The Best Way to See the World is on Foot! Sintra and The Portuguese Coast Footloose Holiday

ATG bus

In June last year my sister and I took our first ATG Footloose Holiday in Alsace. We were so impressed with the organisation and our own walking ability that we decided to book an even longer trip this year. We spent last week in Portugal doing the Sintra and Portuguese Footloose Walk.

Here is the text of the itinerary!

Cascais sea front

Cascais Beach and Sea Front

“Day 1 • Arrive in Cascais. A fashionable resort with a marina, smart shops, elegant restaurants and one of the best (and cleanest!) surfing beaches in Europe.”

Boca do Inferno

Boca do Inferno [Mouth of Hell] (between Cascais and Guincho)

Day 2 • Cascais to Guincho. An outstanding walk along the coast, passing lighthouses and fascinating cliff formations with dramatic coastal views, to Guincho Beach, one of Portugal’s best windsurfing locations (6.5 miles, 3.5 hrs).”

View from Peninha

View from Peninha

Day 3 • Guincho to Azoia. Follow coastal paths before heading inland into the Serra de Sintra. Opportunity to visit the interesting Convento dos Capuchos (Capuchin monastery) (+2 hrs), before returning through the Serra up to the spectacularly situated 14th century Peninha Chapel. Paths then lead down to your hotel near the coast (4.9 or 11.7 miles, 3 or 6 hrs).”

Cabo da Roca

Day 4 • Azoia to Praia Grande. A cliff-top walk with spectacular views leads to Cabo (Cape) da Roca, the most westerly point of Portugal – and mainland Europe. Continue inland through the vineyards of the famous ‘Colares’ wine before returning to the coast and past dramatic cliff formations to the beach of Praia Grande, with its world- famous swirling waves (7.2 miles, 4 hrs).”

Azenhas do Mar

Azenhas do Mar


The Church of Sao Mamede

Day 5 • Praia Grande to Colares. Continue along the coast to the small seaside resort of Azenhas do Mar, with its pretty whitewashed houses perched on a cliff. From here the coastal path continues, past more fine beaches, then heads inland to the curious church of São Mamede, ‘protector of the animals,’ which were freely allowed to enter the chapel until recent times. Minor roads then lead to Colares, famous for its wine (6.9 or 9.9 miles, 3 or 4.5 hrs).”


Monserrate Palace and Gardens

Day 6 • Colares to Sintra. Walk through small hamlets and vineyards before joining wide forest paths passing through the Serra to the ‘Romantic’ Palace of Monserrate, with exotic gardens and follies. Continue through the Serra and a short section of road brings you to the arch of the old west entrance to Sintra (6.9 miles, 3.5 hrs).”

Sintra from the Moorish Castle

Sintra from the Moorish Castle

Day 7 • Free day in Sintra. Described by Byron as a ‘glorious Eden’, and boasting UNESCO World Heritage status, Sintra is a visitor’s paradise, with magnificent palaces, gardens, galleries, churches, museums, and cobbled, medieval streets lined with boutique shops and cafés.”

Ana at Lawrence's Hotel, Sintra

Ana Our Lovely Five Star Tour Manager at Lawrence’s Hotel, Sintra


6 comments on “The Best Way to See the World is on Foot! Sintra and The Portuguese Coast Footloose Holiday

  1. sherry says:

    how beautiful! Lovely weather!

  2. Yes, indeed, sherry – the weather made all the difference.

  3. […] you will have seen our first day’s walk was not too long and followed the Portuguese coastline from Cascais to […]

  4. […] 2014 I have travel plans for another ATG walking holiday this time in Italy. We will be staying just one night in Rome but will be sure to hunt out at least […]

  5. […] was our ATG Footloose Walking Holiday this year. Our third altogether. My sister and I travelled to Italy on 24 April and […]

  6. […] One of Bärbel’s favourite walks is the Zicker Alps. What “alps” means in this particular context is an area of land slightly higher (say, about 68m ASL) than the surrounding area. I’d asked QB to investigate a few walks which I thought would give us a flavour of the island, which is predominantly rural, and, as I’ve mentioned before “The Best Way to See the World is on Foot!” […]

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