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PORTUGAL


Location - South west Europe; Capital - Lisbon; Population - 10.2 million; Currency - Euro MORE PORTUGAL

A halfway house from Coimbra is the beach at Nazare, after which I headed for Lisbon and surrounds - October 2020.

 

euro1A recent version of the 10 Euro note

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal261I saw photos of the surfing at Nazare and thought I've gotta go there. Not for surfing - I can hardly even swim! - but for photo opportunities

 

 

portugal263A funicular climbs up the Promontorio do Sitio, though even in october the queue was over an hour, largely due to its reduction in capacity (yeah, COVID..)

 

 

 

portugal269But there's superb views of Nazare, the main beach and the Atlantic Ocean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal284The Miradouro do Sitio, aka the viewpoint - Nazare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal275If you don't fancy a long wait you can walk up - Nazare

 

portugal290The other side of the promontory is the surfing side - Nazare

 

 

 

portugal292Some surfing deer dude - Nazare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal294North Beach (Praia do Norte) was the location of the highest surfed wave in the world, at 24.38m, in November 2017. Wow! - Nazare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal296But no, these aren't anywhere close to 24m! Only tiddlers when I was there.. - Nazare

 

portugal306This gives you an idea of what the waves can be like; and there's amazing photos of the lighthouse dwarfed by the Atlantic - Nazare

 

 

 

portugal305A seat with a view? Don't think so.. - Nazare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal692Next up was a coach bus to Lisbon, from where I mixed up Lisbon with the nearby coast, this being Cascais, a welcoming beach resort only 40min west of the capital

 

 

portugal693There were quite a few people on the beaches but the numbers in bars and restaurants were suffering the coronavirus effect - Cascais

 

 

 

portugal694bIn the courtyard of the citadel - Cascais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal695Past the citadel walls to the marina - Cascais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal698Walk through the marina and you'll arrive at the lighthouse - Cascais

 

portugal700Next to the lighthouse is a lighthouse museum housed in an early 20th century whitewashed villa- Cascais

 

 

 

 

portugal699The creek between the lighthouse and marina - Cascais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal703Starting in the west, the first beach in Cascais is Praia da Ribeira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal705Fishing boats in the bay - Cascais

 

 

portugal712Praia da Rainha is a sheltered beach in the centre, just off the Rua Frederico Arouca pedestrian-only shopping/tourist street - Cascais

 

 

 

portugal715The beach has a small rocky section, where kids can probably do a bit of rockpooling - Cascais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal716Praia da Rainha is edged by rocks, a look so familiar to beaches on the Algarve in the south - Cascais

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal724The main sweep of sand is Praia da Conceicao - Cascais

 

 

 

portugal573Sintra is a very popular mountain resort only 45min inland from Cascais and Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal596 A bus leaves the train station and visits the main tourist sights scattered around, starting with the castle - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal622The walls of the 8th-9th century Castelo dos Mouros - Sintra

 

portugal617The castle is situated at over 400m altitude and is a great place to take in the countryside below - Sintra

 

 

portugal609.. Though that's subject to the cloud, which at one point formed a complete blanket over the valley below - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal629You can also take in Pena Palace from the castle, pictured left - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal602Pena Palace is higher still, but it's a short distance between castle and palace entrances, very walkable in less than 30min. However with a day that's likely full of climbing hills and steps, you may want to take the bus or go downhill from palace to castle - Sintra

 

portugal606The royal Pena Palace dates back to the 19th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Sintra

 

 

 

portugal635The very bright and colourful palace looks very inviting, the stuff of childrens' books - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal641It's extremely popular, even during COVID times - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal642Loving the brightness of this place, exacerbated under a blue sky - Sintra

 

portugal650You can take the bus directly from the train station to here, and if you're early (or late) enough possibly avoid the crowds, then visit the castle after and return to Sintra, all on the same bus ticket - Sintra

 

 

 

 

portugal656The back courtyard of the palace is great for views - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal657The panoramic views are fantastic - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal662Pena Palace is surrounded by Pena Park, and it's possible to buy tickets for the gardens and to see the palace from the outside, as I did (plus a sneak in the last room) - Sintra

 

portugal666There's also great views of the castle perched high above the plains below - Sintra

 

 

 

portugal676A short walk outside the town centre is Quinta da Regaleira, so no real need to buy a second bus ticket - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal677A cute dog stands lakeside with the early 20th century palace in the background - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal680The estate is dotted with grottoes, ponds, fountains, statues and the palace - Sintra

 

portugal578The two distinctive towers of the National Palace of Sintra, in the heart of Sintra

 

 

 

portugal590Much of the present buidling dates to the 15th century, though parts existed as far back as the 13th century - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal582There's a small courtyard area surrounding the palace - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal583If only it was that easy.. - Sintra

 

portugal584Not sure of the significance of these raised paintings, maybe depicting life of the time - Sintra

 

 

 

portugal585Below the palace is Praca da Republica - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal684The castle rises above the town centre - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal588Even the cows are masking up! These were outside all Ale Hop shops, a gift shop chain found in Portugal and Spain - Sintra

 

portugal591Praca da Republica is a square with a couple of cafes and shops, a good resting place between attractions - Sintra

 

 

 

portugal592Close to the square is a small maze of alleyways with souvenir shops and restaurants - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal594The conical towers of the National Palace of Sintra - Sintra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal730Returning to Cascais I headed towards Lisbon via the coastal promenade to another beach resort, that of nearby Estoril

 

portugal733The main beach of Estoril, only 2-3km from Cascais

 

 

 

portugal736Between Cascais and Estoril is what the Brits call a lido, like an open air ocean swimming pool - Estoril

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal737The rocky and built up coastline, dotted with beaches, continues to Lisbon - Estoril

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal739Sailing on a shimmering Atlantic Ocean - Estoril

 

portugal740Estoril is famous for its casino, though it looks a little forlorn these days

 

 

 

portugal402At the very western edge of the capital is the district of Belem - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal406I took the lift up what I thought was Belem Tower, but it was actually Padrao dos Descobrimentos, a monument honouring Henry the Navigator (pictured through the boats in the previous photo). Belem Tower is pictured here, overlooking the Tagus River - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal409Looking the opposite way, over the marina towards Lisbon and the 25 April Bridge - Lisbon

 

portugal398The 25 April Bridge spans the Tagus River to the Sanctuary of Christ the King, a statue of Christ with open arms. I think you can get a lift to the top for panoramic views - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

portugal411Presumably this fort at the mouth of the Tagus River, Forte de Sao Lourenco da Cabeca Seca, was built for defence purposes but now acts as a lighthouse - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal408A bird's eye view of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (Jeronimos Monastery) a 16th century Gothic monastery - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal417You can wander inside Torre de Belem, aka Belem Tower - Lisbon

 

portugal419In October 2020 the upper levels were off-limits due to COVID - Lisbon

 

 

 

portugal422The 25 April Bridge, Tagus River and Sanctuary of Christ the King - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal439Though not always used, the 16th century salmon-coloured Belem Palace is the Portuguese president's official residence - Lisbon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

portugal442One of the most famous pastel da nata (custard tart) cafes is Pasteis de Belem, close to the monastery. It's so annoying that I'm allergic to them! But I had a gluten-free cake instead.. - Lisbon

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2021 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.cascais-portugal.com - guide to Cascais

www.cp.pt - Portuguese trains, buy tickets online

Rede Expressos is a nationwide bus company, though as I write their website's not working. Google it

www.visitportugal.com - Portugal tourism website

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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