All sorts of experiences within a short distance range.
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Mafra / Ericeira
Mafra has one of the most magnificent monuments in the whole world: the Palácio Nacional de Mafra, also known as the Convento de Mafra. This monumental complex contains a basilica, a monastery and a palace, and is the most important masterpiece of Portuguese Baroque. Its 40,000 m2 took 27 years to be built, work being concluded in 1744. The two carillons and six organs are quite unique and the Library, which contains more than 38,000 books, many rare,is considered the most beautiful in the country.
In Mafra you can also visit the Tapada Nacional, created in the mid-18th century as a park for King João V and his court. In the Tapada, besides the rich flora, there are many different species of animals, such as deer, wild boar, foxes, partridges and various types of birds, including the endangered Bonelli's eagles. Surrounded by a 21 kilometre, three-hundred year old wall, the park has a small Rural Tourism house, the former Real Chalet de Caça, and two museums.
You can visit the Tapada on a tourist train, on foot, by bicycle or even on horseback.
Ericeira is a favourite destination for seaside holidays. This coastal town, founded eight centuries ago, is 50 kilometres north of Lisbon and offers a perfect atmosphere for visitors to relax and enjoy themselves.
With clear water rich in minerals salts and an iodine-rich climate, the area of Ericeira has beaches of excellent quality such as Praia da Foz do Lizandro, Praia de São Lourenço, Praia de São Sebastião or Praia da Ribeira d'Ilhas, which is internationally renowned for surfing, bodyboard and skimming.
If you like smaller, more intimate beaches, visit the Praia da Orelheira.
With a long fishing tradition, Ericeira also has the Praia do Peixe and the large Praia do Sul.
The importance of the fishing in the area makes it a perfect place to eat marvellous fish and shellfish. Ericeira is also a pretty town to for you to discover. It is a peaceful and charming town that offers pleasant walks, numerous shops and interesting crafts.
The National Palace of Mafra was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
The Royal Palace occupies the noble floor of the Mafra building and the 2 turrets.
The north turret was occupied by the king and the south turret by the queen, and both turrets are linked by a 232-metre gallery – making it Europe’s largest palatial corridor. This building, of about 40,000 m2, housed a Franciscan convent (300 fryers) – and features Campo Santo, the Infirmary, the Elliptical Hall (capitular), the Literary Acts Hall, the Stairway and the Dining Hall.
It boasts a large library thought to be one of the most beautiful in the world. The Royal Building has two carillons with 98 bells – the largest of its time. The Basilica’s 6 organs are pieces of unique heritage worldwide.
The Royal Convent and Palace of Mafra is the most important baroque monument in Portugal. The building covers an area of almost four hectares (37.790 m2), including 1.200 rooms, more than 4.700 doors and windows, 156 stairways and 29 inner yards and courtyards.
Such magnificence was only possible due to the Brazilian gold that poured into the country, allowing the King to carry out his patronage of the arts and the strengthening of royal authority.
Discover the World Surfing Reserve in Ericeira where even if you don’t have a board you’ll find the perfect beach. While Pedra Branca, the Coxos and Ribeira d’Ilhas are world famous for their perfect wave conditions, there are other beaches where the water is calmer. One of them is Praia dos Pescadores, one of the safest in the whole region thanks to the bay created by the pier. But if you’re looking for beaches further from the centre, with great bars, call in at Foz do Lizandro and Praia de São Julião. Wide and stunning, they are an ode to the Atlantic. The picturesque Praia do Matadouro and impressive Praia de São Lourenço also deserve a visit. And of course Praia do Sul, an Ericeira landmark. To recharge your batteries, the fine restaurants in Ericeira have the freshest fish possible.
José France built a miniature replica of an outer Lisbon village at Sobreiro, on the road between Mafra and Ericeira. The miniature rural scenes and animated figures recreate the practices and customs of the region. Visitors can also travel back in time to an old-style schoolroom, a barber-dentist’s shop and Auntie Helena’s grocery store.
Portuguese doçaria conventual is one of the country’s greatest culinary traditions. Based on eggs and sugar, it was developed in convents from the 15th century onwards. There are many theories why and there is no doubt that the arrival of sugar from Brazil allowed the sweets served in the royal palaces to evolve. There are myriad theories, from the availability of egg yolks – since the whites were used to launder clothes – to the fact that the nobility was obliged to remain at court and entertained itself by inventing recipes to fill the time. In the Lisbon region, there are various delicious examples of this art form, of which Fradinhos de Mafra, Pasteis de Belém, Nozes de Cascais and Toucinho do Céu de Odivelas are just a few. Come and discover the flavours that history created.
King João V, “the Magnanimous” (1689-1750), commissioned the construction of the Palace-Convent in the town of Mafra to meet a promise he made prior to the Queen making him heir to the throne. This grandiose monument, built at a time of great royal prosperity resulting from the exploration of gold and diamonds in Brazil, represents a high-water mark in the Portuguese Baroque. The National Hunting Grounds of Mafra were established in 1747 with the objective of providing surroundings appropriate to the Monument along with providing a recreational hunting ground for the King and his Court and in addition to supplying firewood and other products to the Convent. Covering an area of 1,187 hectares, the Royal Hunting Grounds of Mafra were entirely surrounded by a worked limestone wall across a length of 16 Km.
Head over to the World Surfing Reserve half an hour from Lisbon. You’ll find pretty beaches and a quaint fishing town called Ericeira, whose soul was forged by the sea.
PASSION, CHALLENGE, ADVENTURE and EMOTION are just some of the feelings that the Whale Cave Adventure Park brings to its customers, with the maximum safety and comfort.
Located in the emblematic village of Ericeira, just over the beach, this hotel filled with history and tradition offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Visit Mafra, with its palace and park, and don’t forget to see the Jardim do Cerco, a sublime and original Baroque garden that combines nature with agriculture and gardening.
This miniature reconstruction of a village on the outskirts of Lisbon can be found on the road linking Mafra to Ericeira.
Built by order of King João V, consists of a Royal Palace, a basilica, a convent and a game reserve. Highlights include 2 carillons, 6 historic organs, a library and an 18th century infirmary.
Surrounded by gardens, this property is situated in a historic farmhouse, 12 km from Mafra National Palace and Torres Vedras.
Make the most of the cafés, bar and restaurant to appreciate the best Ericeira has to offer: the sea right by your side and the cleanest air you’ve ever breathed.
Natural heritage with unique characteristics and home to deer, fallow deer, wild boar, foxes, birds of prey alongside the many other species.