Lying just 30 kilometers northwest of Lisbon, but a world away from the clamor of city life, Sintra nestles at the foot of the wooded Serra de Sintra, dramatic mountains that define the landscape of this enchanting destination. The verdant surroundings and cooler air made Sintra a favorite summer sojourn for the Kings of Portugal. It also attracted writers and poets, among them novelist William Beckford and Lord Byron whose epic narrative, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage was partly inspired by his visit to “Cintra.” Its romantic allure and stunning collection of parks and palaces led UNESCO to recognize Sintra as a major influence on the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe and honored the region with World Heritage status in 1995.

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