10 Photos of Sintra, Portugal to Persuade You to Go

Sintra, Portugal ranks as one of my most favorite and magical places on earth.  With a plethora of enthralling castles and monuments, this stunning hilltop village offers a wide array of worthwhile sites to see.  From fairytale type Castles to rolling, pine covered hills, Sintra is full of photographic opportunities.  As such, please enjoy my selection of photos of Sintra.

10 Photos of Sintra, Portugal to Persuade You to Go

1 – The National Palace

For dinner Allan and I drove down to the old, historic part of Sintra to enjoy a meal among cobblestone streets and lightly illuminated passageways.  Nearby the National Palace commands center stage with its white facade and dual chimneys.  Formerly a private residence from the 15th – 19th centuries, now it serves as a museum.

10 Photos of Sintra. The National Palace of Sintra was inhabited by kings for many centuries.
10 Photos of Sintra. The National Palace of Sintra was inhabited by kings for many centuries.

2 – The Pena Palace

After hours of driving aimlessly around the streets surrounding Sintra, trying in vain to find the Pena Palace, I gave up and hired a tuk tuk.  The driver then navigated obscure one-way streets, around narrow bends and up steep hills to reach this whimsical wonder.  Towering over Sintra, this fantasy style castle beams in bright blue, reds and yellows.

10 Photos of Sintra. The Pena Palace represents a self-indulgent mix of vividly painted terraces, decorative battlements and mythological statues.
10 Photos of Sintra. The Pena Palace represents a self-indulgent mix of vividly painted terraces, decorative battlements and mythological statues.

3 – The Pena Palace

10 Photos of Sintra. The interior of the Pena Palace fascinates, being restored to reflect the decor of 1910, when the Portuguese nobility fled to Brazil to escape the revolution.
10 Photos of Sintra. The interior of the Pena Palace fascinates, being restored to reflect the decor of 1910, when the Portuguese nobility fled to Brazil to escape the revolution.

4 – The Pena Palace

10 Photos of Sintra. The forested parks surrounding the Pena Palace continue the Romanticism design ideals of the palace, with hidden pathways, ornate features and stunning view points.
10 Photos of Sintra. The forested parks surrounding the Pena Palace continue the Romanticism design ideals of the palace, with hidden pathways, ornate features and stunning view points.

5 – The Pena Palace

10 Photos of Sintra. View of the mountains from the Pena Palace. The park surrounding the palace covers 200 hectares.
10 Photos of Sintra. View of the mountains from the Pena Palace. The park surrounding the palace covers 200 hectares.

6 – Pena Palace

10 Photos of Sintra. View of the mountains from the Pena Palace. The palace is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.
10 Photos of Sintra. View of the mountains from the Pena Palace. The palace is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal.

7 – Old, Historic Downtown Sintra

The real charm of Sintra centers around the historic part of town.  Lined with cafes and restaurants, Allan and I wandered around, without any specific plan.  As the sun set, the sky lit up in yellow and orange, adding a celestial hue to this already heavenly hilltop town.

10 Photos of Sintra. The historic center of the Vila de Sintra is famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, historic estates & villas, gardens, and numerous royal palaces & castles, which resulted in the classification of the town and its historic passage as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
10 Photos of Sintra. The historic center of the Vila de Sintra is famous for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, historic estates & villas, gardens, and numerous royal palaces & castles, which resulted in the classification of the town and its historic passage as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

8 – Palacio de Monserrate

We toured the Palacio de Monserrate as our first stop in Sintra due to its convenient and ample parking.  While I explored the lush, well-manicured grounds on foot, Allan hopped on the shuttle to more easily maneuver over the hilly terrain.  Then we met at the stunning Palacio de Monserrate for a self-guided tour through its palatial halls.

10 Photos of SIntra. The Palacio de Monseratte. An estate formerly residing on the grounds was severely damaged by the 1755 earthquake. The estate was then rented to a wealthy Irish business man, Gerald de Visme, who commissioned the construction of a Neo-Gothic palace where he resided for a short period.
10 Photos of Sintra. The Palacio de Monseratte. An estate formerly residing on the grounds was severely damaged by the 1755 earthquake. The estate was then rented to a wealthy Irish business man, Gerald de Visme, who commissioned the construction of a Neo-Gothic palace where he resided for a short period.

9 – Quinta da Regaleira

As my final stop in Sintra, I explored the medieval looking Quinta da Regaleira.  To me it represents the perfect spot to take a date or propose to a romantic partner.  The luxurious grounds and pretty facade captured my attention, wooing me like a temptress.

10 Photos of Sintra. The cultural landscape upon which the Quinta da Regaleira sits dates back thousands of years. There are archaeological sites in the area dating back to the early Neolithic (5 th millennium BC) and extending all the way through to the Iron Age (4 th – 2 nd centuries BC).
10 Photos of Sintra. The cultural landscape upon which the Quinta da Regaleira sits dates back thousands of years. There are archaeological sites in the area dating back to the early Neolithic (5 th millennium BC) and extending all the way through to the Iron Age (4 th – 2 nd centuries BC).

10 – Quinta da Regaleira

10 Photos of Sintra. Quinta da Regaleira. One of its most fascinating features is located beneath the ground – a pair of wells spiraling deep within the earth. The wells were never used, nor intended for water collection. Instead, these mysterious underground towers were used for secretive initiation rites.
10 Photos of Sintra. Quinta da Regaleira. One of its most fascinating features is located beneath the ground – a pair of wells spiraling deep within the earth. The wells were never used, nor intended for water collection. Instead, these mysterious underground towers were used for secretive initiation rites.

Do you have any questions or marks about Sintra, Portugal?

Please let me know in the comments!

Happy travels,

Matt Weatherbee

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Matt Weatherbee

Hi, I’m Matt.  In 2008 I quit my job, sold everything and drove from Boston to Mexico to start a business.  Now I live and work in the Carribean, and spend my free time traveling the globe.  Learn more.

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