Sintra in Sintra

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Sintra is both a town and a municipality in the Lisbon Coast/aka Estoril Coast region of Portugal. Its spectacular setting, 28km from Lisbon, houses a Royal Palace, used by generations of Portuguese royalty prior to the 1910 revolution. The surrounding hills are surmounted by the remains of the Moorish Castle and by the nineteenth-century Pena Palace. Historic Sintra is an heritage patrimony sight declared by UNESCO. The Estoril coast is often considered to be part of the Lisbon coast, which includes Cascais, Lisbon, Sintra, and other nearby municipalities.

Moorish Castle

Near Estoril, the majestic Sintra Mountains cast a veil of mystery over the town nestling on its northern slopes. The hills and the surrounding area have been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site both for their cultural significance and for their outstanding natural beauty.

Regions

  • Queluz (city)
  • Agualva-Cacem (city)
  • Colares (town)
  • Sintra (vila/town and serra/mountain).

Get in

By train

Sintra rail station may be reached by CP services from several Lisbon stations, including Santa Apolónia, Oriente, Campolide and Rossio. The town is a 10 minute walk from the station. Alternatively, a bus to the center can be caught from the bus stop opposite the station.

It should cost around €3.40 return. Tell the machine that you want a ticket for two trips; you will need one for the outward and one for the return journey. Remember to validate your ticket by touching it to the checkpoint before boarding the return train. Keep the used ticket, as you can re-charge it for other trips in and around Lisbon. For more information, contact:

  • CP [1], Portuguese Railways.

By tram

The historic 14km tram route from Praia das Maçãs, mainland Europe's most westerly holiday resort, terminates about 1km from Sintra town centre, at Ribeira de Sintra, which is located about 1km down the hill past the Hotel Tivoli, near the Royal Palace. The service is operated by restored trams dating from the early 20th century; operates F-Su 9:30AM-7:30PM; trams run hourly taking 45 minutes for the journey.

When visited 8th June 2008, the section of tram route Ribeira da Sintra to Praia das Maçãs was 'closed until further notice for technical reasons.' Conversely, the previously unused short section from the town centre down the hill to Riberia da Sintra is the only working section, having been newly restored. Trams run on the afternoons of Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.

No information was avaialable as to any planned re-opening. The track is intact but rusting away and the signalling system still working.

For more information, contact:

  • Sintra Tram [2], telephone +351 219238500.

By Bicycle

Cycling in Sintra can be an interesting day out for those who are fit and have some experience.

If staying in Sintra and around a local company is a good option for you.

In case you are visiting Sintra then your best bet is to book a tour or rent a bike e.g. in Lisbon, take the commuters train from Rossio station to explore Sintra and/or the Nature Reserve finishing in Cascais, a beautiful day trip on a bicycle, in the end take a train back to Cais do Sodre station in Lisbon where you may drop back your bicycle. Adult return ticket is around 3 or 4 Euros and bicycles travel for free every day of the week.

Companies operating from Lisbon include Bike Iberia (Phone: +351 96 242 3455, [3]) located in Lisbon Downtown right off the train station of Cais Sodre [4].

Cycling-Rentals (Phone: +351 212 424 604, [5]) is a Sintra based company that offers all types of rental bicycles as well as guided and self guided road or mountain bike Day Trips in the the Sintra area. They will also deliver a hire bike to your hotel anywhere in the Lisbon / Sintra area. There shop is located just outside the historical center of Sintra.

Get around

The best bet is to take the bus around town and walk from the bus stops to the attractions. Parking is abysmal and on a holiday weekend Sintra can be absolutely packed with cars and people. If you must drive to Sintra, park in one of the several parking lots below the town center and walk up into town.

Sintra town centre

Once you are in town you can take the circular 434 bus route to the Palácio da Pena, the Castelo dos Mouros (Moorish castle) and other sights. Tickets are only €4 for the whole day and can be purchased from the bus driver. If you choose to walk be warned that the trek to Palácio da Pena and the Castelo dos Mouros can be a daunting, steep up-hill, one-hour climb from the city center. If you feel fit, though, the beautiful woodlands and the stunning view from the top are generous rewards for your troubles.

There is also a walking trail through the woods to the Moorish castle that starts above the Sintra city center at the wooden turnstile on the Rampa do Castelo; better bring a map (free from tourist information at the train station) or ask for directions as the entrance to this trail is well hidden. Once you have made the journey to the castle, it's only few more minutes walk up the hill on the main road to the Palácio. The walk to Monserrate from the Sintra town center is still approximately one hour but is less strenuous. Also note that the "Linha Monserrate" that picks up passengers in front of the Palácio Nacional de Sintra is only a "sight-seeing" bus, it does not deliver you to Monserrate.

