Lisbon, the stunning capital of Portugal, is a joy to stroll around, but some of the country’s top sights are within a day’s reach of the city. So if you’re looking for the most scenic sights this Iberian wonder has to offer you, you might want to steal yourself away from the rolling hills and the colorful tiles and try out one of these scenic day trips.


The majestic Palacio de Pena, in Sintra, is a sight to behold.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site at Sintra is nothing short of extraordinary. Byron called it “the most beautiful village in the world” and he isn’t far off – the tiny town, stuffed full on 19th century Romantic architecture, is gorgeous enough on its own. But the place you really must get to is the multi-colored, fairytale-like Pena Palace, built as a home for the Portuguese Royal Family in the 19th century. It’s like Disneyland, but real.


The old port area of Lisbon is one of the most important and historic parts of the city. Here you can see the 16th century Tower of Belem. Although it used to be a fortress, this wondrous wedding cake of a building is currently the Hieronymite Monastery. Then reward yourself with a taste of the Pasteis de Belem – the little Portuguese custard tarts that originated here.


This seaside town 30 km west of Lisbon has come far since its days as a little fishing village. Cascais is now Portugal’s answer to St Tropez. There’s a harbor for the private yachts, beautiful beaches, and plenty of sports on offer, from golf to racing cars.


Right next to Cascais, Estoril is every bit as glitzy. It has a casino, for a start–it’s actually one of the biggest in Europe–and the town is known for sport. Formula 1 racing used to be held here, and the Estoril Open tennis tournament still takes place every April. Next to the casino, the Hotel Palacio might seem familiar – you may have seen it in the Bond film, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

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Cabo Da Roca

Cabo da Roca touts itself as the westernmost point of the European continent. (Ireland is technically a little further west, but, hey, that’s an island, right?) Cabo da Roca is simply stunning, with waves from the Atlantic Ocean crashing against the enormous cliffs. In addition to the natural beauty, you’ll find a lighthouse on top of the cliff, as well as a shop selling certificates vouching that you’ve stood at the very westernmost limit of Europe.

So why not splurge and treat yourself to some first-class airfares to Portugal? Once you’ve been there, you’ll never forget it.

Do you have a favorite day trip from Lisbon? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

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