Portugal day two proved to be very enchanting with a visit to Sintra, a historical town just 30 minutes by train just outside of the heart of Lisbon. The city is filled with Disney-like castles and beautiful, winding forest paths, through which we hiked through about 3 miles uphill.
The train station is easy to find, the green metro line to Rossio station leads to a square with a huge pillar with a statue atop it in the center. To the left of the museum with big white pillars is the station,- unique looking building with clock on top. Train tickets are about €4 for round trip to Sintra and trains leave every 30 minutes on line 1 on platform.
Quinta de Regaleira is a manageable walk from the bus station and is a beautiful palace estate complete with gardens, fountains and grottos and caves. It was the best attraction in Sintra that I managed to visit, and only cost 6 euro for entrance.
|Quinta de Regaleira
Walk to the castelo de mouros and palacio de Pena is brutal, much more physically taxing than the national palace or Quinta. We hiked upward about three miles, definitely a great ass-blasting workout with pretty scenery of a fairy forest along the way. The Pena palace and castelo were very cool to tour, definitely highlights of Sintra
For lunch we at at the painters garden, a restaurant with seating in a treehouse type dining area, very beautiful and off the main tourist drag. The food was great and it was a good stopping point before trudging onward and upward to the Pena palace and castelo. The hike was extremely long but very beautiful the whole way, and well worth it once we reached the top.
Palacio de Pena
I would definitely recommend Sintra as a full day-trip excursion for anyone spending time in Portugal. It is extremely beautiful and is great for people looking to walk a lot and get some good exercise while also sightseeing.
The restaurant we ate at for dinner was called Tronco and was back in lisbon proper. It was a small hole in the wall place, very cheap and served various Portuguese family-style fish dinners. I had fried hake and my mom had Dover sole that was delicious, and a slice of the orange cake for dessert was the perfect ending for the day.