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    Portugal Road Trip: Lisbon to Sintra

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    Touring Portugal: Lisbon to Sintra Road Trip

    Tucked in along the Atlantic Ocean at the very tip of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal may well be Europe's greatest hidden gem with incredible history, breathtaking vistas, and only one-tenth the tourist crowds of neighboring Spain. Discover the magic of this Mediterranean wonderland before the masses catch on to its charms with a road trip through the rolling hills in and around the capital city with a Lisbon rental car.

    Lisbon and its Alfama district, with colorful tram cars and lamplit streets, are naturally set to be memory makers. Don't forget, though, that there is so much more to discover though day trips from Lisbon just outside the city limits. This Lisbon road trip itinerary takes you on a circular loop from Lisbon to Sintra, heading North through the central Estremadura region and along the stunning coastal cliffs. You'll explore Medieval walls and cobblestone streets, enjoy a seemingly endless supply of fresh seafood, and bask in the artistic and architectural masterpieces of history. With your Portugal rental car from Auto Europe, it's all at your fingertips to explore.
     

    Road Trip Drive Distance Driving Time
    Lisbon to Obidos 84 km 1 hour 3 minutes
    Obidos to Nazare 41 km 29 minutes
    Nazare to Sintra 132 km 1 hour 20 minutes
    Totals: 257 km 2 hours 52 Minutes


    Read on to Drive to Discover the Best Lisbon to Sintra Road Trip



    Lisbon to Sintra Road Trip Day 1: Lisbon

    Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon, Portugal

    Lisbon Events & Attractions:

    Lisbon is an absolute tourist spot, and for good reason. It's overflowing with cultural charm, traditional eateries, and myriad monuments of historic architecture - including multiple UNESCO heritage sites, and even ancient Roman tunnels!  And just like other museum-packed cities, Lisbon sells a card that will gain you discounted admission to all of its major museums and monuments.

    • Belém neighborhood: Historic district, home to various UNESCO World Heritage sites (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém)
    • Núcleo Arqueológico: Ancient tunnels believed to be ruins of a Roman-era spa that you can visit on daily free tours 
    • Museu Calouste Gulbenkian: Museum containing both ancient and contemporary art from the Gulbenkian collection
    • Largo das Portas do Sol: Historic district with many scenic vistas overlooking the city and Tagus River
    • Castelo de São Jorge: Gothic style castle overlooking Lisbon's historic center and Tagus River

    Lisbon Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    • A Baîuca: Features nightly Fado-style folk musicians, with a traditional Portuguese cuisine menu
    • BA Wine Bar do Barrio Alto: Wine bar focused on local wines (Vinho Verde, Touriga Nacional), and tapas, including charcuterie, cheese plates, and bread
    • Frangasqueira Nacional: Melt-in-your-mouth grilled meats and mixed specials offer an opportunity to try a little of everything 

    Lisbon Hotels & Lodging:

    • Radisson Blu: 4-Star Hotel, centrally located a short distance from the rail station, facilities include free on-site WiFi, and a breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant with live music
    • Corinthia Hotel: 5-Star Hotel, centrally located just 100m from public transport and primary downtown attractions 
    • Avenida Palace: 5-Star Hotel, centrally located on Rossio Square, amenities include breakfast room, bar, library, media room, and gym

    Lisbon to Sintra Road Trip Day 2: Obidos

    Obidos, Portugal Obidos, Portugal

    Obidos Events & Attractions:

    An hour's drive north will take you to central Portugal's Medieval town of Óbidos, whose greatest claim to fame is its well-preserved architectural gems - a walled city center, whitewashed houses, inspiring castled landscape, and grand stone pillories. Here's a fun fact: the entire town was a wedding gift from Dom Dinis to Isabel of Aragon in 1282.

