The fairytale that is Sintra

13th November – 15th November

An interior courtyard of the Palacio da Pena in Sintra. This palace was incredible, with its fairytale pastel colours and tiling.
An interior courtyard of the Palacio da Pena in Sintra. This palace was incredible, with its fairytale pastel colours and tiling.

Sintra, a small town not far from Lisbon, really was like stepping into a fairytale. The town and hill overlooking it are littered with old castles and palaces.  Particularly impressive was the Castelo dos Mouros, an old medieval castle on the hilltop.  And the pastel colours of the Palacio da Pena were stunning.  I also had a try of the local cherry liqueur, served in a chocolate cup. It may be a touristy thing to do, but was incredibly tasty.

Our host in Sintra, Gala; a lovely Russian lady who moved to Portugal 17 years ago, invited us to join her at a Fado performance.  So off we went, to the home of a local family who host young Fado performers. I was quite moved by the melancholic tunes. The rooftop terrace of the house also offered a stunning view up to the old town and moorish castle on the hill.

An abandoned house in Sintra.
An abandoned house in Sintra.
Castelo dos Mouros. This old medieval castle sits atop the hill overlooking Sintra.
Castelo dos Mouros. This old medieval castle sits atop the hill overlooking Sintra.
The old stone walls of the Castelo dos Mouros.
The old stone walls of the Castelo dos Mouros.
The incredible bright colours of the Palacio da Pena. This palace looked like something out of a Disney fairytale.
The incredible bright colours of the Palacio da Pena. This palace looked like something out of a Disney fairytale.
From Palacio da Pena, there is an incredible view out over the surrounding countryside.
From Palacio da Pena, there is an incredible view out over the surrounding countryside.
Palacio da Pena, Sintra
Palacio da Pena, Sintra
Gardens of the Palacio da Pena.
Gardens of the Palacio da Pena.
Although steep, the walk down from the top of the hill and back into the town of Sintra rambled through some lovely bushland.
Although steep, the walk down from the top of the hill and back into the town of Sintra rambled through some lovely bushland.
Sintra, Portugal
Sintra, Portugal
A back door to the Palacio da Regaleira.
A back door to the Palacio da Regaleira.

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