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Sintra

UNESCO sites

Our most recommended Sintra UNESCO Sites

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

1. 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. Choose between the shared tour or private tour options. 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 vehicle, and admire more breathtaking views of the Portuguese coast as you make your way back to Lisbon.

Sintra: Pena Palace and Park Entrance Ticket

2. 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.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

3. From Lisbon: Sintra, Regaleira and Pena Palace Guided Tour

Benefit from a guided tour inside the Quinta Regaleira and Pena Palace. Fall in love with Sintra, a village full of magic and mystery, the lasting symbol of Portugal's Romantic period and also classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Opt to treat yourself and your loved ones to a private experience with your own guide and pickup from your own hotel. Alternatively, you can get picked up from a convenient location in the center of Lisbon. Accompanied by a tour guide, visit Quinta da Regaleira and enjoy its lush gardens, lakes, grottoes, and enigmatic constructions, including the world-famous Initiation Well. Uncover the mysteries of each place and learn about the orders of the Freemasons and the Knights Templar. During the lunch break in Sintra's old town, you will have free time to explore the historical and charming streets. You will also have time to taste the traditional pastry, travesseiro. After buying your entry ticket with your guide, step into a fairy tale when you enter the romantic Pena Palace and Park. Understand its unique architectural expression of Romanticism. Spot how it blends many styles, including Gothic, neo-Manueline, neo-Islamic, and neo-Renaissance. Stroll around the park with its astonishing variety of plants and trees. Marvel at the palace's amazing views of the castle and the Atlantic Ocean, a perfect way to end the day before returning to Lisbon.

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.

From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais Day Trip

5. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais Day Trip

Travel to the wonderfully preserved city of Sintra on this day trip from Lisbon. Have free time to explore the Old Town and go to the whimsical Pena Palace. Head to the coast to the viewpoint at Cabo da Roca and the seaside resort town of Cascais. Be picked up at a meeting point in Lisbon. Sit back and relax on the scenic drive through the countryside to Sintra. Take some time to walk through the vibrantly colored hilltop castle of Pena Palace or wander through the cafes, boutiques, historic estates, and villas in the Old Town. From Sintra, continue to Cabo da Roca where you can stand at the westernmost point of continental Europe. Snap some breathtaking shots of the impressive views of the ocean crashing against the high rocky cliffs. Finally, arrive in Cascais, an elegant seaside resort town on the Portuguese Riviera. Stroll through the lovely city center and check out Cascais’ luxury marina, its charming fishing port, and a restored fort that houses many local craftsmen.

Sintra: Jeep Tour of Regaleira, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais

6. Sintra: Jeep Tour of Regaleira, Cabo da Roca, and Cascais

Climb aboard a vintage Portuguese 4x4 Jeep and get ready for an unforgettable adventure that will tackle the best of the Sintra region. Discover some of the secrets and mysteries of Sintra, see the most beautiful monuments of the region and escape all common tourist traps by going off-road on a fun and cultural experience. You will start your day being picked up at the meeting point and travel directly to Quinta da Regaleira, a palace filled with mystery, metaphors, and underground tunnels. Enjoy an informative, guided visit here. After the visit, you will have an overview of all 5 palaces and the 8th-Century Moorish Castle as you drive. You'll also pass by the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.  On the way to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in mainland Europe, take hidden paths through the park and break at impressive scenic viewpoints to see the beauty of the Portuguese coastline.  At Guincho Beach you'll have the chance to taste the typical, local century-old recipe "Travesseiro" pastry and homemade "Ginja" drink. You will finish your tour around 4.30 PM at the beautiful beach town of Cascais.

From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

7. From Lisbon: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Full-Day Tour

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.

Sintra: Historical Jeep Tour

8. Sintra: Historical Jeep Tour

Hop into a classic Portuguese jeep to explore Sintra’s wonders. See the best of Sintra with the help of your tour guide, as you learn the incredible histories and explore the must-see landmarks in this 7-hour tour. Drive around three of the five stunning palaces of Sintra, the National Palace, Seteais Palace, Monserrate, as well as Moorish Castle. View the stunning palaces from multiple vantage points. Take in the gorgeous panoramic views of Sintra. Stop to visit Quinta de Regaleira. Marvel at the breathtaking architecture. Look deep into the initiation wells, that were once used for ceremonial purposes. Visit Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. Admire the gorgeous views atop the cape and hear the immensity of the ocean clashing into the land beneath you. If your group chooses to, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue on to a wine tasting, and relax with some of the finest wines Sintra has to offer. As the last stop on your tour, enter Pena Palace. Admire the colorful, unique palace, that looks like it has come straight out of a fairytale. Capture your final tour photos, before your guide returns you to your drop-off.

From Lisbon: Secrets of Sintra and Cascais Private Tour

9. From Lisbon: Secrets of Sintra and Cascais Private Tour

Discover both Sintra and Cascais with the help of an expert local tour guide. Explore the highlights of both villages on a flexible private day tour Start with pickup your accommodation in Lisbon and travel first to Sintra. Decide which monuments you wish to visit in the area, or if you just wish to head to some of the most scenic viewpoints You may visit the Pena Palace, a fairy-tale-like castle perched on a hill overlooking the village. Choose to visit Moorish Castle, which sits next to Pena Palace. Stroll along the walls of this mighty fortress and admire the breathtaking views all around you. Visit Sintra’s National Palace. Of medieval origin, discover its beautiful architecture and historic significance, and iconic chimneys. Explore the Quinta da Regaleira residence, with tons of mystical references, magical gardens, and enigmatic grottoes. Before leaving Sintra, enjoy a special wine-related treat, more will be revealed on the day of the tour. After crossing the mountain, arrive at Cabo de Roca, the most westerly point of mainland Europe. Enjoy the fantastic views of this natural landmark. Follow the beautiful ocean-front roads and white sandy beaches and arrive at Cascais. Explore this charming village which was a regular retreat for the Portuguese Royal Family of past centuries. Afterward, relax on the journey back to Lisbon, with drop-off at your accommodation.

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

10. From Lisbon: Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca Coast Day Tour

Escape noisy Lisbon on a visit to nearby sites of natural and architectural beauty. See Sintra's historic center, Pena, Cascais, and more on this day excursion. On this full-day tour, start off with a walk-in Pena Park. Feel like royalty in Pena Palace while your guide explains its history. Marvel at the views of the surrounding landscape and the Atlantic Ocean. Next visit Sintra's historical center. Enjoy lunch or visit the National Palace. Continue on with a drive through the Sintra Mountains. Stop at the great cliffs at Roca Cape, which are the westernmost point of continental Europe. The last stop of the tour is the stylish town of Cascais, where you can take a relaxing walk along the bay before heading back to Lisbon.

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What people are saying about Sintra

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 4,997 reviews

If you're spending a full day on tour the guide has to have enough charisma as well as information to keep you engaged throughout the tour. Machado (Max) hit the bullseye! I would sign up for another one of his tours any time. He was especially thoughtful with the member of the tour who had two children with her as well as an older woman.

This experience was for sure worth it! Maria made sure we experienced everything with minimal wait times! She also provided an endless amount of facts about Sintra and Lisbon! Couldn’t recommend it enough :)

The most beautifull scenerys from beginning to start. The palace has a rich history and an amazing view as wel as the view of the ocean on your way to Cascais. I would defenitely recommed

Enjoyed it to the most the group was fun and they were all nice, comfortable bus too. The pena palace was interesting also we enjoying the relxing trip in cascais

Our guide was very knowledgeable an professional. Her pleasant personality made the whole experience very enjoyable.