Mafra & Ericeira – a national palace and the sea in Portugal


During our week in Portugal we had a rental car. This was not only good for shopping at the big supermarket in Lourihna but also a great chance to go on trips. On our first day we decided to go on a trip straight away before our surf lessons started. The good thing about going on a Sunday was that on Sundays museums are free.

We decided to pick something a little further away (meaning about 80km south) so it was worth going and we decided to go to Mafra with everyone. In Mafra you find a National Palace. The palace is a monumental Baroque and Italianized Neoclassical palace-monastery. Wikipedia says it was built in consequence of a vow made by the king in 1711, who promised to build a convent if his wife gave him descendants. The birth of his first daughter made the king initiate the construction of the palace. Good for the king and his family, the palace was conveniently located for hunting in the nearby forests, and was usually a secondary residence for the royal family.

You can see the hunting aspect best in the hunting rooms, consiting mainly of everything you can make out of antlers and obviously you can make everything out of antlers… a bit scary. A bit nicer to check out are the huge church that is part of the complex and all those palace rooms and also  the convent part with its huge library.

After we left the palace we were a bit hungry. Well not really hungry but in the mood for something sweet so we went into a nearby bakery. Did I say bakery? The place is heaven for everyone with a sweet tooth. We bought more than 15 sweet little somethings because we couldn’t decide what to take and expected a high bill. We paid a little over 5€ and then indulged in sweet stuff outside on a bench. Oh how I love those little Portuguese treats!If you are looking for it, the bakery is called Fradinho and is on the right side of the little square opposite of the palace if you want to go looking for it.

Our next stop was nearby Ericeira. It was suppossed to be a traditional port town. But actually it is just a big Portuguese seaside village. Pretty nice and popular with surfers with impressive cliffs but that is about it. We stayed for about one hour, took some nice pictures and the left to get back to Praia da Areia Branca again.



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