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Cruising Article –03/02/2011

Sintra and Cascais offer two visions of Portugal

European Cruise Destinations

When planning a vacation, many travelers have to choose between the mountain or the sea. But for those traveling on a European cruise with a stop in Lisbon, why not visit both?

The excursion to the cities of Sintra and Cascais gives you a look at two diametrically opposed visions of Portugal. The mountain resort of Sintra has played home to feudal lords and high society over the years, while Cascais functions more as a quaint fishing village.

In Sintra, you'll have the chance to visit Pena Palace, an 8th century Moorish fortress. Surrounding the fortress is a charming central square and a vast array of houses and mansions, all of which once belonged to feudal lords. There are modern conveniences too, and you may want to spend some time here simply relaxing in a local cafe and taking in the mountain air.

Then it's off to Cascais, a completely distinct town set on the ocean. You'll be treated to some fantastic waterfront views here, as well as a wide range of options when it comes to shopping and eating. The streets are a mix of the old Cascais, with many of the buildings dating back a century, and the new look, with more modern buildings taking advantage of the tourism interest in the town.