Days out from Lisbon – Malveira Da Serra

As the summer tourist season approaches and travellers from far and wide descend on the city of light, I thought it might be a nice idea to start a new feature here on Um Lisboeta Ingles, looking at some of the places that are close enough to Lisbon that you can enjoy them in a day and will really change your visit for the better. There’s a new category “Days out from Lisbon” which will help you find these in the navigation and I’ve trialled 3 of them ahead of time, so you’ll have something to get your teeth into within the next week or so.

First up is Malveira Da Serra. Never heard of it? Neither had I, but it’s remarkably close to the surf hotspot of Ericeira and is a small village in the middle of the mountain range that surrounds Sintra and Mafra.

Why go to a village, I hear you say? Well, it’s not so much the village that you go for, but rather the wide variety of trails you can embark on around it, taking in the lush green surroundings, climbing to breathtakingly high viewpoints and escaping the hustle and bustle of the main tourist sites of the city.

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A word of warning before we start – you will need a car, bicycle or the patience of a saint in order to wait for the less-than-optimal bus services to Malveira from surrounding towns.

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Now that’s over, let’s begin!

The first thing to note about going to Malveira is that there are so many routes there, you really could walk all day. Being inexperienced in the area, I decided it was best to get an app, so I downloaded something called Wikiloc for my smartphone. I got the android version for just over 2 euros for 3 months’ service and it worked pretty well. It’s available on iOS too. There may well be other better options. If you know of any, by all means mention them in the comments, below.

Screenshot_20170505-000446The display on the app is as shown, so you can see your current position, where you need to go next, what your elevation has been and it also records statistics on your times per kilometre etc, if that’s something you’re interested in. You can also expand the map to full screen to see more precisely where you are.

If you do decide to go for this app, I recommend downloading the trail map over Wifi as it’s a good 150MB or so for the trail we did.

The trail we elected to go for was one that went from the centre of Malveira up over the hills to the Sanctuário de Peninha. A religious refuge (which may now be closed) surrounded by a nature reserve is the first major landmark you reach. The building is a block of austere grey stone atop a platform. It’s powerfully striking as you approach. Just before you arrive at it, there is a small sanctuary spring. We saw other walkers there filling their drinking bottles, so I took a much needed drink of icy spring water. I don’t know if it is actually safe to drink, but I’m not dead… yet. Once you get to the top of the hillside, beneath the sanctuary itself, you have a quite remarkable view out across the bay of Cascais and to the beaches of Guincho and Sintra. Once you reach the level of the building itself, you can walk behind it and see what I guess must be the only aerial view of Cabo da Roca possible without the aid of a helicopter.

After this, you head down part of the same hill and into the forest where you’re greeted by birds, bees, flowers, the sounds of untold other animals sniffing (and in the case of the likely wild boar we heard – grunting) at your presence. Birds of prey soar overhead and, even on a sunny day, the air becomes quite chill.

The final part of the hike brings you out of the forest and onto the highest point of the whole trail, from where you can look out towards Lisbon and take in every piece of spectacular scenery on the way.

Bear in mind this is just one of many routes available from Malveira da Serra, so it’s really worth taking a look.

If you do go, it’s worth remembering that you really do have to take sensible shoes, drinking water and, preferably, some snacks or a picnic lunch as once you’re in the forest, there’s really nowhere to buy anything at all.

Have you been to Malveira? Would you like to go? Leave your opinions in the comments.

I leave you with a Malveiran cat.

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2 thoughts on “Days out from Lisbon – Malveira Da Serra

  1. Great tips man, will check this area out on my next trip, I hear sintra is great for mountain biking. I love Lisbon with all my heart and dream of ditching the UK to move out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading, Jacko! I actually saw a couple of brave souls doing some downhill mtb. Rather then than me, because those hills are steep! But come, have a go.
      As for moving here, best choice I ever made! 😉

      Like

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