Sintra

History buffs, architecture enthusiasts, literature lovers, hopeless romantics, and even hikers all fall under Sintra’s seductive spell. The lush northern slopes of the Serra de Sintra (Sintra Mountains) have been inhabited since prehistoric times, although the Moors were the first to build a castle on the peaks. Later Sintra became the summer residence of Portuguese kings and aristocrats, and its late-medieval palace is the greatest expression of royal wealth and power of the time. In the 18th and 19th centuries, English travelers, poets, and writers—including an enthusiastic Lord Byron—were drawn by the region's beauty. The poet Robert Southey described Sintra as "the most blessed spot on the whole inhabitable globe." Its historic importance has been recognized by UNESCO, which designated it a World Heritage Site in 1995.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Museu Arqueológico de São Miguel de Odrinhas

If your stay is longer than a day or so, then this museum is worth a visit. The displays include…

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Palácio da Pena

This Disney-like castle is a glorious conglomeration of turrets and domes awash in pastels. In 1503 the Monastery of Nossa…

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Penedo

For terrific views of the sea and surrounding mountains, take the curving road that climbs up to the village of…

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