Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, has risen in popularity over the years. It is a colorful city with picturesque architecture, a vibrant nightlife, and a stunning coastline. There is plenty to do in the city including having a taste of the available delicacies; taking photographs of historic buildings; and of course, enjoying some day trips from Lisbon. When it comes to day trips, there are plenty of exciting places to explore. Below are seven such places.
Pena Park and National Palace
The Pena palace lies on a rocky outcrop in the Sintra hills, filled with exotic vegetation. The palace which now serves as a national monument was built in the 16th century and honored as a World Heritage Site in 1995. The palace is an architectural genius, combining several architectural designs including No-Gothic, Medieval, Egyptian, Neo-Islamic, and more. The inside of the palace is a combination of red and yellow colors. The red side represents the old monastery destroyed by an earthquake in the 18th century and yellow marks the ‘new building.’ You can explore the unique Pena Park as well. Begin by climbing 538 meters to the top of the mountain where you will find a tall cross, a replacement from the 16th-Century cross which was struck by lightning, the beautiful Queen’s throne.
Enjoy delicious meals at the Pena Palace café and kitchen.
The Jeronimos Monastery is extensive and perfect for a full-day trip from Lisbon. It is the most important tourist attraction, hosting Vasco de Gama’s tomb inside it. The church of Santa Maria is like no other, held up by six uniquely crafted columns. The cloisters are thoughtfully crafted, carved with sea monster, rope, and coral coils. The garden outside is magnificent, with hedges cut in shapes resembling the municipal coats of arms of Portugal. Historical landmarks such as the Monument to the discoveries, Belem Tower, and Archelogy museum also surround the monastery.
The medieval village of Obidos
Obidos is one of the best-preserved towns in Portugal, with sunnily painted houses, a medieval castle, and cobbled streets. Visit the nearby fishing port of Peniche for fishing and surfing experiences. Both beginners and advanced surfers can enjoy the perfect waves at Peniche. Check out the notable beaches of Lagoa de Obidos as well.
You can also enjoy some stand-up paddling at the Obidos Lagoon. The nearby Buddha Eden is the biggest collection of Europe’s largest statues. Other highlights of the small village include the monastery of Batalha, Berlenga islands, and the traditional resort town of Nazare.
The Knights Templars were the fiercest fighters in history, who came together with a mission to protect some Christian states which were under attack. Here, you will learn the history of the Christina warriors. The nearby villages of Tomar and Constancia are rich in history. The 12th century Convento de Cristo castle highlights the village of Tomar. It also contains a lot of myths and legends including the Seat of the Mysterious Order of the Knights, the convent, cloisters, two churches, and more. Constancia is also a historical village with marvelous views, mountains and abundant animal life.
Don’t miss out on the Almourol castle just a walking distance away. The Knights Templar once controlled the monument. It is the most beautiful castle in Portugal. Together with the Cardiga, Zezere, and Tomar castles, it was once of the defensive fortifications.
Mafra, a traditional Portuguese town, is home to the National Palace of Mafra, the biggest and most extravagant palaces. The palace contains the Basilica, a library, an infirmary, a convent, and monk cells. For surfing and fishing, visit the charming coast of Ericeira. You can walk around the fishermen cottages or relax on the beach. The Praia do Sul beach is the perfect place for families with great restaurants and sunbeds. There is also the picturesque village of Aldeia Tipica which contains handmade miniature scenes. Make sure you also get to the National Hunting rounds of Mafra, a royal park and hunting ground which is home to deer, boars, and a variety of birds and reptiles.
Which of the above places would you visit to enjoy a day trip from Lisbon?