Welcome to Sintra

Portugal's ancient mystical home of Romanticism, Moon Godesses, Enchanted Forests and Opulent Palaces.

SINTRA COAST WEATHER
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AN INTRODUCTION

North of Lisbon and close to the Atlantic is the fairytale town of Sintra, or as it's known by it's older spelling "Cintra". It's beautiful setting amongst the forests of the Serra de Sintra and moderate climate have been a draw for royals, poets, romantics and visitors alike for centuries. Lord Byron once described Sintra as a "glorious Eden". Within the region there are more palaces, fine houses, castles and other places of interest to shake a proverbial stick at. There is an aura of playfulness here with a touch of the absurd, eccentricity and kitsch, enough to make architectural puritans shudder‚ yet easy to fall in love with. In 1996 Sintra's uniqueness was recognised by UNESCO and was added to it's list of heritage sites.

Occupation of the area dates way back to most ancient times, Paleolithic artefacts have been found here as well as megalithic monuments such as cromlechs, menhirs and remains of bronze age Castro settlements dating from the 9th-6th century BC. One theory of the origins of the towns name suggests it's derived from the medieval word Suntria meaning bright star or sun which hints at ancient religious associations. To the Romans however they identified the Sintra mountains as Lunae Mons or mountains of the Moon, as well as the legendary retreat of the Moon Goddess Diana, or Cynthia in her Latin form, another supposed origin to the towns name. The Moors were also enchanted by the area and built a hilltop castle, a palace, and several fountains around the town. After the christian reconquest Sintra became the residence of choice for the Portuguese royal family as well as attracting wealthy aristocrats who built their mansions and villas here.

TOP ATTRACTIONS

Monserrate Palace

Beautiful eclectic architecture and landscaped gardens.

Moorish Castle

A mighty 10th Century fortification dating from pre-christian times.

Pena Palace

One of the most iconic and eccentric Portuguese buildings.

National Palace of Sintra

Portugal's oldest palace which pre-dates the country itself.

Quinta da Regaleira

A place full of mysticism, romance, wonder and magic.

National Palace of Queluz

An impressive 18th century palace, a homage to the Baroque style.

Capuchos Convent

A beautiful 16th century convent harmoniously blended into the landscape.

Cabo da Roca

The most westerly point in mainland Europe with breathtaking scenery.

Sintra Old Town

HISTORIC CENTRE (VILA VELHA)

Sintra can easily be divided into the new part and the old, the new is centred around the train station Portela de Sintra and the old village located in the São Martinho district up the hill and west of the Sintra train station. The Largo Rainha Dona Amélia in the centre of the old town would be the first place you'll encounter if you've arrived by coach from Lisbon or taken the bus from the train station. Flanked on three sides by restaurants, gift shops and over priced wine shops whilst dominating the other side stands the imposing Palácio Nacional de Sintra with it's distinctive champagne bottled shaped chimneys. The pillory or pelourinho standing on it's three steps next to the Largo Rainha Dona Amélia is an 20th century copy made in 1940 by José da Fonseca. The original was destroyed in 1854. More About →

What to see…

Fountains Sintra Myths & Legends Interactive Centre

OLD TRAM (ELÉCTRICO DE SINTRA)

Sintra's vintage tramway resumed it's seasonal weekend service from the centre of Sintra, close to the the Museu de Arte Moderna, to Praia das Maças on the coast. This rickety old tram squeaks and judders a seven mile (11.5km) picturesque route up and over the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, passing through Colares and Banzão along the way. Bones are shaken for about 45-50 minutes before reaching the final destination. For a more rapid and comfortable, yet less fun, option take the Scotturb bus.
Old Tram Sintra - Praia das Maças Timetable

Adult: €3.00 Single, OAP & Child: €2.00 Single, Infant <6: FREE
Avenue Heliodoro Salgado, Sintra, Portugal. | 38º 48' 12.0" N | 08º 37' 17.62" W
+351 219 238 789
dtur@cm-Sintra.pt |  Website

Sintra - Praia das Maças Old Tram (Eléctrico de Sintra)
Museu Arqueolgico de São Odrinhas

MUSEUMS

During the millennia of Sintra's rich and diverse history a great number of artefacts, curiosities and a broad cultural heritage has built up. Treasures from various epochs can be found within the towns museums and art galleries. Sintra boasts unique collections of fossils, art pieces and toys.

