Less than 40 km to the north of Lisbon lies the town of Mafra, one of Portugal’s oldest. Known for its leafy parklands, Mafra is also home to the National Palace. This imposing baroque monument was built by King João V in the 18th Century.
The Tapada de Mafra, which surrounds the palace, was once the hunting and play ground of the Portuguese monarchy. Rich in both flora and fauna it is now open to the public.
If you leave Mafra and head towards the coast, you will come to Ericeira. Thanks to its beaches and the excellent surfing, appreciated by an increasing number of fans, this fishing village has been made a World Surfing Reserve. Surfers from all over the world hunt for the perfect wave along this stretch of coast. Ericeira has much more to offer, though, particularly from its kitchens. Local cuisine is largely based on the fresh fish from the daily catch.