Sintra
Architecture

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Our most recommended Sintra Architecture

From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

1. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Full-Day Tour

On this full-day tour you’ll discover Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the villa that’s surrounded by an amazing natural park, a castle, beautiful palaces and chalets. Take a walk along the medieval streets of Sintra an drive through the national park and see the rare fauna, the unique trees, the Moorish castle, Monserrate Palace and the chalets. Visit Pena Palace, one of the most impressive expressions of 19th-century Romanticism in architecture in the world and one of Portugal’s seven wonders. Say goodbye to Sintra with an optional visit to mystical Quinta da Regaleira, a palace surrounded by luxuriant gardens, lakes, caves and enigmatic constructions that hide obscure alchemist meanings, evoked by Freesmasons, Knights Templar and Rosicrucians. Continue on to the westernmost point of continental Europe at Roca Cape. Travel along the coast and embrace the Atlantic, and stop in Cascais and Estoril, once retreats for the royal family and the European aristocracy.

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Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

2. Lisbon: Pena Palace, Sintra, Cabo da Roca, & Cascais Daytrip

Escape Lisbon and go on a full-day, guided journey to some of Portugal’s most popular locations stopping at the iconic Pena Palace in Sintra, the awe-inspiring cliffs of Cabo da Roca, and the ritzy seaside town of Cascais. Your journey from Lisbon starts at the famous city of Sintra, whose Romanticist architecture, historic estates and villas, and numerous royal palaces and castles have made it a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy the freedom of choice on whether you want an included entry ticket and tour of the colorful Pena Palace, or whether you prefer to gain some extra free time instead. Arriving early at Sintra means greater chances of avoiding long lines if you choose to go with your guide on a comprehensive tour through its lavish interiors and lush gardens. Marvel at the palace’s fairy-tale-like appearance, beautiful facade and extravagant interior. Next, head over to the center of Sintra and get 1.5-hour of free time to wander on your own. Get recommendations of the city’s must-see locations as well as the best restaurant options for delicious traditional Portuguese dining from your guide. Continue to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe, and take in the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. If weather permitting, stop at Guincho beach, whose strong winds and high swells have made it a popular surfing destination. Lastly, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and make sure to check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen. After your free exploration time in Cascais, relax back on board your air-conditioned minivan, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

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Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

3. Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

The palace is situated in the eastern part of the Park of Pena, which one has to pass through to reach the steep ramp built by the Baron of Eschwege that provides access to the castle-like building. The palace itself is composed of two wings: the former Manueline monastery of the Order of St. Jerome and the wing built in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II. These wings are ringed by a third architectural structure that is a fantastical version of an imaginary castle, whose walls one can walk around and which comprises battlements, watchtowers, an entrance tunnel and even a drawbridge. In 1838, King Ferdinand II acquired the former Hieronymite monastery of Our Lady of Pena, which was built by King Manuel I in 1511 on the top of the hill above Sintra and had been left unoccupied since 1834 when the religious orders were suppressed in Portugal. The monastery consisted of the cloister and its outbuildings, the chapel, the sacristy and the bell tower, which today form the northern section of the Palace of Pena, or the Old Palace as it is known. King Ferdinand began by making repairs to the former monastery, which, according to the historical sources of that time, was in very bad condition. He refurbished the whole of the upper floor, replacing the fourteen cells used by the monks with larger-sized rooms and covering them with the vaulted ceilings that can still be seen today. In roughly 1843, the king decided to enlarge the palace by building a new wing (the New Palace) with even larger rooms (the Great Hall is a good example of this), ending in a circular tower next to the new kitchens. The building work was directed by the Baron of Eschwege. The 1994 repair works restored the original colors of the Palace’s exterior: pink for the former monastery and ochre for the New Palace. In transforming a former monastery into a castle-like residence, King Ferdinand showed that he was heavily influenced by German romanticism, and that he probably found his inspiration in the Stolzenfels and Rheinstein castles on the banks of the Rhine, as well as Babelsberg Palace in Potsdam. These building works at the Palace of Pena ended in the mid-1860s, although further work was also undertaken at later dates for the decoration of the interiors. King Ferdinand also ordered the Park of Pena to be planted in the Palace’s surrounding areas in the style of the romantic gardens of that time, with winding paths, pavilions and stone benches placed at different points along its routes, as well as trees and other plants originating from the four corners of the earth. In this way, the king took advantage of the mild and damp climate of the Sintra hills to create an entirely new and exotic park with over five hundred different species of trees. The Palace of Pena was designated a National Monument in 1910 and forms part of the Cultural Landscape of Sintra, which has been classified by UNESCO as World Heritage since 1995.

