Portugal has been my favorite countries in southern Europe. There is no doubt we enjoyed the seven days we spent. I have already talked about how we planned our portugal trip. We were three days in Lisbon and spent the third day in Sintra. Sintra is a town in greater Lisbon area and very well known tourist location due to presence of palaces, forts, historic places, rich in cultural and architectural experiences.
We took a train from Rossio station in Lisbon to Sintra which took about an hour. It was already almost noon by the time we reached Sintra hence we headed straight to Quinta Da Regaleria. Though one can hire local transport tuktuk version , we decide to hike till the estate. There were lot of beautiful sites that we experienced while reaching the estate, of which moorish style water fountain I fondly remember the most.
Sintra town in itself is quite hilly and filled with parks and palaces. We were delighted to spot a lot of palaces of what seemed like them while walking towards the estate but had made up of mind to miss most of them and dedicate time to explore just one place in detail. If you reach Sintra well in time then please try to cover more.
Quinta da Regaleria
As we entered the estate gates I quickly realized why we won’t see anything else in Sintra because it took us some time to just find the right gate and buy the tickets to explore the place. We quickly headed to the cafe within the premises to have a wholesome lunch and a healthy glass of wine which energized us for exploring the estate. Frankly the hot summer day had already taken a toll on us by the time we had reached the estate, we were tired. But the location of the cafe overlooking the three-storey mansion and endless greenery was refreshing.
After lunch we started exploring the estate. We were so glad to be holding the map in our hands because once inside this four hectare open park, it must have been so easy to get lost in this mystical world.
We spent hardly half an hour in the mansion and rest of the time was spent exploring the park around it which has been transformed by various owners and architects of the place. Certain parts have dense but organized trees and bushes while others seem to be grown a little it wild. No matter it has everything that can keep a person entertained and occupied for hours.
Below pictures are from lake of waterfall where we enjoyed walking on the skipping stones on the lake more than actually seeing the waterfall.
Almost next to it was open terrace and tower which were called Terrace of the celestial worlds and Portal of the Guardians. Besides what they were called all the architectural structures were interesting and unique.
Here you will also find the entrance to initiatic wells. Initiatic wells are actually subterranean tower that sinks about 27 meters in earth. One reaches till the base by the spiral staircase in surrounding walls of the well. This well was never actually filled with water but was actually used for random celebrations. From the base of the well one can get access to tunnels which opens up in other corner of the park. These tunnels are further connected to grotto. Grotto caves were the most interesting ones to walk through as you feel as if you have entered a different world.
After that we exited in absolutely different corner of the property. We saw the fountain of Regaleria and leda’s grotto. We also visited the Chappel. We were tired and exited the property soon after this.
After our visit to Quinta da Regaleria, we visited the old town area to get the feel of the city. It was crowded on the extra sunny summer day we visited. I was surprised to see all restaurants, cafes, shops residing on constantly hilly surfaces which were tiled. But, this was a common feature in Portugal – excessive use of tiles. Wear shoes that will be appropriate to walk on tiled surfaces. Specially if it is raining on the day of your visit. Hope you have a great Sintra visit. We came back to Lisbon to explore some more places. More about it in next blog!