Start the day at Convento dos Capuchos before hiking through the woods of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, finishing at the sea.
Start the day at Convento dos Capuchos, a classic example of an austere 16th-century Franciscan monastery that you can visit before starting (tickets not included). Then, from here, your walking route will lead you towards Praia Grande and its dramatic cliffs.
Capuchos Convent, also called Cork Convent, is an incredible experience as you explore the warren of cells, chapels, kitchen, and cavern in it. The convent entrance door offers two possible paths, symbolising free will, and is a good introduction to the forward-thinking of these monks. The monks' life was marked by simplicity and touchingly well-ordered life. After spending some time exploring the Convent, start your hike along the fantastic woods of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, with its luxuriant green vegetation and the smell of the sea air all around. The final part of the stage will be an approach to the sea.
You will see the beautiful beach of Adraga, where you can see the Pedra de Alvidrar, also known as the “Rock of Reason”, a huge rock formation which drops almost vertically into the sea, and according to the local tradition was an initiation place for young men to prove how brave they were, by climbing up and down it, at huge risk for their lives. Then, you will reach Praia Grande, where a transfer to Cascais will be waiting for you.
If there are any stretches of road walking and if there is no pavement or grass verge, please take extra care. The general rule is that you walk on the same side of the road as oncoming traffic, in order to avoid having your back directly to oncoming traffic. Be prepared to walk in single file and to stay as close to the side of the road as possible.
There may be sections where you will be walking through fields containing livestock. Be vigilant and respectful of all animals.
Always make sure to stay hydrated and carry plenty of water. It is also advised to wear skin-protecting clothing and use sun cream/screen. We recommend you inquire about the day’s forecasted weather before setting out on your walks. A useful website for climate information specific to towns and countries is www.weather2travel.com or www.yr.no
Tips and hints
An important thing to note:
Your transfer to Capuchos will be at 9am, and it's a 15 minute drive. At the end of this walk, you will need to take another transfer (30 minutes) from Praia Grande back to Cascais. This has been booked for 16:00 but please call Portugal Nature Trails should you need to change the time.
You may also find walking poles useful on this route - they will help take the pressure off your knees during the ascents and descents.
We recommend wearing hiking boots that are well broken-in, plus rain jacket and waterproof trousers in wet weather, as well as taking sun cream and a hat on nicer days.