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From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Cape Roca, and Cascais Tour

4. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira, Cape Roca, and Cascais Tour

Discover Sintra, so-called the “Garden of Eden” by Lord Byron. Tour its paradisiacal streets and gardens and admire the ornate palaces, villas, and estates throughout this colorful city. See Pena National Palace, famed for its romantic architecture and recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. Located approximately 500 meters above sea level, soak up the stunning city views over Sintra. Continue to Sintra's Quinta da Regaleira and take a guided tour of the palace, lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions. Learn about its connection with the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. Head to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of mainland Europe, passing Guincho Beach. Experience the Portuguese Rivera as you drive along the Estoril Coast and visit the village of Cascais. See why many exiled European royalty choose to live there.

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Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour from Lisbon

5. Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour from Lisbon

Depart Lisbon and journey by air-conditioned, 8-seat vehicle to Pena Palace atop a rock overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Hear the romantic story of the palace and feel like a member of the Portuguese royal family. Then, head to Cabo da Roca for panoramic views from continental Europe’s westernmost point. Pass the stunning beaches of Cascais, including the scenic Praia do Guincho. Experience the mystery of the Devil's Mouth cave, created by the crashing of the waves on the rocky bluff. Stop in the elegant resort town of Cascais, favored by the nobles of Europe for its idyllic setting. Stroll along the harbor before traveling back to Lisbon.

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From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights Full-Day Tour

6. From Lisbon: Sintra Highlights Full-Day Tour

Fall in love with magical Sintra, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period. Its stunning landscape is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity site that is begging for exploration. Start the tour with a walk through the city center of Sintra and go to the decorative Quinta da Regaleira estate to explore the famous initiation well and the many lakes, fountains and the aquarium dotted across its grounds. The journey continues to the eclectic Monserrate Palace, a glorious estate that once served as a summer residence for the Portuguese court. Lunchtime will be spent wandering around the historical village, followed by a quick stop at local patisseries where you can try some of Sintra's well-known delicacies. Continuing on to the exotic Pena Park, come across the magnificent Pena Palace, a remarkable building complete with different decorative styles, symbols, and intriguing features.  

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National Palace of Sintra and Gardens Fast Track Ticket

7. National Palace of Sintra and Gardens Fast Track Ticket

Explore 1,000 years of Portuguese history with a skip-the-line entry ticket to the National Palace of Sintra. Enter the historic monument, first built as a Moorish castle after the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century. Follow in the footsteps of the first king of Portugal, who extended the fortress in 1147. Marvel at how later extensions made use of the natural landscape as you admire the Manueline and Mudejar designs of the interior courtyards and discover windows with surmounted arches and walls covered in glazed tiles of geometric patterns.

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From Lisbon: Sintra Full-Day Trip

8. From Lisbon: Sintra Full-Day Trip

Get out of the city and explore stunning Sintra with a friend on this full-day tour. See an iconic UNESCO Cultural Landscape, wander through the intriguing Pena Palace, and drive through the ancient towns of Cascais and Estoril. Meet your guide outside your Lisbon hotel, and enjoy the relaxed ride through the suburbs of Lisbon. In Sintra, begin your tour in the picturesque park, which forms the heart of the UNESCO Cultural Landscape. Explore the Moorish Castle and its elaborate gardens, the ancient home of Portugal’s kings. Get a panoramic view of Lisbon and the Atlantic ocean from the Pena Palace, and see the Knights of the Templar Initiation Well in the Quinta da Regaleira. Return to Lisbon through the busy Riviera towns of Cascais and Estoril.

