Walking and Eating in Lisbon


walk & eat LISBON

by Paul and Denise Burton

This is not a city guide, but it doesn’t pretend to be — it’s a walking guide with Lisbon as a base. I really enjoyed using the book and doing the walks. Non-specialist guidebooks like Lonely Planet/Rough Guide don’t give details of any walking routes outside the city, so a book like this is great… (ESS, Amazon)

I spent four entire days in and out of Lisbon with this book as my guide during Easter. (HH, Amazon)

Click below to read walker’s reviews and use the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon.co.uk (RRP £8.99)


Or, purchase the complete book as a downloadable PDF using the Add to Basket button below (£7).



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W&E LisbonThis pocket-sized full-colour guide is designed for short-break walking holidays in Lisbon and around the capital using the excellent public transport network. Even ‘non-walkers’ will appreciate the large-scale city plans and maps, descriptions of the sights, and recommendations for restaurants in Lisbon and other tourist centres like Sintra and Cascais. For each suggested restaurant there is a photograph of the décor and one of their dishes, sample menu, price guide, opening times, and a recipe for one of their specialities. Other sections include: planning your trip, logistics on arrival, local markets and specialities, glossary of local food terms, and a restaurant mini-vocabulary. A special feature is the emphasis on natural local foods suitable for those with food intolerances. All recipes have been made by the authors and are known to ‘work’.

For an extremely useful source of information about the city, click here http://www.travelsavvy-europe.com/city-breaks/lisbon.html

Area covered: The book describes one walk in the city centre, five in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and other walks further afield but easily reached by public transport. There are two excursions — one to the Tagus Estuary Natural Park, the other to the medieval walled town of Óbidos.

The best months for walking in Lisbon and around are April-June and September/October, although it is usually mild enough to walk in this area right through the winter months. Only in July and August would it be far too hot — but one can still enjoy the restaurants in Lisbon and the other popular centres covered!


Where to stay

Your choice of where to look for accommodation will be governed by several factors. For instance, if you intend to hire a car you will benefit from a much wider choice. On the other hand if you plan to rely on public transport, you will need to choose a centre offering good access to the walk routes or excursions you plan to do. There is also the factor of what type of accommodation you plan to use, for example whether you plan to stay in a hotel or in a self-catering apartment or villa. The author provides useful advice on the various options in the Where to Stay chapter which will be found in the introductory pages of the book.

Edition/contents etc

10 walks and 2 excursions
144 pages + plan of central Lisbon; area map; large-scale (1:35,000) topo maps for the countryside walks
1st ed, 2005; ISBN 978-1-85691-280-8; UK retail price £7.99 / USA retail price $14.99

Table of contents:

PLAN OF CENTRAL LISBON inside front cover

the walks 6
the excursions 6
authors’ note 7
the restaurants 8
the recipes 9
portuguese food 10
portuguese wines 10
planning your visit 12
when to go 12
where to stay 13
what to take 14
planning your walks 15
on arrival 17
tourist information 17
city transport pass 12
shopping for self-catering 19
markets 19

Walk 1 · lisbon city 20
alternative visits: belém, parque das nações 31
restaurant: comida da ribeira 31
recipes: salt cod brás-style, leite-crème 32

Walk 2 · sintra castles and palaces 34
restaurant: restaurante regional de sintra 43
recipes: goan-style curry, coriander soup with poached egg 44

Walk 3 · monserrate and capuchos 46
restaurants: café de paris, sintra 51
recipes: chicken breast stuffed with spinach and nuts,
marinated horse-mackerel 52

Walk 4 · peninha circuit from azóia 54
restaurants: pão de trigo, azóia 60
recipe: turbot and prawn kebab 61

Walk 5 · azenhas do mar 62
restaurants: ribeirinha de colares, restaurante da várzea,
azenhas do mar 70
recipes: rabbit stew, prawn bread soup 72

Walk 6 · westward to cabo da roca 74
restaurant: casa da galé, praia grande 82
recipe: pork with clams, Alentejo-style 75

Walk 7 · arrábida peninsula 84
restaurant: restaurante bombordo, setúbal 90
recipes: rodizio de peixe, orange roll 91

