Located straightly on the Portuguese Riviera, just a short distance from Lisbon, Sintra with its homogenous yet intriguing architectonic style offers a great place to be explored within a few days. Descending slowly from the lush hills to the blue ocean waters a plethora of marvelous sights are exposed to the public view. Its strategic position along with other waterfront towns makes it one of the favorite destinations throughout Europe.
Pena National Palace
Upon your arrival in Sintra, the first challenge is to become acquainted with its quintessential symbol or the Pena National Palace. Perched atop a hill and overlooking the entire city, this 19th-century construction was created on the site of a former Hieronymite monastery by a German architect. Today it throws you back to the Romanticism era when the Portuguese royals used to isolate themselves from the urban hustle and bustle in the summertime. Repainted in its original red and yellow colors at the end of the previous century, the flamboyant palace seems to have few rivals in terms of exotic charm throughout the country.
Quinta do Relogio (Farm of the Clock Tower)
Situated near the center, Quinta do Relogio presents another must-visit destination on Sintra’s itinerary. The estate comprising the main palace with a dreamlike appearance and several neighboring residences is immersed in its surrounding park famous for the original fauna species. The 18th-century architecture providing a mix of the Moorish and Neo-Manueline styles with explicit Romanticism connotations leaves unbiased almost no one.
Sintra Old Town Center
The Old Town center is both simple and exquisite with its fascinating National Palace that dominates the whole area. The whitewashed building dating back to the Moorish era underwent many alterations during the past centuries when it was considered the summer residence of the Portuguese royal families. The Islamic-Manueline architecture hosts a Historic House Museum today. The old town is also going to gratify your needs with multiple boutique shops and cafes scattered over there.
Sintra’s neighboring region of Colares is also worth your precious time. Located closer to the Atlantic Ocean it boasts rather fertile and specific soils that made the whole area appropriate for vineyards and wine-making.
Cabo da Roca
The westernmost tip of the continent is considered once the end of the entire world. Cabo da Roca offers a relatively unpopulated area merging with the ocean. Here you can witness various low-lying plant species accustomed to the local windy climate, migratory birds, and the famous lighthouse standing 150m high above the waterside. Solely a couple of shops are supposed to attract your attention while there.
This small municipality stretching along the Atlantic waters boasts the same affluence as Sintra. The meeting point of these pinch-sized towns is the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park welcoming tourists from 1994. The 145 km² area comprises many sights and attractions including the renowned Moors Castle in the Serra de Sintra mountain range. Being inhabited by numerous royal palaces, luxury hotels, and appealing beaches Cascais has long been a preferred place for illustrious persons and random travelers alike.
Another great place to indulge in luxury when on the Portuguese Riviera is presented by Estoril. The tiny area of this waterfront town is well-known for its nice beaches, the famous Casino Estoril, and lavish accommodations hosting various royals in the past times and being home to different summits/festivals today. The lush greenery embracing the blue waters makes Estoril a perfect travel destination along with Sintra and Cascais.