The Torel garden is located between the Lavra Funicular and campo dos Mártires da Pátria, in the hidden Torel city block. It is one of the most unknown, but also one of the most charming Lisbon’s parks and belvederes. Its name originated from the Dutch family Thorel, who built a palace there around 1750. One night in 1875, already as property of the Loulé Marquis, fire consumed this building and left only the toponym, which now identify all this tiny area. A decade later, Count Manuel de Castro Guimarães built a new palace for his residence there and the romantic fountain and staircase connecting the two levels of the garden date from this epoch. Until the late nineteenth century other nearby plots were occupied by elegant mansions, forming a sort of Lisbon’s riviera. In the 20s of the twentieth century, the Portuguese government bought the mansion of Count of Castro Guimarães, installing there the Judicial Police’s headquarters. The expression “be brought to Torel” then became synonymous off an unpleasant event among the people of Lisbon.
The entrance to the Torel garden rooftop is made by Júlio de Andrade street, near the campo dos Mártires da Pátria (also know as campo de Santana). From here you can admire panoramic views over the Tagus River, the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta, the Santa Justa Elevator and avenida da Liberdade. On the opposite hill, stands the viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara. One can also find a statue representing the pianist Viana da Mota, a small maintenance circuit and a couple of loungers for the visitors’ enjoyment. At the entrance, is located a lake adorned with an intriguing statue of Egyptian inspiration. From the Telhal street, two entries allow access to the lower floor of the garden. The Torel Esplanade was installed here in 2010, serving drinks and light meals in a relaxed and youthful ambience. A couple feet away it is also installed a children’s playground.
Parque Marechal Carmona
The park Marechal Carmona goes back to the 18th, it is located in the middle of Cascais center and is one of the more charming of town. Opened to public in 1940, when was finished the junction of two old gardens from different owners, the palace of the counts of Condes Castro Guimarães joined with the viscount da Gandarinha property.
Entering the park 10 hectares you can find a lake with turtles and afterwards you can enter in contact with the grown trees and plants density, finding species like olive trees, carob trees, araucaria, moreton bay fig, eucalyptus and palm trees.
You can make a picnic in the park, have a rest in lawn, visit the mini-zoo or the greenhouse, get to know the youth library or go to the bar in the middle of the green. It is easy to observ some birds and the peacocks seem to be the guardians of the garden. It is good to take advantage of the biological products market that happens Saturday mornings and the fact that is so close to the Museum Paula Rego – House of Stories.
It is one of the biggest green area inside the town of Cascais and it competes in beauty with any garden of Lisbon, maybe having something more actually, the smell of Atlantic so close.
Parque Bosque dos Gaios
Recently inaugurated, it is a new-born park from Estoril, in the neighborhood Alto dos Gaios, a region that had in the last decades a considerable demographic growth and was eagerly waiting for the garden opening. The works done in the park where part of the town hall plan of giving a green extension to the allotments already growing at the west side.
The park allows the visitant enjoy an autochthon biodiversity throughout an elegant grove of pine trees surrounding the shore of a rivulet. One of the particularities of the park, that had to be taken in taken in its creation, is the existent special fauna. In spite of the urban advance the garden still has among its inhabitants eagles, owls, hare, rabbits and European jays (Gaios, in Portuguese, the name of the park).
There will be also a playground for children and the association of the residents from Alto dos Gaios neighborhood will be placed there. The European jay (Gaio) is a very nice bird from the Corvidae family that loves seeds from the trees and has the habit of hiding them beneath the soil, that creates a spontaneous growth of young trees. If you are lucky and see one, try to catch a sight of their blue eyes and feathers.
Parque das Penhas do Marmeleiro
The park Penhas do Marmeleiro, an area of 4 hectares, is integrated in the Natural Park of Sintra and Cascais, just in the border of this two regions out of Lisbon. Who is going from Cascais to Sintra or who is coming from the mountain to the maritime town will find the park just attached to a locality called Murches.
The territory was being used illegally for graveyard of wastes and was because of that included in the project of requalification of the NPSC that had included the plantation of trees, the creation of the other Park da Pedra Amarela and new work for the farm of Pisão, creating a natural protect ambient and a re-new visual relation with the mountains landscape of Sintra.
The park was inaugurated in September 2009 and since then has been receiving new visitors that take walks around the two platforms with wooden paths made to reduce the erosion of the hikers. The visitor may contemplate the landscape of Sintra as the Ribeira das Vinhas or the Penhas do Marmeleiro.
One of the attractive is the old school playground for children that has a castle made in wood that for the little ones must seem huge.
With a low vegetation among rocks the trees that you may find are mostly autochthon, pine trees and Portuguese oaks, and others. In the future it will be possibly to go in the pathways with a bicycle, slowly creating the wanted circuit between Cascais and Sintra for that non pollutant machine.
Parque da Pena
Let’s say that, while in the last half a century the urban growth between the valleys that go from Lisbon to Sintra hasn´t stop the Palace of Pena, with the park surrounding it, was contemplating from the heights. The big hill where the palace is situated is a green wall because considered a natural reserve, but what some people don´t imagine is that Sintra used to be, before the 18th, only rocks and lower vegetation until it started to be gradually planted just to arrive at the natural exuberance that we perceive today. To get to know the park of Pena is consequently indispensable to face the epicenter of the Romanticism movement that created Sintra.
In an area that extends to 200 hectares, with its higher point at 528 m, the garden was initiated by the unique taste of the king Fernando II in 1839, there are so many things to discover and get impressed with that it is best to make the challenge. There are several entrances to the park , it has 11 lakes without including small fountains and tanks, it has botanic greenhouses and “wild” vegetation left free to herself, trees like acacias or a gigantic tree called tuia and other different species, the temple of columns, a throne, the garden of camellias or the recently open to the public Chalet and garden of the countess d´Edla, king Fernando II wife.
Throughout its labyrinthine paths the visitor will get lost, maybe remembering immemorial times.