Easter tourists crowds have left and Portugal is taking the last deep breath before the start of summer season. Taking advantage of this calm period we have decided to explore the beautiful area of Sintra keeping so many secrets.
When I came to Portugal on vacation for the first time, while staying in Lisbon, i was advised to visit Sintra, to visit Sintra palaces, to be more precise. So, I decided to dedicate one day out of the five i had in Lisbon to those palaces. I took the train, than i took one of those buses for tourists transferring you from one palace to another... I got very tired and to be honest I did not feel myself satisfied culturally or esthetically .
Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, was the most exciting part of the visit, however, a couple of years later i discovered that there are some places offering you a much more impressive view over the Cabo da Roca.
If you have only a few days in Lisbon, most probably you will fall into this tourist trap. It was only two years later that I discovered that Sintra is way more than those palaces. So I really advise you: put aside travel books, take a car and drive around this magical area.
The zone around Cascais and Sintra has been proclaimed a Natural Park and will astonish you with deep green colours and absolutely breathtaking beaches. Besides, here you can find some tiny charming towns with Azenhas do Mar being the most photogenic of them.
White tiny houses with red tiled roof climb up the cliff decorated with flowers and washed by blue waters of the Atlantic. This is such a Portuguese version of Cinque Terre. A nice place to take photos and spend a couple of hours on the secluded beach.
However, for me the most impressive in Sintra is the coast line rugged with hidden harbours, cliffs and beaches. Praia Pequena, Praia Grande, Praia da Adraga and stunning Praia da Ursa, to name just a few...
Exploring SIntra, i would advise you to get lost. To let yourself wander along the dirt roads without names snaking through the green fields along the Atlantic coast and most probably one of them will bring you to the view that will leave you speechless.
To finish the day we stopped at Praia Grande, surrounded by high mountains and flooded with soft peach sunset light.
With orange gardens and vineyards, green hills and old towns, white sand beaches and hidden harbors, Sintra is the perfect amphitheater to watch the sun slowly go down below the endless Atlantic horizon.
Wishing you a lovely day,