To get to Cabo da Roca (Cape Roca), the westernmost point of mainland Europe, take the Scotturb 403 bus (Direction = Cascais). The journey takes about 40 minutes.

See

  • [">Regaleira Palace, situated at the historic centre of Sintra, is also part of the built heritage included in UNESCO's world heritage list as "Sintra cultural landscape".
    Sintra

The origins of this place date back to 1697, when the property was bought by José Leite, but it was only by the late 19th century that the history of the Palace and Gardens begins. In 1892 Carvalho Monteiro, an eccentric capitalist that had made a huge fortune in Brazil, bought the property and hired the Italian architect Luigi Manini to conceive a place that gathered, on the one hand, a sum of artistic currents (Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance) and, on the other hand, the glorification of national history influenced by mythic and esoteric traditions. A great variety of Masonic symbols is present in Regaleira Palace and Gardens. An important example is the magnificent "Poço Iniciático Quinta da Regaleira] (address: Rua Barbosa du Bocage, 2710-567 Sintra) (+351) 21 910 66 50 regaleira@mail.telepac.pt

  • Monserrate
  • The Royal Palace
  • Pena park with Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena)
Beautiful example of Moorish architecture which is sadly not very well maintained. Nevertheless, well-worth a visit.
Palace of Pena
  • Convento dos Capuchos
  • Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros) [6]: One of the highlights of Sintra not to be missed. Ruins of a castle built by the Moors from the 9th century onwards. Apparently, when Cascais was under the rule of Sintra, a huge fire would be lit here annually to remind the people of Cascais that the Moorish Castle is there to protect them.
  • Toy Museum (address: Largo Latino Coelho) (directions: in the town centre)
    price: 3 Euros; 1.50 for kids
    open: 10.00-12.30 14.00–18.00
    Marvellous museum with over 20,000 exhibits. Great for kids but also for adults who can relive their childhood.

Buy

Souvenirs and Porto wine are all on sale in the Sintra historic district. There are a number of shops that sell standard tourist items (post cards, t-shirts, etc.) and a number of shops that sell ceramics, pieces of art and hand crafts. If you are looking for gifts for friends and family, Sintra has a broad selection of items to choose from.

To get something truly unique and local, consider cork products that range from wallets to umbrellas. These original products wear like leather and are environmentally sound, as well as attractive.

Eat

  • Queijadas mainly the ones from "Casa do Preto"
  • Travesseiros da Periquita
  • Cynthia: next to the bus and rail stations on the downside of Sintra, there is this small but fine restaurant where you can taste a marvelous codfish ("Bacalhau à brás" or "Bacalhau à grelha"). They are very kind and friendly, and don't hesitate to help you in anything you need.
  • China palace
    Right next to the railway station there is a cheap and tasty Chinese restaurant. But the best part is that they make very fast take away. Just ask for the 2 minute take away, it's not on the menu, but they will make it just for you!

Drink

  • If you have the chance, you should try the Hockey Club, just in the beginning of the street that goes up to the Piriquita (the most well known coffee shop in Sintra due to its marvelous egg sweets).
  • Maggie's Tea Spot [7], does wonderful tea (from the Mariage Frères) with friendly pleasant staff. It's fairly new. Sign their wall too.

Sleep

Rua Mato da Mina, nº 19 2710-692 Sintra) +351 21 042 4300 (fax:+351 21 042 4398) sales.sintra@pestana.com

  • Hotel Tivoli Sintra (address: Praça da República - 2710-616 Sintra) +351 21 9237200
    price: breathtaking panoramic views of old Sintra, one of the most beautiful towns in Portugal and of the Sintra National Palace, the former residence of the Portuguese Royal Family.
  • Tivoli Palacio de Seteais Hotel (address: Rue Barbosa do Bocage, 10 - 2710-517 Sintra) +351 21 9533200
    price: magnificent example of 18th century architecture
  • Casa do Miradouro +351 21 910 71 00
    The Lambregts Family is very pleased to let you enjoy the pleasure of spending your holiday in the beautiful Casa Miradouro. The lady of the house Charlotte will make your stay very comfortable and unforgettable.

Take a look inside and discovered the most pleasant Guest-house in Portugal.

Get out

Take Scotturb Bus 403 [8], direction Cascais, stopping at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. It takes 35 minutes from Sintra.

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WikiPedia:Sintra



Source wikitravel.org/en/Sintra