Are you planning a travel itinerary through Portugal? Consider factoring in time to make a Sintra tour, one of Portugal's most beautiful destinations.
Sintra is a delightful Portuguese town that has an abundance of wonderful tourist attractions, which range from ancient castles through to sumptuous palaces. The town is famed for its Romanticism style of architecture and there are numerous fine examples of this elaborate and decorative construction type found throughout the forested hills of the Serra da Sintra national park.
Sintra is often visited as a day trip from Lisbon, but more than one day is needed to fully discover this fascinating region, even if you chose to take a Sintra Private Tour with local tourism agencies like Tribos Tours.
In this article we will detail the best and most popular attractions of Sintra and the Serra da Sintra region, to give you an idea of what you can visit here.
The Pena Palace (Palacio da Pena)
The exquisite Palacio da Pena is regarded as one of the finest tourist attractions of Portugal and will be a highlight of any Sintra tour. The vividly painted palace was commissioned in 1842, by King Ferdinand II who championed the arts, literature and music. The king wished the palace to reflect that of a scene from an opera and the extravagant Pena Palace was constructed.
The interior is as equally interesting as it has been restored to how it would have looked in 1910 when Queen Amélia spent her last night in Portugal before fleeing to Brazil due to the revolution. The forests that surround the palace continue the Romanticism ideals with hidden pathways, ornate features and great view points.
The Quinta da Regaleira
The Quinta da Regaleira is an extravagant 19th century gothic mansion that is surrounded with some of the most elaborate gardens of Sintra. The gardens are a joy to explore as they are filled with decorative fortifications, mystic religious symbols and a series of secrete passages and caves. The central feature of the gardens is the initiation well, a well that was drained, expanded and possibly used for cult ceremonies.
The Convento dos Capuchos
The Convento dos Capuchos is the humble Franciscan monastery that balances the excess and opulence of Sintra, and is therefore one of the most atmospheric buildings of the region. Capuchos was constructed to have minimal impact on the natural surroundings and the monastery buildings are blended with the ancient forest and massive granite boulders. The only material used for decoration was cork and this was used to insulate the ceilings of the small cells were the monks would sleep. Including a visit to the Convento dos Capuchos during a Sintra private tour it will be the best choice.
The National Palace (Palácio Nacional de Sintra)
The gothic styled Palácio Nacional de Sintra is situated in the heart of Sintra and was the most lived in royal residence, being continual used from the 15th century up until the fall of the monarchy in 1910. This is the palace that king Afonso VI (1650s) was imprisoned during his later life, as he was deemed, by his brother, too unstable to rule the country.
The minimalistic gothic exterior is dominated by the two huge chimneys that rise out from the kitchens while the interior includes decoratively painted rooms that reflect the extensive history of the palace. The most famous of these rooms is the magpie room, which has paintings of magpies representing the gossiping and scheming of the queen’s ladies in-waiting. As the National Palace is in the centre of town it is usually combined with exploring the historic centre of Sintra with its numerous cafes, restaurants and shops.
There are also other places to visit in Sintra that will make your visit in Portugal unforgettable. To optimise your time is better chose a Sintra private tour.