Sintra Holiday Guide
Sintra was once a favourite location of the nobility, thanks to its natural beauty, which made the perfect romantic setting for their regal palaces Today everyone can share in its exquisite prettiness.
Quinta da Regaleira Palace
Quinta da Regaleira is located near the historic centre of Sintra and is classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The property features a romantic palace, a chapel and a beautiful garden with lakes, grottoes, fountains and an underground tunnel, which connects the bottom of the well to a waterfall. The surroundings are simply stunning.
Castelo dos Mouros
This is a 9th century Moorish castle built to watch over the Lisbon coastline. Walk along the castle ramparts and admire outstanding views of Sintra and its surroundings.
This is a unique hermitage dating from the 16th Century, carved from rock. Franciscan monks used to live in these small cells, insulating them with cork to protect them from the cold.
The iconic Pena Palace is located in Pena Park. Its design draws from different styles such as, neo-Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Moorish and neo-Renaissance, beautifully merged into what is considered to be one of the best examples of a European Romanticism Monument. Pena Palace was built over the remains of the 16th century monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome, conserving the church and the cloister. You can also admire bright coloured turrets with small internal rooms with coffered ceilings and frescoes.
National Palace of Sintra
The National Palace is the best-preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal. In the 14th Century it became a royal residence for King João I. You can’t miss its big conical chimneys and the beautiful collection of coloured glazed tiles called ‘Mudejar’. Nowadays it is also the venue for classical music concerts.
This exotic Palace has Gothic, Indian and Moorish influences, as well as a dome from Florence. An art collector named Sir Francis Cook (an English baronet bestowed with the title of ‘Visconde de Monserrate’ by King Luís) owned the palace. A remarkable botanical garden, waterfalls and lakes surround the building. Visitors can spend a pleasurable day, meandering through the palace gardens and admiring its beautiful, intricate interior design.
This is a luxurious 18th century neoclassical palace, once home to aristocrats, which was turned into a luxury hotel, restaurant and a tourist attraction, integrated into the cultural landscape of Sintra and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Richard Nixon and Agatha Christie are just some of the famous guests who have stayed in the palace.
Natural History Museum
In this 19th century building you can see dinosaur egg nests, fragments of meteorites and the world's only example of a flying reptile. Great for kids or history nuts.
Sintra has a rich gastronomic history including meat dishes such as Negrais pig but also fresh fish such as Octopus and Mussels. Traditions in cooking desserts go back to the Middle Ages with the famous cheesecakes ‘Queijadas de Sintra’ and ‘travesseiros’. The wine from the Colares region is considered to be one of the best wines of Portugal. Sintra’s mild climate also produces tasty and juicy pears, known as ‘Pera Rocha’.