The small town of MAFRA is utterly dominated by the vast monastery-palace the Mosteriro Palácio Nacional de Mafra which João V – the wealthiest and most extravagant of all Portuguese monarchs – built in emulation of El Escorial in Madrid. It’s only 12km from Ericeira, so makes an easy half-day trip from the coast, or you can see it en route from Lisbon or Sintra. Drivers will also be able to call in at the nearby Tapada de Mafra park and at the craft village at Sobreiro, on the road between Mafra and Ericeira.There’s a turismo in the palace,to the right of the basilica and plenty of cafés and restaurants in and around the square opposite the palace. None in particular stands out, but as Portuguese visitors are in the majority, prices are reasonable.

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