Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is an excellent city for holidays and a unique destination in the world.
Portugal welcomes a bigger number of travellers than the number of its inhabitants, and it is not by chance that the country is full of sublime landscapes, sumptuous monuments, incredible cities, rich palaces, ancestral castles, medieval villages and fantastic beaches. Every year, Lisbon hosts many travelers who discover a multicultural, passionate and multifaceted city, mixing the modern and the old-fashioned.
The city has been an important destination in Europe for many years and was the first city to be awarded as “Best European Destination“.
Lisbon is surrounded by real tourist jewels such as Estoril, Cascais, the Arrábida natural park, but definitely the icing on the cake, is the mystical and magical land of Sintra, classified as a World Heritage by UNESCO and which is only 45 minutes from the train, leaving from the station “Rossio”.
When you get to Sintra, you will quickly discover that it is totally worth a visit for a week. It is a charming village, surrounded by lush green hills, and with all its palaces and castles, seems to be part of a fairy tale. The city center is a 10-minute walk from the train station. Arriving there, you should definitely visit the splendid “Sintra National Palace“, Manueline style and distinguished by the dramatic twin chimneys, but perhaps, you should stop to eat some delicious cakes (you have to try the “Travesseiro”) in “A Piriquita” as well in front of the palace, energy for your ride and satisfaction guaranteed.
Then, when you look up the hill surrounded by lush green vegetation, you will see the dramatic “Moorish Castle” and, on the next hill, the extensive “Pena Palace”, inspired by the best styles of romantic architecture in Bavaria.
Walk west about 15 minutes, you will arrive at “Quinta da Regaleira“. Even for a blogger, it’s hard to put into words, how fabulous this place is. “Quinta da Regaleira” is the best example of Sintra’s mysticism, a surprising discovery. The towers with their spiral staircases, the complex and curvaceous tunnels, the caves and gardens, the catwalks, pits, lakes and waterfalls. This is a truly beautiful place to visit, noon should be enough to visit the main attractions, but even with the map, you will eventually embark on underground routes you did not expect and find yourself somewhere completely different. So enjoy it and prepare yourself for some unexpected moments.
After passing through “Quinta da Regaleira”, you can visit “Palácio de Seteais”, a classic palace converted into a luxury hotel with a simple but beautiful garden and a terrace with a superb view.
About 3 kms away is the “Monserrate Palace”. The palace is set in a generous park, full of beautiful gardens, waterfalls and breathtaking views. The “Palace of Monserrate” is one of the most beautiful architectural and landscape creations of Romanticism of Portugal, built by Sir Francis Cook, an English millionaire. The palace resembles a neo-Gothic mansion, is a unique example of the eclectic spirit of the nineteenth century.
If you take the road to the “Pena Palace”, which is for many tourists the ex libris of Sintra, you will first find the “Castle of the Moors“. It is a large medieval castle that was built in the 8th century by the Moors. The construction is very well preserved, in the middle of a forest surrounding and with excellent views over the region of Sintra.
After visiting the castle, the road continue until you reach the famous “Pena Palace“, a romantic and quite eccentric construction. This multicolored palace stands on top of one of the highest rocky peaks of the Sintra Mountains and, on a clear day, can be easily seen from much of the Lisbon metropolitan area.
The “Pena Palace” and its extensive park, are filled with wonderful places to discover, you will surely feel in the perfect scenery of a fairy tale!
Other activities to do in Sintra, including the aforementioned tasting of traditional Sintra sweets, are many and highly recommended: be sure to visit the unusual “Capuchos Monastery“, spend some time on the wild beaches of Sintra, visit the most western point of continental Europe, take a stroll to the beach in an electric from the beginning of the 20th century, taste the wine from the Colares wine cellar and stroll along the various pedestrian paths, by the sea, in the mountains or by the villages, discovering an incredible nature and making part of a unique and remarkable protected area, the “Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais“.
Of course, if you have booked your stay in Lisbon, a day trip to Sintra will not be enough to see everything. So, in the next opportunity, mark your stay in Sintra. We have 2 fully equipped holiday homes in prime locations, Villa Maria on the way to “Pena Palace” and Casa da Capela on the way to the “Palace of Monserrate” and the beaches.
Our guests have adored, recommended and returned 🙂 Sintra Houses is waiting for you with open arms!