Sunday Special – Sintra, Portugal

Sometimes heading out of major city centres for a day trip is what you need. Located 28 km / 17 miles outside of Portugal’s capital of Lisbon is the picturesque coastal town of Sintra. One may see why this locale is a popular destination for those looking to escape the big city for a day, though a longer sojourn to truly experience all this UNESCO World Heritage sight has is suggested. Meander through the narrow streets; explore the historical castles and palaces or take in the views as Sintra is situated atop the mountains that shares its name. When I finally make my way to Portugal I will certainly seek out Sintra. The town sounds simply charming and inviting.


Pena Palace, Sintra – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain


View of Sintra, Portugal from the Castle of the Moors – Photo via Wikimedia Commons – Taken and owned by By Chris Yunker from St. Louis, United States (Castle of the Moors  Uploaded by tm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons



Historic, gothic and the resting place of royals, Portugal’s Alcobaça Monastery is found 121 km/75 mi north of Lisbon. It is the earliest example of gothic style churches in the country. King Afonso Henríques (first king of Portugal) established it 1153 C.E. to honour the victory of Santarem during the Crusades and presented it to Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, a staunch supporter of the Crusades. Construction began years later in 1178 and became the home of this order of Cistercian monks. With close ties to the Portuguese monarchy it houses numerous tombs of past kings. In 1989 UNESCO recognized Alcobaça Monastery as a world heritage site.

Personally I find this building very beautiful and admire the gothic style, so I chose two photos to showcase it.


Cloister at Alcobaca Monastery










Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – By Flávio de Souza (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mosteiro de Alcobaca 27a

Interior of Cloister of Alcobaca Monastery









Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – By Waugsberg (Deutsch: eigene Aufnahme English: own photograph)  via Wikimedia Commons