Living in Sintra.

Many travelers heading to Portugal put Pena Palace, in the town of Sintra, at the top of their “Must See” list. And while we agree that it shouldn’t be missed, there is another quite compelling reason to visit Sintra: Quinta da Regaliera. In fact, this is our favorite stop in town, and we wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it became yours, too.

Sintra, just outside Lisbon, is one of Portugal’s prettiest old towns. Its rich history includes the Romans, and in today’s Sintra you can see remains of the empire’s presence from the second century B.C. to the fifth century A.D. The town is also famous for its 19th-century Romantic architecture, its medieval Castle of the Moors, and Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.

Eccentric Quinta da Regaliera is a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with the old town of Sintra itself. The property’s wonderful Romantic palace and chapel are surrounded by the very best assets of the estate: a luxurious park with lakes, mysterious grottoes and wells, benches, fountains, and other exquisite constructions.

The quinta’s best-known former owner, António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, set out to build a bewildering place whose symbolism reflected his wide-ranging personal interests and ideologies. With the assistance of Italian architect Luigi Manini, he created the vast estate, adding enigmatic buildings that allegedly held symbols related to alchemy, the Masons, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians. Manini’s architecture evokes Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Manueline styles—and so much more. The construction commenced in 1904, and much of it was completed by 1910.

And while you’re in Sintra, be sure to pop in to Pena Palace.

For information about a visit to Portugal, email Mariana Tosic at or call 888-490-8008.

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