Last Updated on 2023-09-16
What to see and do in Mafra Portugal with your family? Mafra is a village in the district of Lisbon, whose best-known tourist attraction is the Mafra National Palace.
Indeed, the National Palace of Mafra is a construction worthy of note, both for its architectural characteristics and its historical importance.
However, we found other compelling places to take your family for a walk, and we leave here no more than five suggestions for places to visit in Mafra.
We also include tips on what to do in Mafra and accommodation in Mafra.
So, join us on this trip that promises to please every member of the family.
Things to do in Mafra with your family
As promised, here are the five incredible places that you should include in your tour of Mafra: the National Palace of Mafra, the Tapada Nacional, the Typical Village of José Franco, the typical mills of Santa Maria in Malveira, and also the Beach of Fishermen in Ericeira.
The National Palace of Mafra
The Mafra National Palace is composed of the Mafra Convent, the Mafra Basilica, and the Royal Palace, so, in a single visit, you can explore these three places.
What remains in our memory is the magnificent library with its high walls filled with books with old bindings.
It is not possible to walk through the corridors of the Mafra library, but even just peeking, the feeling is incredible.
In addition, the library has as tenants some bats that feed on insects and thus help preserve rare copies of books.
The National Tapada of Mafra
The Tapada Nacional de Mafra is a forest area located in Sobral da Abelheira, in other words, a few km from the center of Mafra.
It is a hunting space with about 1187 hectares of land and a wall approximately 21 km long. As you can see, it is a green area of considerable size.
The entrance fee depends on the type of activity you want to do, so, for example, if you like to rent a bike and go on a tour, expect to pay around 15 EUR but, if the idea is to take a guided tour to see the animals, the ticket costs approximately 12 EUR.
The Typical Village José Franco
Aldeia Típica José Franco is also known as Aldeia Saloia or Aldeia Típica do Sobreiro, as it is located in Sobreiro, that is, on the road that connects Ericeira to Mafra.
We must recognize that the space does not please everyone, but we are part of the group that loved the visit.
José Franco’s Typical Village was born from the dream of this gentleman who wanted to immortalize his childhood memories, as well as the way people lived.
We can visit shops, workshops and other places that transport us to ancient times. It also includes a bakery that is in operation, and the aroma of bread and chorizo coming out of the oven took us to the bakery counter quickly.
It was a lot of fun to see our boys trying to find out what the utensils around the village were for, so if you have children, you can’t miss this experience (free entry).
The Mills of Santa Maria in Malveira
The Moinhos da Malveira dates back to the 17th century, but the Moinho do Diabo-Alma, the first to be seen on the slope, is about three centuries older.
Therefore, there is no doubt that they are old windmills, and they used to grind the region’s cereals.
In total, there are seven mills, and they are still in operation, so don’t forget to include them in your tour in Mafra.
Fisherman’s Beach in Ericeira
Ericeira is known for its beaches and surfing, and Praia dos Pescadores is one of the must-see places for anyone visiting the region.
For those traveling with children, the calm waters of Praia dos Pescadores are ideal, and the proximity to the center of the fishing village helps a lot.
A few meters away, you will find several restaurants with fresh fish and seafood, as well as a specialty for sweet lovers: the Ericeira hedgehogs.
Things to do in Mafra Portugal
- learn more about the Iberian wolf at CRLI – Iberian Wolf Recovery Center;
- taste the typical Mafra bread, preferably from one of the ovens in the region;
- visit the Crafts and Regional Products Fair and buy cheeses, wines, sausages, and other typical products, which takes place between May and October in front of the Mafra National Palace;
- take a dip in Ericeira’s beaches, but that’s the subject of a separate post;
What to visit and do in the surroundings of Mafra
Do you have a few extra days in this region? Excellent, because in the surroundings of Mafra there are other very compelling places to visit.
We suggest that you spend a day exploring the beautiful town of Sintra (approximately 20 km), take the family to have fun at Dino Parque Lourinhã (about 60 km), or lose yourself in the narrow streets of Óbidos (71 km).
In each situation, family fun is a sure thing!
Accommodation in Mafra Portugal
There is no lack of options for where to sleep in the region, such as rural farms and local accommodation. So, for a comfortable stay and lots of activities for the whole family, take a look at Quinta dos Machados.
In any case, the link below has more hotel alternatives in Mafra.
Map and how to get to Mafra Portugal
You can find Mafra about 40 km from Lisbon and 300 km from Porto.
Although some public transports connect Lisbon and the North of Portugal to Mafra, they are not convenient.
Therefore, the best way to get to Mafra is by car or by taking organized tours.
How to get to Mafra from Lisbon
How to get to Mafra from Porto
Mafra Portugal what to visit / Tours departing from Lisbon
The proximity to the city of Lisbon makes Mafra a popular destination for a return trip.
Line 200 from Mafrense (261 816 161) connects Campo Pequeno in Lisbon to Ericeira, with a stop in Mafra, so it’s an economical way to visit Mafra from Lisbon if your idea is only to see the Mafra National Palace.
If you plan to visit other places, then consider joining an organized tour. The Guided Visit to the Coastal Villages and Mafra Palace includes stops at Azenhas do Mar, Ericeira, and the Mafra National Palace, but if you want to visit the town of Óbidos, take a look at the Private Excursion Óbidos and Mafra Palace tour program.
See also all tours to Mafra Portugal departing from Lisbon: Tours in Mafra
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