Discovering Sintra

0

Source: https://www.visitportugal.com

 

Sintra, the Moon Hill, is a place full of magic and mystery, where Nature and Man have combined in such a perfect symbiosis that UNESCO has granted it Word Heritage Site status.

One-day itinerary
Morning
Whatever your plan, a good suggestion is always to start from the historic centre, after an invigorating breakfast to prepare for a full day.

On the main square, you will see Vila Palace with its two distinctive cone-shaped chimneys, which are useful landmarks for helping you find your way back to this spot. From the late 14th century, it was a summer resort for many Kings throughout the history of Portugal. Each room is decorated differently, and has its own history to be learned; its interior is also a surprise since it is a veritable tile museum, with examples from the 16th century, when tiles began to be used in Portugal.

After a gentle stroll along the narrow alleys, past shops selling regional products, we suggest a visit to the Palácio and Quinta da Regaleira. This is a 19th century palace, although it looks older, boasting impressive decorations laden with Masonic references. Very close to the entrance to Regaleira, is Seteais, an 18th century palace, currently converted into an hotel. The gardens are worth a visit and from its belvedere you can see Pena Palace, Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle) and the sea in the distance…

Before climbing up the mountain, lunch would be in order in a good restaurant in town, or a picnic in Castanheiros Park, a picnic area halfway along Volta do Duche.

Afternoon
You can devote the afternoon to getting to know the mountain and discover the nooks and crannies of a landscape that is a World Heritage site.

Before entering the botanical sanctuary of the Pena Park, walking past the Countess D’Edla Chalet and going up to the Palace that Richard Strauss called the “Holy Grail Castle”, the Castelo dos Mouros is unmissable. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries and extended after the Reconquest, it bears witness to the Islamic presence in the region.

At the top is one of the most romantic palaces in Portugal, the Pena Palace, a fancy, revivalist reconstruction, much to 19th century romantic taste, that owes its existence to the passion and imagination of the artist king Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the husband of Queen D. Maria II.

If you failed to do so in the morning, as you head back to town, don’t miss a taste of the famous queijadas (cheese cakes) and travesseiros (almond pastries), the perfect specialties for a late afternoon in a dream place.

And also…
One day is not enough for everything there is to see in Sintra, so the ideal would be to stay longer or, alternatively, organise your visit differently, if you’re available.

In addition to other interesting museums, highlights include the Monserrate Park, with its exotic Neo-Gothic palace, and the Capuchos Convent, built in the 16th century, using cork to line small spaces, according to the dictates of poverty of the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, providing a stark contrast with the palaces that you’ve visited so far. 2km from the convent is Peninha, one of the highest points on the mountain, and on your way to the coast, the Archaeological Museum of São Miguel de Odrinhas is definitely worth a visit for its important epigraphic collection over two thousand years old.

For those travelling in July and August, it’s an excellent opportunity to attend the classical music concerts and dance performances during the Sintra Festival, taking place in the Sintra and Pena Palaces and at the Olga de Cadaval Cultural Centre.

If you happen to be on the Sintra-Lisbon IC19 road, don’t miss a visit to the Queluz National Palace, a sumptuous 18th century palace in the rocaille style. In its grounds, you can watch a show by the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and appreciate the quality of the Lusitano horses, bred in Alter, Alentejo, at the former Royal stud-farm.

Related Blogs

  • Dec 2, 2019
    Visit Athens

    Source:  Image source:  Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 2, 2019
    Visit Athens

    Source:  Image source:  Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 12, 2018
    Alentejo

    Source:  The plains that extend as far as the eye can see start close to the Tagus. While to the..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 11, 2018
    Serra da Estrela

    Source:  A great family destination is Serra da Estrela, located in center Portugal. This one is a popular destination during..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 10, 2018
    Évora: The Unexpected Beauty…

    Source:  When I added Évora to my Iberian itinerary, I didn’t have many expectations.  I heard it was a lovely..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 9, 2018
    Amazing places: Why you…

    Source:  Image source:  Europe most visited places like Italy, France and Spain overshadow a very interesting country, and maybe, because..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 8, 2018
    Visit Athens

    Source:  Image source:  Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 7, 2018
    Nazaré

    Source:  ossibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazaré is unique in many ways. It doesn’t contain the architectural..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 6, 2018
    Plenty to Braga about…

    Source:   It's a sleepy, ancient city, but also brimming with a modern, youthful energy. Check out Braga, the loveliest..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 5, 2018
    St Paul’s Bay in…

    Source: https://santorinidave.com/best-beaches-greece  A great little swimming spot near the castle at Lindos. The east coast of Rhodes is loaded with..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 4, 2018
    Visit Athens

    Source:  Image source:  Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 3, 2018
    Setúbal

