Once home to the Royals, Sintra remains one of Portugal’s most beautiful and aesthetic towns, making it an ideal place for romantic holidays.
The town is set in a backdrop of verdant hills and is well-known for its grandeur. Many tourists visit the town annually for romantic holidays and to see the queenly mansions and royal castles. Long home to the monarchs of Portugal, Sintra has an air of nobility and is one of the most visually magnificent places to visit. Yet, there is more to this luxurious town than the architecture. The town is a haven for food lovers and those who appreciate the finer things in life.
Sintra, the Capital of Romanticism
Sintra has transitioned through almost all periods within Portuguese history and is an extraordinary historical monument. Its ownership has passed through the hands of many different civilisations, making the town an absolute treasure trove of information regarding the evolution of humanity. But the most dramatic change happened during the reign of D. Fernando II. Often referred to as the artist-king, he held the town and its landscape close to his heart. After purchasing the Pena Convent, which sits atop a steep mountain, he transformed it into the beautiful and spectacular palace it is known as today.
The landscape then saw various exotic trees planted to surround the castle, decorated with fountains, ponds, and chalets. The surrounding forests were also taken care of, with thousands of trees planted to alter the town visually. Now a capital of Romanticism, the city makes for a perfect romantic destination, with many activities and points of interest to enjoy!
Explore the Three Fairytale Castles
Sintra has many fantastic points of interest, but the biggest attractions in the town are the three castles, Quinta da Regaleira, Pena Palace, and Castelo dos Mouros. Quinta de Regaleira is well-loved for its whimsical atmosphere, fairytale landscape, and enigmatic architecture. Exploring the site, you’ll come across many small but special constructions, the most famous being the Initiation Well.
Often referred to as the inverted tower, the Initiation Well is an 88-foot-deep well built initially for ceremonial purposes. So it was never actually used as a water resource at all! Pena Palace is the town’s colourful Romanticist castle which stands on top of a hill in the Sintra Mountains. It is the renowned jewel of Sintra with an inspiring landscape that invites visitors to discover and explore its enchanted woodland. Lastly is Castelo dos Mouros, which is sometimes called the Moorish Castle. Now a ruin, the castle still provides spectacular views of Sintra!
Tips for Romantic Day Trips, Accommodation & Fine Dining
Due to the enticing nature of the town, Sintra is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal. To avoid the crowds, bypass guided interior tours and explore the castle grounds! The gardens surrounding Pena Palace, Quinta da Regaleira, and the grande battlements of Castelo dos Mouros are beautiful enough on their own that you won’t even feel as if you missed out. Each castle is a perfect venue for days out, and the town itself is full of quaint cafes where you can experience fine Portuguese dining! For romantic evenings, head to one of the many restaurants serving Mediterranean dishes with fresh, local ingredients. There even are a few options for dining along the coastline if you’re after spectacular views.
In true Meditteranean fashion, plenty of spacious villas and duplex apartments are available to rent out in Sintra. However, we recommend you try out one of the vintage-chic cottages further away from the city centre for that romantic touch. The town can be pretty lively in the evenings, which can be fantastic for going out, but not for romantic evenings. Further out, the nights are calmer and more tranquil, and the views from the cottages are nothing-shy of beautiful. However, if you plan to stay in one of these cottages, be sure to have transport sorted!
The Perfect Place for Romantic Holidays
It shouldn’t take much convincing for you to visit Sintra. After all, the pictures speak for themselves. A Capital of Romanticism, the regal town of Sintra is an ideal location for romantic holidays. So explore the rippling hillside and enjoy the glittering castles of Sintra, the most regal and romantic town in Portugal.
By Skylar Grace