Mafra
Architecture

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Our most recommended Mafra Architecture

Lisbon: Queluz, Mafra, Azenhas do Mar & Cabo da Roca Tour

1. Lisbon: Queluz, Mafra, Azenhas do Mar & Cabo da Roca Tour

Discover the area northwest of Lisbon and see the highlights off the beaten tourist path. Visit the Palace of Queluz, whose gardens and ground are an exceptionally-beautiful example of 18th-century Portuguese architecture. The palace was built for Peter III of Portugal, prince consort of Queen Maria I (1734-1816), as a royal residence. Many rooms are in a Rococo style, like the ornate throne room with mirrored walls and beautiful gilded woodwork. Admire the gardens with lovely fountains and ornamental ponds and a collection of sculptures around the Neptune Garden and pond. Then visit the Palace of Mafra. The largest castle and cloister complex in Portugal with over 4,700 windows and doors, the Palace of Mafra is approximately 50 kilometers north of Lisbon in Mafra. See the impressive 220-meter-long façade. The palace is approximately 38,000 m², with 1,200 rooms and 156 staircases. Learn all about the church with its 2 fascinating glockenspiels with 48 bells from Antwerp. Continue along the foot of the Sintra Mountains to Azenhas do Mar. Discover an incredible town right on the cliffs, a true postcard picture and destination for artists. See Cabo da Roca, the western-most point of continental Europe, to the west of Lisbon and 140 meters above sea level. The Portuguese national poet Luis de Camões described the place with the following words: "Here, where the land ends and the sea begins..." Then head over the shifting sand dunes of Guincho along the Sintra-Cascais Nature Park back to Lisbon.

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Lisbon: Ericeira, Mafra Rural Beach and Wine Tour

2. Lisbon: Ericeira, Mafra Rural Beach and Wine Tour

Your journey begins with a morning pickup at your hotel in Lisbon, Cascais, Ericeira, or Sintra. From there, enjoy a brief ride to Mafra, about 40 minutes from Lisbon. Mafra’s convent is a masterpiece from the eighteenth century and one of the most important monuments of Portugal, unique for its two carillons with 92 bells, 1200 rooms, over 4,700 doors, and windows and the oldest library in the country with about 36,000 volumes of books and transcripts. After Mafra venture to the quaint Portuguese one-of-a-kind village of José Franco. This man was a sculptor and a poet who decided to build a living museum to show the customs, labor activities, and other aspects of Portuguese rural life back in his time in 1945. The result is a giant museum made into a village! Next, head to Ericeira, the first World Surfing Reserve in Europe and 2nd in the world. It is a touristic village also known for its blue and white colored streets and houses. In Ericeira enjoy some free time, for possibly a leisurely Portuguese lunch (not included) or a stroll through the town and by the seaside. Last but not least, to finish this exclusive day, head to an exquisite winery and cellar for a tasting and historical experience that will provide you with a fascinating insight into the world of Portugal’s wine production. A family-run business welcomes you to an entertaining and enlightening tour around wines and cellars to discover the secrets of the wine-making process. Learn how wine is produced and enjoy a tasting session of six different wines (four local wines and two other magnificent wines) accompanied by local bread and olives.  

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Lisbon: Guided Tour of Royal Palaces with Tickets

3. Lisbon: Guided Tour of Royal Palaces with Tickets

Depart from your meeting point in Lisbon and travel to Mafra for a full-day trip to the Royal Palaces of Lisbon, led by an expert guide. Start with a tour of the Royal Building of Mafra. Marvel at this Baroque complex, a World Heritage site that includes a Royal Palace, a Basilica, and a Convent. Head inside with your guide to discover its important collections, an 18th-century hospital, and an imposing 18th-century library. Next, hop back on your vehicle and head to the Palace of Queluz, a summer residence that became the royal family’s permanent residence. Enjoy some free time to stroll through its gardens. Stop for a lunch or just grab a snack at a local restaurant. Then, enjoy a guided visit to the luxuriously decorated Palace of Ajuda, the former residence of the royal family. Walk through its opulent chambers at its original arrangement. Afterward, board the van to be transferred to your drop-off point.

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From Lisbon: Mafra and Ericeira Private Day Trip

4. From Lisbon: Mafra and Ericeira Private Day Trip

Choose your own adventure with an expert guide and embark on an exciting day trip from Lisbon. Allow your guide to suggest the best locations and restaurants and design your journey to suit your wishes.  Perhaps make a visit to Mafra Palace, an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a magnificent library, or discover the stunning World Surfing Reserve of Ericeira on the western coast of Portugal. Embark on a train tour through an enchanting forest or visit the charming village of José Franco. Discover delicious Portuguese cuisine along the way and customize your experience with your guide as you go.

