Walking in Portugal - Sintra and Arrabida

Start: Colares Finish: Sesimbra

Visiting: Colares, Sesimbra


Duration: 7 Nights

Physical rating: Medium, Easy to Moderate

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans

Tour Operator: Explore!

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 14-99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $1256

Tour Overview

On this two-centre trip explore the contrasting green hills and UNESCO heritage landmarks of Sintra and the rugged coastline of Arrabida Natural Park, Portugal's hidden gem. Discover ornate palaces, follow towering cliff paths and wander the cobbled streets of Lisbon. Portuguese food and drink - Custard tarts, fresh seafood and ruby wine Sintra Hills - Discover opulent places and beautifully manicured gardens concealed within the lush forests Arrabida Natural Park - Stunning unspoilt coastal scenery and the wild headland of Cabo Espichel

Highlights

  • iconSintra Hills - Discover opulent places and beautifully manicured gardens concealed within the lush forests
  • iconArrabida Natural Park - Stunning unspoilt coastal scenery and the wild headland of Cabo Espichel
  • iconPortuguese food and drink - Custard tarts, fresh seafood and ruby wine

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cities & Attractions:
Sintra Hills
Sintra National Palace
Sintra Pena Palace
Palace gardens, Sintra
Palácio da Pena / Filipe Rebelo

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1: Join trip at Colares in the Sintra region

Location: Colares

Accommodation: Sarrazola House

The tour starts at Colares in the Sintra Natural Park, our base for the first three nights of the holiday. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Colares at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) which is around 45 minutes' drive. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. Colares is a small town located at the foot of the Sintra Mountains within the Natural Park, an area known for its red wine which is produced locally from grapes grown in the sandy soils. You will be welcomed with views of the countryside and coast from our hotel, a historical building with beautiful gardens - the perfect spot to relax after a days exploration. There are no dinner options near our hotel in Colares, except a simple shop where you could pick up a sandwich. Your local leader will therefore be arranging an orientation walk (four kilometres) to one of the beaches tonight and transport to local restaurants on the coast for the subsequent evenings.

icon Day 2: Explore the forested hills of the Serra de Sintra. Optional visits to the palaces

Location: Colares

Accommodation: Sarrazola House

Meals: Breakfast

Today we head out on foot to explore the hills around Sintra with time for visits to some of its most famous palaces. The cultural and natural landscape of the Sintra Hills has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Landmark, where kings and aristocracy built summer residences and parks during the 18th and 19th centuries. The cooler climate here allows for vegetation to flourish, carpeting the granite mountains in oak and pine forests. Taking taxis to Sintra town, we begin our walk passing the Gothic style National Palace with its distinctive white cone chimneys. Ascending through the forest we get our first glimpse of King Ferdinand II's colourful Palacio da Pena. The palace is an extravagant mixture of influences and architecture, with ornate domes, towers and ramparts. There's an opportunity to visit before we continue to climb walking among the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra before returning to Sintra where you'll have some free time to explore the cobbled town centre independently. Today's easy seven and-a-half kilometre walk is expected to take approximately three hours with a total ascent and descent of 330 metres.

icon Day 3: Walk through mystic Mediterranean woodland

Location: Colares

Accommodation: Sarrazola House

Meals: Breakfast

This morning we leave the hotel on foot, taking a trail up to the Convent of the Capuchos, a fascinating 16th Century Franciscan monastery engulfed by nature. This hobbit-hole like building is also known as the 'Cork Convent'due the extensive use of this material in its construction. A visit is posisble from June 2020 when it re-opens. From here we walk up into the forested hills with fabulous views across the Atlantic Ocean. Heading towards the coast we pass a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Peninha. Reaching Azoia, the westernmost village on the European continent, we take the public bus back to Colares. Today's moderate 11 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately four hours with a total ascent of 450 metres and descent of 250 metres.

icon Day 4: Walking orientation of Lisbon. Drive to Sesimbra on the edge of Arrabida Natural Park

Location: Sesimbra

Accommodation: Hotel do Mar

Meals: Breakfast

Leaving the Serra de Sintra behind today, we transfer to Sintra to take the train into Lisbon for an orientation walk of Portugal's capital led by your local Leader. You can walk through some of the city's eclectic neighbourhoods, admiring the painted Portuguese tiles on the streets and houses, called azulejos and pass the old-style trams up Alfama Hill to Castelo de S.Jorge for great views over the city. Paying a visit to a traditional pastelaria to enjoy a delicious pastels de nate - Portuguese custard tart dusted with cinnamon - is highly recommended! After lunch we continue south to the coastal town of Sesimbra on the edge of the Arrabida Natural Park. Once a fishing village, Sesimbra is now a pleasant beach town with plentiful seafront restaurants, many with outdoor barbecues.

