I always fall in head over heels in love with every destination I’ve been to but none more so than Sintra, northwest of Portugal.
The UNESCO town was the main highlight part of the tour I was on with YouTour. There are no shortages of amazing sights in Sintra with the top three being Montserrate Palace, Quinta de Regaleira & Palacio da Pena (Pena Palace).
Our wonderful tour guide let us know that it was possible to see all the three main castles/palaces but suggested we narrow it down to two sights so that we could spend more time on each. For the others, it was Quinta de Regaleira. For me, it was all about Palacio de Pena.
To say Pena Palace is colourful would be stating the obvious but also in the features incorporated in the Palace – the grand main archway entrance, the nooks with tropical plants & the vibrant tiles used to decorate the palace walls.
While it is great to marvel at a palace close-up, I highly urge all who visit Pena Palace to take the 15 minute route up to the Holy Cross on the palace grounds. The climb up to the point of interest does get a bit challenging, more so when you get nearer to the top, but the views are 100% worth it.
Winding back down to the main town, there are many little shops and restaurants to pop into. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly and discover great spots that look over the town of Sintra.
As the tour group reunited, our guide took us to a local wine shop that, when you walk through, leads out to a cozy little bar that only the locals know. How fortunate for us that the owner gave us a personal detailed history of Porto wine – the origins, the difference of porto & tawny wine, how they are grown, barrel stored & the length of time. This was followed by a tasting season accompanied with delicious Portugal cheese.
A great end to a perfect day in Sintra.