Sintra, a picturesque Portuguese town is set amidst the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. This hilly and slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant mansions and decorative gardens in which to idle away, plot and coup.
The variety of fascinating historic buildings and beautiful scenery has established Sintra as a tourist destination and has since become the most popular day trip from Lisbon.
The town of Sintra is Europe’s finest example of the whimsical and colourful Romanticism style of architecture. The elaborate 19th century design style was inspired by the love of art and the mysticism of ancient cultures to create decorative and flamboyant buildings, of which the Palácio da Pena is unarguably the greatest example combining the Moorish and Manueline style architecture.
For such a relatively small town, Sintra contains an abundance of historic monuments and enthralling tourist attractions. Within the town, there are over ten national monuments worthy of more than a passing glimpse, these varied buildings range from extravagant palaces and decadent mansions through to ancient ruinous castles.
Sintra is situated within the beautiful natural scenery of the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais national park which incorporates the lush forests hills of Sintra and leads down to the rugged and dramatic coastline, 12km to the west. The hills of Sintra are the setting for many activities of the region, include scenic hiking trails, challenging cycle routes and some of the best rock climbing in Portugal.
The town centre is incredibly charming, with pretty cobbled streets lined with traditional houses, shops and cafes, all centred around the Gothic styled National Palace. Sintra has so much to offer visitors and October is an ideal time of year to visit without the peak seasons larger crowds.