    • Igreja de Santa Maria: Renaissance-era church with incredible, inspiring mosaics and tile work
    • Museu Municipal: Museum with a collection of sacred art, sculpture, and paintings, including work from famous Portuguese artist, Josefa d' Obidos
    • Santuário do Senhor da Pedra: Baroque style religious sanctuary featuring a variety of beautiful sculptures and frescos 


    Obidos Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    • Bar Arco da Cadeia: Tapas bar set in a Medieval village environment
    • Petrarum Domus: Historic ambiance, intimate setting, traditional fare
    • O Caldeirao: Rustic feel, varied menu with both European/Portuguese fare


    Obidos Hotels & Lodging:

    • Rainha Santa Isabel: Located inside the castle walls, wood paneled rooms, classic azulejo tile work, spectacular views
    • Pousada do Castelo: Where novelist Graham Greene repeatedly stayed, 15th century castle 
    • Casas das Senhoras Rainhas: Boutique hotel, conveniently located inside the city walls

    Lisbon to Sintra Road Trip Day 3: Nazare

    Nazare, Portugal Nazare, Portugal

    Nazare Events & Attractions:

    Beachside Nazaré has everything you could want in a coastal resort, perfect beaches for relaxation, amazing monasteries & cobbled streets, and incredible culinary offerings if you need more than just beach combing. Do be aware that there can often be dangerous currents here.

    • Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça: 12th century monastery
    • Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Vitória: Monastery built in Manueline architecture style 
    • Ermida da Memória: Medieval Temple located in the clifftops overlooking the ocean
    • Nossa Senhora da Nazaré: 18th century cathedral, legend says the Virgin Mary saved a local dignitary from certain death here, includes Baroque belfries, and classic tile work
    • Nazare Beach: Clean, family-friendly beach

    Nazare Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    • A Tasquinha: Family-friendly tavern, large seafood menu (arroz de marisco, crab, mussels, clams, and shrimp)
    • Rosa dos Ventos: Tucked away, home-style restaurant, enjoy traditional grilled fish dishes and a friendly wait staff 
    • Tosca Gastro Bar: Portuguese fusion cuisine, top-notch wine list
     

    Nazare Hotels & Lodging:

    • Hotel Miramar Sul: 4-Star Hotel, luxury hotel, on-site restaurant with romantic ambiance overlooking the water
    • Albergaria Mar Bravo: Travel hostel, outstanding panoramic ocean views

    Lisbon to Sintra Road Trip Day 4: Sintra

    Sintra, Portugal Sintra, Portugal

    Sintra Events & Attractions:

    Enjoy driving? Take your rental car to the max by test-driving the hairpin curves on the roads leading into the Serra, where you'll encounter beautiful coastal views and far removed attractions.You road trip through Portugal comes to a close in the palatial hilltop town of Sintra. Experience boundless architectural wonders, scenic natural vistas, and top-tier culinary offerings in Sintra.

    • Convento dos Capuchos: 16th century Franciscan monastery
    • Quinta da Regaleira: A neo-Manueline manor, serpentine gardens, World Heritage Site by UNESCO in "Cultural Landscape of Sintra" 
    • The Palacio Nacional de Sintra: Palace built with Moorish influence mixed with traditional Renaissance-era ceramic tile work
    • Castelo dos Mouros: Castle of the Moors, with stunning vistas
    • Monserrate Park: Traditional 18th century English landscaping, ancient chapel ruins, waterfall, subtropical trees

    Sintra Restaurants, Bars, and Nightlife:

    • Tulhas: Old-world style, located in a former grain warehouse, popular bacalhau com natas
    • Nau Palatina: Portuguese tapas with a north African twist 
    • Restaurante da Adraga: Local favorite with popular seafood offerings (grilled fish, octopus)  
     

    Sintra Hotels & Lodging:

    • Pestana Sintra: 4-Star Hotel, centrally located with in-house restaurant and bar offering both Portuguese and international fare
    • Palacio De Seteais: 5-Star Hotel, decorated in regal style, including in-house restaurant
    • Residencial Sintrar: B&B, just east of town, quiet, family-run, stunning Castelo dos Mouros views

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