Walk 8 · sado’s rice paddies 92
restaurants: museu do arroz and ilha do arroz, comporta 100
recipes: razor-shell and cockle rice, sweet rice pudding,
duck rice, cockles bulhão pato-style 102

Walk 9 · mafra 106
restaurant: o brasão, mafra 116
recipe: loin of pork stuffed with a flour-and-pork sausage,
seasoned with garlic and paprika 117

Walk 10 · lourinhã’s dinosaurs 118
restaurant: restaurante foz 126
recipe: fish stew 127

excursion 1 · alcochete 128
restaurant: solar do peixe, alcochete 131

excursion 2 · óbidos 132
costa de lisboa area map 134
restaurants: cozinha das rainhas, ilustre casa de ramiro 135

choosing bacalhau 136
EAT GF, DF 138
eating in restaurants 138
self-catering 139
gf, df shopping 139

GLOSSARY (menu decoder, shopping items, conversion table) 140
IN the restaurant (pocket vocabulary) inside back cover

Guidebook index

The following is the index of places; the book also contains an index of recipes (which is not shown here). Page numbers shown in bold are where photographs appear; those shown in italics are where maps appear.

Adraga 74, 76, 79
Alcochete 128, 129, 131 Arroz (Museu do) 100
Azenhas do Mar 62, 64, 66
Azóia 56, 60

Cabo da Roca 58, 76, 81
Capuchos Monastery 48, 49
Comporta 94, 95 Cruz Alta 36, 40

Ericeira 107, 108

Alfama 25
Belém 28, 29, cover
Castelo S Jorge 23, 24 Lourinhã 119, 121
Lourinhã (continued)

Mafra 106, 112, 114
Palace 105, 106, 112, 114 Mercado da Ribeira 18, 19, 31
Monserrate Palace 47, 48, 50 Moors’ Castle 34, 36, 39, 42

natural parks
Arrábida 85
Sado 97
Tejo 129, 130

Óbidos 132, 133, 135
Pai Mogo, Fort 121, 125
Pena Palace, 36, 39, 40
Peninha 54, 55, 56 Praia da Areia Branca 118, 121, 124
Praia da Ursa 76, 80
Praia das Maças 64, 67, 75
Praia Grande 64, 69, 76, 77
Parque das Nações 4, 28
Praça do Comércio 27

Rossio 21

Sado Estuary 87, 93, 94 Santa Luzia 23
museum 119, 120
São Luís, Serra de 85, 86, 88
Setúbal 85, 89, 90
Sintra 35, 37, 41

Tapada 107, 114
Torres Vedras, Lines of 111, 112

Várzea de Colares 63, 64, 65, 70

Zambujal 109, 111

Current update

LISBON, 1st edition (2005); updated 21/10/2011

Updates for the walks, restaurants, shops and recipes in Lisbon and the surrounding area given below supplement those provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)

Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to info@sunflowerbooks.co.uk.

General: I have just got back from a stay in Sintra where we used your Lisbon Walk & Eat extensively. It’s a great book – I will definitely be looking out for more of them to use in the future! (User, 3/11) + We stayed in Lisbon in March 2011. Rossio station has re-opened and Sintra trains leave every 10 minutes. Tickets are now electronic throughout Lisbon and its suburbs; you have to buy a Via Viagem ticket for 0.50 euros that lasts for a year and then load onto it the journey you want. Beware: it does not work like a London Oyster card and will only load one journey (single, return or day ticket) at a time. The renovation of Monserrate Palace is now complete and the estate is open daily 10-6. From Sintra station bus 435, called the Villa Express, will take you to the door via the palaces of Regaleira and Seteais for a return fare of 4 euros. If you want to visit either of these two, you have to do it on the outward leg. Monserrate has a new Mexican garden that is very interesting and a small cafe (drinks, cakes, snacks but no lunches). Re the trip out to Belem: there is a new riverfront walkway all the way from the Doca de Santo Amaro by the 25 de Abril bridge to the Torre de Belem. Very pleasant, with great views across the estuary. Took us about an hour but we are slow walkers by Sunflower standards! (User, 4/11)

Buses: ScottUrb buses: Most ScottUrb buses now leave and terminate at Portela da Sintra station (penultimate station on Lisbon to Sintra line). Times and service nos. have been completely revised. There is an information office nearly opposite the main (older) entrance to Sintra central station (end of line). Turn sharp right at main exit… The hourly 403 is useful for Walk 6 as it does Sintra – Cascais via Cabo da Roca. (User, 4/09)

