Home to natural treasures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Sintra Cascais Natural Park is a truly remarkable place that everyone should visit at least once in their life.
Located not far from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, Sintra Cascais Natural Park is one of 13 fantastic natural parks across Portugal.
If you’re visiting this unique attraction, you are sure to be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do. There are endless sites to discover, from protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites to amazing natural wonders.
So, make sure you visit this brilliant natural park the next time you’re in Portugal. Here are the ten best things to do in Sintra Cascais Natural Park.
WBL’s tips for the best things to do in Sintra Cascais Natural Park
- Research and plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time, ensuring you don’t miss any key attractions.
- Check the weather forecast and pack appropriate clothing and gear, considering both the mountainous terrain of Sintra and the coastal environment of Cascais.
- Purchase tickets or passes online for popular attractions to skip the lines and guarantee entry, especially during peak tourist seasons.
- Familiarise yourself with the local transportation options, including trains, buses, and taxis, to easily navigate between different areas within the park.
- Bring comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be exploring various trails, gardens, and historical sites that require a fair amount of walking.
10. Praia da Ursa – a hidden gem of a beach
Known as the most beautiful beach in the area, Praia da Ursa is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Sintra Cascais Natural Park.
Located slightly off the beaten track, this stunning beach is a hidden gem, unspoilt by throngs of tourists.
9. Seteais Palace – a stunning UNESCO site and luxury hotel
You can find this beautiful neoclassical palace on the Portuguese Riviera in Sintra. A national landmark, Seteais Palace is included in the UNESCO Cultural Landscape of Sintra World Heritage Site.
Now operating as a luxury hotel, the Tivoli Palácio de Seteais Hotel, this spot is still worth visiting for those who aren’t residents.
Address: R. Barbosa du Bocage 8, 2710-517 Sintra, Portugal
8. Azenhas do Mar – for a picturesque clifftop town
The quaint seaside town of Azenhas do Mar set atop the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
This unique town is defined by white painted houses with brown slate roofs, and much of the town was designed by top Portuguese architects.
Address: R. Dr. António Brandão de Vasconcelos 40, 2705-098 Colares, Portugal
7. Sintra National Palace – for 1000 years of history
Discover the fantastic history of the area at the historic Sintra National Palace. This grand palace is the oldest in Portugal, making a visit here a bucket list must.
Construction began around the 11th-century, and by the end of the Middle Ages, the palace lay at the heart of a large territory ruled over by the Queens of Portugal.
Address: Largo Rainha Dona Amélia, 2710-616 Sintra, Portugal
6. Park and Palace of Monserrate – one of a kind
Joining the abundance of palaces around Sintra Cascais Natural Park is the Park and Palace of Monserrate.
Standing out from the rest, this unique palatial villa is intricately decorated, taking inspiration from all over the world. The park also hosts an abundance of exotic plant species.
Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
5. Praia da Adraga – for a breathtaking white sand beach
If you still want to dip your toes in the sand after visiting Praia da Ursa, make your way to the stunning Praia da Adraga.
This brilliant white sand beach is backed by black volcanic rock, adding to its natural beauty and allure.
Check out: Top 5 best waterparks in Portugal.
4. Quinta da Regaleira – one of the best things to do in Sintra Cascais Natural Park
Yet another one of the marvellous UNESCO World Heritage Sites located inside this fantastic natural park, Quinta da Regaleira is a true marvel to discover and is one of the most beautiful castles in Sintra.
The site consists of a Romantic palace and chapel, with stunning lakes, grottoes, wells, and other features.
Address: R. Barbosa du Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal
3. Cabo da Roca – the westernmost point in Europe
One of the most stunning viewpoints in the area, Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of mainland Europe.
Walk along this stunning cliff and take in the natural sights of miles around. One of the most defining features of this cliff walk is the lighthouse that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
Address: Estrada do Cabo da Roca s/n, 2705-001 Colares, Portugal
2. Castelo dos Mouros – a fantastic medieval castle
Castelo dos Mouros, or Castle of the Moors, is a medieval castle that sits atop a hill. Built in the eighth and ninth centuries, there is plenty of history to discover here.
Today, the Portuguese Government recognise the castle as a National Monument. With lush, green vegetation all around, visiting this fantastic castle is an experience like no other.
Address: 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
1. Pena Palace – step into the pages of a fairytale
Topping our list of best things to do in Sintra Cascais Natural Park is undoubtedly the bright and colourful Pena Palace.
Akin to something found in the pages of a fairytale story, this brilliant palace welcomes thousands of visitors every year. The palace is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
Address: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal
Read more: Europe bucket list.
Your questions answered about the best things to do in Sintra Cascais Natural Park
Is Sintra and Cascais worth visiting?
Cascais and Sintra are both amazing in their own right, but the simple answer is: Sintra is the better destination for a day trip, but Cascais is the better location for a holiday.
What should I skip in Sintra?
If you can’t stay overnight, we recommend skipping Monserrate Palace (too far afield) or substituting Monserrate Palace for the overcrowded, line-ridden Pena Palace.
How long should I spend in Cascais?
If you’re short on time, then 1 day in Cascais will be enough to explore the cute historic centre of Cascais, and you can even visit a beach. If you have more time, we recommend staying for at least 1-2 nights in Cascais.