Portugal, Sintra – A Romantic City Near Lisbon – VIDEO
Just 45 minutes by train from the center of Lisbon there is the city of Sintra. It became famous for its castle, palaces, and many beautiful buildings. Moreover, there is a beautiful nature park Sintra-Cascais, unusual mountains which will lure you to make a trip. Let’s see Sintra together.
Sintra – as many other places we visit in our Portugal series – is a UNESCO city. The castle guards the city from atop one of the hills. It is over 1000 years old. Other buildings were built in the Middle-Ages as well. The city has been the residence of Portuguese royal family for long. Therefore, there are several beautiful palaces. The oldest one- The National Palace in Sintra – has been in the Portuguese royal family since the mid-15th century. It has remained in great condition since then.
Sintra has always sparked fantasy in people. Apart from the royal family and nobles, it has lured in artists. During the Romanticism era at the turn of the 19th century, the city became a perfect embodiment of mystery. Artists went crazy for that. Therefore, there are many buildings built in the Gothic revival, Renaissance revival and Classicist revival styles next to the castle and historical palaces. The aforementioned styles spread across Europe then.
Quinta da Regaleira is one such a palace. It was finished in the beginning of the 20th century. Its owner back than was Carvalho Monteiro (a very wealthy tradesman and enthomologist of Portuguese-Brazilian origin). He and architect Luigi Manini built a complex rich on detail. Today, you can walk it entire through and discore its secret nooks. The most important buildings are the Gothic revival palace and chapel. These are surrounded by a romantic garden. In the garden, there are many fountains, lakes, benches, castle ruins, grottes, and a fascinating well. You can reach its bottom if you walked down spiral stairs. An underground corridor gets you to the lowest part of the garden.
Apart all historical landmarks and the historical center visitors come here for a nature park covered by forest. There are many options where to go for a rip. You can even reach the Atlantic coastline from here. There are beautiful beaches and mighty cliffs. One trail gets you to Cabo de Roca lighthouse – the westernmost spot in Europe. If you are tired of walking, drive by bus here. Many regularly ride there from Sintra.
Even though many set off to Sintra for a one-day trip only from Lisbon, Sintra will give you plenty opportunities to explore for more than just one day. Two days are enough to see all the sights. One day is enough for the landmarks in the city itself and the other day reserve for a trip to nature and the ocean. You won't regret.
Isle of the Eternal Spring? In the middle of the Atlantic? This is the Azores archipelago. Nine notable volcanic islands protruding into the Atlantic Ocean. Towards the west is the island of Flores and the island of Corvo, in the middle of the islands of Graciosa, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico and Faial and east of Sao Miguel, Santa Maria and Formigas. All islands except Santa Maria are volcanic. It is on three lithospheric plates: Eurasian, African and North American.
Lisboa is righteously one of the most visited cities in Europe. Yellow trams, hills, cable cars... You can easily get lost in its colorful streets for hours. Washed laundry waves in the wind, you can drink coffee with locals at one of many great cafes and taste local sweet pastry. You can also just set off to the grandiose Ponte 25 de Abril, a red bridge which looks like Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Wine, coffee, cliffs, waves. The western-most country of continental Europe is of the sort everybody likes. It belongs to the top 20 most visited countries in the world. There are beautiful beaches including the best surf beaches of all Europe. Nature in the inland is magnificent as wel. Culture is rich and cities are lively and busy. Let's visit Portugal!
It is an archipelago and also an island which is located in the Macaronesia region. Only two islands are inhabited as the whole archipelago is a natural reserve. These islands are Madeira and Porto Santo.
Travel to Madeira by plane only. There is probably no other way to travel almost 1000 kilometers from Portugal and 600 kilometers from North Africa. Moreover, sailing on a ship might not be comfortable for everybody.
Apart from famous Madeira wine (Japan is its largest importer), poncho (a liquor with lemon flavor) is another traditional beverage. You can replace lemon juice with orange or maracuja juice. It is served cold for refreshments. Or it is served also warm as prevention from getting cold. The wine festival takes place end August beginning September.
Another stop to the west of the island is Porto Moniz. From Sao Vincente you travel through tunnels. Make a stop at Ribeira da Janela town. It is a place of dark volcanic rock. The lovers’ rock rises from the sea there.
Today, we take a look at the eastern part of the island in the direction from Funchal to the easternmost part where are droughts. It seems as if it was not Madeira there. The landscape is vastly different and there grows almost no vegetation at all. It is only after rains when it gets bit of green there. No levada leads to this area. You can find them only in the mountains. The area is inhabited, however. Therefore, some vegetation is actually there.
A 5 thousand meters high massif of lava was created after huge explosion in the Atlantic. Today we can see only a glimpse of it and this glimpse is Madeira. The island is self-reliant. There are couple of power plants (water, wind), fertile soil and sea rich on fish.
Fátima - Mecca of all Catholics, and one of the most visited pilgrimage sites around the world. It is located in central Portugal, about 120 km from Lisbon. There is a place, where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children, and prophesied many later events.