Highlights of Sintra Portugal
Sintra, Portugal has long been a sought-after vacation destination. Hundreds of years ago, European royalty chose Sintra as their destination for their summer vacations. People still travel to this part of the world to experience the fairy tale setting. However, even more people are choosing Sintra in Portugal as their new home. You really can’t blame them since this area is filled with historic villas, amazing sights, and incredible cuisine. Photo credit of featured image (Sintra – Palacio da Pena).–
Highlights of Sintra Portugal
Castelo dos Mouros
High above Sintra in Portugal is where you will find the Castelo dos Mouros. The Castle of the Moors may have protected this area at one time. But now, it lays in ruins. Thankfully, this castle has been partially restored, so you can imagine what it must have originally looked like so many years ago. During your visit, you will want to check out the thirteen defense towers. The Igreja de São Pedro Chapel is another must-see feature of the castle. The chapel is the oldest Christian religious building in Sintra, Portugal.
You can check out a few gorgeous views when you are visiting this castle too. The ocean and the coastline are two favorites. While you can see these views from many vantage points, the Torre Real is actually the best viewing location on the grounds.
Palácio Nacional de Sintra
The oldest palace in Sintra is the National Palace of Sintra. Out of all the royal residences, this palace has been preserved the best. Royals lived in this palace from the 15th century until later in the 19th century. The entire inside of the palace is stunning. But the best feature is the Coat of Arms Hall. That is where you can see the seventy-two coats of arms of Portuguese royalty and nobility up on the ceiling. The palace is now a historic attraction that is easily recognized by the two conical chimneys that rise high up towards the sky.Sintra Portugal is home to The Palace of Sintra, for a long time the residence of royal family during the summer. Photo credit: Diego Delso
Museu do Ar
Museu do Ar is Portugal’s Air Force aviation museum. You will find this air museum at the Sintra Air Base. The exhibit includes numerous planes, helicopters, instrument panels, and navigation equipment. The most popular plane at this museum is the Douglas C-47A Dakota. Depending on when you visit, you may find yourself lucky enough to board this plane, as long as military personnel are available to escort you.
Old Centre of Sintra
One of the best activities to do while visiting Sintra in Portugal is walking around the Old Centre. The winding cobblestone streets and narrow stairways will lead you to some stunning mansions, churches, and museums. Arriving early in the day is best, because the streets get crowded with tourists later.
Convento dos Capuchos
Requesting an audio guide during your visit to Convento dos Capuchos is a must. The guide will allow you to learn how the monks lived in this 16th century monastery. You can check out the tiny cells they lived in, as well as the chapel. The best feature though is the fountain within the main courtyard.
Quinta da Regaleira
This palace in Sintra, Portugal was built for António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. The inside of this palace is filled with unique monuments that feature Knights Templar, Masons, and Divination. Outside in the park, you will see sculpted benches, gazebos, and wells that were used for tarot ceremonies. Yet, it is far below the ground that is most fascinating at this Sintra palace. That is where there is a system of grottos and tunnels. You can easily get lost down there with one wrong turn.
Pena Palace was constructed on top of an old monastery. King Ferdinand used it as a summer residence. The intricate details inside will take your breath away, but it is the views from the outside that will keep you there a little longer for your visit.
Cabo da Roca
Spectacular views can be seen in every direction when you decide to visit Cabo da Roca in Sintra, Portugal. This area is where Serra de Sintra sinks into the ocean. The two points of interest at Cabo da Roca is the stone monolith and the lighthouse. You will want to make sure you take the time to check them out, despite being distracted by the views of the surrounding area.
Palace of Monserrate
One of the least visited palaces in Sintra is the Palace of Monserrate. This palace is tucked away from all the other palaces in this area, so not as many people visit it throughout the year. Yet, it should be at the top of your list when you are visiting Sintra in Portugal. The palace itself is stunning. The latticework near the arches and the stucco patterns on the stairways are beautiful. And the ceiling of the music room is a must-see for everyone. The best way to see the music room is when one of the numerous concerts still being held there is taking place.
Outside the Palace of Monserrate, you will find a massive park filled with grottos, manmade waterfalls, ponds, and bamboo plantations. If you are searching for a tranquil destination, this is your best option.
Palácio Nacional e Jardins de Queluz
Sintra, Portugal is a fabulous destination, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want to venture to nearby cities and towns during your visit. The city of Queluz is not too far from Sintra and it is where the Palace of Queluz is located. This palace is where Dom Pedro of Braganza spent his summers. Inside, you will discover frescoes up on the ceiling in the music room and a unique trellis pattern on the Queen’s boudoir. The main feature outdoors is the one-hundred-meter canal surrounded by blue and white tiles.
These are the highlights of Sintra, Portugal. You can see that a visit to Sintra will include almost too many things to do. After all, you won’t want to miss any of the sights mentioned above, or any others that you happen to discover, as you are exploring Sintra in Portugal.