» Sintra: Valenças Palace
Dominated by Lisbon, with its huge choice of places to visit, from monuments and museums to a quite vast cultural calendar and all types of entertainment, this district provides different landscapes, traditions and diversions, in spite of the rapid urbanization around the capital.
Beach-lovers can choose between the more cosmopolitan Cascais and Estoril, full of bars and discotheques, to the long stretches of sand in Costa da Caparica or to fishing towns like Ericeira, which still keeps some of its old traditions.
The deeply wooded slopes of Sintra, with its beautiful palaces and parks, lead to the rugged coastline which faces the Atlantic.
Vila Franca de Xira, a modest-looking town surrounded by industries, is known as a centre for horse and bull rearing and its bullfights attract many visitors.
An enormous baroque palace and monastery dominates the small town of Mafra; another royal palace can be seen in Queluz, with its sumptuous Throne Room and elaborate gardens.
Surfing, diving, fishing and horse riding facilities are available in this district, as well as fine golf courses and a wide variety of entertainment choices, from bullfights to country fairs and art and music festivals.