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Sintra, near Lisbon, is one of Europe’s most romantic and enchanting towns. Its impressive concentration of fairytale palaces makes it a mandatory destination. This slightly cooler climate attracted over time the nobility and elite of Portugal. They erected exquisite palaces and extravagant residences. The variety of fascinating monuments and historic buildings makes Sintra a highly-regarded tourist destination. The village is now a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Sintra tours are one of the best memorable experiences for those who visit Lisbon. We, at Lisbon Best Tours offer you a lot of options for a perfect day in the region.
If you accept our suggestions, or if you want to tailor your own Sintra Tour program Just contact us!
The Queluz Palace and its gardens, are one of the most remarkable examples integrating landscape and palatial architecture in Portugal. One of the last great Rococo buildings designed in Europe. A point requiring at least 2 hours to visit in a Lisbon Best Tours Sintra program.
Built in 1747 by the future King Pedro III, the Palace of Queluz was initially conceived as a summer residence. Soon became the royal family’s preferred place for their leisure and entertainment. They lived there permanently from 1794 until their departure for Brazil in 1807, because of the French invasions.
From the beginning of the 18th century, many foreign artists and architects worked in Portugal. They came to satisfy the needs of a newly enriched aristocracy, emerged after the discovery of Brazilian gold in 1690.The extravagant, almost whimsical architecture of Queluz represents exactly the politics and social events of Portugal during this era.
The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, based in the National Palace of Queluz, has the mission to conserve and promote the Alter Real-bred Lusitano horse. At the same time, it upholds the Portuguese tradition of Haute École through the selection, training and exhibition of Pure Blood Lusitano horses. It is an equestrian cultural heritage that remains unique in the world. Here in Queluz is only possible to visit the facilities. The performances take place once a week at Henrique Calado Riding Ring, on Calçada da Ajuda, in Belém – Lisbon. They last approximately 45 minutes. This program needs previous reservation.
It is the best preserved medieval Royal Palace in Portugal. The thousand-year-old history of the Palace of the Town of Sintra began during the Muslim occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. Already mentioned in texts from the 11th century, the original Moorish Palace became the property of the Portuguese Crown after the conquest of the city of Lisbon by Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal, New extensions were later added to the building over time, although it has largely maintained its present-day outline since the mid-16th century. This gradual multiplication of blocks, with different styles, is largely responsible for the enigmatic enchantment of this ancient palace, dominated by great twin chimneys atop the kitchen that constitute as authentic ex-libris of Sintra.
Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic city center. Along with the other palaces in the area is one of the principal tourist attractions of Sintra. It has been classified as a Building of Public Interest since 2002.
The property consists of a romantic palace and chapel, surrounded by lush gardens, lakes, wells, grottoes and enigmatic constructions with hidden alchemical meanings, such as those evoked by the Freemasons, Templars and Rosicrucians. The palace is also known as “The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire”, the nickname of its best known former owner, who transformed the 4-hectare estate into the palace.
The varied styles of his design evoke Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline architecture. The Regaleira Estate is a place of amazing experiences. It is not enough to describe the memories, landscape and mysteries. You must discover it, contemplate the design of the gardens and buildings, admire the palace and walk round the exotic park and experience its spirituality.
The park also contains an extensive and enigmatic system of tunnels, which have multiple entry points that include: grottoes, the chapel, Waterfall Lake, and “Leda’s Cave,” which lies beneath the Regaleira Tower. The “Initiation Well” connects to other tunnels via a series of underground walkways. After the Pena Palace this is the second main attraction on the Sintra Tours.
The castle is dated from the 8th or 9th centuries, the period of Muslim Iberia occupation. After the conquest of Lisbon (1147) by Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king, the castle of Sintra was conquered with the help of Christian forces.
During the second half of the 12th century, King Sancho I of Portugal ordered the construction of a chapel within the walls.
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake caused considerable damage to all the structure. In 1840, Ferdinand II of Portugal took up the task of conserving and improving the condition of the castle. He consolidated the walls, reforested the spaces, created nooks and manicured spaces and conserved the chapel.
The impressive walls and view from the castle are the main points of this attraction in the Sintra Tours
Located in the Sintra hills, the Park and Palace of Pena are the exponent of all the Sintra tours. It is one of Portugal’s most visited monuments.
The palace’s history started in the Middle Ages when a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Pena was built on the top of the hill above Sintra. According to tradition, construction occurred after an apparition of the Virgin Mary. In 1493, King John II, accompanied by his wife Queen Leonor, made a pilgrimage to the site to fulfil a vow. His successor, King Manuel I, ordered the construction of a monastery on this site. The Order of Saint Jerome occupied the place for centuries. Pena was a small and quiet place for meditation.
