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By Guyan Mitra, your Sintra expert

Why go to Sintra?

High up in the dewy hills on the outskirts of Lisbon you’ll find the palatial and opulent hill station of Sintra. Once referred to by Byron as a “glorious Eden”, the suburban retreat has been a favourite of Portuguese royalty and international aristocracy for generations because of its cooler micro-climate and lush surrounds. The impossibly pretty town is just 30-odd minutes outside Lisbon by train or car.

It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to more fairytale palaces than Disneyland. Most folk come to nose around the eclectic palaces playing out regal fantasies from the ivy-blushed turrets. Filled with dense tropical gardens, it’s also a great spot – to not only escape the mid-summer heat of the city below – but also for hearty walks through wild flower-filled fields and regally manicured grounds.

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