Is the most amazing garden I ever seen!
I don't know why the turism in Portugal keep skiping it from the tourist guides. This place is an UNESCO World Heritage!
This garden has a lot of details like benches, fountains, caves and an enigmatic system of tunnels. Their symbolism has been interpreted like a espiritual path between light and darkness.
There's a lot of mythologic representations here, specially to the mythologic Greek God Pan.
My suggestion of a day trip:
Get there by the morning an visit Sintra Palace. Then have lunch on Apeadeiro Reataurant but don't ask for desset. Go back to the village center and go to Piriquita buy a Travesseiro and a Queijadinha (and a bottle of water! this treats are really sweet!).
Sit down in the stair of Sintra Palace and enjoy your dessert!
Take the walk to Regaleira Estate, and spend there the afternoon.
Take the train back to Lisbon and relax a litle in you hotel room.
Go have dinner on Terreiro do Paço and then walk to Cais do Sodré and visit Pensão Amor.
The whole family will enjoy exploring this property. The adults will appreciate the details of the main house while the children will love getting lost...then found... in the maze of caves and wells in the garden. Tip #1 Bring a flashlight/torch! Tip #2 Bring your camera. The garden is full of different and lush plant life.
Its not a "dream nor a fairytale" it is information, knowledge and history written in marvelous art for those who can understand it. Visit one of my ancestors achievements and try to obtain some knowledge.
Regards André M. Monteiro
Just outside Sintra on a road leading up into the hills, there is a stunning house set in vast, well-kept grounds. This property is the Regaleira estate (or Quinta da Regaleira) and was one of the highlights of my time in Portugal.
The house is named after the Baroness da Regaleira who acquired it in 1840. In 1893, it was sold to an eccentric millionaire, Antonio Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro, whose vision shaped the house and grounds into what they are today. He enlisted the help of esteemed Italian architect Luigi Manini and some of Portugal's best artists to create a fairytale house with a garden full of mystery and surprises. The house and grounds were opened to the public on the 27th of June 1998 after the Municipality of Sintra acquired them.
The house and the adjacent chapel are interesting to explore but for me the best part of Quinta da Regaleira was the garden and the many unique follies that are dotted around it. The grounds feature grottoes, a waterfall, towers with great views over the Sintra area and many diverse varieties of trees. I loved walking down into the depths of the Initiatic Well which is some 27 metres deep and connects with other parts of the garden via some creepy underground walkways.
Entry costs 6 Euros for adults and the entrance fee is well worth it. I spent most of the day here exploring the house, chapel and grounds. I also ate at the restaurant at Quinta da Regaleira where the food and prices were good- the Pasteis da Nata were very nice! The service on the other hand was very poor in comparison. There are several toilets dotted around the grounds too so you don't have to worry about drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated in the summer heat!
I explored the grounds on my own using the fantastic map they provide you with, although there are guided tours also available. For me, half of the intrigue of the place was discovering what lay around each corner on my own.
Quinta da Regaleira is open between 10am and 8pm in high season with earlier closing times in low season months.
Check out my travelogues for some photos from my visit to Quinta da Regaleira!
Quinta da Regaleira is much more than what you think it is at first sight. It is basically divided in two parts: The Palace and the Gardens.
The gardens have an huge extension and they count with, sculptures, fountains, cascades, underground paths and the most impressive of all: the Iniciatic well
The Iniciatic well is like an inverted tower, 27 meters deep that you can go down and from you can access to some underground paths. This well is full of mysticism and symbolisms.
The Palace was constructed in a Neomanueline style and has some quite eccentric style. From the top it has a nice view of Sintra.
There are individual and guided tours. Unless you really want to know a lot from this place I would recommend the individual one, since they give you a free map (also available on the web site) and it explains the most important things.
Adults: 6€; Students: 4€
"man of scientific spirit, very large culture and rare sensibility...", is what I read in the leaflet received at the entrance of the park, about the man who conceived the place.
I can't follow him! I find no harmony, no connection between the buildings, no rationality at all. Maybe... that's the idea. It's not easy to classify the place, but it surely deserves to be seen.
What a strange thing, this deep and elaborated well with a complex staircase descending in spiral to the bottom, to... to what?
Mysteries, cabalistic symbols, odd elements, this palace and gardens were made to feed... discussion. But it's a very interesting visit.
Not so obsessive as the buildings, the gardens are a pleasant area to stroll, specially in summer, when the cooling in the shades may complement the sun in the beaches.
There's always one more detail to appreciate here and there, in a very uncommon garden.
Funny thing! In USA it's common to see some rich guys trying to replace the absence of historic architecture with the expensive reproduction of ancient styles. In Europe it's not so common, but... it happens. For instance... here!
One century ago a rich man used the team that built the hotel in Bussaco following a Manueline style to build his own palace. Beautiful? Well... that's up to you. But strange... very strange, in a very strange farm!
We never visit gardens.We are too dummy to understand the flowers and such.But when a local VT-member told about this garden,we had to go there.It is not only a garden,it´s allmost like from fairytaila,with mystery well and strange constructions.In some way,we found it allmost romantic..Or was it only our wedding anniversary making as think so ;)
Anyway-even if you aren´t into gardens,visit this!
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