Just a quick little post about Cascais and Sintra. During my stay in Lisbon, I took some time out of the city to visit the towns of Cascais and Sintra. Although both a within close distance to Lisbon – about a half hour train trip, they are vastly different in appearance. Cascais, a former fishing village, has become a summer vacation spot for the rich and famous. Located on an L-shaped coastline, it has beautiful beaches on both sides, creating a very summer resort kind of atmosphere. Sintra, on the other hand, is located in the green mountainous hinterland. The town is surrounded by lush green forests and is home to many amazing stately homes and castles. Two which are well worth seeing and are open to the public are Pena National Castle and Quinta da Regaleira (my favourite).
Cascais – from Lisbon take the train from Cais do Sodre train station. Trains leave every half an hour or so for Estoril/Cascais. Cascais is the final stop, so you shouldn’t get lost. The train take 30 minutes to Cascais and the train station is located in the centre of town.
Sintra – from Lisbon take the train from Rossio train station. Again, the trains to Sintra are very frequent and the trip takes about half an hour. Sintra is the last station on the line.
In Cascais, don’t forget to have ice-cream from Santini. This ice-cream parlour has been in business since 1949 and is an institution in Cascais. They have perhaps the best ice-cream I have tried with some of the most amazing flavours.