“Lo ! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes
In variegated maze of mount and glen”
Lord Byron in “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, declared in 1995 (category Cultural Landscape) this magical place is dominated by steep mountains and lush forests which create a microclimate, always several degrees cooler than Lisbon, with a characteristically romantic mist, just like a fairytale.
The name “Sintra” has its origin in the word “Cynthia“, symbol of the moon in the celtic mythology. The Romans called it “Mons Lunae“, meaning “the hill of the moon“, and there were deeds sacrifices in its honour. This mystical stigma has been maintained until our times.
Sintra is a romantic getaway for people from all around the world, and has always been a place of election by kings and nobles as a country resort, and praised by writers and poets. Sintra has a wealth of cottages and manor houses, some of which now provide accommodation in the form of country-house tourism.
Sintra annually is visited by many tourists attracted by its natural beauties, by its monuments and by the history of the town and, at the same time, to take advantage of the assorted amount of beaches in the region.
Attractions include the fabulous Pena Palace (19th c.), the Castelo dos Mouros (built in the Arabian period, but reconstructed on the 19th century) with its breath-taking view of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, the Seteais and Monserrate Palace, the Capuchos Convent, lost in the middle of the forest filled with histories of solitary monks to tell, and the summer residence of the kings of Portugal: Sintra’s National Palace, right in the city centre. Important and diversified Museums are also available to visit and delight in.
Sintra's confectionery deserves a special mention, particularly the travesseiros (puff pastes stuffed with a sweet eggy mixture) and the famous cheese-cakes (queijadinhas), which according to ancient documents were already being made in the 12th century, and were part of the rent payments.
For its environment, history, mysticism, architecture and lifestyle, Sintra is considered to be the most Romantic town in Portugal.