Among the destinations not to be missed in 2020, Sintra is one of 101 “Wonders of the World” in Lonely Planet. While visiting Portugal, making a Sintra tour is like entering in a fairy tale village, with its rippling mountains, dewy forests, exotic gardens and glittering palaces. Its Unesco World Heritage–listed centre, Sintra-Vila, is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic.
From the waves of the ocean to the waves of green places where palaces and monuments lurk, Sintra’s views are breathtaking and this is one of the reasons why the Portuguese village deserves to be present in “Wonders of the World.”, a special edition of Lonely Planet, which aims to inspire the unmissable 2020 getaways.
Sintra tour is the “ must-have trip ” for those who land in Lisbon and the best way to visit them in a short time is with a local guide.
Did you know that Celts worshipped their moon god here, the Moors built a precipitous castle, and 18th-century Portuguese royals swanned around its dreamy gardens? Even Lord Byron waxed lyrical about Sintra’s charms which inspired his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
Palácio Nacional de Sintra with its iconic twin conical chimneys and lavish, whimsical interior, which is a mix of Moorish and Manueline styles, with arabesque courtyards, barley-twist columns and 15th- and 16th-century geometric azulejos that are among Portugal’s oldest.
Quinta da Regaleira is a magical villa surprisingly homely inside, despite its ferociously carved fireplaces, frescos and Venetian-glass mosaics. Keep an eye out for mythological and Knights Templar symbols.
Palácio Nacional da Pena is a wacky confection of onion domes, Moorish keyhole gates, writhing stone snakes and crenellated towers in pinks and lemons. It is considered the greatest expression of 19th-century romanticism in Portugal.