    Source:    The district of Setúbal is a great base for your holiday in the Lisbon region, where the beauty..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 2, 2018
    Feira da Ladra Lisbon’s…

    Source:  Feira da Ladra - Lisbon´s Flea Market Lisbon's flea market is called locally the Feira da Ladra, often thought..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 1, 2018
    Visit Athens

    Source:  Image source:  Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 12, 2017
    Setúbal

    Source:    The district of Setúbal is a great base for your holiday in the Lisbon region, where the beauty..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 11, 2017
    Feira da Ladra Lisbon’s…

    Source:  Feira da Ladra - Lisbon´s Flea Market Lisbon's flea market is called locally the Feira da Ladra, often thought..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 10, 2017
    Nazaré

    Source:  ossibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazaré is unique in many ways. It doesn’t contain the architectural..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 9, 2017
    Nazaré

    Source:  ossibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazaré is unique in many ways. It doesn’t contain the architectural..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 8, 2017
    Peneda-Gerês National Park

    Source: The Peneda-Gerês National Park, also known simply as Gerês, is the only national park in Portugal (although many natural..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 7, 2017
    The Art Foundation (TAF…

    Source: Such a really nice place in the centre of Athens, close to Monastiraki square! Trees inside of the place..

    0 Read More
  • Dec 6, 2017
    St Paul’s Bay in…

    Source: https://santorinidave.com/best-beaches-greece  A great little swimming spot near the castle at Lindos. The east coast of Rhodes is loaded with..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Nazaré

    Source:  ossibly the most famous fishing town in Portugal, Nazaré is unique in many ways. It doesn’t contain the architectural..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Plenty to Braga about…

    Source:   It's a sleepy, ancient city, but also brimming with a modern, youthful energy. Check out Braga, the loveliest..

    0 Read More
  • Nov 4, 2017
    First time Greece: top…

    Source:  Image source:    With its sparkling white beaches, crystalline water and venerable ancient sites, Greece lives up to all..

    0 Read More
  • Apr 4, 2017
    First time Greece: top…

    Source:  Image source:    With its sparkling white beaches, crystalline water and venerable ancient sites, Greece lives up to all..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Mykonos

    Source:  Image source:    The other side of Mykonos: Calm, culture and cuisine on a Greek island that is far..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Best Romantic Things to…

    Source:  Image source:  Romance is in the heart of the beholder and even the simplest pleasures become romantic in the..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    CACILHAS: PERHAPS THE RIGHT…

    Source:    Viewed from the north bank and the city of Lisbon, the other side of the Tagus River (its..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Best Romantic Things to…

    Source:  Image source:  Romance is in the heart of the beholder and even the simplest pleasures become romantic in the..

    0 Read More
  • Jul 2, 2017
    Santorini

    Source:  Image source:    Santorini is the supermodel of the Greek islands, a head-turner whose face is instantly recognisable around..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Amazing places: Why you…

    Source:  Image source:  Europe most visited places like Italy, France and Spain overshadow a very interesting country, and maybe, because..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    First time Greece: top…

    Source:  Image source:    With its sparkling white beaches, crystalline water and venerable ancient sites, Greece lives up to all..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Mykonos

    Source:  Image source:    The other side of Mykonos: Calm, culture and cuisine on a Greek island that is far..

    0 Read More
  • Oct 1, 2017
    Visit Athens

    Source:  Image source:  Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history, dating from the first settlement in..

    0 Read More
  • Mar 1, 2017
    Visit Aveiro

    Source:    Visit Aveiro to discover a landscape dominated by water. Aveiro, next to the sea and the ria (estuary),..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Alentejo

    Source:  The plains that extend as far as the eye can see start close to the Tagus. While to the..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Setúbal

    Source:    The district of Setúbal is a great base for your holiday in the Lisbon region, where the beauty..

    0 Read More
  • Jun 12, 2016
    Madeira

    Source:  Right in the middle of the Atlantic, the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo are a haven of natural..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 1, 1970
    Serra da Estrela

    Source:  A great family destination is Serra da Estrela, located in center Portugal. This one is a popular destination during..

    0 Read More
  • Jan 11, 2016
    Feira da Ladra Lisbon’s…

    Source:  Feira da Ladra - Lisbon´s Flea Market Lisbon's flea market is called locally the Feira da Ladra, often thought..

    0 Read More
  • Nov 10, 2016
    Lisbon’s Doll Hospital

    Source: A doll hospital may not be on your top 10 things to see and do in Lisbon but if..

    0 Read More
  • Apr 10, 2016
    Évora: The Unexpected Beauty…

    Source:  When I added Évora to my Iberian itinerary, I didn’t have many expectations.  I heard it was a lovely..

    0 Read More