 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £12
    Convento de São Saturnino, Azóia
    Sea view: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £6
    Sea view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £6
    Sea view: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £6
    Sea view: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £6
    Sea view & balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £16
    Sea view & balcony: 01 Sep - 15 Sep 2019 £10
    Sea view & balcony: 16 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £16
    Sea view & balcony: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £16
    Sea view & balcony: 01 Sep - 15 Sep 2020 £10
    Sea view & balcony: 16 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £16
    Lawrence's Hotel, Sintra
    Suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £20
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £20
    Suite: 01 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £22
    Suite: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £22

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Pergola House, Cascais (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 08 Apr 2020 £72 £80
    01 May - 31 May 2020 £85 £125
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2020 £90 £100
    01 Sep - 30 Sep 2020 £95 £110
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2020 £90 £100
    Lawrence's Hotel, Sintra (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2019 £82 £140
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2019 £82 £140
    01 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £88 £148
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020 £88 £148
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Lisbon

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Lisbon. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Lisbon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Lisbon easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Lisbon easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Lisbon Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Lisbon easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Lisbon TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Lisbon Air Europa,  Azores Airlines (SATA),  easyJet,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Lisbon ,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Lisbon easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Lisbon Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Lisbon easyJet,  Ryanair,  TAP Air Portugal 
    Manchester - Lisbon (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Lisbon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Lisbon (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Lisbon. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Lisbon

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Lisbon Cais de Sodre to Cascais (0h40, pay locally), walk to hotel (0h02) £0 1800
    taxi Lisbon airport to hotel (0h35) £26 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    walk/local taxi hotel to Sintra station (0h15/0h05, pay locally), rail Sintra to Lisbon Rossio (0h40, pay locally) £0 1000
    taxi hotel to Lisbon airport (0h45) £24 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 2 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • transfer on Days 1 & 3
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is Portuguese. The currency is the Euro. Portuguese time is the same as GMT/UTC. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on the same time as BST.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
Last fetch time is : 12/5/2019 2:26:22 PM