From Lisbon, we ventured out to the pine covered hills of Sintra for a day. Full of fairytale palaces, exotic gardens, fresh woodlands and castle ruins, Sintra seems a world away from the heat and hubbub of Lisbon. The air was noticeably more cool and crisp that we were even complaining about the cold at one point (I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve lived too long in Australia!).
But like any typical day in Portugal, we were blessed with awesome weather that was perfect for running amuck around old castle ruins. There are a dozen different palaces and castles on the hilltops that you can choose from. We wandered around the markets of Sintra town (refuelling on Portuguese bakery treats) and then up to the old Moorish castle (Castelo dos Mouros) for the highest vantage point above Sintra and Lisbon.
Sintra is a resort town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, near the capital of Lisbon. The area was a longtime royal sanctuary because of its cooler weather and now the forested terrain is studded with pastel-colored villas and palaces.
Getting to Sintra from Lisbon is easy – there are trains at least every 30 minutes from Lisbon’s city centre Rossio station. The journey takes 40 minutes.