Sintra - the ideal destination for holidays and short breaks.
The village of Sintra and the surrounding area is of outstanding beauty and cultural interest. A famous holiday destination since the times of Lord Byron, Sintra has a rich and stimulating cultural offer, as well as numerous options for spending active holidays. At the same time, the rural character of the village and the quiet location of Casa José Ricardo allow you to have a peaceful time. In a 15 min. stroll from the house, you reach the historical centre and the National Palace, bustling with life, especially in the Summer months.
The local tourist board is very active and puts on various events for the visitors. Under the slogan "Sintra - capital do Romantismo", the village and its surroundings present themselves to the visitor with suggestions about its museums, art galleries, cultural activities, interesting walks as well as tips about cafés and restaurants serving local specialities.
From June to July, the music event Festival de Sintra, involving national and international artists goes on stage with nearly daily concerts, events and conferences in Sintra's palaces and historical buildings, as well as at the modern "Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval".
Cycling in Sintra
Enjoy the exceptional guided and self-guided bicycle tours in the Sintra region with Cycling Rentals. This small innovative company is the foremost expert in Iberian bike touring - and luckily they are based in Sintra!
Tours focus on Iberian history, culture and cuisine; their in-depth knowledge of the locations, the people and their customs provides a unique cultural backdrop to all tours. Ride under a lush green canopy, past fine Romantic era manor houses. Visit the old monastery of Capuchos, hidden in the woods. Zoom to Cabo da Roca, the western-most point of continental Europe - to enjoy stunning views over the Atlantic ocean. Enjoy maximum ride time on great routes, with exceptional personal service & genuine cultural immersion. They offer a great choice of bikes to fit all needs and levels; delivery and pick up, technical support and route planning, all gadgets you need.
Sintra is proud to have some of the best golf courses in Portugal. Set against amazing landscapes, there are seven golf courses in easy reach: in Quinta da Beloura (Beloura Pestana Golf, 18 holes), two in Penha Longa (Atlantico course has 18 holes and Mosteiro course 9); two in Estoril (Golf do Estoril - Championship course: 18 holes; Blue Course: 9 holes) and in Cascais you find Oitavos Dunes course and Quinta de Marinha course, both 18 holes. Due to Sintra's mild micro-climate, golf can be played all year round.
The hills in the natural park Sintra-Cascais are ideal for shorter or longer hikes. For example you can do a circular walk from Sintra that takes you up to Cruz Alta passing Pena Palace and gardens and the Castelo dos Mouros on the way, 10km/7.5miles. However, if you prefer, you can also catch the bus that takes you to up the Sintra mountain to the Moorish Castle and the Palace.
One of the most beautiful spots of Sintra is the Montserrate Park. You can combine the visit with a more demanding but extremely nice 10-mile / 16 km hike which starts in the village of Colares in the lowlands near the coast. You walk up the hill, passing the old monastery of Peninha with spectacular views down to the coast and then continue to the palace of Monserrate. You should however make sure you arrive with plenty of time to visit the gardens of this special place before they're shut (18.00h).
The village Almoçageme is the starting point for a walk that takes you through the countryside to the coast and to Cabo da Roca - the most westerly point in Europe. Here there is a wealth of dramatic scenery that will leave you feeling exhilarated and energized. There is the option of doing some of the tour with the local bus.
If you like to join an experienced local guide for a nature walk in Sintra, check out the "Lots of things to do"-page for contacts.
Various guided activities, from treasure hunts to surf- and body boarding lessons are offered by the young and dynamic team of MuitAventura, based in Sao Pedro de Sintra. For activities outside the village, pick up and return to the apartment can be arranged.
Beaches and watersports
The Atlantic coast is 12 km away. There are sandy beaches and wild rocky strips of coast - many beaches are ideal for surfing or body boarding. Particularly Praia do Guincho and Praia Grande should be mentioned, which have been the stage for various Surfing World Championships.
Casa José Ricardo is also a perfect base for exploring Lisbon. The trainstation is few minutes walk from the house and trains to Lisbon depart every 10 to 20 minutes. Within less than 40 minutes, you arrive in the very heart of the city, at Rossio trainstation and Restauradores square. By car, travel time is less than thirty minutes. Access to the A16 motorway is just 2 km from the house (exit 8).