Sintra holidays land you close to the city sights of Lisbon, plus a host of beaches and palaces.

Fairy-tale-like palace

Sintra was once just a daytrip destination from Lisbon, but with its UNESCO stamp of approval, grand architecture and wavy beaches, there are lots of reasons to extend your stay here. One of the town’s main selling points is the Pena Palace, which looks like it’s come straight out of a fairy-tale, with its vibrant yellow exterior and grand design. Lying in the hills, Sintra isn’t short of nature trails in the surrounding pine forests, and you’ll have fabulous views of the city from the castle ruins at the top of the hill. Just out of the town you have the Sintra coastline, giving you the pick of the beaches, from those ideal for surfing to the natural, untouched bays. Up for a daytrip? You can get to Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, on a 40-minute train ride, or the drive takes just under an hour.

See Sintra on four wheels

If you want to see Sintra without racking up the step count, jump aboard a vintage 4x4 for a tour. Start off at UNESCO World Heritage site, Quinta de Regaleira and tuck in to a traditional Portuguese lunch. Then, venture off-road into the forest all the way to seaside cliffs, where you’ll spot the ruins of a castle. On your way, stop at lookout spots where you can fill your camera roll with views overlooking the town and hidden, secluded beaches where you can go for a dip.

At a Glance

  • Admire the grand Pena Palace
  • Hit the waves at Guincho Beach
  • Jump on the train for a daytrip to Lisbon