Nestled amidst the verdant forest of Sintra mountains is this lovely town of Sintra. Once a summer retreat for the Portugal rulers is today a popular day trip from Lisbon with a travel time of 40 minutes. Sintra town is dotted with some of the lavish and magnificent palaces and gorgeous coastlines.
There is a good frequency of trains from Rossio train station in central Lisbon with the kiosks for buying tickets right in front of the tracks. We chose to do city sightseeing with Hop on Hop Off tour bus to save us some time. One can alternatively choose to take the well-connected public transport.
Our first stop was Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of the continental Europe. A stone monument marks the end of the European mainland into the Atlantic ocean.
A lighthouse located on the headland 540 ft above the ocean and is still active under supervision team of three lighthouse keepers.
We lingered along the desolate clifftop watching the stunning views of the everlasting stretch of azure sea and rugged cliffs. The weather was just awesome and we could stay there for a long time bewitched by nature’s charm.
We boarded the tour bus to our next stop the prismatic Pena Palace. The striking bright colors of the palace draws the eye from great distances and is easily noticeable from most parts of Sintra and Lisbon too.
We were enthralled by the sense of exuberance and magic that emanated from the vivid hues and extravagantly ornate exterior architecture of palace surrounded by abundant of greenery like that of a fantasy story. Chhavi had a great time frolicking around the incredibly beautiful palace grounds.
Interior of the palace has some of the embellished furnishings, porcelain and paintings collections.
At a walkable distance from Pena palace is the Moors castle or the Castelo dos Mouros, a medieval ruined castle, which provides stunning panoramic views of the forests of Sintra Mountains and the city.
Around ten minutes away from the city center is the amazing mansion of Quinta da Regaleira.
The exotic estate garden gives an impression of being ethereal with a path winding through the exquisite lakes, grottos, wells, towers, fountains and the gothic mansion.
The area also houses a lovely small chapel.
A piano performance during our visit permeated the mansion gardens and the surrounding area with the sweet melody which filled the air with invigorating charm.
The city center is dominated by the National Palace or the Town Palace with a bright whitewashed facade, gothic arches, and two massive conical chimneys. The palace houses a museum with an extensive collection of Mudejar Azulejos (colored glazed tiles) and pottery.
And if you visit the town in winter a sweet aroma of the roasted chestnuts will welcome you everywhere.
Other significant points of interest are the Monserrate Palace yet another exotic summer resort for the Portuguese rulers and Seteais Palace, which is a palace turned luxurious hotel with some remarkable antique furnishings and artworks. The tour bus also stops by a vast stretch of blue beach Praia da Adraga which is a picturesque beach with vistas of cliffs and sandy beach.
At dusk, the Moors castle was spectacularly lit with colorful lights.
We had the last round of roasted chestnuts and walked back to the railway station and boarded a train back to Lisbon.
Have you visited Sintra? Let us know of your experiences in the comments.
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