icon Day 5: Walk along the coast to the lighthouse at Cabo de Espichel

Location: Sesimbra

Accommodation: Hotel do Mar

Meals: Breakfast

Today's walk takes us along the cliff top plateau following the rocky coastal trail to reach the lighthouse at Cabo de Espichel on the south west tip of the peninsula. The landscape is wild and dramatic with windswept towering cliffs, secluded coves, scrubby Mediterranean vegetation and vast views across the Atlantic. The dramatic headland of Cabo de Espichel was once a pilgrimage destination, legend has it that the image of Our Lady of the Cape (Virgin Mary) was saved from the waters below. We can walk around the 15th Century church, Sanctuary Nossa Senhora do Cabo and former pilgrims' lodgings. Sesimbra is renowned for its fresh shellfish caught daily by local fisherman. Tonight you could enjoy dinner in a family-run marisqueira (seafood restaurant), found on the towns smaller streets away from the main promenade. Today's easy 10.5 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately four hours with a total ascent of 175 metres and descent of 220 metrers.

icon Day 6: Free day. Opportunity to take a ferry over to the Troia Peninsula

Location: Sesimbra

Accommodation: Hotel do Mar

Meals: Breakfast

Today is a free day to relax in Sesimbra or explore the region further. You could take a taxi to Setubal from where you can catch the ferry over to the Troia Peninsula. This large sand spit, backed by dunes and pine forests, sits in the Sado estuary. You could take a walk along the 18 kilometres of sandy beach to find quieter stretches and Roman ruins, Troia was once home to a Roman fish-salting community. There is also the option to take the public bus to Lisbon if there was more you wished to see. The optional easy walk today is 10-12 kilometres, expected to take approximately fours hours along the flat.

icon Day 7: Hike into the hills of the Serra da Arrabida for fabulous views across the Atlantic

Location: Sesimbra

Accommodation: Hotel do Mar

Meals: Breakfast

After a short drive out of the town we walk into the rolling hills of the Serra da Arrabida. This Natural Park offers some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the Lisbon area with the contrasting deep blue ocean and greens of the pine-forested hills. We take a picnic lunch overlooking the picturesque Portinho da Arrabida coastline. The walk takes us back to the hotel. Today's moderate 14 kilometre walk is expected to take approximately five hours with a total ascent of 200 metres and descent of 385 metres.

icon Day 8: Trip ends in Sesimbra

Location: Sesimbra

Meals: Breakfast

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Sesimbra. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Sesimbra at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) which is around 50 minutes' drive from the hotel.

What's Included

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    Meals – Breakfast Only

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    All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

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    Accommodation

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    Fully Guided

What's Not Included

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    Tipping and Gratuities

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    Country Entry Visas

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    1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a deposit of 10% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 60 days before departure..

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Reviews

Walking in Portugal - Sintra and Arrabida
Overall, the trip was exactly as described, which is main point! My only disappointment was the weather on the free day, over which you have no control! Overall, the trip was exactly as described, which is main point! My only disappointment was the weather on the free day, over which you have no control!;
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Linda

25-Sep-2019

Walking in Portugal - Sintra and Arrabida
I very much enjoyed the holiday and shall return as the local people were lovely as was Portugal. I very much enjoyed the holiday and shall return as the local people were lovely as was Portugal.

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Beverley

30-May-2019

Walking in Portugal - Sintra and Arrabida
Hope to join a trip with Explore next year Hope to join a trip with Explore next year;
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Judith

16-Oct-2019

Walking in Portugal - Sintra and Arrabida
My first Explore trip and I will be booking again - well organised and great to get off the beaten track My first Explore trip and I will be booking again - well organised and great to get off the beaten track;
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Joyce

24-Sep-2019

Walking in Portugal - Sintra and Arrabida
It might be worth expanding on the level of walking in Sessimbra - the first walk is challenging and id suggest that pokes are a must It might be worth expanding on the level of walking in Sessimbra - the first walk is challenging and id suggest that pokes are a must ;
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Lorna

26-Sep-2019

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Dates & Availability

Saturday May 22, 2021

Nights

7

Available

16

$1256.31

Instant Booking Available

Saturday Sep 18, 2021

Nights

7

Available

16

$1256.31

Instant Booking Available

Saturday Sep 25, 2021

Nights

7

Available

16

$1256.31

Instant Booking Available

Saturday Oct 09, 2021

Nights

7

Available

16

$1256.31