A Photo Tour of Sintra

A Photo Tour ofSINTRAVisiting the town of Sintra was the highlight of our recent trip to Portugal. It’s an easy 40-minute train ride from Lisbon and well worth the visit if you’re staying in the city for more than a couple of days.

The palaces and gardens of Sintra, perched on hills amid lush green forests, were once the royal family’s summer retreat. They feel as if they belong in another world, a world full of colour and magic.

For a more detailed look at the palaces, read my guide. In the meantime I thought I’d share some of my photos of this extraordinary place.

We all fell in love with the Palace of Pena, which was like something out of a fairytale or the Kingdom of Sweets from ‘The Nutcracker’. We loved the bright colours of its walls

and all the details in its design, from the red clock tower to the beautiful tiles and the intricately carved stonework and turrets.

The boys spent ages climbing in and out of the towers.

There were images of knights in the tiles and carved into the stone.

We really liked the Triton carved under the big bay window, glaring down at us with his gruesome face, long elf-like ears and fishy feet.A Photo Tour of SintraBut the trouble with Pena Palace is that after seeing it, everything else seems a little drab and ordinary.

The National Palace of Sintra isn’t nearly as colourful on the outside but venture inside and you’ll find stunning painted ceilings and beautiful tiled walls.

The other highlight of our trip to Sintra were the magical gardens at the Quinta da Regaleira, a wonderland filled with fountains and stone doors.

There were Rapunzel Towers to climb up and carvings of strange creatures everywhere we looked.

There were deep wells and stepping stones across the water.

But best of all were the secret underground tunnels, so dark that you couldn’t explore them without a torch.

The Palaces of Sintra are open daily. Take a look at the Visit Lisbon website for more information about visiting Sintra.

Disclosure: We were very kindly given free admission to the sights mentioned but all opinions are honest and my own.

Pin It!A Photo Tour ofSINTRA

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24 thoughts on “A Photo Tour of Sintra

  1. We’re still trying to decide whether Portugal (Lisbon area) is going to be the focus of our summer family holiday and every time I see an article on Sintra I think we really must go there. It’s such a crazy place, it looks like Playmobil! #citytripping

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  2. Those colours brighten up a dreary March day! Whenever I finally get around to visiting Lisbon I’ll make sure to leave time for a trip to Sintra too.

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  3. The palace is amazing – like a fairytale with an air of Gaudi about it. So colourful. Sinatra is clearly worth a visit. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

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    • Thank you! I think we were really lucky with the weather. Apparently Sintra can often be cloudy when Lisbon is sunny so I was very grateful for that gorgeous blue sky – it made the perfect background to those bright colours.

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  4. I was looking forward to this post – I’ve heard so much about Sintra I can’t believe we didn’t make it when we were in Lisbon. Your photos are fabulous and it really does look like a kid’s dream place! Especially the gardens! #citytripping

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  5. Beautiful photos! Looks like you had a perfect day to visit! When I visited, it was quite foggy and overcast – I would have loved to see those blue skies. It makes the Pena Palace even more vibrant, especially with the blue background against the yellow building!

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    • Thank you so much! We were really lucky with the weather. I’d been told that Sintra has its own micro climate and is often not nearly as sunny as nearby Lisbon. It certainly made up for the rain the first day we arrived!

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