Accommodation: A company in Portugal offering interesting accommodation in Lisbon has written to us; you might like to look at www.friendlyrentals.com (Sunflower, 10/07)

Walk 1: We think the map and directions are a little misleading around the Praça da Figueira. You leave the Praça on Rua dom Duarte, not Rua da Palma. Check this on Google maps. (User, 4/09)

Walk 2: Just before the 1h26min-point, on leaving the Fonte das Passarinhos, you walk down right on tarmac, not left. (User, 10.05) [Author: Obviously if one turned left one would retrace ones steps along the way just walked. We assumed people would realise that you continue along the route on leaving the fountain, in which case you are immediately confronted with a junction where you turn down left (following the Lagos sign) as indicated in the text.] + We enjoyed this walk, though we split it into two halves and took the bus up to the Pena Palace for the ridge part of the walk. That worked well and you might like to suggest it to readers. But the Sintra tourist office guide calls this walk “very strenuous”, whereas you categorise it as “moderate”. It is obvious when you look up from Sintra town square to the Moors Castle that this is anything but a moderate climb. (User, 5/07; the authors comment: When grading a walk several factors have to be considered, not only height gain (which in this case is clearly stated as being 350m). In this case underfoot conditions are generally excellent and most of the uphill is on a steady gradient. The book is designed for walkers whilst the tourist guide is for allcomers.) + On page 39, just below the picture, the instruction “zigzag to the right just 10 metres above the gate” is wrong. It must mean ’10 minutes’ rather than ’10 metres’ (which then works nicely), and the zigzag is not to the right. (User, 5/07 – confirmed by another user (also 5/07) who writes: We “zigzag to the right just 10 metres above the gate and, ignoring the steps up to the right (18 min), follow the main, level path. But a minute later do fork right uphill (above a small castellated house).” I ignored the steps to the right 10 metres above, and found myself on a small trail that got smaller. Eventually, I beat my way uphill (after going back to the fork in the road and reassuring myself I was on the right trail.) Before I got to the top, I was obviously on the wrong trail, and eventually clambered over a stone wall onto the main path up above. I think the “10 metres” should maybe be 100 metres. Also, while I didn’t time it, the “minute later” might be 5 minutes or so (I’m not sure). Thanks for the guide book. Sintra was absolutely wonderful! [The authors comment that they will check this out as soon as possible; there have obviously been some changes.] + We went to Lisbon a couple of years ago and made some use of your Walk & Eat book there, although at the time I wasn’t able to walk very far because of ankle problems. But we had a fine time doing the Sintra route. Keep up the good work! (User, 3/08) + I see in the current updates several people have gotten confused “10 meters above the gate” (page 39). There is really no need for that, as despite the doubts raised, the book’s instructions from this point are quite correct except for the fact the first “zig” is curving to the LEFT. But I found that quite obvious… After visiting the palace (page 40) it would be much clearer if the book stated that the continuing path can be found by just retracing your steps a couple of minutes down to the picnic area passed on the way up (on your left at that time). This is “Picadeira”, where the mentioned footpath can be picked up. (User, 4/09) + I don’t think the directions make clear that to fully complete the walk as described, the admission fee for Pena Palace gardens (currently ¤5 per person) must be paid at the entrance gate. It is not necessary to pay for anything else, unless a supplementary visit, e.g. Castelo dos Mouros, is required. (User, 4/09) + As noted by some other readers, the “1 min” and “10metres” after the revolving gate got us confused, this description seems to correspond exactly to a smaller dirt track which soon fizzles out. The correct turning comes around 5 -10 minutes up. (User, 3/11)

