A romantik break in Portugal offers not only a great setting but also a favorable climate with romantic holiday houses in different areas of Portugal. Sintra is one of the romantic and mysterious cities of the country and reserves wonderful landscapes that enchant the tourists. The district that nowadays is covered by the Borough of Sintra has been populated for a very long time, indeed. The favorable geographical and environmental position has attracted the settlers over the time. Many archaelogical ruins, feature prehistoric and protohistoric tombs, which relate its antiquity. Even today Sintra remained the so called ”noble town surrounded by many estates, pleasant woods, with superb springs of exclusive water”. As a touristic destination, Sintra is one of the most delightful places to see in Portugal, with its large range of green bills with its crags. Sintra includes the Serra de Sintra, which is perfectly located here, and offers breathtaking views of the coastline, with its picturesque beauty. Sintra is indeed “a garden of the Earthly Paradise”.
Great attractions in Sintra
The town of Sintra is one of those majestic places where man and nature come together in a perfect relation. In ancient times the town was known as Mons Lunae, that means the Hills of the Moon, due to its strong traditions of astral cults, that are clearly visible in the countless monuments and archaeological remains of the region. Serra de Sintra is a granite outcrop which has a length of about 10 km, rising abruptly between a large plain to the north with the estuary of the River Tagus to the south. It is a beautiful mountain range that twists and turns projecting into the Atlantic Ocean, where the Cabo da Roca forms, which represents a headland that creates the most western point of the continental Europe. Today the Serra de Sintra offers a fabulous collection of monuments from different epochs, starting with the prehistoric times to the present day. This is a real proof of the great respect of the region for other people and its big cultural tolerance. Thanks to its favorable microclimate, the town houses the most beautiful parks in Portugal, planted to preserve a certain romantic taste, with a dense and original natural vegetation, offering the region an air of majesty amidst the splash of various greens. The potentials of the city of Sintra are not confined only to the wild enchantments of the Serra, and to the artistic heritage of the Old Town, but also features precious antique ruins, particularly from the Roman period, such as the ancient manor houses, characteristic villages, churches, palaces. The town of Sintra still has a medieval layout, including narrow and labyrinthine streets, steps and arcades.
The National Palace
Its three national palaces: Palacio da Vila, Palacio da Pena, and Palacio da Queluz, and numerous municipal museums relate significant historical events and artistic collections that the people of Sintra passed through during the centuries. However the town is dominated by the Palacio Nacional, the main architectural feature of the city, and the most fantastic regal structure in the whole country. This is that kind of palaces that was created not just once and not in one period, but instead it is the great result of a harmonious and seductive assembly of parks, built in different successive phases and in a large variety of styles. And a multitude of tastes and mentalities contributed to the strange beauty of the palace. Its different phases of work for the building are visible for its two great periods that offered both shape and character to the palace. The one was led by D.Joao in the first third of the 15th century. A century later, in the first quarter of the 16th century, the second one took place, led by D.Manuel. The marvelous palace has been the ideal place for countless important events in the national history. It was the place where D.Afonso V died,D.Joao II was proclaimed king, D.Manuel found out about the discoveries of India and Brasil. This structure was the favorable residence for royal leisure seekers, serving as a center for their recreation at the same time. Among the palace’s labyrinthine and collection of rooms, staircase, corridors, courtyards and galleries, the most notable features are included, the largest and the richest set of Mudejar azulejos than can be found in the Iberian Peninsula. The visitors can feel a strange sensation as entering the Moorish Palace, the kind of palace made of fairy tales . They will be charmed admiring the Swan’s Room, which reminds of the InFanta D.Isabel of Portugal to Philip the Good marriage, who was the Duke of Burgundy. Another fantastic place is the Sala das Pegas, and the Sala dos Brasoes, which are spectacular and unique. The last Sala is also called the Armoury, and the guests can get to see its glorious ceiling decorated with the coats of arms of the Portuguese nobility, and its precious floor worn away by the continuous striding back and forth of D.Afonso VI, who was incarcerated for the last nine years of his life in this room. The design of the palace became more and more spectacular after the addition of new wings over the centuries. The exterior style is a combination of Gothic and Manueline with a good influence of Moorish style, adapted over the time. Every room of the palace relates to a different story, which will make your visit more exciting. Your visit can start with the kitchens with their roofs tapering into the huge Chimneys, which distinguish the exterior of the remarkable palace. Then you will continue with the upper floor where you will discover a new story. Alongside the gallery above the Palace Chapel is the room where Afonso VI was convicted by his brother for six years, and where he died later.
The historical centre of the town includes other monuments of great dignity and real interest that could be admired, such as the Clock Tower, Igreja de Sao Martinho, Paco dos Ribafria, Convento da Trindade, Igreja de Santa Maria, a veritable series of ancestral fountains, featuring the Fonte da Pipa and the Fonte da Sabuga. On the outskirts of the town there are some of the most wonderful features of the Romantic movement. At the very top of the Serra lies the 19th century Palacio da Pena, the overwhelming result of the dreams of an artist king D.Fernando, while beautiful chalets, scattered everywhere, as some small palaces as well, for example the neo Oriental Monserrate can be found at the foot of the mountains. They are surrounded by exotic parks which constitute perfect botanical museums, large stately homes.
