Senin, 30 Januari 2012

Trip to Sintra Portugal

No more than 30 kilometres away from Lisbon, you will find Sintra, a charming town that you should definitely visit during your time in the Portuguese capital, especially if you’re looking for a little romantic getaway. Celebrated for its artists, writers and poets such as Lord Byron, and preferred summer destination by the monarchy and nobles in the old days, Sintra has a special appeal and a great wealth of monuments.

In addition to its romantic and fantastic architecture, it is immersed in lush greenery in the Sintra Mountain Range – Cascais and surrounded by beautiful coastlines. Its almost magical atmosphere and its features have made it a National Heritage Site, and it has become a popular tourist destination, which you cannot miss out on.

Although Sintra is worth more than a few hours visit, we would just like to share with you the places you should definitely visit if you are only going to this charming town for a day. Set an early morning alarm and put on your most comfortable shoes because there’s a lot to see and it’s going to be a busy day.

The most iconic monuments in the town are its palaces and castles, little treasures dotted around the green landscape, which immerse you in a dream and mystical world. We especially recommend that you visit the following:

Pena National Palace: Situated in Monte de Lua (Hill of the Moon), it was built in 1836 by order of Prince Fernando II of Portugal. With its pink and yellow fa├žades combining diverse architectural styles, it looks like something from a fairytale. It is divided into four sections; the outer walls, the Convent, the Arches Yard and the palatial zone. You will need at least an hour and a half to enjoy a nice, relaxed visit of the palace.

Quinta de Regaleria estate: Shrouded in mystery, and irresistible to romantics and fans of the unknown. Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, who was in possession of a considerable fortune which he made in Brazil, ordered it to be built at the beginning of the XX century, with symbols related to alchemy and masonry. It is a beautiful ensemble, with lush gardens that hide sculptures, grottos, an initiation well, lakes and towers.

Sintra National Palace: Also known as the Town Palace, with its enormous twin chimneys, its unmistakeable silhouette is one of the symbols of the town. Built in the XVI century, it currently belongs to the State and it is used as a cultural centre where exhibitions are usually held.

If you have any time left in the town, we suggest that you also visit Monserrate Palace, one of the best examples of Romantic art in Portugal with domes and exotic decorations. We also recommend that you visit Castle of the Moors, built by the Arabs in the VIII century, Capuchos Convent and the toy Museum. A few kilometres away you will also find Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe and for centuries considered the end of the world, with some beautiful cliffs bordering the Atlantic.

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