In the 18th century a lightning storm severely damaged the monastery. However, it was the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755, occurring shortly afterwards, that took the heaviest toll on the monastery, reducing it to ruins. Nonetheless, the Chapel escaped without significant damages.
In 1839, King Ferdinand, a creative genius, set out to transform the remains of the monastery into a monument of the greatest expression of Portuguese romanticism. The palace then built, had the aim to serve as summer residence for the Portuguese royal family.
The palace, ingenious built, is visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over five hundred different species of trees originated from the four corners of the earth.
The Cruz Alta viewpoint is the highest point of the luxuriant Sintra Mountain. It ranges 529 meters above the sea in the heart of Pena Park. From here the panorama is amazing, with the bucolic Sintra landscape, the Mafra’s region, the astonishing Lisbon region, the gorgeous Tagus river estuary and the blue Atlantic Ocean.
Nearby stands the warrior, according to last research it represents Wilhelm Ludwig von Eschwege the untired D.Ferdinando II collaborator in the Pena Palace edification. For those who love trekking this is a must in all Sintra Tours programs, especially in summer.
In the second half of the 19th century, King Ferdinand II and his future second wife, Elise Hensler, the Countess of Edla, created a Chalet in the western part of the Park of Pena. A private space designed in accordance with the romantic taste, which served as a refuge and leisure area for the couple. Strategically situated to the west of the Palace of Pena, the building followed the model of Alpine Chalets, which were then very fashionable in Europe.
Influenced by the romantic spirit of the time, King Ferdinand and the Countess of Edla, created one of the most idyllic and picturesque areas. It is considered the largest and most emblematic romantic park ever designed in Portugal. The dramatic nature is accentuated by the close proximity of a group of monumental granite boulders, placed inside the garden itself, and the stunning views over the valley, the sea, the Palace of Pena, the Moorish Castle and the Cruz Alta.
The farm is a park zone just restored. Here you can relive the atmosphere of the traditional farms, meeting in a large space, goats, sheep, rabbits, horses and a vegetable garden. Ideal for sightseeing and family walks. Here you can try also a horseback ride or pony to explore this beautiful park. For nature and garden lovers this is an important point in a Sintra tours program.
The officially Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra, is associated with the Portuguese Viceroy of India, D. João de Castro, and his family (XVI th century). It became a pious community of reclusive clergy that continued to occupy cramp humble spaces in the complex, until the abolition of religious orders in Portugal.
The Franciscan convent is in direct contact with nature and in keeping with a philosophy of extreme architectural and decorative simplicity. The Capuchos Convent is extremely small, being notable for the great poverty of its construction.
It is also known as the “Cork convent” because of the extensive use of cork in the protection and decoration of its tiny spaces. Its rustic appearance and great austerity relates to the surrounding vegetation, since the building is completely integrated into the natural environment. Enormous granite boulders have been incorporated into its construction. An absolute contrast and paradigm in the Sintra Tours!
At the west end of the region, in the last peak of the mountains. There, one finds Penina, place where the landscape is totally opposite to that of Pena. Here we find low vegetation withstanding strong winds, and a view over the se at, 490m height.
This is the westernmost point of continental Europe. Europe ends here, abruptly, among ragged cliffs beaten by the sea. The terrain dramatically steepens as it approaches the Atlantic coast. The cliffs are more than 100 meters high. One feels the profound earthly energy that has formed this place. A lighthouse stands proud, warning all ships to stay clear from this dangerous place. Also, it is truly astonishing. This point is included in all our Sintra Tours.
Not very far from the centre of Sintra is one of the most beautiful Romantic creations in Portugal: The Park and Palace of Monserrate. A singular representation of 19th century eclecticism in the Portuguese court summer resorts. Sir Francis Cook, an English textile baronet, restored the palace in 1858. He used the estate as a summer retreat residence.
The Palace combines gothic and Indian influences as well as Moorish suggestions together with exotic and plant motifs harmoniously extended to the exterior. The gardens have received species from all corners of the world, planted according to their geographical origin. The front lawn of the Palace provides a well-deserved rest, while discovering one of the richest Portuguese botanical gardens.
Seteais Palace is a 5-star hotel nestled in the breathtaking Sintra hills, surrounded by stunning views and beautiful mountains, close to all the historic center. This exquisitely luxurious hotel boasts sumptuous guestrooms that will suit even the most demanding guests. A superb example of classic XVIII century architecture, it is ideally positioned between the hills and the sea near the city center.
The cooperative winery at Colares (Adega Regional de Colares) dates from 1931. It congregates today more than 50% of the total region production, with an important social role. Its beautiful building, from late 19th century, has an imposing interior. Housing wooden barrels, casks and vats totaling more than 1 million litters capacity are present inside. It is the maturing and aging place “par excellence” for the wines of this appellation.
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