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  • molly3729

Overnight in Sintra, Portugal

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

The many splendid sites of Sintra are well worth an overnight or two! If you're interested in planning a road trip in Portugal, we're here to help!

Stop "on your way" from Lisbon to Sintra in the gorgeous seaside town of Cascais. When we were there last, we wandered the waterfront, dazzled by the sparkling sea and then made our way to Taberna Clandestina for a delectable lunch! Especially delicious was the Zé Povinho - slow cooked black pork cheeks in red wine, available in a sandwich - perfect for lunch!

On to Sintra which is conveniently located a short drive from Lisbon. When we reached Sintra, we had time to do one of the main sights so we headed to the National Palace. It was the perfect 1-2 hour experience to get us acquainted with this lovely town. Some parts of the palace date to the 14th century and our favorite room had a ceiling painted with magpies. Rumor has it, the painting was commissioned to ward off gossip in the court brought about by the king getting caught by the queen in the arms of a lady in waiting!

Our rental accommodations in Sintra have to be at or near the top of our favorite places to stay of all time. The 16th century chapel was updated with the most modern of amenities and a lovely host. The cherry on top, breakfast delivered daily to our doorstep in a wooden crate with homemade breads, butter, jams, granola, juices, fruit and sliced meat and cheese. Just what one needs to hit the ground running for all that Sintra has to offer!

Day 2, first stop, the Quinta de Regaleira which was an unexpected delight! The gardens were a fanciful maze of turrets and hidden passageways that we could explore (and boy did we!) for hours! We finally had to cut our visit short because we had 2 more blockbuster sights to see!

Eventually we made it to the Pena Palace, grabbed a cheap sandwich, and hiked up to the castle to explore! We did the “wall walk” in howling winds which was wild! We were clinging to the walls and one another. We loved the castle inside and out! The kids loved the outdoor hiking and exploring of the morning so much that we walked down through the Pena Park grounds to the lakes only to hike back up to the Moorish Castle but it wasn’t as crazy as it looked at one point.

Onto to the Moorish Castle! We arrived around 3pm and the views out to the Atlantic were fantastic! The insane winds just added to the drama and a bit of fear factor! It seemed as though our youngest traveler might become airborne as we went turret to turret so we kept crouching our way along the castle walls up and up and up! We finally made it to the top, exhausted but satisfied! We climbed back down and eventually made it back to the chapel just in time to collapse into our bed for a rest before dinner.

What a day!

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