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a jewel embedded in a cliff

Less than an hour from Lisbon, the village of Azenhas do Mar is the ideal destination for a relaxing walk. Know the script.

Azenhas do Mar It is a small coastal town, nestled in the cliffs of the coast and full of charm. Its name comes from the azenhas (water mills) existing in the locality.

This destination is an authentic picture postcard of a village straight out of a fairy tale. It really is a mandatory stop on any itinerary.

Deserving of a visit, Azenhas do Mar is close to other places and points of interest that you can and should get to know, making the most of all the best that Portugal has to offer, which is so much!

Azenhas do Mar: one of the attractions of Sintra

The village of Azenhas do Mar is less than an hour from Lisbon

Azenhas do Mar is located in the municipality of Sintra, about 40 kilometers from Lisbon. Relatively close to the city centre, it also has emblematic spaces nearby, such as Colares or Praia das Maçãs, places that are well worth a visit.

If you live in the municipality of Sintra, as an alternative to taking a car, take the Sintra Tramway to Praia das Maçãs and then walk to Azenhas do Mar, a route during which you can enjoy the beautiful views over the Atlantic Ocean.

Arriving at Azenhas do Mar, start by admiring the magnificent landscapes that can be reached from various points in the area. Afterwards, walk along the cliffs and the narrow streets of the village and admire the many typical houses, decorated with tiles, and “fitted” into the cliff of the coast.

In the warm months, take the opportunity to take a dip in the region’s natural pools (excavated in the rock itself), while watching the memorable sunset.

Then go to the Azenhas do Mar restaurant and enjoy the many excellent fresh fish and seafood dishes available. Taste the local delicacies, while enjoying a breathtaking landscape.

What to visit around Azenhas do Mar?

Pena Palace in Sintra
Pena Palace is a legacy of King Fernando II

Pena Palace

This building is an example of the 19th century romantic revival in Portugal. Located in Monte da Pena, this Palace was built on the site of an old convent on the initiative of D. Fernando de Saxe Coburgo-Gotha, husband of Queen D. Maria II. This was the royal family’s summer palace.

Aesthetically, we find Portuguese architectural and decorative forms, in the revivalist taste (neo-Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, neo-Renaissance). The surrounding scenery is inspired by an English park, with the most varied exotic tree species.

Inside, there is a chapel, with a magnificent altarpiece in alabaster marble, and a series of murals in trompe l’oeil, as well as tiles of immense beauty.

Currently, in one of the wings, there is a restaurant, which provides an excellent panorama over the Serra de Sintra and the coast.

Quinta da Regaleira

The Quinta da Regaleira Palace was built in the early 20th century, on the initiative of António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro (1848-1920). In addition to the building itself, the palace is surrounded by rich and abundant vegetation and is not far from Azenhas do Mar.

Its style can be characterized as being romantic revivalist, recovering Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architectural and decorative forms, mixed with mythical and esoteric symbology.

When visiting the space, it is essential to go to the Capela da Santíssima Trindade, go down to the crypt and then follow a spiral staircase to the initiation well which, at the bottom, leads to a cave and a lake that appears between the gardens.

Azenhas Regaleira
The well-known initiation well at Quinta da Regaleira

cape da roca

This Cape is “only” the westernmost point of Continental Europe. It is about 150m from the sea and gives access to an unobstructed view over the Serra de Sintra and the coast.

In the area, there are traces of what must have been a fort, as well as a lighthouse that is, until today, an important element for navigation. This cape is part of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and is part of many of the footpaths along the coast.

As you can see, Azenhas do Mar can be the starting point for a fascinating trip.

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