Castles, Palaces and Gardens: the Sintra experience

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May 20th 2013
Published: May 20th 2013
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We are staying in a town which is about 40 minutes out of Lisbon. The town was a retreat for Portuguese Royals and the wealthy. This is an area of World Heritage sites. There are 4 Palaces and one extraordinary garden.

We visited the Quinta da Regaleira which was great fun! The garden had tunnels which ended at the base of a well. Felt like a kid again! After following the tunnels past the back of waterfalls, you ended up at the base of a well. You then climbed a spiral staircase to the surface. Fantastic! There were also towers and winding paths. A giant adventure park!

Today we visited a Moorish castle which runs along the ridge line. We could imagine how exciting a child would find it. Just needed a sword and armour! Views across to the surrounding palaces and countryside were spectacular. This was followed by the Pena Palace and gardens, built for the King. The Palace's architecture is a mixture of German castles for the Rhine river, Baroque castles and Moorish features. Brightly coloured and built on the highest point in the area. Its gardens sprawl down the hillside and included the Queen's fern valley which had lots of Australian and NZ ferns. Beautiful.

We have been arguing about which of these 3 sites is the best. No decision has been made!

Additional photos below
Photos: 7, Displayed: 7


20th May 2013

great great :)
Amazing what you can dig or build with a few hundred slaves :)
20th May 2013

HI there -loving your blog -it has wonderful tones of a geography teacher.......just kidding, it is great! we will be definitely asking advice on Turkey and Portugal as we are hoping to get there next year. photos make me very envious and keen to explore these areas. Hope you keep travelling well and enjoying yourselves. much love Heath
21st May 2013

Well, well, well
Hi HP and Rog, I love the well! How fantastic. The castle looks great too being right on the ridge as it is, but I just love the idea of the well and being able to climb down into it. Such fantastic adventures you are having - it's fantastic or should I say 'frantastic'! Cherie's birthday tomorrow and then ... Love Fran
21st May 2013
view looking down into well

looking up from the well
Great fun following you across Europe! Was really pleased upon closer look that there were two people in this photo Hil, cause that fringe didn't really suit....
21st May 2013

Look forward to hearing about the trip when you get home

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