A 30-minute drive (by highway) will take you from Lisbon to Mafra where you can visit the magnificent 900-room royal palace and convent (and royal hunting grounds) that were built in 1717 by King João V to commemorate the birth of his daughter.
This hilltop village, a unesco World Heritage site, is filled with fairytale palaces, castles, lush gardens and magnificent viewpoints. The top sites include the palaces of Pena, Monserrate, Vila and Regaleira. It’s also a mystical place, where, according to legend, the Celts worshipped the moon.
The leisurely drive (or train ride) to Cascais (and its neighbouring village Estoril) runs alongside the river and the the sea: here is one on the most beautiful scenic routes in the world. It’s a perfect destination for a day at the beach, a seafood meal, a stroll on the boardwalk, or some shopping.
The scenic roads of the Arrábida mountain range boast dramatic views of the mountains dropping down to the blue sea, the white sand beaches, the Tróia peninsula and the mouth of the Sado river. It’s indescribably beautiful. In Azeitão there are excellent wine and cheese tastings.
The capital of the Alentejo region is inland Portugal’s top destination. A unesco World Heritage Site, the city is very pleasant to walk around and getting lost along the way. The main interest points include the Roman temple of Diana, the Cadaval Palace, the cathedral, the Giraldo square and the Chapel of Bones.