Sintra was one of my favourite places that we visited on our Eurotrip – so there will be a lot of photos! Whilst staying in Lisbon we took advantage of one of a sunny day amidst the rainy ones to take a day trip out to Sintra, which we’d heard about from a fellow traveller in our hostel. Nestled into dramatic mountains and home to some amazing architecture, Sintra is a popular tourist destination.
With some wild weather in the days before we had to climb over some fallen trees as we walked beyond the town and through Pena Park, but the place was full of greenery and life. Apparently there are over 2000 types of plants found in the park, including many that aren’t native to Portugal, brought there by King Ferdinand II, for whom the palace was also built. As in Lisbon, the main tourist attractions were also home to cats – argh!
Eventually we reached Palácio da Pena, Pena Palace. Built on the remains of an old monastery in the 1800’s, it’s an eclectic mish-mash of styles taking inspiration from everywhere, which is very much characteristic of Romanticism. Unlike many of the castles we online blackjack with others visited in the rest of Europe the original colours of the Pena Palace have been restored. The end result is (to me) a crazy, colourful, castle in the mountains which I immediately fell in love with. It remains my favourite castle that we visited in Europe.
After we walked over to Castelo dos Mouros, the Moorish Castle, which was built from the 9th Century. Much of the castle has been adapted since, and we saw some of the original structures being excavated, but the towers and walkways covered in moss have their own beauty. It also gives a stunning view of the mountains, Pena Palace and the town below.
There are several other palaces and other important pieces of architecture around Sintra, but these two were all we had time for!
Since we were hanging around tourist attractions there weren’t really any interesting food options, but passing back through the town before riding back to Lisbon we stopped at a store selling ginjinha, a sweet cherry liqueur served in a chocolate cup. I saw it offered in quite a few places in Lisbon, but this one was definitely my favourite!