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Sintra and Cascais Full Day Group Tour from Lisbon

9. Sintra and Cascais Full Day Group Tour from Lisbon

Escape the hustle and bustle of Lisbon on a full-day tour of Sintra, and discover the whimsical architecture of the town center and Sintra Natural Park. Following a pick-up from your hotel in Lisbon, transfer by air-conditioned, 8-seat vehicle to the extravagant Pena Palace, perched on a rock that overlooks the coastline of Lisbon. Marvel at is mix of Moorish and Manueline motifs, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding woods. Hear the romantic story of the palace, and feel like a member of the Portuguese Royal Family. Head to Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s westernmost point, and get a souvenir certificate inscribed with the words "Where the Land Ends and the Sea Begins" by Camões. Pass the stunning beaches of Cascais, including Praia do Guincho, the most scenic beach on the Lisbon coastline. En route to Cascais, experience the mystery of the "Devil's Mouth” cave, created by the crashing of the waves on the rocky bluff. Stop in the elegant resort town of Cascais, a once quiet fishing village that was discovered by the European nobility for its idyllic setting, and became a favorite destination for the international jet set thereafter. Stroll along the harbor, before transferring back to Lisbon.

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Lisbon: Full-Day Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Tour

10. Lisbon: Full-Day Sintra, Cabo da Roca and Cascais Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel at around 9:00 AM and take the route to Queluz Palace. As a palace of the 18th-century, it was built as a summer retreat for Dom Pedro of Braganza, who would later be her husband and King Consort of his niece, Queen Maria I Portugal. Stop to take pictures. Continue with the tour through the historic center of Sintra, where you can see the wonderful old streets and take pictures at the National Palace of Sintra and make a short walking tour. Continue with your tour to Regaleira, a romantic place for excellence. It is the result of the achievement of the myth magical dreams of its owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro (1848-1920). Stop for photos and visit its interior. Then, explore Pena Palace, the most extravagant Portuguese palace built on a rock with an altitude of 500 meters dominating the entire coast of Lisbon. The Arabic architecture and Manueline style present in this palace, give life to the pure Portuguese romanticism. Mandatory visit to Chalet of Edla Condess, and pass through Moors Castle, Seteais Palace and Mosserrate Palace. Next, go to Roca Cape, “where the land ends and the sea begins.” Dominating the tumultuous waters 140 meters high which beat noisily against the rocks. It offers superb views of the Atlantic Ocean at its most wild but before, you will make a stop at Adraga Beach for lunch. Nearby Cascais, you will find Hell’s Mouth. This gap in the rock is a giant canyon carved by the sea with the beating of the waves. A worthy spectacle to enjoy the sound of the waves reminding the devil’s voice growling and spitting squirts of water. Finally, the tour goes through Cascais fishing village since the 12th-century and so remained until today, a privileged place for the exiled European nobility during the two world wars, still keeping its glamour and architectural richness of other times. Return to Lisbon by following all along the coast through Estoril and Carcavelos admiring the immense beaches the coast offers. Expect to return back to Lisbon at 5:00 PM.

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What people are saying about Sintra

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3,947 reviews

Our tour guide Alex was outstanding, very knowledgeable and super accommodating. He made sure he paid equal attention to every couple, speaking English to us and speaking French to another couple from France. When I asked to tweak a program a little bit so we can also visit Quinta da Regaleira after the Peña Palace, it didn’t take him long to accommodate the request. Thank you ever so much for your flexibility! The tour was well structured. We did not feel rushed, it was our day to enjoy! He recommended where to try famous Sintra sweets (and they were so delish by the way). The location for lunch was simply breathtaking: having my favourite octopus dish while sipping on a refreshing glass of wine & enjoying magnificent sea views, you feel like you’re on top of the world! Alex, thank you so much! We are bringing home a lot of memories thanks to your tour and flexibility! 100% recommend this company & this particular tour! This tour ticks all the boxes you want to see & enjoy in Sintra.

Alejandro was incredible! He was so much fun to spend the whole day with and was very accommodating. The fact that he can also juggle multiple languages was very impressive! I loved the tour :)

It has been a great day with the family and the cost is very much amortized. Our guide has been very friendly and always attentive to any detail throughout the tour. I recommend it 100

Lovely tour with a great person, Nuno. Didn't know when time has passed and I recomand this from my heart. A living fairytale, this part of the country. All the best, Nuno!

Well organized tour. Awesome guides with outstanding attitude.