HOW TO: SINTRA IN A DAY

About 30 km northwest of Lisbon in the sheltered bosom of nature lies an enchanted place glaring at the mountains beyond which in former days was named by some Sintra.


8:00 AM
It's that kind of place where both physical activities and rest to your head is provided at the same time, so not wasting your time wake up early (but to be honest, 8:00 isn’t so early, right? Right.), wear comfortable clothes and shoes (Union Jack shorts are out) and make your first roaming amidst colourful buildings of Sintra, looking for a nice place to settle for a breakfast as well. Don’t also forget to buy some snacks on your way before setting off on your trip, because there won’t be much time to take a lunch break or at least you won’t want to.

10:00 AM
Best time to start your real adventure with Sintra. Every sightseeing place is already open and not so long queues are waiting for you to ticket sellers (if you still don’t know what mass travel tourism means, you’ll find it out here). Take some mean of transport and go up to the Castle of the Moors. Maybe it's time for your first Tuk Tuk ride? One word of warning thought, ask the price before getting into a Tuk Tuk. Nevertheless, reward as a joy is guaranteed that way. The forest leading to the castle is extremely phenomenal where bent trees cover secrets of more than one local legend. Of course, you can walk as well, but you should know that it is tough uphill hike from the historic centre of Sintra.


11:00 AM
And here you are, with a ticket in your hand roaming stars of the fifteenth Castle of the Moors. Stair climbing might be exhausted for you, but I am sure that picturesquare views will make you more hungry for Sintra.


1:00 PM
Next stop is at Pena Palace located at the second highest point of Sintra. It is a baby of King Ferdinand II. What was intended by him, it was built in such a way to be seen from any point in the park. In a same vein as the Castle of the Moors, it provides one with heaps of amazing visual experience. Here you can find out that colours implemented to the world make great changes. It is also a good time to take care of your stomach, but if you fancy going further, I don’t mind.


4:00 PM
Now it is time to come back close to the historic centre of Sintra where Quinta da Regaleira – classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO – is located. As for as I am concerned, this is the most scenic bit yet. Beautifully decorated by nature, it gives wonderful opportunities for strolling around palace, trees, bushes, lakes, fountains, tunnels, grottoes, wells, towers, etc.


8:00 PM
Sintra is full of restaurants. I’ll not recommend you any, because it depends on a budget you have, but I am sure you’ll easy find one without burning a hole in your wallet. By the way, sandwiches taste good after such a trip as well. I’ll never forget eating sandwiches laced with butter using stone plain-shaped by waters of the Atlantic Ocean during my journey in Iceland. They were best sandwiches I have ever eaten.

Coco Channel once said, “True happiness is not expensive”. I know that it is easy to say for one with millions on a bank account, but she did have a point, don’t you think so?

9:00 PM
Make a night of ordering a glass of Portuguese wine, while sitting outside at multiple restaurants. On a warm evening you will find it a favourite after-dinner plan.

There are many things that come to my mind when I think about Sintra, but it is not a place which you can sightsee well in a day. Hence, I employed only three spots in this blog post which are both worth seeing and time consuming, and believe me you will be exhaustive enough to dream about you bed before 8:00 PM. It is all because Sintra isn’t definitely a destination for confirmed lovers of poolside holiday but for those who explore the must-see sights even at the expense of hurting feet at the end of the day.

PHOTOS BY Róża Błaś & João Barreiros (no. 10-13)