Mafra Castle & palace tours

Our most recommended Mafra Castle & palace tours

From Lisboa: Mafra, Ericeira & Queluz Full-Day Tour

1. From Lisboa: Mafra, Ericeira & Queluz Full-Day Tour

This tour will take you to Mafra, where a world heritage famous convent-palace takes place. The National Palace of Mafra, a complex consisting of a Royal Palace, a Basilica and a Convent, was completed in 1735, by the will of King D. João V by virtue of a promise he had made on behalf of the descendants he would obtain from the queen. It was the residence of the royal family for a few years, until the king's death, but never ceased to be one of the court's favorite places. Mafra's greatest treasure is the library. Here are kept books that are unique and rare examples of knowledge produced between the 15th and 19th centuries. After visiting the palace, head to the coast and arrive at Ericeira, a pretty fishing village. Its connection to the sea is undeniable, which you can enjoy exploring its narrow streets located in the Historic Center that take us back to other times. The cliffs along the shores of Ericeira beach also give it a unique beauty, as do the fishermen's boats that bring the best and freshest fish to land that can be tasted in many of the village's restaurants. Onwards, you will travel towards the interior, to discover Queluz National Palace, not infrequently called the Portuguese Versailles. It is an 18th century palace and was built as a summer retreat. Among the various rooms and other divisions of the palace such as the throne room, music room, ambassador's room, D. Quixote's room, among others, it is here where you will find the most interesting and important historical gardens in Portugal, present the most significant set of statues by the British sculptor John Cheere, outside English territory, which gives it great importance in the international art scene.

From Lisbon: Coastal Villages and Mafra Palace Guided Tour

2. From Lisbon: Coastal Villages and Mafra Palace Guided Tour

First stop will be Azenhas do Mar, a scenic village on the coast built in the "Portuguese Soft Style". Continue along the coast, passing by steep cliffs and wild beaches. Arrive in Ericeira, a village known for its blue and white buildings, as well as its lively food scene. Enjoy free time to explore the village at your own pace and have lunch. After lunch, head to Jose Franco, a working village and open-air museum that showcases the traditional culture and handicrafts of the área. End your tour with a visit to the magnificent Palace of Mafra, a masterpiece from the eighteenth century and one of the most important buildings in the Portuguese Baroque style. The palace is home to 92 bells, 1200 rooms, and over 4,700 doors and windows. It also hosts the oldest library in Portugal with about 36,000 volumes. Enjoy a tour of the site with your dedicated guide, who will share interesting facts and stories about the monument.

Mafra, Ericeira Private Tour from Lisbon

3. Mafra, Ericeira Private Tour from Lisbon

Your private full-day tour begins with a pick-up at your Lisbon accommodation and a drive to Mafra, where you’ll visit the Mafra National Palace. On a tour of the palace you’ll visit the library, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Mafra’s grandiose palace-monastery defies description. Ordered by King João V in 1717 to celebrate the birth of his first child, it was reputedly designed to compete in magnificence with the Spanish royal palace. The overwhelming architectural details include over 5000 doorways, 2500 windows, 880 rooms, 154 grandstaircases, 29 courtyards, and 330 monks’ cells. The two bell towers together house over 100 bells (the largest collection in the world), still played every Sunday and audible across a distance of 25 kilometers (15 miles). Tour the lavish royal apartments; visit the 11 chapels of the pink and grey marble basilica; marvel at the bizarremedical instruments in the hospital and pharmacy; and walk around the beautiful eight-square-kilometer wildlife garden, originally conceived by the King as a deer park and source of hunting, entertainment, food and firewood. Last but by no means least, save time for the mind-blowing library; adorned with marble and jacarandawood, it is one of Europe’s finest, housing over 40,000 rare volumes including the earliest edition of Homer in Greek, a trilingual bible from the early 16th century and a first edition of Os Lusíadas by Luís de Camões, regarded as Portugal’s national poet. Not far from Mafra, travel back in time to the turn of the 20th century at Olaria Tipica Joao Franco (Typical Village of José Franco). This fascinating and somewhat surreal miniature working village showcases the traditional culture and handicrafts of the surrounding area, crafted using traditional techniques by renowned Portuguese potter and sculptor José Silos Franco. During the visit worth trying the bread with sausage (pão com chouriço), it is very tasty! There is also an on-site shop selling handmade pottery from around the country. The village depicts the true story of the region and undoubtedly arouses the curiosity of the many travellers of all ages that frequently pass through here. In the same space, you can also see a permanent exhibition of the ceramic works of José Franco. After this emersion in history you will go and visit the fishing village of Ericeira, take a stroll, taste the local gastronomy and get to know a bit more of its history. Ericeira is an authentic fisherman town. Here you can still see fishing boats, strong waves, and small fisherman houses. It will be the perfect place for an incredibly fresh fish lunch. In the area there is also a miniature village depicting the town's traditions. Recently, this fishing village was included in the list of the 10 “coolest small cities in Europe”. It is famous for its history, cliffs, sandy beaches, surfing, fresh seafood and fresh fish. It's the best place for fresh lunch.

From Lisbon: Óbidos and Mafra Palace Private Tour

4. 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.

