Trekking the Sierra Sintra

Considered the most beautiful and mystical Portuguese destination, Sintra certainly is an unforgettable place with its diverse nature and ancient history.

Sintra is located only 30 km from Lisbon. It was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1995. This delightful place has been occupied by various civilisations from ages past. From the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic times, to both the Romans and Arabic era’s.

Hiking the main routes, which are basically 3 (Santa Maria, Lapa and Seteais) can take up to 10 hours as there is a lot to see. Its truly beautiful and an unforgettable experience.

When you begin the trail, the lush of the vegetation combined with the mist and absolute silence (other than mother nature) sends tingles down your spine, and you feel a million miles away from anywhere or anyone. The mind is at ease, and you feel an inner peace. It really is tranquil and mystical and feels like an oasis miles away from other Portuguese spots.

The trail leads to major monuments, such as Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle. As they are quite close, it makes sense to visit both (if you have time). These trails are popular as the forest is well cared for and is, well .. just gorgeous. You’ll see places such as Quinta da Regaleira, Jardim da Vigia, Palácio Nacional e Parque da Liberdade. There are many other tracks to explore, and they are well mapped.

As it is near to so many important monuments you can easily find information dotted about on posters and such, some even have QR codes for the more tech savvy!

Apart from the Seteais trail, these walks are suitable for almost all ages as the pavements are in great condition – however, be prepared as its quite a physical day!

The end of the journey leads to the Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace). Built at the top of the Serra de Sintra, over convent ruins from hundreds of years ago. The palace and its park ooze romanticism, especially if you are with your partner. Built initially as summer house for the royal family, it developed into a palace, with an eclectic collection of architectural elements –  Moorish, Gothic and Manuelino. The surrounding park has a good collection of forest species from Europe as well as North America, Asia and New Zealand.

Throughout the various trails it is impossible not to connect with an important part of the Portuguese history, so if you’re feeling energetic and fancy a different day out, we highly recommend visiting Sintra.

If you fancy a day tour to Sintra, check out Sintra Tours .. and we’ve even linked a couple of good ones below.

Popular Sintra and Cascais Small Group Day Trip from Lisbon

Private Tour of Lisbon, Estoril Coast and Sintra