Driving Through History: Exploring Lisbon’s Surroundings by Rental Car

Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is a vibrant destination with rich history and breathtaking sights. While exploring the city itself can be an adventure on its own, venturing out to the surrounding areas by rental car offers an opportunity to delve deeper into Portugal’s fascinating past and discover hidden gems off the beaten path. In this article, we will guide you through some of the must-visit destinations near Lisbon that can be easily reached with a car rental.

Sintra: A Fairytale Escape

Just a short drive from Lisbon lies Sintra, a town straight out of a fairy tale. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to extravagant palaces, lush parks, and stunning vistas. With a rental car at your disposal, you can explore Sintra at your own pace and visit its most iconic landmarks such as Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira.

Pena Palace is a colorful masterpiece perched high on a hill overlooking the town. Its eclectic architecture combines elements from different styles, creating a unique visual experience. Inside, you’ll find opulent rooms filled with art and history.

Quinta da Regaleira is another must-see attraction in Sintra. This mystical estate features elaborate gardens adorned with hidden tunnels and secret passages that lead to underground caves and wells. It’s an enchanting place that will transport you to another world.

Cascais: A Coastal Gem

If you’re craving some sun, sea, and sand during your stay in Lisbon, Cascais is the perfect destination for you. Located on the Atlantic coast just 30 minutes away from Lisbon by car, Cascais offers beautiful beaches and charming streets lined with shops and restaurants.

Take your rental car along the scenic coastal road from Lisbon to Cascais for breathtaking views of cliffs meeting the ocean waves. Once in Cascais, you can relax on the golden sands of Praia da Rainha or explore the historic center with its picturesque architecture and lively atmosphere.

For a unique experience, drive a bit further to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe. Here, you can stand on towering cliffs and enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a truly memorable spot that will make you feel like you’re at the edge of the world.

Évora: A Journey to the Past

Located about 1.5 hours east of Lisbon by car, Évora is a city steeped in history and culture. The entire city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, preserving its well-preserved Roman ruins and medieval structures.

One of Évora’s most famous landmarks is the Temple of Diana, an ancient Roman temple that dates back to the 2nd century AD. This impressive structure stands as a testament to Portugal’s rich past and provides a glimpse into the country’s Roman heritage.

Another highlight in Évora is the Cathedral of Évora, an imposing Gothic monument that dominates the city skyline. Inside, you’ll find exquisite religious art and stunning views from its rooftop terrace.

Setúbal: A Gastronomic Delight

For food lovers, Setúbal is a destination not to be missed. Located just south of Lisbon across the Tagus River, this coastal town offers delicious seafood dishes that will tantalize your taste buds.

With your rental car, you can drive through beautiful natural parks like Arrábida Natural Park before reaching Setúbal. Once there, indulge in fresh seafood delicacies such as grilled sardines or fried cuttlefish at one of the local restaurants along Avenida Luísa Todi.

Afterward, take some time to explore Troia Peninsula nearby for its pristine beaches or visit Palmela Castle for panoramic views over vineyards and the surrounding countryside.


Exploring Lisbon’s surroundings by rental car opens up a world of possibilities. From fairytale-like Sintra to coastal gems like Cascais, historical Évora, and gastronomic delights in Setúbal, there’s something for everyone. So, buckle up, hit the road, and embark on a journey through history and beauty as you discover the wonders that lie just a short drive away from Lisbon.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.