Azenhas do Mar ("Watermills by the sea"), in the region of Sintra, is a charming village of whitewashed houses, trimmed in blue, built on the slopes of the cliff and a small river with waterfalls running down through gardens to the sea.
There are Interesting rock formations and natural seawater pools, plenty to keep the kids amused.
The watermills were a popular seaside retreat in the 1950s. They have recently been carefully restored, offering a restaurant, bar and swimming pool arranged on different levels.
The restaurant has a stylish seaside wood panelled interior with magnificent views to the Atlantic Ocean. It offers a great selection of fresh fish and seafood caught locally by one of the owners, and is complemented by an excellent wine list.
The snack bar, Terraço da Azenha, situated above the restaurant and swimming pool, has a series of small terraces with great views. Inside the bar, through a glass section in the floor, you can see the old workings of the mill. It offers a good selection of snacks including sweet and savoury crêpes.
Well worth a visit, and you will find great walks that will take you along the cliffs to the beaches of Praia das Maças and Praia Grande.
Off the N247.
What a fantastic beach, a sand crescent tucked between tall cliffs, wild and wonderful, with great surfing breakers pounding the shore.
Take lunch at the restaurant which is great for fresh fish and seafood. You can choose your lobster or crab from the large tank. Recommended are amêijoas à bulhão pato (clams in garlic and white wine sauce),accompanied by a chilled bottle of vinho verde (green wine).
Walk over the cliffs to the next beach Praia Grande and see the dinosaur footprints imprinted in the cliff face. A wonderful day out.
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