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sintra portugal

With richly hued palaces, mist-covered forests and the ruins of a craggy Moorish castle overlooking a sleepy village, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale.

Not surprisingly, it’s long been a favourite with out-of-­towners. The Portuguese royals summered here, as did the Moors before them, and it was one of the few places in Portugal that Lord Byron liked, inspiring his travel epic Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Sintra makes a marvellous getaway and is only a few minutes from our recommended golf and spa resort nearby:  Penha Longa

Sintra's exceptional microclimate encourages exotic vegetation, and you can undertake some pleasant walks through the countryside, either clambering beneath turrets guarded by gargoyles or investigating a cork-lined monastery deep in the woods.

In addition to its bizarre and beautiful palaces, mansions and finely manicured gardens, Sintra boasts a historic centre that’s listed as a Unesco World Heritage site. The early Iberians made it a site of cult worship; the Moors built the castle; the Middle Ages brought monasteries; the nobility bolted here after the 1755 earthquake; then, in the 19th century, it became one of the first centres of European romantic architecture.

Sintra is half an hour (20 miles) from Lisbon.

Also in Portugal

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Weather and seasons

Sintra, just 20 miles from Lisbon, and 5 miles from the Atlantic coast, enjoys classic southern European weather.  Consistently warm and sunny from May to September.

Everything else

  • Flying time from London:  approx 2 hours
  • Currency:  Euro
  • Language:  Portuguese
  • Visa requirements:  Not applicable for EU citizens
  • Time difference:  GMT +1


penha longa

penha longa

sintra, portugal    7 nights from £835

This regal hotel was built in the 14th century and sits in magnificent gardens surrounded by pretty lakes with breathtaking views of the Sintra Mountains. This resort will suit those looking to enjoy playing golf on a top-class course and those looking to be pampered at the Six Senses Spa.


experiences, sintra