you shouldn’t leave lisbon before visiting its wonderful surroundings.

although i had initially planned to do it in two days, i ended up cramming the whole north of tejo lisbon coast in one day. not easy but certainly worth it!

we took the train from sete rios and we arrived in the sintra train station about 45 minutes later (the ticket was about 2 euros). it was my second time in sintra so i chose to go to my two favourite places: the modern art museum (unfortunately closed) and up the hill, to the pena castle – we took the 434 bus from in front of the train station. the driver sold us a 10-euro day pass that we used many times during that day.

the pena castle is a beautiful place that reminds me of a ginger bread house. the 360 view one gets from the top of the hill is unbeatable and its gardens are quiet and beautiful. we did little more than visit the castle, but sintra has many more attractions if you decide to spend more time there.

we took the 434 back to the train station and went to the 441 stop for the azenhas do mar – a small village on a cliff overlooking the atlantic ocean, with a cute little beach. it’s a breathtaking combination of an amazing secluded location, faultless weather and superlative views and it quickly became my favourite place in portugal.

to get a better idea of how tiny the whole thing is, i found an aerial view:

we hitchhiked to our next destination (the buses were too far apart) and reached europe’s most western point, cabo da roca. a wind-swept cape that offers stunning views.

afterwards, we had a little glitch: the 405 bus we took was not going all the way to our next stop –  guincho beach – so i used my crappy portuguese to convince the nice driver to drop us to the closest spot from where we hitchhiked again: a super nice french girl with a new fiat 500. she said she’d recently moved to the area so, as a joke, my bf asked: are you a pro surfer? and she said: i’m not but my husband is. talk about a great life: moving to guincho to surf 365 days a year. i’m jealous!

the beach has perfect sand, cold waves and hard bodies of all ages, most of them owners and users of surfboards. a very cool place! ideal for hanging out and totally another one of my favourites!

we took the 405 bus, admired the coast line at sunset and arrived to cascais, a coast town 30 km away from lisbon.

we had seafood for dinner and walked from cascais to estoril, along the river, and then jumped on a train to cais de sodre, a tejo-adjacent train station in lisbon.

a perfect busy day that i will not forget any time soon!

photo credits: lilaesthete, google search