Sintra Portugal


Black Swan Parc de Pena Pond
Sintra and Serra de Sintra Mountains

Yesterday I joined a group tour of Sintra in the Serra de Sintra Mountains near Lisbon. It was a 9-hour outing including a hike through lush spring gardens. Named for a Princess, Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The climate and beauty of the area attracted Portuguese nobility who built “palaces, extravagant residences, and lush decorative gardens”.

Palais de Monserrate
Pena Park and Palace

We hiked through sumptuously beautiful Pena National Park and at the top, toured the Palais de Pena. The palace and park are creations of wealthy and extravagant Dom Ferdinand II, a German prince who married Portuguese Queen Maria II.

Mural Palais de Pena

Pena Park and Palace are examples of the extreme Romanticism of 19th century Portugal. Ferdinand built the Palace “to be observed from any point in the park, forest, and gardens”. The park has over five hundred tree species from all over the world!

Sintra Park

Tank of the Friars Pena Parc

We took a lunch break in Sintra with free time to explore. I found a small tapas restaurant full of rowdy Portuguese. They were welcoming, and I enjoyed laughing and spending time with them. To be honest, not sure what Portuguese dish I ate for lunch but it was uniquely delicious!

Frightening Pena Palace Guard

Quinta da Regaleira

Our next stop was Quinta da Regaleira near central Sintra. Within Sintra’s Cultural Landscape, the estate is also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “The property consists of a romantic palace and chapel, and a luxurious park that features lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, and fountains. The palace is also known as ‘The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire’, based on the nickname of its best known former owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro.”

Palacio de Seteais Sintra
Quinta da Regaleira
Palaces

Other imposing palaces in the area include Quinta do Relógio, Monserrate, and Seteais. It was a wonderful day exploring – so much history and information. Portugal is a fascinating country! I only have a few more days in Lisbon and wish I were staying longer….

Quinta do Relógio, Sintra, Portugal – SpottingHistory.com

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