The cultural legacy left by the poets, artists, royals and enigmatic characters who once dwelt here can be found within the homes they bequeathed to history.

What to see…

Air Museum Archeology Museum Natural History Museum
Booking.com

QUEIJADAS DE SINTRA

Variations of Queijadas, sweet cheese cake type pastries, are found all over Portugal and the Portuguese speaking world but it's in Sintra they have their origin and well worth trying if visiting the town. Made from a ricotta-like cheese called Requeijão, egg yolks and a pinch of cinnamon they're incredibly rich in texture and sweet, with a fluffy sweet crust on top, however the exact recipe is a closely-guarded secret. There are records of t Queijadas being baked at the Convento da Penha Longa since 1227 when they were used as part payment of rent.

The Queijadas da Sapa bakery have proudly been making these little delights since 1756 and today they are still hand made in the traditional yet time consuming way. They can be bought directly from the bakery, located close to the Sintra train station or at various other outlets across town. A six-pack makes a great culinary souvenir.

Queijada de Sintra

CLOSE BY

Batalha Monastery

Dating from the 14th century, one of Europe's finest Gothic masterpieces.

Cascais

The absolute jewel of the Lisbon coast and favoured resort of Royalty.

Ericeira

Beautiful fishing village and surfing Mecca untouched by mass tourism.

Estoril

An exclusive resort know by many as the Portugal's Riviera.

Mafra

Portugal's largest building, the Palace which bankrupted a nation.

Ó́bidos

The stunning preserved medieval town once a wedding gift for a Queen.

Sesimbra

Delightful seaside resort and fishing village South of Lisbon.

Tomar

The home of Portugal's Templar Knights a town entwined in history.

Colares Wine Tasting

COLARES WINE TASTING

The Colares wine region located around Sintra is one of the worlds oldest producing areas, if not one of the unusual. It is infact the second oldest demarcated wine regions in Portugal after the Douro. The art of making wine here though was introduced by the Romans when they occupied the region. The vines are planted in the sand dunes which follow the coast, trained low to avoid the Atlantic winds. This terrain proved too harsh for the phylloxera louse which devastated nearly all of Europes vines in 19th century and the shortage of competitors led to a boom in the popularity of Colares wines. However the processes involved in planting and training vines in such a alien environment for grapes is arduous and production has fallen sharply in the last 50 years from 2,500 acres of vineyards in the 1940's to just 50 acres today.

What is produced however is of excellent quality and quite distinct. The acidic and tannic nature of the reds mean they're aged for years before being released on the market. Today there is a consorted effort to revitalise the industry and new vines are being planted in much sort after areas where holiday homes are in high demand. See More →

TRAVELLING TO SINTRA

Lisbon Airport
Train to Sintra
Bus 434

Sintra's historical centre is 18 miles (29km) west of Lisbon Portela Airport Website

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The speedy A5 and A16 motorways will whisk you west from central Lisbon. A more picturesque routes from Cascais via the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais on the A16 and N247.

Latitude - 38º 47' 56.6" | Longitude - 09º 23' 15.9"


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Urban train services (comboios urbanos) from Lisbon's Rossio and Orient stations are regular and reliable.
• Azambuja/Lisboa/Sintra line Timetable
Trains of Portugal Website

ScottURB run services around Sintra and Cascais:

• 403 - Cascais to Sintra train station via Cabo da Roca and Colares.
• 418 - Estoril train station to Sintra train station.
• 403 - Cascais to Sintra trainstation via Cabo da Roca and Colares.
• 434 - Circular route linking Sintra train station, old town centre, the Moorish castle and Pena Palace.
• 435 - Circular route linking Sintra train station, old town centre, Palácio da Regaleira, Palácio de Seteais and Palácio de Monserrate.
Timetables | Scott URB Website

More In Depth Travel Info →