Sintra is a UNESCO site with royal retreats, estates, and castles. It's a short train ride from Lisbon, Portugal, and can be explored as a day trip from there. We rented a tiny car from a company called Sight Sintra and drove it it to two major sites, Quinta da Regaleira and Pena National Palace.
First we wandered through the palace and grounds of Quinta da Regaleira. The Palace has stunning mosaic floors and decorative sculptures. I love the bright colors blended with white trim, and large wooden doors. On the outside there are interesting medieval grottos and a large initiation well. These elements are a stark contrast to the clean airy feel of the palace. There’s a lot of jagged rock caves and moss covered stone. It feels like you’ve truly stepped back in time.
We then took our tiny car over to Pena Palace, a photographers dream. I've never seen a palace with such vibrant colors before—orange, yellow and blue with tiles and gorgeous windows and doors. I could've spent a whole day here taking photos and enjoying the view. You could see so much greenery and the ocean from this mountaintop.
If I did this again I would give myself more time to explore. There are so many other structures in this city we didn't have time to see, like the Moorish Castle. Until we meet again, Portugal!
Tip: If you’re taking a day trip here from Lisbon, leave early so you have the whole day to explore!