From Lisbon: Obidos, Mafra & The Silver Coast Private Trip

5. From Lisbon: Obidos, Mafra & The Silver Coast Private Trip

After being picked up from your accommodation, it is an hours drive, roof down, up the motorway to the stunning town of Orbidos. Admire the views from the motorway and as we approach down the hill. You will get an opportunity to spend about 2 hours here, exploring the narrow streets, shops and cafes, take in the views from the city walls, drink Ginjinha de Óbidos (sour cherry brandy) or coffee if you like!! Once you have finished exploring you can either remain here for lunch or head to the coast and the gorgeous town of Foz do Arelho. You can lunch at one of the shoreline cafes, whilst admiring the views across the sand to the lagoon in one direction and the Atlantic Ocean in the other. Take a walk along the beach, spend time soaking up the sun, the time is yours. When you have had enough it is back in the car and onto Mafia with it's stunning palace.. You will be amazed at it's size and beauty as we approach Mafra. Be stunned as we approach the palace. Here you will get about 2 hours to explore the palace in all it's glory. When your legs can take no more, it's time for a coffee before returning to your accommodation either by motorway (Lisbon) or the coastal road (Cascais/Sintra).

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

6. 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.

From Lisbon: Mafra, Ericeira, and Sintra Private Tour

7. From Lisbon: Mafra, Ericeira, and Sintra Private Tour

Leave Lisbon behind and dive deep into the roots of Portuguese history with a private day trip. Discover the many ancient landmarks in the cities of Mafra, Ericeira, and Sintra, with the guidance of a local expert. Explore charming streets and take in panoramic mountain-top views. Enjoy a pickup from your hotel in Lisbon and drive over to Mafra. Visit the 18th-century National Palace of Mafra, a complex consisting of a royal palace, a basilica, and a convent. After your visit, arrive in the fishing village of Ericeira to stroll through its historic center and narrow streets. Travel inland to discover the city of Sintra, a World Heritage Site. End the day by discovering Pena Palace and gasp at its Romantic architecture, combined with mesmerizing views of the area from the top of the mountain.

From Lisbon: Mafra and Ericeira Private Day Trip

8. 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.

From Lisbon: Mafra, Ericeira & Queluz Day Tour

9. From Lisbon: Mafra, Ericeira & Queluz Day Tour

This tour will take you to Mafra, where a world heritage famous convent-palace takes place. The National Palace of Mafra, a complex consisting of a Royal Palace, a Basilica and a Convent, was completed in 1735, by the will of King D. João V by virtue of a promise he had made on behalf of the descendants he would obtain from the queen. After visiting the palace, head to the coast and arrive at Ericeira, a pretty fishing village. Its connection to the sea is undeniable, which you can enjoy exploring its narrow streets located in the Historic Center that take us back to other times. Onwards, you will travel towards the interior, to discover Queluz National Palace, not infrequently called the Portuguese Versailles. It is an 18th century palace and was built as a summer retreat. Among the various rooms and other divisions of the palace such as the throne room, music room, ambassador's room, D. Quixote's room, among others, it is here where you will find the most interesting and important historical gardens in Portugal, present the most significant set of statues by the British sculptor John Cheere (1709-1787), outside English territory, which gives it great importance in the international art scene.

  • Private tours
  • Day trips
  • Water activities
12 activities found
Sort by:

Other Sightseeing Options in Mafra

Want to discover all there is to do in Mafra? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Mafra

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

We had a WONDERFUL time on this trip with our tour guide, Goncalo. He is a lovely lovely young man, very friendly, responsive, considerate, and interactive. Most of all, he is very knowledgeable about Portugal’s royal history and eager to tell us throughout the entire trip. Ericeira is a small fishman town. The chasing waves of the ocean were very impressive. Mafra Palace and Queluz Palaces seem to be less known to tourists, but thanks to Goncalo, we have learned a lot of Portugal’s history when visiting these 2 Palaces. we really appreciate Goncalo’s proactive interaction with us. He contacted us to introduce himself and to confirm the pick up time/location so that we could have a peace of mind before our trips. We highly recommend this trip, especially with Goncalo as a tour guide.

This tour was the best thing i’ve done in my trip to Portugal. Our guide, Rodruigo, was amazing! He was very friendly, made wonderful stops at the coastal road so we can check the viewpoints and enjoy the ocean. And most importantly, he made our trip very memorable because it was so much fun (and there was a surprising wave too! Literally! Watch out lol). He also recommended very good restaurants at the fishermen’s village. We had a fantastic time and enjoyed a delicious meal there. The Mafra palace was impressive and Rodruigo was very patient as we enjoyed the gift shop there :) He is also very knowledgeable and shared the history of the area with us. I couldn’t ask for more! The trip was excellent and I highly recommend it!

we were transported in a vehicle which was clean and super comfortable and John our driver and guide was a careful driver. He was a lively and informative guide who’s knowledge of the two sites was expansive. We had ample time at both sites, and learned so much from John, info which we would not have been able to find out by ourselves. We especially loved walking on top of the walls of Obidos, and the long inner corridors of the Mafra Palace. John even provided a recommendation for a quick lunch which was a local bakery where the food was excellent. We would highly recommend this tour. Thanks John!

Very nice tour The beautiful places The guide Rodrigo Costa impeccable, always attentive and cordial and answering all doubts and questions Very good tour I recommend it 100% Quiet trip and without crowds of people

Wonderful day with Iain! He is a gracious driver/guide who makes every effort to cater to your specific requests--and in his beautiful car! Highly recommend!