Summer Travel Series: Sintra Village, Portugal
Among the destinations not to be missed, Sintra is one of 101 “Wonders of the World” in Lonely Planet. While visiting Portugal, making a Sintra Private Tour is like entering a fairy tale village, with its rippling mountains, dewy forests, exotic gardens, and glittering palaces. Its UNESCO World Heritage-listed center, Sintra-Vila, is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic.
From the waves of the ocean to the waves of green places where palaces and monuments lurk, Sintra’s views are breathtaking and this is one of the reasons why the Portuguese village deserves to be present in “Wonders of the World.”, a special edition of Lonely Planet, which aims to inspire the unmissable 2020 getaways.
Sintra tour is the “must-have trip” for those who land in Lisbon and the best way to visit them in a short time is with a local guide.
Did you know that Celts worshipped their moon god here, the Moors built a precipitous castle, and 18th-century Portuguese royals swanned around its dreamy gardens? Even Lord Byron waxed lyrical about Sintra’s charms which inspired his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
Top attractions in Sintra
It is a magical villa surprisingly homely inside, despite its ferociously carved fireplaces, frescos, and Venetian-glass mosaics. Keep an eye out for mythological and Knights Templar symbols.
The Initiation Wells (also called initiatic wells or inverted towers) are two wells on the property that better resemble underground towers lined with stairs. These wells never served as water sources. Instead, they were used for ceremonial purposes that included Tarot initiation rites. The tunnels described above connect these wells to one another, in addition to various caves and other monuments located around the park. Of the two wells, the larger one contains a 27-meter spiral staircase with several small landings. The spacing of these landings, combined with the number of steps in the stairs, are linked to Tarot mysticism. The smaller well contains straight stairs that connect a series of ring-shaped floors to one another. This well is also called the ‘Unfinished Well’.
Is a wacky confection of onion dom
es, Moorish keyhole gates, writhing stone snakes and crenelated towers in pinks and lemons. It is considered the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal.
It is a vast forested area surrounding the Pena Palace, spreading for over 200 hectares of uneven terrain. Created at the same time as the palace by King Ferdinand II, the exotic taste of the Romanticism was applied to the park as it was to the palace.
The king ordered trees from diverse, distant lands to be planted there. Those included North American sequoia, Lawson’s cypress, magnolia, and Western redcedar, Chinese ginkgo, Japanese Cryptomeria, and a wide variety of ferns and tree ferns from Australia and New Zealand, concentrated in the Queen’s Fern Garden Feteira da Rainha.
The park has a labyrinthic system of paths and narrow roads, connecting the palace to the many points of interest throughout the park, as well as to its two gated exits.
It is one of the most attractive places on the Serra de (Mountain of) Sintra, owing to the spell of romanticism that emanates from its greenness and the wide stretches of countryside that can be glimpsed from it.
The way that the trees have been arranged in contrasting clusters, setting off to advantage the delicate note of the gardens, the graceful curve of a path, or the sudden view of a pond, all show the artistic intent that governed the planting of this park. A wacky confection of onion domes, Moorish keyhole gates, writhing stone snakes and crenelated towers in pinks and lemons. It is considered the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal.