Sintra/Aveiro — Day 4 of a 8-Day Trip in Portugal
Day 4 was so much nicer of a day that Day 3 – it was sunny and the sky was blue. I was really glad we decided to stay the night at Sintra. Day 4 consisted of a morning in Sintra and an afternoon/evening stay in Aveiro.
We had breakfast at the hotel (included in our stay), then visited the Quinta de Regaleira since it was only a 7 minute walk away. Quinta de Regaleira has a Gothic architecture. The gardens are gorgeous. I thought the gardens were nicer and more maintained than Pena Palace. A popular attraction at Quinta de Regaleira is the Initiation Well, which is a spiral staircase that descends into the tunnels.
As we headed to the Sintra Station to take the train back to Lisbon, I looked back and could see the outline of the Castelos dos Muoros atop the hill. From Lisbon, we headed to the train station to purchase our tickets for Aveiro. The train to Aveiro only comes a few times a day, so make sure to plan ahead.
We had some time before our train, so we had lunch at Jeronymo, a chain cafe. He ordered the ravioli and I ordered the smoke salmon toast.
The train to Aveiro was about 3 hours. The Aveiro Station is beautiful with white walls and blue ceramic tile artwork.
From the station, it is about a 15 minute walk to the central area. Aveiro is a good location for those looking for the outdoors and the beach, but as a backpacker with no vehicle, maybe not an ideal stop. The city has a canal that runs through it and likes to call itself the Venice of Portugal. It is not as grand as Venice however and a large portion of the area was under construction during our visit. About a 30 minute bus from Aveiro is Costa Nova which is a beach town. We did not have time to visit, but the photos look nice, especially the colourful homes. We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering Aveiro – stopping at the Cathedral, the Praca da Republica, and having the famed ovos mole from Confeitaria Peixinho. Ovos mole are pastries filled with a sugary egg yolk mixture. Another activity in Aveiro is the moliceiro boat tour. A moliceiro is a traditional boat that historically, was used to collect and transport seagrasses.
For dinner, we went to Salpoente, a restaurant featured in the Michelin Guide. It is located in an old salt warehouse. We selected the tasting menu with drinks to complement our meal. The tasting menu changes and all the ingredients are local. The plates were as follows:
- Champagne, bread and butter.
- Raw oysters with sea foam paired with wine.
- Marinhoa beef tacos with beer.
- Salted cod dish with white wine.
- Marinhoa steak with red wine (the flaky potato pastry was tasty).
- A lemon tart with lemon sorbet to cleanse our palette.
- A spinach cake with raspberry cream with a scoop of ice cream and a dessert wine.
The meal came out to 180 euros for the two of us, but the quality of the food would have cost much more anywhere else. Absolutely spectacular. After dinner, we headed back to our Airbnb for the evening.
Complete Day 4 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Have breakfast.
10:00am: Visit Quinta de Regaleira (10 minute walk from Sintra Centre).
12:00pm: Head back to Lisbon (1 hour train from Sintra) to take the train to Aveiro (2 hours and 30 minutes train from Lisbon). Stop for lunch at Jeronymo.
4:00pm: Explore Aveiro. Go on a moliceiro tour on the Aveiro Canal. Visit the Praca de Republica, the Cathedral, and Aveiro Museum. Have ovos mole from Confeitaria Peixinho.
7:00pm: Have dinner at Salpoente (11 minute walk from Confeitaria Peixinho).
16-Day Italy and Portugal Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 16-Day Italy and Portugal Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip!