SINTRA, A QUAINT AND PICTURESQUE PORTUGUESE TOWN SET WITHIN THE SINTRA MOUNTAINS
Travel and exploring different cultures and lifestyles is deep rooted within me. It is second nature to me to be off exploring throughout the year whether it be in the United Kingdom, Europe or farther a field.
One of my most recent trips took me to Lisbon. This Portuguese capital exudes attractions, an enormity of culture and coastal serenity. When night falls, the cobbled streets open up for alfresco dining dishing out Portuguese delicacies from arroz de marisco to Bacalhau. Each and every restaurant carried a warmth about it, inviting tourists and locals to join in on their nightly feasts.
Although I loved the buzz of Lisbon, I was keen to explore outside its parameters, further towards the Atlantic and into the mountains. This lead me to Sintra. Sintra is undoubtedly a charming Portuguese town resort. Winding roads meander up the forested mountains where architecturally pleasing pastel houses punctuate the scenery and famous Royal castles rise above and beyond. In the epicenter, Sintra is bustling with tourists sauntering squares and spilling into the cobbled streets towards the main attractions; National Palace, Pena Palace, Castle of the Moors and the Quinta da Regaleria.
We ambled the area, making our way up and through tiny little streets enlaced with bakeries, tourist shops and quaint cafes. The atmosphere here was intimate and mysterious, something Lisbon does not carry. fter our sight seeing, we headed to the magnificent Sintra National Palace and pulled up a pew at Restaurante Hockey Caffee. The restaurant benefited from outside seating on a raised deck, shaded with large parasols. Placed directly opposite the National Palace and its square, not only was it a beautiful spot – it was perfect for people watching! With it being a truly romantic setting, yet in an incredibly touristy spot, my expectations for the food were mediocre. However, what arrived and what we tasted exceeded my expectations to my utter delight. We had exhausted the traditional Portuguese dishes in Lisbon so opted for something different; we decided on Duck a l’Orange with a seasonal salad and a Langoustine, King Prawn linguine. Simply Divine.
It was incredibly refreshing to visit this resort town, a place that retains it character yet embraces the thrall of tourists. Highly recommend a day trip when visiting Lisbon!