Sintra is a picturesque Portuguese town that is set amidst the pine-covered hills of the Serra de Sintra is 28km from Lisbon. This hilly and slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant mansions and decorative gardens. The variety of fascinating historic buildings and beautiful scenery has established Sintra as a fantastic tourist destination, and has since become the most popular day trip from Lisbon.Palacio Nacional de Sintra
The star of Sintra-Vila is this palace, with its iconic twin conical chimneys and lavish, whimsical interior, which is a mix of Moorish and Manueline styles, with arabesque courtyards, barley-twist columns and 15th- and 16th-century geometric azulejos the hand-painted tiles that figure among Portugal’s oldest. The highlights in this palace are the octagonal Sala dos Cisnesthe Swan Room, adorned with frescos of 27 gold-collared swans, and the Sala das Pegas the Magpie Room, with its ceiling emblazoned with magpies.Quinta da Regaleira
This magical villa and gardens is a neo-Manueline extravaganza, dreamed up by Italian opera-set designer. The villa is surprisingly homely inside, despite its ferociously carved fireplaces, frescos and Venetian-glass mosaics. The building is packed with mythological and Knights Templar symbols within.
Palacio Nacional da Pena
Rising from a thickly wooded peak and often enshrouded in swirling mist, Palacio Nacional da Pena is a wacky confection of onion domes, Moorish keyhole gates, writhing stone snakes and crenellated towers in pinks and lemons. It is considered the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal.Parque da Pena
Nearly topped by King Ferdinand II’s whimsical Palacio Nacional da Pena, these romantic gardens are filled with tropical plants, huge redwoods and fern trees, camellias, rhododendrons and lakes is a place which takes us to a fairy tale.
There is also a fascinating site within the park which is the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs evoking Chalet da Condessa d’Edla, an alpine-inspired summer getaway cottage.
With its rippling mountains, dewy forests thick with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens and glittering palaces, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale.