Situated not far from Lisbon, Sintra is one of the oldest places in Portugal, occupied by the Romans until 5 AD. From the late 14th century, Sintra was a summer resort for many Kings throughout the history of Portugal, attracting a number of wealthy aristocrats who built huge mansions and villas.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its hills filled with luxurious gardens and dotted dazzling palaces, Sintra sure looks like a village straight out of a fairy tale.
How to Get there
Travelling from Lisbon to Sintra by train is a popular option, with the town well served by regular trains. At Oriente station you can catch a direct train to Sintra, it will take you approximately 48 minutes to get there
Palácio da Vila – On the main square of Sintra, you will see a Palace with its two distinctive cone-shaped chimneys. This is the former Royal Palace of Sintra, which has its origins in the Moorish period. After the reconquest, it became the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family, who extended and embellished the building. Inside each room is decorated differently, with its own history to be learned; its interior is a veritable tile museum, with examples from the 16th century, when tiles began to be used in Portugal.
Palácio da Pena – This is one of the sites in Portugal that you should not miss. Built in the mid-19th century, on the site of a former monastery, by the Portuguese king-consort Dom Fernando II as a summer palace for the royal family; this Palace is a truly unique building, standing on top of the hill, combining various architectural stylesThe park grounds around the palace are equally worth seeing. They are beautifully laid out, with many exotic plants, beautiful viewpoints and a myriad of trails leading through it all.
Castelo dos Mouros – This castle was built in the 10th century by the Moors to defend the town of Sintra, and was further enlarged after the Christian reconquest in the 12th century. The complex was restored in romantic style by the Portuguese king-consort Dom Fernando II
Quinta da Regaleira – Very close to the historic centre of Sintra is Quinta Regaleira, one of the town’s most enigmatic sights. Surrounded by lush green vegetation, the Palácio da Regaleira is a fascinating discovery. Built in the early 20th century by the millionaire António Augusto Monteiro, it was built in a Romantic revivalist style, in an imitation of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architectural styles, mixed with mythical and esoteric symbolism.