As a Sintra local for over 40 years, I'd like to share with you my top 10 must-see parks, palaces, and monuments in this magical town:
Bonus (not so) secret spots
As a Sintra local, I have the privilege of living in one of the most beautiful regions in Portugal. There are three places that particularly stand out to me and that I love to take friends and family to when they visit: Azenhas do Mar Village, Cabo da Roca, and Almoçageme Village.
Azenhas do Mar Village is a small coastal village that sits on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The village's white houses and red roofs make for a stunning contrast against the blue sea and sky. I love to come here to enjoy the fresh sea breeze, walk along the beach, and sample the local seafood dishes.
Cabo da Roca is the westernmost point of Europe and has become a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sintra. The rugged cliffs, crashing waves, and stunning views make for an unforgettable experience. I love to come here to watch the sunset and take in the natural beauty that surrounds me. Due to its fame, it can get crowded in the summer...
Finally, Almoçageme Village is a charming town that is known for its narrow streets, traditional houses, great restaurant, and friendly locals. I love to come here to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, visit Adraga beach, or go for a hike along the Atlantic cliffs and take in the beautiful scenery. If you are a wine fan, one of the best local wineries has a pretty shop in town - but you must book beforehand to visit.
All three of these destinations are unique and special in their own way, and I feel grateful to live in a place that offers such diverse and beautiful experiences.
You can visit these top coastal spots on our Atlantic Adventure and Cape Escape ebike tour routes.
Come and Visit Sintra
These are my top 10 must-see parks, palaces, and monuments in Sintra - but I couldn't close this post without mentioning my favourite not so secret spots too. Each place is special and unique, and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do.
If you ever get the chance to visit Sintra, I highly recommend checking out these three destinations.
Sintra is a magical town that's full of surprises and hidden treasures, so take your time and explore all that Sintra has to offer!
Park E Bike electric bicycle rentals and tours are all about offering cyclists and non-cyclists alike the unique opportunity and the freedom to silently explore the undiscovered in one of the most charismatic locations in southern Europe.
One of of goals is to really promote clean, sustainable transport that is viable to all types of travelers visiting the UNESCO heritage site of Sintra: e-Bikes! On a recent Park E Bike day trip a client told us that in the 5 years he has lived in Portugal he had never seen so much of Sintra as on his e-bike day trip: "I love the sense of freedom, there were things I had never even noticed".
I love the sense of freedom, there were things I had never even noticed
We make sure our E-bikes are perfectly suited to a broad range of people, from the expert cyclist to the occasional bicycle rider to ensure maximum comfort, enjoyment and fun on our e-bike tours and rentals. With powerful electric motors and a long range battery, you can explore from the forests to the Atlantic ocean and cycle back on a single charge.
All the Park E Bike staff are locals, and we want to preserve the natural allure of Sintra by helping visitors tread lightly along the small roads and lanes, as they discover a world class travel destination. Come and join us!
There are at least 10 great reasons we chose the very best e-bikes for you to enjoy your day cycling, and why we are sure you will love them as much as we do. Find out what they are!
1) Easy start on uphills
Our e-bikes have a twist grip acelerator that gets the motor going at low speed, to help you start pedaling on steeper uphills with a gentle boost of power.
2) Low center of gravity
Which means you don't have to worry about an unstable and top heavy bike and can enjoy a stable ride.
3) Powerful disc brakes
Keep safe and in control on event the steepest descents with powerful but smooth front and rear disc brakes.
4) Easy Shifting 7 Speed
Gear shifting doesn't come easier than this, and 7 gears are all you need on our powerful e-bikes.
5) Led Lights Front & Rear
Stayed out a little after sunset? No need to worry, powerful front and rear LED lights will see you home safely.
6) Long Range Battery
Battery should last at least 50 km range at maximum assistance, up to 88 km with lowest assistance, depending on rider weight.
7) Comfortable saddle
Wide and cushioned saddle means you can enjoy more time on the bike with a lot more comfort.
8) Comfortable Geometry
Our bikes come in one size only, with an adjustable seat post and are recommended to fit bicycle riders from 163 cm - 188 cm.
9) Low Frame
The ladies love them and the boys do too, especially when hoping on and off your bike around town.
10) Easy Rolling extra wide Fatbike tires
Wider tires mean easy handling and comfortable cycling, even on cobbles or unpaved roads.
Cascais has a new route to explore: The Rota do Ocidente (Western Route) is a nature trail with a set of unique and authentic experiences with minimal impact on ecosystems. Among these experiences are the overnight stay in glamping and premium meals made with local products.
Crossing the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, with its heart at the Quinta do Pisão, the Rota do Ocidente connects the coastline with the interior of the mountain range and presents itself as a conduit for the discovery of a unique territory.
About the Rota do Ocidente
The Rota do Ocidente has a total of 50 kilometers, between Cascais (departing from the Ecocabana at the entrance to Marechal Carmona park in central Cascais) to the Santuário da Peninha, passing by the coast, mountain villages of Cascais such as Malveira and Almoinhas Velhas, and back to Cascais.
The Rota do Ocidente allows for a very personal experience, divided over three days and two nights, where each one becomes part of this immense natural heritage.
The idea of the Rota do Ocidente is based on the possibility of making a low impact visit to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, with support that favors safety and comfort.
This is the case of parking areas, maps or informational panels, or service packages for overnight glamping (tents set up and dismantled without harming nature), food with products directly from the garden, transport by ebike, on horseback or with the support of donkeys, activities such as tree climbing, bird or star observation, and workshops, for example, for the production of essential oils.
