Only half an hour drive from Lisbon is the fairytale town of Sintra. Once the summer retreat for the royalty and aristocracy, architecture and gardens established over time remain nestled amongst the lush green mountains to explore today. Perched majestically on top of a mountain, the Palace of Pena is a beautiful example of 19th century Portuguese romanticism.
The palace is an eclectic mix of styles. Almost the entire palace stands on rock.
Through a narrow windy road curving through Sintra forest, 500 metres above sea level, we arrived at the entrance to the palace. The palace itself sits still higher so we climbed aboard the old cramped palace bus and slowly wound our way yet further up. This is a small additional cost, if time is on your side you can walk it.
Inside we see the rooms of the summer residence of the royal family. Beautiful furniture, china and art works give us a glimpse into their lifestyle of the time. We see the lavish royal dining room complete with glassware, china and silverware; artworks painted by Kind Ferdinand II himself; wonderfully tiled and airy courtyards.
Around the palace is Pena Park, more than 85 hectares of lush landscape and gardens. A wonderful backdrop for this majestic palace.
We visited on a half day tour booked through Viator "Sintra, Pena Palace and Cascais Half-Day Trip from Lisbon". It was a good way to get from Lisbon to the palace, although our guide was quite new and we felt quite rushed going through the palace. Appreciated the drive to Cascais and also to Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of mainland Europe) which was included in the tour. The palace would have been easy to navigate your way through without a guide, however, not sure how easy it would be to make your way from Lisbon to here in such a short time as the tour offered.
Wonderful day trip out of Lisbon, fairytale palace definitely worth a visit.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.