Sintra - Itinerary Suggestions?

Jan 11th, 2005, 09:49 AM
  #1  
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Sintra - Itinerary Suggestions?

Hi, my fiance and I are traveling to Sintra in late April for a friend's wedding. We will be there for about 6 days, two of which will probably be taken up with wedding-related activities. We're planning on staying in Sintra, and taking day trips. Does anyone have any suggestions of where we should visit and if we should rent a car (or can we get around via the rail system?) Thanks!
npdeasy is offline  
Jan 11th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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Probably want a car. One great day trip even possible by train is to Obidos not far north, one of Europe's finest walled medieval towns. You can also take the antique tramway from Sintra to the coast, passing through wonderfully odiferous eucalyptus forests. Of course Lisbon is just a few minute rail ride away. Cascais ('cosh-cosh') and Estoril, two spiffy beach resorts can be reached by bus or road, going by the most western point in europe with a famous lighthouse and lookout point - Cabo d Rabo i think.
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Jan 11th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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By car some great sights a few hours drive north would be the famous Batalha and Alcobaca monasteries, UNESCO heritage sites i believe and Nazarre, a very cute fishing village with a warren of fishermen's houses - ancient looking where the residents cook fish on outdoor grills and sell them.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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And a last option that comes to mind is Fatima - the famous pilgrimmage spot not far from Sintra by car (by rail difficult).
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Jan 13th, 2005, 02:44 AM
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I am not 100% sure, but I think that to take many day trips from Sintra using public transportation, you would need to take public transportation first into Lisbon and then back out again. Maybe someone with more familiarity about Portugal's train system can correct me. I do know that the train between Sintra and Lisbon is now slightly more complicated because of the closing of a tunnel leading out of Lisbon (now you have to get on the train at the Sete Rios train station, which is across the street from the Jardim Zoologico metro stop). My suggestions for day trips for your four additional days would be: 2 days in Lisbon (one in Belem and maybe out to Cascais if you have extra time, and one in the old parts downtown, Alfama, Castelo, Baixa/Rossio, Chiado). One day to Nazare (on the coast) and either Alcobaca or Batalha. One day to Obidos.
lreynold1 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 03:47 AM
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I would devote one day to the sights in Sintra itself. Spend 2 days in Lisbon.

Obidos, Batalha, Alcobaca and Tomar would all be good choices. None of them require an entire day.

Unless you like relatively modern churches or are Catholic, I would skip Fatima.
xxxx is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Lisboa is just a "few minutes" from Sintra?? Try 45 minutes, at least, by train to Rossio Station.

Cascais is pronounced "Cash KIEsh." (My ex-husband was born in Lisboa.) You can access Cascais without a car by travelling from Sintra to Lisboa, taking the Metro to Cais do Sodre Station, then the train to Estoril and Cascais.

I think you should visit Fatima, as it is one of the strangest places you will ever see. The devotion of some of the visitors is unbelievable. You have to check out the gift shops in town that feature such items as "BVM glow-in-the-dark lamps." Truly tacky, yet mesmerizing.

You can take an organized tour (from Lisboa) of Bathala, Alcobaca, and Fatima. There is a major tourist office on Av Liberdade, just a few steps from Rossio Station. They can book day trips for you.

I do not recommend a car for Lisboa. The streets are very tiny, and parking can be a problem in certain areas (Bairro Alto, Alfama, Chiado).

Nazare is very beautiful, but it will be too cold for a trip in April. It can be very windy in Nazare.

Having a car would be nice if you want to explore places like Obidos or Coimbra. But, as you can see, a car is not necessary to explore some places around Sintra. You could easily spend all your time in Lisboa, as it would take at least a week to see the major sites.

Bom Dia,
John G.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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Very funny the 'cosh-cosh' thing "Cash KIEsh" is better pronounced and "Cush KIEsh" even better.
John G, I appreciate very much the accuracy of your information, but you are a bit oudated regarding Rossio Station, which is currently out of service. For that purpose, lreynold's info is perfect.
lobo_mau is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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Sorry, I did not read Ireynold1's post. I didn't know that Rossio was closed. (Why is it closed?) Oh, that really complicates things. My ex-husband, Rogerio, never said anything about Rossio being closed. (He lives in Lapa.) He is in trouble now.

Disregard everything I had written previously, npdeasy.
ThinGorjus is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:09 AM
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The only way out of Rossio Station is a long tunnel which is 100 years old. The tunnel is problematic since the 20's and it's conditions degraded during the last months, reason why authorities decided to close it for benefit of public safety. The maintenance works will be carried on during a period of 2 years. The site http://www.cp.pt (options timetable search) is a very good tool to set up train travel planning.

to npdeasy: to visit Lisbon from Sintra, you don't need a car (there are multiple disadvantages), but to other destinations, such as Cascais, Guincho, Sintra Hills themselves, palaces, Ericeira, exploring the coast line, Ribeira de Ilhas (a sanctuary to surfers), Praia das Macas, Azenhas do Mar, etc... I think you'd prefer to have a car.
The exception for this is Comboio da Praia das Macas (Apples beach tram way). If you could, you should do that. I think it will work in April during the weekends and holidays. Check it in Sintra tourism office. When entering the tram way you'll travel back to the 20's or 30's of last century.
lobo_mau is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 02:17 AM
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This is Sintra homepage http://www.cm-sintra.pt
You'll find information and pictures about the tram and much more.

lobo_mau is offline  
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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One thing I forgot to mention about Sintra. If you have a sweet tooth, there are two "must try" pastries. In the Pasteleria Periquita (just across the street from the National Palace, and there is a "periquita 2" continuing on up the street and curving to the right) -- try the Travesseira. They are flaky pastries with a sweet angel hair type filling. The second is at the Pasteleria Gregorio (not in the old part of town, but anyone can direct you there) for their Broas de Mel. These are a cake like honey treat, hard to describe but really yummy.
lreynold1 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 11:07 AM
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Thanks, everyone!! You've all been a wonderful help!
npdeasy is offline  

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