Summer Palace Town of Sintra

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Quinta da Regaleira

This is the first of my international travel series and guides on the blog and I’m pretty excited about it. My goal has always been to be a food and travel blog, but I had a little trouble focusing my travel energy to something useful besides just a lot of babbling and excitement. So hopefully you will be able to enjoy this series in my blog as much as I have putting it all together.

Sintra is a beautiful day trip away from Lisbon and it is fairly easy to get to. From Rossio Station in Lisbon, you can take a train and get directly to the town. From the train station you can take a bus to what you need to see. We bought our train ticket and an unlimited CP bus ticket from the Rossio Station in Lisbon (~15 Euros). I would highly recommend buying the bus ticket here because it will save you some money and you won’t have to wait in lines to purchase a bus ticket to get up to Pena Palace.

If you purchase your tickets in advance and group a few attractions together, it will save you some time and money. You can purchase tickets here https://www.parquesdesintra.pt/en/commercial-area/ticket-office-2/ or in Sintra.

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Pena Palace

Pena Palace– The palace had amazing views, tiles and architecture, and was repainted to look like it did when the palace was in the height of use.  But the best part was the national park surrounding the castle. There were trails that led up to the highest point of the hills with beautiful views and gardens throughout. The grounds were a very nice way to relax since the palace can get pretty hectic. A must-see attraction when visiting Sintra.

From the train station take Bus 434 to Pena Palace.  Also, it can get pretty crowded at Pena Palace, so get there early.

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Door at Pena Palace
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Moorish Castle

Moorish Castle-Stop on Bus 434 route, but you can also walk here from Pena Palace. Most day trips to Sintra will tell you to go to Pena Palace and then Moorish Castle. There were both Islamic and Christian inhabitants in the castle over the years. The remains are mainly a castle wall which you can walk along and overgrown foliage which give the whole place a magical feeling of ancient beauty.

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Chapel and Main House at Quinta Da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira– My favorite part of Sintra. You will need to take a different bus to come out here, but worth it. It was a mix of everything cool all in one entrance fee (cash only ~6 Euro). The Initiation Well was the main reason I wanted to visit and it reminded me a lot of Bane and the Dark Knight Rises. It led to underground passageways that was kinda creepy, but also very cool.  Then it was also a fairy tale castle with romantic towers, beautiful flowers and grottos.  It was the dreamiest part of Sintra.

We took Bus 435 from the train station. It’s also only about 2 km from the train station so you could walk there pretty easily.

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Initiation Well at Quinta Da Regaleira

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I would love to come back and see more of the town and restaurants that are there. The whole place was so incredibly dreamy and a highlight of our trip

Have you every been to Sintra? What are your favorite places to see there?

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Summer Palace Town of Sintra

Palm Springs Travel Guide

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It has been an incredibly cold and stormy winter here in Portland with record snowfalls and I’m just about done with winter! But with this cold rainy weather I’m dreaming of our trip back in November when we went to Palm Springs and I wish I could be there RIGHT NOW! If you’re lucky enough to head out there anytime soon, here are a few fun things to visit and see while you’re there.

Joshua Tree National Park

One of the cooler national parks I’ve been to. Definitely worth the 45 minute drive out. It truly encapsulates the desert beauty. You can easily spend all day there, if not more, depending on the experience you want. There are hikes and viewpoints all over. Just a fair warning, bring enough water, food and gas before you go into the park because there isn’t any inside the park.

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Moortens Botanical Garden

So stinkin’ cool. Originally opened in 1960s and had just a few cacti, and in the off season Mr and Mrs Moorten would travel the world collecting cacti to eventually what it is today. Their son and daughter-in-law own it today and live on the property. You’ll find a prick load of cacti and inside their cactacarium you’ll find a lot of rare super cool looking cacti you’ve never seen before. Including one that grows horizontal.

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Renting bikes and biking around town

Super super super fun! We rented bikes and biked around town to look at all the cool architecture and buildings. You can rent them all day long and just bike around to everything you want to see. The town is small and flat, so biking is super easy, and environmentally friendly too!

palmsprings-8Uptown design district

Design and art stores which transport you back to the fifties. Unique mid-century modern designs to inspire you and because they’re so personalized to Palm Springs. There, you’ll find various design and antique shops while being able to dine in some hip restaurants.

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Palm Springs Travel Guide