The Portuguese and Moorish Royal families made Sintra their summer retreat with good reason. While Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, lay languid in the summer sun, not far away in the hills of Sintra the royals would enjoyi the shady cobbled lanes and cool woodlands, the castles and palaces and breathtaking scenery—then take a tram to the lovely sandy beach at Praia das Maçãs.
The classic Sintra sight is the Pena Palace, which combines Bavarian Gothic with the local, over-the-top Manueline swirls. The interior is equally fascinating, with ever more bizarre state and private rooms. For modernists, Sintra Museum of Modern Art contains a fabulous collection including Warhol, Pollock and Lichtenstein.
Sintra is a place for strolling: from the Pena Palace, above the Moorish Castle, take a walk through the woods to São Pedro, which specialises in crafts and local produce. At the National Palace, take the leafy lane to the stunning Hotel Palácio de Seteais for afternoon tea or a sundowner. For a day by the sea, take a car, bus or the centenary trolley to the beach: Sintra is about 6 miles away from a series of beautiful beaches, including one of the best beaches in Portugal, the Adraga beach.
Spring and autumn are beautiful in Sintra—the weather is still good into late-September, and in Spring the gardens are in bloom early. Summer is a lovely time to visit Sintra, and from June the events come thick and fast. There are concerts throughout the summer, and week-long festivities for Nuestra Senhora do Cabo Espichel, one of the town’s patron saints. A ballet festival takes place each August. The shopping is great fun, all year round.
First choice for our Club Members in Sintra has to be the five-star Lawrence’s Hotel on Rua Consiglieri Pedroso, in the heart of Sintra. The oldest hotel in the Iberian peninsula and the second oldest hotel in the world, painstakingly restored, Lawrence’s is a country manor house with all the touches one expects, from its library to its airy bedrooms and suites with parquet floors and the elegant restaurant with French windows overlooking the garden, where they serve delicious local specialities and international favourites, superb seafood, and homemade bread and cakes. The bar is open until late and serves speciality wines and aperitifs—the finest port being just one of the highlights.
Lawrence’s has a rich history, and not merely in vintage port. This was where Lord Byron stayed and wrote, inspiring his travel epic Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (‘Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes, in variegated maze of mount and glen’).
The hotel’s current owners have spent years refurbishing the mansion to its former glory and finding its original pieces and antiques, so that the interior remains true to its origins as the world’s second oldest hotel.
There are daily flights from Heathrow to Lisbon. The best way to reach Sintra from the airport is by taxi. Member Services and Lawrence’s concierge team will be pleased to make your arrangements.
International Hotel: As a CountryClubuk Member you receive an exclusive arrangement at Lawrence’s Hotel.To check availability, for more details and to book, please call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or follow the link below.
PLEASE READ: Hotel Bookings Cancellation Policy.PLEASE READ: CountryClubuk Club Rules and Terms and Conditions