Sintra – the magic castle town

Explore UNESCO World Heritage

If you are into history, royalty, magic and mysticism: don’t look any further!

Once a Berber`s (North African Moors) stronghold, in the 18th and 19th century Sintra became the center of interest for European Royalty and nobility. During the hot summer months the slightly cooler all year around micro-climate made this place especially bearable for the wig wearing upper class. We imagine them patched up with makeup, probably feeling itchy and scratchy all day long, gathering in the palaces, mansions and gardens, at fancy mask parties: That’s surely where one learned about the hottest gossip at the European courts!

👉🏽 What’s especially interesting from our point of view is the ride to Sintra, coming from Ericeira! Make sure to take the national road towards Azenhas do Mar. From there, explore the surrounding Sintra mountain range before visiting Sintra’s historic center and its many castles.

👉🏽 Public Transport: There is a bus leaving from Ericeira to Sintra. Check:

👉🏽 For those who want it relaxed and easy: We recommend taking a guided Tuk-Tuk-tour! Contact these drivers in advance:

André: +351 926 111 771       George: +351 934 941 327

👉🏽 The Sintra mountain range is a great place for hiking! Find you ideal hiking route here.

Azenhas do Mar

Salt water pools & houses built into cliffs

This charming village is one of a kind! From Ericeira, it takes about 25 mins to get there by car during which you will pass by seemingly never ending hills and farmer`s ancient stone walls.

Park the car in Azenhas and discover the cobblestone paths that take you uphill until you get rewarded with awesome views over the waterfront.

Enjoy lunch at Azenhas do Mar Restaurant (wonderful food, rather chique but comfortable) or have a drink at their beach bar on your way back to celebrate the sunset with a cocktail under a bamboo umbrella. Isn’t life so good!!

Sintra’s hidden gems

Nearby, lovely & less crowded

From Azenhas do Mar, pass by Praia das Maçãs and make your way towards Sintra via Colares, Atalaias, Azoia and Almocageme. You might even want to see beautiful Praia da Adraga or head to Cabo da Roca, as both are very close by and perfect for a de-tour.

Only then, go to the historic centre of Sintra: follow the signs and take the winded roads. If you wish, stop on the way, and spot amazing sceneries embedded in the unreal micro-climate of Sintra.



Cabo da Roca

Pose at the most western point of continental Europe

Plan a 15-30mins stop at this powerful place, with its massive lighthouse and the huge cross overlooking the mighty cliffs, reminding one of the conquistadors and their long and dangerous journeys in hope of a new world out there in the deep, dark blue and unknown. And yes, when there, you are as close to the Northern American continent as one can get in continental Europe!

Palácio Nacional da Pena

A 19th century kinda Disney Land

Known as one of the finest tourist attractions of Portugal the colorful palace exemplifies the architecture of the romantic period. It embodies a hedonistic mix of vividly painted terraces, decorative battlements and mythological statues, which make a strong contrast to the lush greens of the forests that encircle Pena.

The interior of the palace is equally fascinating, being restored to reflect the decor of 1910, when the Portuguese nobility fled to Brazil to escape the revolution. The forested park lands that surround the palace continue the Romanticism design ideals of the palace, with hidden pathways, ornate features and stunning view points.

Quinta da Regaleira

Mystical and enchanting

Not far from Sintra’s historical centre, Carvalho Monteiro transformed this 4-hectare estate into a palace. You’ll experience enigmatic constructions with hidden alchemical meanings, such as those evoked by the Freemasons, Templars and Rosicrucians – all based on a design by the Italian architect Luigi Manini. The varied styles of his work evoke Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline architecture. Walk around the exotic park and experience its lush gardens, lakes and grottoes – a true philosopher’s mansion of alchemical inspiration!

☝️ Our hot tip: If you don’t have much time, make sure to visit at least the Quinta de Regaleira!

Castelo dos Mouros

A trace of Arab history

Established during the 9th century, this castle was built by the North African Moors to guard the town of Sintra, but it fell into disrepair after the Christian conquest of Portugal. King Ferdinand II restored the building in the 19th century and transformed it into a romantic ruin & a major feature of the gardens of the Pena Palace. The castle retains the charm of an ancient ruin, with dense forest surrounding the crumbling battlements that, once again, offer spectacular views over the Sintra region.

Palácio de Monserrate

Where the Portuguese court was once meandering

Not very far from the historic centre you’ll find this representative building of 19th century eclecticism. The palace combines gothic and indian influences as well as moorish suggestions together with exotic and plant motifs which are harmoniously extended to the exterior.

The front garden of the palace not only provides a well-deserved rest, but one of the richest Portuguese botanical gardens, with species from all corners of the world, planted according to their geographical origin.

Convento dos Capuchos

A minimalist counterpart

The Franciscan convent was built with a philosophy of extreme simplicity. Its rustic appearance and great austerity are indissociable from the surrounding vegetation: the building is completely integrated into the natural environment, to the extent that enormous granite boulders have been incorporated into its construction. The sight is also known as the “Cork convent” because of the extensive use of cork in the protection and decoration of its tiny spaces.

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