My favourite part of my last coastal drive in Portugal is definitely the town of Sintra and Pena Castle! But why visiting Sintra?! Although the town is relatively you can definitely go for so many things! This beautiful place is located 1 hour from Lisbon and is an important part of the Portuguese Riviera. Sintra is one of the most visited places in Portugal. And there is no doubt that the most important reference to Portuguese culture and history is located in the city – Pena National Palace. The castle is one of the many 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments in the region and is demonstratively located on the top of the Sintra Mountains.
This (for me) “jump-castle-alike” monument was planned to be a summer residence of the Royal Family because of the pleasant summer temperatures in the mountains. The palace is surrounded by the exotic park of Pena which has a good collection of foreign (e.g. from Australia, Africa, New Zealand, Japan) and domestic plants. On that day we were the luckiest people – no fog and some perfect, crystal-clear view.
Nature here is absolutely stunning! There are so many paths and narrow alleys connected into a labyrinth system. I could imagine spending hours and hours hiking up and down the hill … but of course, we didn’t have the time on that day.
Coming to the Palácio da Pena – I have definitely never seen a castle like this! The palace itself is a unique architectural and cultural mixture as a result of the complex history and previous religious influences in Portugal. Where else you will be able to see a mix of all religious and cultural styles?!
Popping colours, mythological statues, crocodiles and other exotic animals, the Islamic symbols of the crescent moon (half-moon) on the top of the castle, crosses and Catholic statues – the Pena Castle reminds a building from a fairy-tale, but it was actually the part-time home of the Portuguese Royal Family.
Not only the architecture outside but also the hedonistic interior of Pena Castle is absolutely fascinating! Nevertheless my favourite “castle moments” is the numerous stunning viewpoints! On a sunny day like this, you will be able to catch a view over the Sintra-Cascais National Park, Atlantic Ocean and the ancient walls of the Moors castle. All in all – a must see place when visiting Portugal!
Enjoy the day!