Walk 3: This walk presents a few navigation problems because there are so many tracks that look very similar (and in fact new ones going in when we were there!). After turning right at the T-junction (with signpost) at the 41min-point, one needs to keep ahead until the road down to Capuchos is reached (as shown on the map). Ignore any turnings before this road. (Author, 10/05) + We made the mistake of starting around 4pm; this meant that the two main highlights of the walk the Monserrate gardens and the Covento dos Capuchos were both closed when we arrived. Please stress that this walk should only be attempted at the beginning of the day as without visits to these attractions it really is not worth it. (User, 10/06) + I did not see a sign at 41 min, and after turning right, you need to keep left at a fork a few minutes later. The map does not show the entrance to the Convent. It would be clearer if the “road” in the convent was shown in white. There is a cafe in Monserrate park, and a simple cafe at Capuchos Convent. (User, 9/11) + This is a good walk as it’s partially sheltered by trees and is better than driving the narrow roads from Monserate to Capuchos. Monserate is currently being restored but is still worth seeing and going inside. The guide inside was really helpful and enthusiastic about telling us about the place. The walk is a good forest walk with decent tracks. The guide is accurate except that there are some Private Property signs which we ignored, one is just at the top of the rise just after 6 mins and the other is just, from memory, after the water tank at 1hr. There is a fence at the water tank with a gate which looks like it’s always left open. At the 41 min T junction there is no sign but a long wall, it’s easy to see when walking up to it, just turn right at the T Junction. We arrived at Capuchos at around 4:30 and the lady at the pay desk offered to drive us back at 7:00 (We were there in October and it’ll be dark by 7:30) if we run late whilst looking around. We cant guarantee this service for everyone though! (User, 10/11)

Walk 4: The map after the second watercourse (page 56) is wrong and caused me much confusion. The green-marked track on the map here curves west before it splits up. The correct track to follow however (as far as I understand it now) actually curves directly east at this point. The text (17min) seems correct. (User, 4/09)

Walk 5: See my comments about the stream crossing under Walk 6. (User, 4/09) + Walks 5 and 6 can be combined into a good full day hike, with good timing for lunch at Casa da Gale (though the mislabelling of Walk 6 at the top of the map on page 64 is initially confusing). (User, 9/11)

Walk 6: After the 1h11min-point, we missed the detour junction to the caves and blowholes (our timings did not coincide, and the word T-junction did not fit the situation on the ground. We went back to the road and tried again but never found the right spot (with hindsight there was only one other track we did not try). We ended up in Azoia and walked down the road to Cabo da Roca. (User, 10.05) [Author: I am puzzled by this comment. We walked this 3 or 4 times and so have a very clear mental picture of this section. The waymarking sharp right at 1h07min should be easy to spot, and within 4-5 mins one reaches the waymarked T-junction. There are no other turnings off (apart from the rough track off right mentioned in the text).] + Crossing the stream (also Walk 5) can be tricky. My advice is take your boots off and paddle. It’s a sandy surface. Praia Grande: the 320 steps are now blocked, deemed too dangerous. Instead use the GR footpath by the turning circle at the end of the beach promenade. This winds up to the top of the cliff. After 15-20 mins the trig. point at 40 mins should become visible. See also my comments under ‘Buses’ above. (User, 4/09) + The steps at the end of Praia Grande beach are closed and look like they will remain so as parts of the cliff appear to have come away and the steps are well fenced off. A diversion is signposted from the mini-roundabout in front of the Casa da Gale Restaurant. Although not particularly well waymarked, it is possible to follow this up tracks to the top of the cliffs where it eventually rejoins the coastpath at the top of the closed steps. This walk is well worth doing. Directions near the end are a bit vague but it is difficult to go far wrong if you use the map. (e-mail, 12/09) + As posted in the updates, the steps are now closed off and it is necessary to follow GR11 diversions further back along the beach. Still worth walking along the beach though, it’s lovely. (User, 3/11) + There are stepping stones for the stream crossing. At 1h11m: the directions seemed fine (but there was no initial Cabo da Roca sign). After returning across the sharp gully, there is a rough track to the right running South then West, joining a better track at a T -junction, where you turn right to reach the recommended track at another T junction… Walks 5 and 6 can be combined into a good full day hike, with good timing for lunch at Casa da Gale (though the mislabelling of walk 6 at the top of the map on page 64 is initially confusing). (User, 9/11)

Walk 7: At the 57min-point the track no longer exists – the field has been ploughed up. We walked round the edge and with binoculars picked up the distant path. We found the timings between the quarries inaccurate. (User, 10.05) + We never did even get to start this walk as we could not find the starting point, despite several runs to and fro along the road. Please could we have more explicit guidance on how to find the Capela. (User, 5/07; the authors’ answer: The access to the capela is clearly marked on the map. Look for the bus stop, just by the junction of the N10 with the 1056. The lane up to the capela is almost opposite. The capela itself is 200m up the lane. )

