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Cascais to Sintra
Sintra is a great day trip from Cascais and highly recommended for those who tire of the glorious beaches. Sintra lies within the Serra de Sintra hills and has historically been associated with the Portuguese nobility.
The beautiful Pena Palace in Sintra
Contained in the region are two royal palaces, an ancient ruined castle and numerous other stately and grand residences, click here for a guide to Sintra. This guide will detail how to travel from Cascais to Sintra by public transport and later provide information about driving in Sintra.
Cascais to Sintra by Public transport
Sintra lies 17km north of Cascais and is connected by both rail and road public transport. The rail route is impractical as requires two journeys; one from Cascais to Lisbon and a second from Lisbon to Sintra. The Cascais Sintra bus route is direct and is the recommended means of travel between the two tourist towns.
The bus between Cascais and Sintra
Cascais to Sintra by Bus
There are two bus services which connect Cascais to Sintra, service number 403 and 417. Cascais bus 417 is the faster route, taking only 30 minutes to travel to Sintra. Bus 403 is much slower requiring a whole hour but the service follows a much more scenic and coastal route. Both services depart from Cascais bus station, which is located below the big shopping centre, Cascais Villa, about 100m north of the train station. The bus station is to the left (east) of the shopping centre and main entrance.
In Sintra the bus terminates at Sintra railway station and this is the location to connect to the 434 tourist bus. The 434 bus connects the train station, the historic centre of Sintra, the Pena Palace and the Moorish castle. The 434 service is every 40 minutes so be prepared to wait at the station. For both of the Sintra to Cascais bus routes there is a service every hour but the timetables alter depending on the season, so check at Cascais bus station for exact departure times.
The National Palace of Sintra
The single bus ticket, when purchased from the driver, costs €4.05. Pre paid MOV+ tickets that are loaded onto the Viva Viagem card can be purchased from the bus station. This makes the Cascais-Sintra journey €1.40 but the minimum amount to charge to the card is €10.00 and the MOV+ bus ticket cannot be used on the 434 tourist bus.
Cascais Sintra, Cabo da Roca Bus Stop
One of the stops along the 403 bus route is the Cabo da Roca. This headland is the most westerly point of mainland Europe and was thought to be the end of the known world in the 14th century. The region is of dramatic landscapes, 150m high cliffs fall away to raging seas and the entire region is buffeted by strong winds. Cabo da Roca is a beautiful place to watch sunset but unfortunately the bus times do not allow for this and there is only an hourly service.
Driving from Cascais to Sintra
Do not consider driving from Cascais to Sintra if you planning to visit the historic centre or the major tourist sights of the Moorish castle or Pena Palace as it is notoriously difficult to park. The ancient and narrow roads that wind through the hills were never designed for high traffic volumes and parking is almost non-existent.
The lighthouse of Cascais
Up by the Pena Palace there is less than ten parking spaces while down in the town hordes of tourist make driving difficult especially at the weekend. Driving in Sintra becomes essential to explore the Sintra-Cascais National park and sight not on the common tourist trails such as the Convent of the Capuchos the Quinta da Regaleira.