Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town set amidst the pine-covered foothills of the Serra de Sintra Mountains, near Lisbon, lined with pretty cobbled streets and traditional buildings filled with shops, cafes and restaurants

Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town set amidst the pine-covered foothills of the Serra de Sintra Mountains, near Lisbon, lined with pretty cobbled streets and traditional buildings filled with shops, cafes and restaurants

 

Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine-covered foothills of Portugal’s Serra de Sintra Mountains, near the capital of Lisbon.  This slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens.  The variety of fascinating historic buildings and beautiful scenery has established Sintra as the most popular day trip from Lisbon.

 

The Moorish- and Manueline-style Sintra National Palace is distinguished by its dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework, Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

The Moorish- and Manueline-style Sintra National Palace is distinguished by its dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework, Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

 

Contained within Sintra are two national palaces, an ancient ruined castle, multiple grand houses and a series of challenging hiking trails.  The town itself is lined with pretty cobbled streets and traditional buildings filled with shops, cafes and restaurants, all with stunning vistas over the plains of central Portugal.

The Moorish- and Manueline-style Sintra National Palace is distinguished by its dramatic twin chimneys and elaborate tilework. The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for its whimsical design and sweeping views.

 

The best, delicious Sintra-style custard tarts (pastel de nata) in town, according to our guide who took us to his favorite bakery in Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

The best, delicious Sintra-style custard tarts (pastel de nata) in town, according to our guide who took us to his favorite bakery in Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

 

The beautiful Pena Palace is the standout monument of Sintra with an exterior painted in vivid colours, with decorative towers and battlements and statues of mythological creatures, Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

The beautiful Pena Palace is the standout monument of Sintra with an exterior painted in vivid colors, with decorative towers and battlements and statues of mythological creatures, Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

 

The beautiful Pena Palace is the standout monument of Sintra.  This 19th century palace was designed by a king who was passionate about the arts and wished his royal retreat to reflect that of an opera.  The exterior is painted vivid colours, with decorative towers and battlements and statues of mythological creatures.  The interior of the palace is as equally fascinating, as it has been restored to how it was left in 1910 when the Portuguese nobility fled from Portugal with the fall of the monarchy.  Queen Amelia spent her last night in Portugal in the Pena Palace before leaving in exile. [More photographs and retails on the Pena Palace will be in our next blog post.]

 

Town Hall, Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

Town Hall, Sintra (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

 

The westernmost point of the European continent was considered in antiquity to be the place where "the land ends and the sea begins", panorama from Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

The westernmost point of the European continent was considered in antiquity to be the place where “the land ends and the sea begins”, panorama from Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

 

The westernmost point of the European continent was considered in antiquity to be the place where “the land ends and the sea begins” – the Cabo da Roca is one of the most spectacular locations in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.  Its vertical cliffs rise up around 100 m above sea level, offering spectacular landscapes.  The Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is one of the 13 Natural Parks of Portugal.  While only established in 1994 as a Natural Park by the Portuguese Government, it has been protected since 1981.

 

View of Cascais (on the right) and Estoril from Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

View of Cascais (on the right) and Estoril from Sintra-Cascais Natural Park (near Lisboa-Lisbon), Portugal

 

 

One thought on “Sintra, Portugal

  1. Rich, I remember going around the westernmost land in Europe in a sailboat and looking up at the cliffs and thinking about all the famous explorers who had looked up at the same view.
    –Paul

    Like

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