The actions planned to streamline the route prepare, requalify and benefit the areas through which the route itself passes.
In addition to ensuring a good experience for the visitor in terms of safety and comfort, it also provides unforgettable experiences on a unique journey in communion with nature.
Glamping and Local Produce
Alternative visitation models include not only walking trails, but also packages of experiences and interpretation of environmental heritage, material or immaterial.
For example, it is possible to hire services such as hiking in the company of the woolly donkeys of Quinta do Pisão, or book a glamping experience, that is, camping in the middle of nature with all the glamor of a hotel, and having premium meals made with local products… All options with a huge potential to attract qualitative tourism.
Best bike routes in Sintra
If you are looking for the way to explore Sintra by bike, then this post is just for you. Read on to find the best bike routes in Sintra.
We've put together some top tips that will help you plan your cycling tour of this magical destination. The first thing to do is decide on the kind of route that suits your needs best: there are many different ways to explore Sintra by bike, depending on how much time and effort you want to invest in getting from point A to point B.
Once you have decided which type of bicycle is right for you (ebike, mountain bike or road bike), all that remains is choosing your preferred Sintra bike route and packing accordingly. That might mean a beach towel, light picnic lunch or your photographic equipment, depending on which bike route you choose. Here are our suggested best bike routes in Sintra:
King of the Hill | Moderate | Half Day
If you only have a few hours to see the highlights of Sintra, this e-bike ride is all you need to be the King of the Hill. The excellent views and sublime architecture of Pena Palace & the Moorish Castle make this the perfect tour. 11 km / 300 meters climbing.
Sintra Parks Epic | Challenging | Full Day
Experience some of the most lavish gardens and romantic architecture in Sintra, at Monserrate Palace & Park as well as the most humble and enchanting hidden monastery at Capuchos Hermitage, surrounded by native oak forest. This scenic bike route is great for a sporty all day tour with time to explore these world class parks and palaces. 24 km / 650 meters climbing.
Atlantic Adventure | Challenging | Full Day
Make the most of your day in Sintra with a chance to visit Monserrate Palace & Gardens, Capuchos Hermitage, Moorish Castle, Pena Palace and Azenhas do Mar, on this challenging route from the old town to the sparkling Atlantic coast and back. For more miles, more sites and a deeper experience, this is the perfect way to spend a full day in Sintra. 37 km / 750 meters climbing.
Cape Escape | Challenging | Full Day
Challenging ride out to the Westernmost cape, Cabo da Roca, on the Atlantic coast and back, with some very steep climbs through Penedo and a steep cobbled downhill from Pena Palace. Perfect for a an all day adventure to a signature landmark. 35 km / 850 meters climbing.
Whether you are riding an ebike or a regular bike in Sintra, you will love our detailed route guides which feature hands-free Navigation, Interactive Route Map with Points of Interest, Recommendations and Spoken directions (in English). Don't forget sunscreen and a light jacket whichever Sintra bike route you pick!
You can access our Free Sintra bike route guide app below.
Special Price on E-Bike Rentals
Park E Bike is now a "Clean & Safe" certified business! We are following the strict Health & Safety guidelines mandated by the National Health & Tourism Institutes of Portugal. What does this mean for you if you plan on cycling in Sintra on one of our E-Bikes?
Park E Bike is doing everything to ensure your experience is not only fun and unforgettable, but also clean and safe from Corona-virus. Specifically:
Training for all employees
All Employees received specific information and / or training on:
Information for all customers
The following information is available for all customers:
The weather may be changeable, but spring flowers are going strong - from the Atlantic coast to the parks of Sintra you can see examples of stunning wild flowers as well as wisteria, camellias, azaleas and Rhododendrons in full bloom.
If you are in the Lisbon area this spring, hop on a train to Sintra - bring a camera, jump on a no sweat bike tour and have a great day out!
Cycling in Sintra, before E-Bikes
A couple of days ago we were sent a wonderful little picture taken near the Pena Palace in Sintra, around 1890.
The caption on the photo had the following in Portuguese:
"On the picture from left to right
José de Mello, José de Sena, the Marchioness of Beautiful, Afonso, Benjamin Pinto, the Queen Mother Maria Pia (roughly in her 50's) and Alfredo Albuquerque on a bicycle outing in the Serra de Sintra.
I am told that this ride was on the road from Cascais to Colares, after Malveira, Alcabideche en route to Penha Longa, through the pine forest and then Estoril, returning by road from Sintra.
It seems that these trips were frequent in 1893."
If those sturdy ladies and gents in bloomers and on single speed bicycles enjoyed it so, image the fun of being able to cycle the Sintra hills without breaking a sweat. Recreate their rides in a part of the world that has thankfully been keep very much as it was all those years ago!
Sintra Art gets Googled
Some of the unique fine art pieces and palaces in Sintra are now on available for online viewing thanks to Google's Art Project. At at time when people are unable to travel due to Corona virus restrictions, that's pretty cool!
That's right, you can now see a selection of some of the signature artworks from the comfort of your desk chair or mobile device.
Google's tool offers you a chance to scan through works of art from around the world and perhaps find the one that you find most engaging, so you know exactly what to look for and make the most of your precious travel time.
It is also a godsend to all those who are for any reason unable to travel physically to witness first hand such artistic delights.
If this all seems a little too digital and inane and you are more of a tactile person, then take the trip out to Sintra and see these splendid artworks for yourself.