Castles + palaces + forest = Sintra

Letter 100

Sintra was a fairy tale and a place that is now very very high on my list to return to. As I was staying in Lisbon I took only a day trip here with a big group from the hostel and we had the most fantastic day. It was so great to get out into the countryside, do some walking and chill out in a beautiful setting. It blew me away and there is so much more I want to explore there. I would love to go back for a week or two.

The town

Sintra sprawls up into the forested hill heading to the castle and is a collage of brightly coloured unique buildings. The tight uphill cobbled streets contrast the wide open squares lined with restaurants and pastries. On a beautiful day like we had it really looked spectacular.

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Walking to the Moorish Castle

The uphill walk through the shaded forest was very refreshing after walking under the blazing sun in cities. It was also great to do some exercise. You can get the bus up but the walk is well worth doing for the stunning views and little surprises along the way.

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The Castle

This may be the most spectacular castle I’ve ever visited. The walls follow the contours of the land and allow for views across miles and miles of Portugal. We continuously got lost around the small stone rooms and coming to dead ends of plants. If you don’t mind many many steps then you’ll love it. I loved it.

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Pena Palace

We walked to the palace through the park from the castle. The route is lovely and upon approaching the palace you will be speechless. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bright colours on one building. So many exquisite details, tiles and shapes. I would have loved to go inside but as a group we decided not to. Even so, we could walk around the whole building taking in the views of the surrounding countryside and the various parts of the palace. It was incredibly stunning.

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Valley of the Lakes

We kind of came to this by accident. I was keen to head up to the viewpoint but everyone was tired and hot so we walked down to the town instead. On the way we passed this lovely collection of ‘lakes’ – I would call them ponds but whatever. It was very peaceful and the colours of the trees, plants and lakes were stunning. So very different to the beaches and cities I’d been surrounded in for the past few weeks.

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Sintra was one of my favourite days of my trip so far. I loved getting to know lots of new people and enjoying the peace and quiet of the town and it’s countryside. I will 100% be returning because one day just is not enough.

Little side note – this is letter 100!! I began this blog over a year ago and I now have 100 posts about some of the great places I’ve been lucky enough to visit and some random things in between. Thanks for reading, I hope you’re enjoying my posts! I’m currently rounding off my month in Spain and Portugal and will be leaving for Budapest very shortly. I’m excited to start the next part of my summer! Stay tuned!

From Lou

About Me

sintra groupsnitra pena palace 4

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