Visit Sintra for a memorable holiday in Portugal

Holiday to Portugal

After you've seen the beaches, and explored the streets of the capital Lisbon, round off your holiday in Portugal with a visit to the romantic and airy mountain town of Sintra.

Just 40 minutes from Lisbon by train, Sintra is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its architecture and natural splendour. Looming above the pretty, whitewashed houses and shops of the old town, are the Moorish Castle and the Pena Palace.

You can take the bus up the hairpin bends, or hike up through shady woods until you reach the castle battlements, From here it's not much further to the kitsch Disneyland Pena Palace (parquesdesintra.pt), that looks like the sort of place that would host wicked witches and sleeping princesses. Kids invariably fall in love with it. Admission is €12 for adults, €9 for children between 6 and 17, and free to children under 6.

For less strenuous explorations head to Monserrate, a country estate that is within walking and cycling distance of Sintra, and was once the playground of English aristocrats.

In summer a shaky tram heads out to the superb Atlantic beach of Praia das Maças, where you can try to catch a wave on a surf board, or content yourself with watching the action from a beachside restaurant.

For accommodation, the small but very elegant Lawrence's Hotel (lawrenceshotel.com) in the heart of the old town dates back to 1764, and claims to be the oldest hotel in the Iberian penuinsula. It has double rooms starting from €120, and also offers special packages with discounts for longer stays.

For more information on a Sintra trip during your holiday in Portugal, including restaurant recommendations, transport links and hotel guides, go to visitportugal.com

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