Wedding Week: Day 8. A Group Day Trip To Sintra and Cabo da Roca!

02.09.17. Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Ericeira, Portugal. 2 days married. Eighth full day in Europe.

Day 8. Wow, our final full day of our European wedding vacation! Since Day 7 was our day of rest (a la our Day at Sea circa 2010 – hello, Pryor!), I planned a full day excursion for everyone’s (everyone who was still in town, anyway) final day in Portugal! I used Tours by Jorge to plan a private day tour to Sintra, Portugal, with lunch and a stop at Cabo do Roca, all starting and ending at Hotel Vila Gale Ericeira! I was seriously the best bride… = ) 

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The beautiful Portuguese countryside that we toured!

Our morning started quite early for a group on vacation, with a bus pick up at our hotel at 8:00 a.m…. It was a real struggle, but everyone made it to the bus on time – phew! We left a few minutes after 8 and met our tour guide, Ana, at a random train station between Ericeira and Sintra. Ana jumped right aboard and started our lovely tour! Here we are on the bus:

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Sleepy morning on the bus. We rode a lot of buses this trip!

Our first stop on the tour was Pena Palace in Sintra, the most magnificent and famous palace in Sintra! Pena Palace is located on top of the largest hill in Sintra and its quite the trek to reach the top! Upon arrival in Sintra, we luckily (pat on the back to me! #noshame #bestbride) had already purchased entrance tickets to Pena Palace and bus tickets to the top of the hill where the entrance to Pena Palace is located (the line is always super long!). After waiting a few minutes for the bus to take us to the top, we all boarded the bus and walked the last few steps to the entrance to Pena Palace!

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Minibus to take us to the top!

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Overview of the entrance.

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The group, walking up to enter Pena Palace!

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Grand entrance.

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Close up!

Thanks to our early arrival, we entered Pena Palace right after it opened. Ana gave everyone headphones (well, 1 headphone…) and personally guided us through Pena Palace via a broadcast to everyone who had a headphone! This was a really nice touch, as her tour was quite in depth and gave us a lot of history about Pena Palace and Sintra. It was way more informative than our standard audio guide in 2014.

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Getting ready for the tour with Ana.

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Tour ready!

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Heading in to Pena Palace.

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Favorite wall in the palace.

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Bryan was a real champ.

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Pena Palace kitchen…loving all of the copper!

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Gorgeous chandelier.

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On tour!

Our tour lasted about 45 minutes and ended on a large patio overlooking Sintra. You could see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean! Lots of pictures were taken here, as we had about 30 minutes to just hang out!

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Aunt Di, Nonni, and Craigy!

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The Kovalls!

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The Marsdens!

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Me, Nonni, and Dan at Pena Palace!

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The Dinans!

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The Wares!

After about 30 minutes of crazy photo taking by everyone on the tour because it was SO gorgeous, we made our way back down the hill, which involved waiting for that little green minibus to drive us down the hill. We had a bit of a spat with another tour company, but eventually won and all made it on the shuttle and down the hill. Our large bus was waiting for us at the bottom! Upon boarding, we made the short drive into Sintra. Due to a lot of traffic, we only had about 30 minutes to walk around Sintra (we were supposed to have an hour plus, but weekend traffic…) In any case Sintra is a really, really cute town, so I think everyone enjoyed it. Lots of shopping going on! We all went our separate ways for our brief stay in Sintra, and Tinh and I went with our tour guide to Casa Piriquita to buy the local Sintra pastries for our lunch a bit later!

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Shopping in Sintra!

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Pastry shopping for later!

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National Palace of Sintra.

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The famously cute Sintra tram.  In reality, not very useful.

After Sintra, we all boarded the bus and headed off to lunch. Now, lunch had been quite the query for me in planning this trip. Do I include lunch in the tour? Do I let people lunch on their own in Sintra? Do we skip lunch? So many questions!! In any case, I decided to include lunch (and lunch drinks) in the price, and it was the best idea that I had the entire trip! Our lunch was about 20 minutes away by bus.

Our bus pulled in to Restaurant Nortada about 10 minutes late (I was really, realllllly hoping they held our reservation). Luckily, they did, and Restaurant Nortada had set up the loveliest seating on their back deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean! It was totally gorgeous!!!! Truly, rivaled our rehearsal dinner setting!! Brides, party planners, take note!

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Arrival at lunch. Again, Bryan was a true champ.

Our meal consisted of small appetizers, octopus salad, and Arroz de Marisco (kind of like paella) with lots of seafood, including large chunks of lobster!! It was accompanied by red and white wine and fresh fruit for dessert. In addition to the fresh fruit, the restaurant graciously served those pastries that I had picked up in Sintra from its most famous bakery, Casa Piriquita!

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Octopus appetizer!

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THAT LOBSTER!!

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The group at lunch!

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Famous Sintra pastries!

We eventually (sadly) boarded the bus and left our gorgeous lunch! But, not for the trip to end, we made our way 15 minutes further West to Cabo da Roca – the Westernmost point in all of continental Europe. In short, Cabo da Roca is really just a beautiful cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, but it is particularly beautiful around 16h when we visited and its definitely a lovely spot for pictures! We all spent about 30 minutes here taking pictures and walking around. A perfect cap to our trip!!

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The Westernmost point in Europe.

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Cabo da Roca!

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More!

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Me & Pryor, our most trusted traveling partner! = )

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Cabo!

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Me & danger.

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The married couple!!

We returned to the hotel, as promised, around 17h. After a bit of relaxing, Dan and I had dinner with our friends still in town at Restaurant Funky, a lovely little restaurant with a good wine list in Ericeira. Dan and I ate dinner here when we visited in November 2016 and really enjoyed it. This time around, these spring rolls were particularly good, as was the chocolate dessert!

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Spring rolls at Restaurante Funky!

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The cutest desserts!

After dinner, all of the “young people” still in town went to a bar for some final drinks, where we enjoyed a beer that was aged in Quinta de Sant’Ana wine barrels! Very interesting! We pretty much took over their outdoor area…

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The best group of wedding guests!

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Quinta de Sant’Ana beer!

After our “final drinks,” we strolled down to the festival that was happening in Ericeira that weekend. It had something to do with the sea and the end of summer, but I cannot tell you exactly what! There was live music, a large crowd, and lots of food and drink stands. We even tried the famous Portuguese hotdog – a hotdog topped with little fries!

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A Portuguese hotdog.

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Lady & The Tramping our Portuguese hotdog.

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Ericeira street festival!

Everyone eventually made it back to Hotel Vila Gale Ericeira and to bed. It was a fabulous last night in Ericeira celebrating our wedding!!!

Photo creds: Joanne Cozzi, Jim & Christina Perry and Rachel Gallagher, Michelle Cozzi.

Be sure to check out my other wedding week posts: 

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