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From Lisbon: Óbidos and Mafra Palace Private Tour

5. From Lisbon: Óbidos and Mafra Palace Private Tour

Step back in time and enjoy a private tour through streets of the walled town of Óbidos, the best-preserved "museum village" in Portugal. Also, visit the Palácio Nacional de Mafra, one of the biggest 18th-century baroque palaces in Europe. Explore Óbidos, which was conquered by Portugal´s first king, D. Afonso Henriques, on January 11th, 1148. Since then, Óbidos continues to be part of Portugal’s history. Here you will visit the various highlights of the Fortified village of Óbidos. Walking inside the village also allows you to taste the Ginjinha and other local goods and crafts. Discover the palace of Mafra. A magnificent building that was only possible due to the Brazilian gold that poured into the country, allowing King João V to carry out the building of the biggest baroque palaces from the 18th century. Learn about its construction, which began on November 17, 1717, integrating four buildings in one: the palace, the convent, the basilica, and a library. The complex covers an area of almost four hectares (37.790 sqm2). It includes an incredible 1,200 rooms, more than 4,700 doors and windows, 156 stairways, and 29 inner yards and courtyards. Walkthrough the longest corridor ever built in a palace (232 m long) that is made of limestone and marble from the Óbidos, Pêro Pinheiro, and Sintra regions.  Go inside the library, one of the most important in Europe. The impressive library has an enormous variety of books, more than 30.000 volumes, from the XVth to the XVIIIth century. Look up to see two massive towers flanking the palace. Next, see the basilica, a “centerpiece” of the facade having been designed by the German architect Johann Friedrich Ludwig, commissioned by D. João V. Note that If you are visiting in July, Óbidos castle hosts a traditional ‘Medieval Market’. For two weeks the castle and the surrounding town recreate the spirit of medieval Europe. Flowing banners and heraldic flags set the mood together with daily parades, hundreds of entertainers and stall workers dressed as traditional merchants, jugglers, jesters, wandering minstrels, soldiers, and more. There are also displays of jousting knights and armed combat.

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Half-Day Private Tour - Mafra and Sintra Heritage

6. Half-Day Private Tour - Mafra and Sintra Heritage

Your private half-day tour will begin with a pick up from your Lisbon hotel or cruise port. The objective of the day will be to show you Mafra, with it's 18th century national palace and it's surrounding park, also classified as a national monument. As this is a private tour, you will have the freedom to rearrange your tour how you see fit. Below is the standard itinerary: After your pick up at 8:30, we will proceed directly to Mafra, where we will arrive after a 45-minute drive. Our first stop will be at the center of Mafra, where we can visit the Palace and Basilica (approximately 1.5-h for the whole visit). After that, depending on the season and the available program, the tour proceeds to Tapada, a park on the back of the palace that served as hunting grounds for the King and Royal family, where you can freely visit and see all the animals that live there in the wild or you can see a show of Falconry, an art developed by the Portuguese which is considered Immaterial World Heritage by the Unesco. After the visit to the tapada, we will return to Lisbon passing by Sintra for an overview of the Palaces and main monuments of the village, and if time allows it some breathtaking landscapes on the coast nearby. Optionally you can book an additional 2-hours for a tasty seafood lunch at one of the nearby beach restaurants, allowing also more time to return to Lisbon by the coastline, a route always preferred due to it's scenic beauty, of which is considered to be our little Côte d'Azur.

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Sintra and the Amazing Dream Villages Tour

7. Sintra and the Amazing Dream Villages Tour

In a quiet environment a few minutes from the capital, explore a great selection of the best villages near Sintra. The fact that these villages continue to have unusual life habits, they recreate the way of life of Portugal's ancestors, preserved through smells, colors, and traditions. Visit the charming Azenhas do Mar, a village that has become one of the most famous Portuguese tourist spots. Discover the village of Penedo, perched high on a hillside still home to traditional houses. Walk along its steep and winding streets and alleys. It is a treasure of the traditional architecture of the saloia region. Visit secret villages where you will feel like you are in an open-air museum, where the way of life of Portugal's ancestors is preserved. Travel back in time in the village of José Franco. Get to know a local man's dream that recreated a village of ethnographic character, a testimony to the way of life of the ancient local people.

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Lisbon: Royal Palaces Tour

8. Lisbon: Royal Palaces Tour

Explore the Royal Palaces in Lisbon and their surroundings, which are filled with stories, myths, and legends. See wonderful monuments during an amazing day of sightseeing. Start at the National Palace of Queluz. Then head to the Park and National Palace of Pena in the Sintra Municipality. Finally, end at the Palacio Nacional de Mafra.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Mafra

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What people are saying about Mafra

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 1 reviews

Of course in Sintra one must visit Pena & other palaces, and Quinta de Regaleira. But there are so many MORE gems that are hidden as well. This tour is a must to actually learn about traditional life in Portugal (which the normal tourist sites do not show at all). And Filipe was a fantastic tour guide. He is very knowledgeable and very fun. He obviously loves his country as well. If all you want to learn is who built a chair in a palace, this is not the tour for you - stick with the run-of-the-mill palace tours. But if you want to know what life was like in the small village, call Filipe. You won’t be disappointed.