Walk 8: The text on page 98 reads ‘Turn right on the road and, where it swings off left (1h12min)…’ It would be more accurate to say ‘Continue along the road and, where it swings off left….’. (The text in the book assumes users will go off to the other side of the road to explore as suggested, in which case they would need to turn right on rejoining the road.) (Author, 10/05)

Walk 9: IMPORTANT. A new motorway is being built in this area, making the walk either difficult or impassable at present. Basically it has all been bulldozed from the 6min to the 1h38min-point. When the work is finished, the authors will check to see if anything is left – one user said that it looked as if even the fortifications had been destroyed. (Sunflower, 10/06) + Two new housing estates are being built at either end of the walk in Ericeira and Mafra with new road layouts making the directions impossible to follow. Paths are difficult to find or even blocked off by building works. In addition, a motorway has opened along much of the route. Although there’s little traffic so not much noise, it is a bit of an eyesore and makes the route hard to follow where it goes near it. Would not recommend this walk anymore. (e-mail, 12/09) + A user braved this route in 2011: The walk still exists up to the part where you fork right to get to the hill fortifications and Zambaja village, but here the walk hits the new motorway which is right splat where the walk must have used to be… we looked for the hill fortifications but I really do think they may have been built through. Couldn’t actually find Zambaja either, has that gone too? I know this sounds ridiculous but it really is a very big motorway. We tried taking the left hand fork lower down, and this may actually provide a path through the valley, but it got very boggy and a bit lost in reeds, and we were worried about getting lost so then just walked along the path at the side of the motorway for quite a while until we were able to fork off and approach Mafra from the north-west through some suburban sprawl. A real shame as the countryside looked lovely away from the motorway. Possibly a future edition could explore the possibilities down this left hand fork on the valley floor? Incidentally, the housing development just after Ericeria is still growing, but we found all the paths there exactly as described. (User, 3/11) + We started our walk from Zambujal to go to Mafra (57mins). At Zambujal a footpath to the fort has been blocked by rubble and the path blends into fields. (we are not sure if this path is featured in the walk but it’s just a word of warning that it’s best to keep to the tarmac in the village itself.) The fort built by Wellington is still there and well worth seeing, it’s signposted from the tarmac road. The walk is ok until 1h38mins where after keeping left you go under the motorway via a short tunnel and continue on the track to the small house (now not quite so small as it has 2 extensions on the rear. The route is ok again until 1h46mins where the old ruin may have been removed to build the garden of a house just up the slope. After that there’s industrial units on the right and housing on the left. We turned back as the pleasure of any scenery had long since passed.

It’s worth going to Zambujal to see the fort and to see the imposing Palace at Mafra in the distance, but the guide is correct that there’s too much urban sprawl in Mafra. (User, 10/11)

Restaurants: there is a fantastic and quite new restaurant in the village of Colares (where they make a unique but previously well-known wine in very small quantities nowadays) just beyond Monserrat gardens. It is very much in a country village but has more charm of ambiance and sophistication in cooking without high expense, even with the current high euro, than many restaurants in Lisbon itself and certainly among the tourist hordes in Sintra. It is called Colares Velho, Largo Dr Carlos Franc, 1-4, 2705-192 Colares Tel +351 219 292 406; www.restaurantecolaresvelho.com (user, 4/08) + I just spent a holiday week in Lisbon and I took your guide with me. Actually, since I discovered your travelling guides I use them whenever I go on a trip, as I find them very useful and filled with excellent tips to make the most of your visit. It’s precisely because I trust your advice, that I wanted to share with you a discovery I made on my recent trip to Lisbon. It is a restaurant with an impressive vue of the city, named “Atira-te ao rio”. It’s located at the mouth of the Tagus river, to get there you have to take a ferry and once arrived, you enjoy a magnificent panorama of Lisbon. They serve traditional Brasilian food, their speciality are fish dishes and if you want to spend a magic moment, I recommend you to taste your meal at the huge terrace from which you can admire the beautiful view of the city from the other side of the river. You can eat from around 20 euros and it’s the ideal place to relax after a long tourism day. It’s a little paradise. (User, 9/09)