I’ve started this paragraph more times than I can count as I’m struggling to put into words the wonderfulness that is Sintra, Portugal. Located a short train ride away from Lisbon (you can read that experience here, if you’d like), it makes for the perfect day trip. A nice, quiet, escape from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon.
The moment you step off said train, you can literally feel the magic in the air. There’s an energy in this corner of the world that’s simply hard to describe. Rumor has it, there have been strange happenings in Sintra for centuries. As the former centre for cult worship, the grounds and hillsides are scattered with the most magical wild gardens, house sized boulders and mysterious tombs, which is beautifully eerie on its own. On top of that, there’s a cloud that constantly hovers over the city, even during the clearest of days. It’s a permanent fixture that locals have named “the Queen’s Fart” and, always a skeptic, I wasn’t entirely convinced. But in true form, it was there – front and centre, during a particularly sunny day. And if that wasn’t enough, locals confess that batteries drain quicker than anywhere else, and light bulbs pop regularly with no explanation.
But magic aside, it’s a tiny, completely walkable town, with multiple castles, cathedrals, and galleries that are all well worth a visit. Here’s a peek at our day in Sintra: