Beach break ideas,  Travel

A romantic break in Portugal at Casa da Olga in Praia das Maçãs

A sweet self-catering cottage in the heart of Praia das Maçãs, Casa da Olga is perfect for a romantic break in Portugal. Housing one double bedroom, a lounge/kitchen and bathroom with shower, the cottage is in the ideal place to stay for a couple’s break on the Portuguese coast.

Being only a short walk to the beach, Casa da Olga stands in beautiful and historic Praia das Maçãs in the west of Portugal. The village is only 20 minutes away from Sintra, with its rolling hills, incredible views and beautiful architecture. The cottage can be used as a home for plenty of sun-worshipping or as a base for a romantic break and tourist adventure across Sintra and Lisbon.

Romantic break in Portugal | Blonde in the City
image courtesy of Lisbon Coast Cottages

Praia das Maçãs

The town has everything you need if you’re planning to enjoy an entire stay in Praia das Maçãs; from a small convenience store and post office to a local market and bakery with fresh stove-made breads, muffins and biscuits.

If you plan to visit further afield, the village has great transport too. Buses make their way towards Sintra every 30 minutes and a hundred-year-old tram provides a scenic ride to Sintra once an hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The local transport is cheap, with the tram only costing 2 EUR each way per person and buses 2.95 EUR per person for a single journey.

Romantic break in Portugal | Blonde in the City

Making your way to Lisbon couldn’t be easier either. Trains run almost every half-hour from Portela de Sintra or Sintra train stations, lasting only 40 minutes into Rossio station in Central Lisbon.

The beach and the cottage

Only two minutes from the beach front, Casa da Olga sits on a quiet street surrounded by other holiday homes and local houses. Perfect for a spot of sunbathing when the beach gets too hot or crowded, the garden has loungers and a BBQ to enjoy cooking some local fish. Lisbon Coast Cottages (the owners of Casa da Olga and other villas) also provide a lovely welcome basket of homemade jams, traditional bread, locally made butter, fruit, a bottle of wine and biscuits. Everything you need for a relaxing, romantic break in Portugal by the beach!

Praia das Maçãs sits right next to Praia Grande, where coastal walkways connect each beach to the other. The smaller beach is still plenty big enough and has a hut selling toasties, salads and ice-cold drinks – so you can spend the entire day in the sun!

Romantic break in Portugal | Blonde in the City


Casa da Olga is ideally located for day excursions and has plenty of transport links if you’re a non-driver or don’t fancy hiring a car. Note that the tourist towns nearby can get busy on weekends and it’s often difficult to get parking spaces.

Sintra is only 20 minutes away by bus or 40 minutes by tram on the weekends and is home to plenty of historical castles, palaces and gardens. You can purchase a tour bus ticket and make your way up the hills to each tourist spot, starting with the beautiful gardens and caverns of Quinta da Regaleria and ending with the intricacy of Monserrate Palace. There’s not a single castle or palace in Sintra that isn’t worth seeing; the history is fascinating and the architecture beautiful. Make sure you leave enough time in the day to get a bus back down to the centre of the town.

You can’t visit Portugal and not pop along to Lisbon to take in the easy Portuguese way of city life. Being only a 40 minute train journey from Sintra, the city is vibrant compared to the calm beaches of Praia das Maçãs, yet still manages to steer clear from the frustration of incredibly densely populates areas like London, UK. Spend a morning strolling between coffee and pastry shops, then the afternoon sightseeing, taking a trip on the old trams, and shopping for traditional Portuguese gifts in the shopping district. Read more about day trips to Lisbon in Lisbon Travel Tips – 24 Hours In Lisbon.

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Charley is a professional copywriter and tea-lover currently living in Leeds. She writes about city living and city travel (with a few cats thrown in).