Best Day Tours from Lisbon

Explore the stunning Portuguese countryside with these day excursions from Lisbon.

Jan 26, 2024
house in the portuguese countrysidehouse in the portuguese countryside

The hilly Portuguese capital of Lisbon is located along the Atlantic coast and is filled with bright architecture, ceramic tiles, and suspension bridges, to name a few of the amazing sights of the city. There are also many beaches to sit and enjoy the cool ocean waters just outside the city. In terms of Lisbon day trips, you won’t have to go far to get a taste of natural wonders, old towns, stunning beaches, and famous landmarks.


Sintra is a common day excursions from Lisbon, but it’s also one of the best day trips from Lisbon that can’t be missed! It only lies about 18 miles, or 30 kilometers, outside of the city, making it a close getaway if you’re staying within the city. Sintra is known for its lush and rugged beautiful landscape with ancient palaces and castles scattered throughout the mountains.

sintra castle

When visiting Sintra, be sure to check out the fairytale-like palaces of Pena and Palácio Nacional de Sintra. Palácio de Pena sits at the top of the second highest peak in the Sintra mountains. It was built in the early 16th century to be a Hieronymite monastery and today many flock to it to see its opulent decoration and breathtaking views. Palácio Nacional de Sintra is at the heart of the old town that was built in the 14th century and is characterized by its two chimneys. This former royal residence contains many lavish hallways, rooms, and salons.

If you feel like hiking up a hill, then you should visit the Castelo dos Mouros, and if you don’t feel like hiking on your day trip from Lisbon, don’t worry. There is also a shuttle bus that will take you to see the castle. Castelo dos Mouros is a Moorish castle from the 8th century that looks over the old town. See sights of the Lisbon plains and look across the Sintra mountain range.

How to get to Sintra from Lisbon

Driving from Lisbon to Sintra takes about 40 minutes and is the most direct route to your destination. You can also take a bus, train, or some combination of both to reach Sintra, but you will have to transfer at some point. Going by public transportation usually takes about an hour.


Sesimbra lies about 24 miles, or 40 kilometers, south of Lisbon, close to Portugal’s Extremadura region and touching the edge of the Parque Natural da Arrábida mountain range. Here, you will find the best day trip from Lisbon, if you want a more rural landscape, the Sesimbra fishing village. Sesimbra is still an active port today and you can try the catch of the day yourself from the local fishermen.

view of sesimbra from above

The narrow streets of the village are lined with traditional restaurants grilling the freshly caught seafood. Surrounding Sesimbra are beautiful and calm beaches where you can relax, check out the port, or try your hand at scuba diving for a unique twist to your Lisbon day tour.

Above the village, there is a 10th century Moorish castle that looks over the Portuguese landscape. This is accessible either by foot or by car, but be warned, it is quite a hike.

How to get to Sesimbra from Lisbon

If you have a car, it should only take you about an hour to reach this Lisbon day trip location. Sesimbra is also close enough to Lisbon to where you could take a taxi to it for a more luxurious Lisbon tour, but this might not be the most cost effective option. There are also some buses with a transfer that you can take to reach the fishing village as well.

Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado

This famed estuary reserve is located southeast of Lisbon and is formed between the municipalities of Alcácer do Sal, Comporta, and Setúbal. This estuary is home to over 200 species of birds as well as both land and sea wildlife. Visitors will be able to tell when they are getting close to the area from the large number of stork nests located atop telephone polls and church towers.

For this day trip from Lisbon, visitors can hike across the mudflats or take a ferry boat around the salt water to soak in the vast landscape and hopefully catch a glimpse of some bottlenose dolphins that reside in the area, a species that is extremely rare to find in their natural habitat in Europe.

The estuary itself has historically been an important natural resource location dating back centuries. Locals have been extracting cork for wooden products, pine nuts for the famed regional cakes, and have utilized the natural salt flats for food preservation, a tradition that dates back to Roman times.

woman in estuary

Be sure to visit the charming town of Tróia during your Lisbon tour, which displays Roman ruins of fish salting tanks, located between the calm waters and the white sands of the area. This town is a great starting point for any journey to the Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado.

How to get to Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado from Lisbon

If you choose to check out this day excursion from Lisbon, the fastest way to access the Reserva Natural do Estuário do Sado is by car. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to drive, but if you don’t feel like renting a car, there are public transportation options as well. The direct train takes just over an hour, and the direct bus takes about an hour and a half. If you would like to take the ferry and then transfer to a train, it also takes an hour and a half, and it comes with an added bonus to your Lisbon tour with views of the city waters.

Exploring Lisbon day trips with Ukio

The seaside Portuguese capital is famous for its rolling hills and close proximity to the water, so it’s no surprise to many that when they move to Lisbon, there are a variety of options for nearby day trips from Lisbon for when you need a break from the city life. Whether you’re yearning for an ocean retreat, a lush hike, or a historical town, Lisbon’s surrounding areas have you covered.

If you’re staying with Ukio, there are always more options to explore. You can check out stays and city escapes in our other markets as well. We have fully furnished and beautifully designed apartments available in Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Berlin, and Paris. Your adventure is just a click away.