A March 1999 trip
to Sintra by davidx
Quote: What a fabulous place. The BEST day out from Lisbon teeming with sights - and a possible extension to it for yet more.
The first is a wonderful building with a combination of a number of styles as it was often extended or altered at various times after the Reconquest from its original form as the abode of the Moorish Governors.
The Castle of the Moors consists of the most evocative remains of a defensive fortress whose battlements ranged along the hilltops.
This is the best bet for those with limited capacity for steep ascents and if it is within their capacity, it should be treated as a mustsee.
The Pena Palace is a marvellous piece of kitsch which has to be seen to be believed. It is full of steps and the limited amount we should have been able to do did not justify paying for entry but even if you can not manage the steps do see the outside.
The Rough Guide will show that there is plenty more to be seen in Sintra and around.
This was a thoroughly pleasant place to eat and the owner/waiter is full of humour. The grilled fish is mentioned in the Rough Guide and we saw no cause to look farther.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 25, 2002
Adega do Gonçalves
Rua Afonso Sanches 54
Attraction | "Sintra Vila and its Palau Nacional."
Palacio Nacional Da Pena - National Palace
Attraction | "O Castelo dos Mouros"
We made it, Ian with his serious lung problems and I with my heart problems, and it is just great at the top. Children would love it but would need to be kept under control. The views are magnificent all around, perhaps particularly over the town of Sintra and across to the Pena Palace.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 25, 2002
Castelo Dos Mouros - Castle of the Moors
Estrada da Pena
Attraction | "Pena, popular but preposterous palace."
Words are difficult to find to describe it. it was built in the 1840s on the orders of Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Rough Guide includes the words 'a riot of kitsch' in its description and this certainly conveys the preposterousness of the place but perhaps does less than justice to the grandeur which it still manages to possess.
Domes and towers, wiht mock fortifications abound and every style seems to be copied then jumbled with every other style so that the whole should be quite mad but somehow it comes off.
All this is set in a fine big park which has its share of follies as well as spectacular floral displays.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 23, 2002
It starts with the train ride to Sintra from Rossio station. Except for the view of the aqueduct to your left, this is not a particularly pleasant run and mercifully it does not take long. Getting on the circular bus at Sintra is like entering a different world.
Next, enjoy whatever you choose from the attractions of Sintra on the other pages of this journal - none being good for the severely disabled who could still enjoy the bus ride but if you can manage the castelo of the Moors[q.v.] it is great.
Then catch a bus from the station to Cascais or you can take a break at Colares or Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point in Europe, and move on to Cascais by a later bus.
The train service back to Lisbon is as good as that from Lisbon to Sintra; i.e. trains are frequent, quick, and cheap. If you eat in Sintra it will be dark by the time you get the train and you can enjoy the sight of Belem floodlit on your way.
Now for the more complex bit. There are two types of rover tickets on the Stagecoach buses from Sintra station. The cheaper one allows any number of trips on the Sintra circular so that you can get off and see each of the sights described in this travelogue with one ticket. The more expensive one allows any Stagecoach bus for the day so it will cover the trip from Sintra to Cascais and one or two stops as well as the Sintra circular.
If you just go straight from Sintra to Cascais there is hardly any difference in what you pay, whether you buy the dearer ticket or get the cheaper one and pay the fare to Cascais separately. If you take breaks it becomes cheaper to buy the more expensive rover. It is hardly going to break the bank if you get it wrong, but it would be very irritating!
We had a break at Colares but we were very tempted at Cabo da Roca when it was too late. The whole bus trip is very pleasant indeed.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 10, 2002
Todmorden, United Kingdom