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The Seaside and Sintra in the Lisbon Area :

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The Seaside and Sintra in the Lisbon Area

The Seaside and Sintra in the Lisbon Area

By car, 61 km, 1 day

The eccentricity of Ferdinand II of Portugal and his landscape architect Luigi Manini turned Sintra into a mecca for European Romantic architecture. This ''most blessed spot on the whole inhabitable globe'' according to English poet Robert Southey, and its park, described by Richard Strauss as ''the most beautiful thing he had ever seen'', occupy the north face of the Serra da Sintra, which spreads its mantle of vegetation all the way to the craggy rocks of the Atlantic Coast.

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Palacio Nacional de Pena   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Parque da Pena 2710 Sintra
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Perched on one of the highest points on the Serra, this palace was built in the middle of the 19C by King Ferdinand II around an old Hieronymite monastery dating from the 16C. Its extravagance is reminiscent of the castles of Louis II of Bavaria, although it is 30 years earlier. The remains of the monastery, the Manueline cloister and the chapel with its alabaster altar, are decorated with azulejos. Fine views from the terraces over the region from the Atlantic coast to the River Tagus.


Museu e Biblioteca dos Condes de Castro Guimarães  

Av. Rei Humberto II de Itália 2750 Cascais
Museums and art

Situated on the seaside road, this old 19C count's home consists of Portuguese, Indo-Portuguese furniture and azulejos from the 17C; silverware and Portuguese ceramics from the 18 and 19C; bronze objects, carpets, Chinese vases from the 18C, precious books and a curious organ-wardrobe from 1753.


Boca do Inferno   Interesting

Est. da Boca do Inferno 2750 Cascais
Nature and gardens

A house, a café and several pine-trees on the side of this abyss into which the roaring sea surges.


Cabo da Roca   Interesting

N 247 2710 Sintra
Nature and gardens

This cliff, "where the earth ends and the sea begins" (Camoens), is the westernmost point of continental Europe. The Serra de Sintra finishes here in a steep cliff looking down on the ocean from a height of 140m. Its name means the cape of the rock and from there you can see the coast to the north cut with many coves which occasionally have small ports inside.


Azenhas do Mar

Azenhas do Mar

Serra de Sintra   Worth a detour Worth a detour

2710 Sintra
Nature and gardens

The beauty of the site has been celebrated many times by poets and, in particular, by Gil Vicente, Camões (The Lusiads), Southey and Byron (Childe Harold). The beauty of the landscapes must be emphasised and you will see a wide variety of vegetation (oaks, cedars, tropical and sub tropical trees, tree ferns and camellias).

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