The weather was perfect today to visit the palace and castle on top of the hill. The hotel gave us advice to purchase our tickets beforehand and to get there before the park opens because the line gets very long. By the time we got up there, the line was already long. After getting in the park, we then waited in another line for a shuttle up to the palace. You can either do a steep walk or pay for a shuttle. We saved some time and energy and opted to get a ride. While on the bus, we overheard a tour guide tell his group that once they get off the bus, they would go straight for the entrance. They could take pictures of the palace after they see the inside because the line will only get longer.
The first place we visited was the Pena Palace and the grounds. The palace was built for King Ferdinand (the cousin of King Ludwig in Germany who built the famous Neuschwanstein castle). It took a long time to get through the palace because of all the tour groups. If you are claustrophobic, this is not the place to visit. I thought the palace was very nice but really wish they could control the crowds some. We then walked around the grounds to the high cross and some other spots.
After visiting the place, we hiked to the castle of the Moors. It was built in the 8th and 9th centuries. It was one of the most unique castles I have ever visited. You could walk along the walls. There were a lot of stairs, but there aren’t railings so I do wonder how some people don’t fall over the wall. Once we finished here, we then hiked back down to the city. We visited one more palace in the evening but really it was the first two sights that were worth the stressful driving experience here.
The one thing we aren’t doing while in Sintra is driving to the coast to see sunset. You can be the last person to see sunset in continental Europe but we have no desire to get the car out here. I had a very hard time narrowing down the 200 pictures today but hopefully these will give you a sense of how beautiful Sintra is.