On this post I will highlight the places we visited and the best things to see and best things to do in Azenhas do Mar and around.
Another very dark day in Sintra, but at least it was not raining. We checked out of the hotel and went to collect our hired car by taxi in the outskirts of Sintra. They were supposed to deliver the car to us at the hotel, but because of a misunderstanding, they didn’t. To compensate for the misunderstanding they upgraded us to a better car for the same price. We always use Rentalcars.com to research the best deals when hiring a car abroad.
With the hire car collected, we drove in the direction of “Cabo da Roca”, which is about 30 minutes from Sintra by car.
Before moving on to “Cabo da Roca” it is worth mentioning that there is a tram that leaves Sintra in the direction of the beaches. It passes through Colares all the way to Praia das Maçãs. The journey takes about 40 minutes, and it is a lovely trip if you want to spend the day at the beach. We did that in one of our previous trips to Sintra with our kids. We didn’t have the time to do that this time. You can catch this tram in front of the Museum of Modern Art in Sintra. The service is very limited, although it is supposed to be every 50 minutes.
Cabo da Roca is the most western point in Portugal and indeed in Europe. They are very impressive cliffs with an ancient lighthouse built in 1772, which was subsequently refurbished in 1842 to its present form. The highlights of this visit are the views of the cliffs, the mountains, and the ocean. The sunset at Cabo da Roca is very famous too, but we didn’t experience it as we were visiting in the morning. You don’t need to spend much time there as there is nothing else to do other than the views and the lighthouse. There is nothing to pay for this visit, not even parking fees.
There is a public toilet and a café/restaurant there too, where we stopped for some coffee before continuing with our trip.
From there, we drove to Praia Grande and Praia das Maçãs, but as the weather was very windy and threatening to rain, we didn’t spend much time there, so we continued driving via the coast to Azenhas do Mar.
Once we arrived, we found a space to park the car; we walked around the cobbled streets and headed down to “Restaurant Piscinas” as it was already lunch time and we fancied eating something. We were given the last table in the terrace. It was very wind and a bit chilly, but still pleasant to seat there and watch the rough sea.
We ordered the fish of the day, which was grilled stone bass served with white rice with garlic and coriander, sautéed vegetables, and boiled potatoes. The whole fish serves two people very well and it was so delicious we finished everything. I filmed a video with the views from our table, it is on the Travelling Surveyor Instagram page and just below.
Azenhas do Mar is a beautiful village with typical whitewashed cottages on top of a cliff facing the sea. There are various viewpoints where photos can be taken and a small beach that can be reached by steep steps. There is also a natural swimming pool filled with sea water that is constantly changed by the tide. However, the day we were there the sea was very rough and the entire swimming pool was covered by the sea. The “Restaurante Piscinas” faces the swimming pool (piscina is the Portuguese word for a swimming pool).
If you want to take a private tour from Lisbon that will include Queluz (another town which I didn’t include on this trip), Azenhas do Mar, Cabo da Roca and Sintra you can book it via this LINK.
After lunch and a bit more walking, we were ready to get the motorway to go to Óbidos. It took us about one and a half hours to get to my friend’s house at “Lagoa de Óbidos”. We were guests at their house together with another two couples. When we arrived there, we joined them at the swimming pool and just enjoyed the rest of the day. We also had dinner at their place and had a fun evening playing games and singing karaoke.
After a late night, we retired to our room for some rest as we would need to leave next day in the morning and go back to Lisbon.
Below you will find a list of what to visit, where to stay and where to eat in Azenhas do Mar and around. I classified each place as follows:
BOLD – Visited, tried and recommended
NOT BOLD – Not visited or tried, but planning to visit or try and heard very good reviews
*** – Excellent
** – Good
* – OK
£££ – Expensive
££ – Fair and affordable
£ – Cheap
WHAT TO SEE IN AZENHAS DO MAR AND AROUND
1 – Cabo da Roca – ***
2 – Praia das Maças – ***
3 – Praia Grande – ***
4 – Azenhas do Mar – ***
WHERE TO STAY IN AZENHAS DO MAR AND AROUND
1 – WOT Sintra Ocean – 1* – £
2 – Arribas Sintra Hotel – 4* – ££
3 – Casa Azenhas – 3* – £
WHERE TO EAT IN AZENHAS DO MAR AND AROUND
1 – Restaurant Piscinas – Azenhas do Mar – *** – ££
2 – Adega das Azenhas – £
3 – Moinho Don Quixote – Colares – £
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