I don’t have a lot of photos from Sintra. It poured the ENTIRE time we were there and after a while, I gave up trying to keep my camera dry. But trust me, you want to go! The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage site–well deserved.
If you’re visiting Sintra as a day trip from Lisbon, be sure to leave early so you have enough time to see what you want to see. There is a lot of walking involved (and some hill walking, don’t be surprised!), so you’re going to want to plan on more time than you think. We only had enough time to see the Palácio Nacional da Pena (Pena Palace) and Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors), but after being absolutely soaked to the bone, that was pretty much all we wanted to see–haha!
The Pena Palace looks like a fairytale castle. When we arrived, we got Mad King Ludwig vibes and no wonder! This castle was built buy his cousin King Ferdinand II of Portugal in the 19th century. The best part about this palace–especially if you have kids or are a kid at heart–is it is basically a big play fort. The wall walk is rather exciting and offers nice views–especially when the clouds cleared. The inside is nice as well–lots of interesting furniture and decor. However for us, the exterior was the best part.
View of the Castle of the Moors from the Pena Palace.
The town of Sintra. Oh how I wished we had had more time to explore!
The Castle of the Moors originally was built more than a thousand years ago. If I understand correctly, the walls and towers were rebuilt by King Ferdinand II. It is all very well done and SO much fun to trek around. We were the only ones crazy enough to go up there during the downpour, but it was so worth it. Mr. DJ and Roxi were sure that the rain and whipping wind only added to the atmosphere.
The wall walk is pretty exciting–no guardrails. If you love that wild, rugged middle ages sort of thing, this is for you! It definitely fuels the imagination :-)
About the Author: JaPRA is an expat Texan living in Boston (by way of London by way of Houston) with her husband (Mr. DJ), their 19-year old daughter (Roxi), and their dog Trudy.