Cascais-Mafra Country Itinerary
A route between Cascais and Mafra, passing by the Sintra mountains, highlighting the beauty of this "saloia", rustic region, and visiting Cape Roca and the Mafra Convent.The starting point for this itinerary is Boca do Inferno, on Cascais west border. Before starting your tour, enjoy the view of this curious cove surrounded by rocks where often the waves thrust ahead, in a real show of their might. Take the road to Guincho and the Roca Cape rocky landscape will gradually become more imposing. If the weather is not too windy, enjoy a walk along the beach and watch the surfers’, windsurfers’ and bodyboarders’ skills.
After Malveira, the road starts getting around the Sintra mountains, offering spectacular views over the Atlantic and the coast. Upon arrival to Azóia, go down to Cabo da Roca to contemplate the harsh landscape of the westernmost point of Europe. Resume EN 247, knowing that on weekends you will find rustic "saloias" fairs by the roadside, between Azóia and Ulgueira and, later, at the junction of Almoçageme to Praia Grande. Here in Almoçageme you can make a tour (not recommended in August or on weekend vacation) to the Adraga beach, a surprising mix of green, rock, sand and sea.
Follow towards Colares, turn left to Praia das Maçãs and, after the Cellar and the tram station, turn right to Mucifal. Pay attention to avoid missing the deviation on the left that goes up to Janas. At this rustic village, turn left, following signs to Fontanelas and the circular chapel. This is an unusual rural church, with a circular design and a porch, where, on August 16, feasts are held in honor of São Mamede and include a rare blessing of the cattle, a legacy coming from cults and rituals much older than Christianity.
Return to Janas and take the direction of Várzea de Sintra, where you can find some well known and popular restaurants. Then continue to Lourel. Take the direction of Mafra by EN9. After going around Pero Pinheiro, the land of marble, EN9 will feature as an expressway. Soon after the end of the modernized section of the road, starts the panoramic descent to Cheleiros, a rustic white village, nestled in the valley through which flows the rivulet with the same name. A medieval bridge to the right of the road and several traditional houses would justify a stop and a walk around the site.
Continue until Mafra, the end of this tour, where you will find many options for spending the rest of the day, from visiting the monastery built by King John V, to a trip to Ericeira and to its beaches of strong waves, or to the Tapada de Mafra, a sanctuary for wildlife and nature.
Access By A5 or by the Marginal Road from Lisbon to Boca do Inferno.
To have into account You may find traffic jams in the road to Guincho, in August and hot weekends; on Sundays, the Roca Cape, through the Malveira Road EN 247, will be crowded with motorcycles.
When With good weather, regardless of season.
Length Some 100 km, ending in Mafra.
Meals Curral dos Caprinos (T. 219233113), in Várzea de Sintra; A Toca do Júlio, inm Almoçageme (T. 219290815).
Other spots to visit Azenhas do Mar; Tapada de Mafra.