10 Things To Do In Sintra

10 things to do in sintra

Sintra is located just 45 minutes outside of Lisbon and is a tourist hotspot, with very good reason. The town is picture perfect, with rolling hills, a charming village and fairy tail worthy castles. It is a unique location with its own micro micro climate, with exotic fauna and flora. Below are Activities In Portugal 10 things to do in Sintra.

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira has an interesting history, it was built sometime in the 1600s but in 1848 it was purchased by António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. This owner was interested in the occult, the building an the gardens represent ancient secret orders of the Knights Templar, with hidden tunnels and concealed masonic symbolism.

Pena Palace

The Pena Palace is named one of Portugal’s “Seven Wonders” and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It really looks like a fairy tale castle set upon one of the tallest hills in the Sintra area.Pena Palace was ordered by King Ferdinand II in 1838 and was the summer residence of Ferdinand II. The castle is still used for state occasions by the President of the Portuguese Republic. The styles are truly eclectic , from Moorish to Renaissance,   Neo-Gothic to Neo-Manueline. The Palace is surround by 200 hectares of gardens. Both the Palace and gardens are a top tourists destination for Lisbon travelers.

Palace of Sintra

Sitting in the centre of Sintra, The Palace of Sintra is the  best-preserved medieval royal residence in the whole of Portugal. Portuguese Royalty lived here on and off from the 1400s to the 1700s, the castle is 1000 years old and the castle was first built by the Muslim occupation.

Initiation Wells

The most mystical things in the estate is the Initiation Wells of the Quinta da Regaleira, it has been reported that were used for secretive initiation rites. These underground towers were used for Tarot initiation rites. The largest tower has  27-metre spiral staircase.

Palace Of Monserrate

The palace of Monserrate has quite an English background, in 1809  Lord Byron visited and in 1856 Francis Cook, a wealthy English merchant, took over the palace and gardens and the land became what we see today. The design is a mix of Moorish, Neo Gothic andRomanticism. The park is full of rare species of plant and trees from Australia to Mexico.

Convent of the Capuchos

The convent was founded in 1560, with just 8 monks. It grew over the centuries but it is still a very minimalist building. The most interesting character that lived here in 1500’s was Friar Honório, who lived to the ripe old age of 100. He spent 30 of those year in penance living in small grotto in the grounds of the convent. He was immortalised in a poem by  Lord Byron Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Castelo Dos Mouros

The Castle of the moors was built in the 8th and 9th centuries as a fortress, today the castle is used by tourists as a viewpoint over the unique view of Sintra hills and the sea.

Sintra Village

Th village of Sintra along with Pena Palace have a fairy tale atmosphere. It is just 25km from Lisbon and easily reached by train. the village is quaint and picturesque. The town also has its own cake theTravesseiros en queijadas which can be purchased from the oldest pastelary in Sintra the Casa Piriquita running since 1862, who the the recipe to the cake a top secret.

The Sintra Tram

Electrico de Sintra runs from Sintra to the beach town of Praia das Maçãs 13km away. The tram is cute, charming and quaint, you can imagine you are living in abygone era but you will need patience there is only one tram on the line and one way the journey takes 40 minutes

Miradoura De Santa Eufemia and Trekking

Sintra is full of spectacular trekking trails,one of the best takes in the Miradoura De Santa Eufemia, this observation deck is 470 metres above sea level. The hike is well worth it for the outstanding views of the surrounding area.

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