Portugal Magnificent #3 (of 6): Sintra

We returned to Portugal but now with more time available. We spent one full day in Lisbon when we walked the Praça do Comércio area (video 1) and we did a Segway Tour in the historic Lisbon (video 2). In following days we have also been to Sintra (video 3), Belém and Porto.

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa) has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today’s Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that face the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city. Lisbon enchants travelers with its white bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy going charm that makes it a popular year round destination. Praça do Comércio: this magnificent plaza, facing the river, is the beginning of Lisboa’s downtown. It is also known as ‘Terreiro do Paço’, meaning ‘Grounds of the Palace’, relating to its function before the Great Earthquake of 1755.

Belém: this monument-packed neighborhood is a must-see place.

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. 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. It includes the Pena park with Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena).

Porto (Oporto): the northern capital, “Invincible City”, along the river Douro and the Atlantic Ocean

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