Villa Palace - This 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 buildings, 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 the cultural landscape of Sintra, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The interior guided tour is optional.
Pena Palace and gardens - Located in the Sintra hills, the Park and Palace of Pena are the exponent of a Sintra tour. 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 fulfill a vow. His successor, King Manuel I, was also very fond of this sanctuary, and ordered the construction of a monastery on this site which was donated to the Order of Saint Jerome. For centuries, Pena was a small, quiet place for meditation.
In the 18th century the monastery was severely damaged by lightning. 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, they escaped without significant damage.
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 was built to serve as a summer residence for the Portuguese royal family
The palace was built in such a way as to be visible from any point in the park, which consists of a forest and luxuriant gardens with over five hundred different species of trees originating from the four corners of the earth.
Quinta da Regaleira - is an estate located near the historic city center. Along with the other palaces in the area its considered 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", which is based on 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 that has to be experienced. It is not enough to describe the memories, landscape and mysteries. You have to 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.
Capuchos Convent - Officially the Convento de Santa Cruz da Serra da Sintra (Convent of the Holy Cross of the Sintra Mountains). Its creation was associated with the Portuguese Viceroy of India, D. João de Castro, and his family (XVI century), but became a pious community of reclusive clergy that continued to occupy cramp humble spaces in the complex, until the religious orders were abolished in Portugal. The Franciscan convent was built in direct contact with nature, and in keeping with a philosophy of extreme architectural and decorative simplicity. The Capuchos Convent is extremely small in size, 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 are indissociable from the surrounding vegetation, since the building is completely integrated into the natural environment, to the extent that enormous granite boulders have been incorporated into its construction.
Roca Cape - This is the western-most 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. It is truly astonishing.
Cascais Bay - Admire the Cascais bay on the way back to Lisbon. Understand the magic light of Lisbon, where the River Tagus and ocean blues merge with the sky colors. Take your camera with you.