Palacio da Pena and Pena Park
The Palace da Pena can be entered through an impressive stretch of gardens with lakes and follies, ideal for picnics. On the top of the park lies the Palace Da Pena, a Disney-esque castle, within its pink, grey, yellow, and red silhouette, with monsters guarding the doorways. It is the most complete and most notable example of Portuguese architecture that dates back to the Romantic period. It stands on a rocky peaks of the Serra de Sintra, with a surprisingly natural background of greenery and crags, testifying to the aesthetic potentialities of the project. The palace dates back to 1839, when the king Consort Dom Fernando II bought the remains of the Hieronymite Monastery of Nossa Senhora da Pena and made it to be used as a residence, designed in a Romantic style. The director of the project was Baron von Eschwege who put in effect the revival ideas of the king. Around the restored remains of the old monastery a magnificent palace, inspired from the castles of Bavaria appeared. The palace is very inspired at the extreme, where the architectural fabric of Pena got its inspiration from the Gothic, Moorish and Manueline motifs of the Portuguese art. In addition to the building’s array of pastel colored exterior, the charming palace is a multitude of architectural elements, including distinctive conglomeration of domes, turrets and ramparts. From its studded entrance archway to the colorful cloisters and 16th century alabaster, the Palacio da Pena is one of the most prominent buildings in Sintra, enchanting visitors from all over the world. The artistic influences from all the parts of the world are visible in different sections of the Palace. One of the most popular and notable room is the Arab Room, where the grand trompel’oeil frescoes cover the walls and the ceilings. It is definitely the most wonderful and valuable room in the Palacio da Pena. The massive ballroom is a mixture of décor styles with German stained-glass windows and oriental porcelain, guarded by life sized turbaned torchbearers with huge candelabra. The guests of the palace can enjoy a lovely walk in the exotic park filled with flora brought from all the world. It boasts redwood trees, tree ferns from New Zealand and from Australia as well.
Palacio de Monserrate
Palacio de Monserrate is located at about one hour walk from the center of the city, being one of the most romantic spot in Lisbon. It represents a Victorian mansion situated in the middle of a botanical garden, surrounded by exotic trees and tropical plants, which highlight the beauty of the palace. The gardens were landscaped during the 18th century by a very wealthy Englishman, William Beckford, who was the author of the Gothic novel Vathek. That happened between the 1793 and 1799 when the Englishman rented the Palacio de Monserrate. Over a half of a century later, another wealthy Englishman, Sir Francis Cook bought the palace and founded the incredible Victorian mansion. He was inspired by Brighton Pavilion of Nasch. Francis cook transformed the amazing gardens with a large sweeping lawn, camellias, and sub-tropical trees, from all over the world. Nowadays Palacio Monserrate is one of the most richly reserved gardens in all Europe, and surprises its visitors with its romantic charm, where they can find the almost forgotten tranquility and silence.
Quinta da Regaleira
The gorgeous place is situated in the historical center of Sintra and is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This unique and treasured estate is created by an Italian architect Luigi Manini for the wealthy Brazilian merchant, Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro at the beginning of the 20th century. The designer had a lot of experience, as he worked at Scala in Milan, and this work is a mixture of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance styles, including sprouts turrets and towers and exquisite Art Nouveau tiles. The gardens that surround the castle have wonderful fountains, terraces, lakes, that form a great refuge for tourists. Full of symbolic beauties and mysterious sites, the Quinta da Regaleira is a must-see destination, covered in a timelessness air.
Castelo dos Mouros
The Castelo dos Mouros also well- known as the Castle of Moors, is an ethereal masterpiece in Sintra. It was erected around between the 8th and 9th century, and the scenic views offered by the Royal Tower give to visitors some of the most breathtaking spectacles of the ocean shore and the city happenings. The castle was rebuilt in the 19th century and features amazing done walls and the tall tower which provides a different feeling from the rest of the structures. There is a church, made in a Romanesque style, that dates back to the 12th of the 13th centuries, with a special archaic look.
Sintra is a romantic gateway for all people from around the world. The touristic potential of the city includes winegrowing of proven standards, the quarries that product marble, its traditional confectionery and cooking and also its handicraft workshops, which make the city more alive and keep its originality. For many reasons, plus the freshness of the city’s pure air, for the mist of its indescribable mystery, and its dynamic life and culture, for its great variety of significant events, Sintra is still very attractive, and so called “blessed place in the whole inhabitable world”. Sintra is a wonderful destination, filled with picturesque landscapes and unique landmarks, that highlight the excellent beauty of the town.
By Eugenia Cvasov
The most romantic places on the Earth .
Our life is full of unexpectedness and varieties.
William Cowper once mentioned that “ Variety Is the Very Spice of Life that Gives It All its Flavor”.
Have you ever seen a rainbow? It’s a real variety of colors.
So is with the places on the Earth.
They are many, all beautiful, but different.
But, have you ever asked yourself what is the best place on Earth to say “ I love you?” Are you a romantic person and you are looking for an ideal place to spend with your loved one? How often have you thought of a romantic escape with the person you love? Special romantic places are really many, even more than the colors of a rainbow.
Whether they are much closer and more accessible as in Europe, or whether they are exotic places situated at hundreds or thousands kilometers away, love passes all borders.
We invite you on a journey through the most romantic places around the world.
We are sure that our selection will ensure wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime memories and leave you irresistible legends of love and romance.
If you go to one of these places you will get an excellent opportunity to be closer to your loved one and the most blissful and romantic happiness is guaranteed to you.
This journey will be different, special and unique and most important, it must be in harmony with your inner world and your mood.
Sandy beaches or cities, mountains or forests, your choice should be a reflection of your desires and feelings.
Consider the best romantic places for this matter.