by James Glazebrook
After I pulled myself together, we hiked to the summit of the hill to explore the Palàcio Nacional de Pena, a fantastical palace built up around a modest 16th century monastery. An example of Portuguese Romanticism, this multi-coloured magic kingdom boasts fairytale features like onion domed-turrets, a Fountain of the Small Birds, and a grotesque half man-half fish rendering of Triton.
Sintra was swarming with tourists, but well worth the trip regardless – its historical sites are fascinating, and its views are (apparently) stunning. Oh, and unless you’re ready for an hour-long trek up a steep hill, don’t follow in our footsteps – take the ten minute bus ride from the train station instead!
Photos by Zoë Noble Photography