From our weekend in Lisbon, the last visit remains one of the most beautiful discoveries, the city of Sintra and its surroundings.
Located in the hills of the Serra, 28km from Lisbon, there are many palaces, castles in ruins surrounded by lush vegetation. Of the five parks we saw two, due to lack of time, the National Palace of Sintra and National Palace of Pena. It takes at least one day to see everything. It’s definitely something to do!
Our first visit, the Sintra Palace was the royal family residence. Building all in white, with two large fireplaces, we owe its general appearance to Manuel Ist ; Inside different styles mix : Mudéjar, Renaissance, Manuéline...
We had to wait a long time before coming in the castle, my advice, try to get your ticket in advance if you don’t want to waste time.
The Swans’ room is the largest room of the Palace, the ceiling is painted in Mudéjar style. On the first floor there is the room of the Blazons, the ceililng is decorated with Blazons of the great families of the Portuguese noble and its walls covered with 18th century Azulejos (name of earthenware in Portuguese).
The small alleys of the old town are charming, we do a quick tour and drive to the castle of Pena, 5km from Sintra.
We arrive at the Pena castle by its park, tickets in hand which saves us precious time. We begin our visit by climbing the park to the Palace entrance. It’s sloping, but the landscape is beautiful and worth the effort. The castle was built by the husband of Maria II, Ferdinand of Saxony Coburg Gotha between 1840 and 1850, it is a festival of colors.
Before the access to the terrace, we pass by the corridor of which we can see the two towers that frame a face of Triton, the face is worrying but it’s amazing.
From the passage to the terrace we have an incredible 180° view of the Serra, and straight ahead we can see the ramparts of the castle of the Moors (Castelo dos Mouros).
The visit to the palace ends in the sinuous alleys of its park. We are absolutely thrilled.
This getaway not far from Lisbon, discovering the Portuguese sovereign palaces was really one of my preferred moments, to be rescheduled.
Useful informations :
Two links for tickets prices and timetables to get to Sintra from Lisbon, and buses from Sintra to the parks.
By train : Lisboa-Queluz/Sintra.
By bus : Sintra to the parks.