Showing posts from March, 2013

Quinta da Regaleira, the mystical place of masonry, art and master landscaping

One of the most visited places of Sintra is right there, opposite our pool, on the other side of the valley.  Quinta da Regaleira is probably the best ranked monument to visit in Sintra by our visitors. It never was a royal anything.  A private house, used as a summer residence,  of Carvalho Monteiro, who bought it in 1892 from the barons of Regaleira and transformed it to its glory with the famous architect Luigi Manini, known for his theatrical works.  There is a lot to be said about Quinta da Regaleira, or Palácio dos Milhões, as it is also called.  It is not only beautifully built in neo-manueline style with strong ties to the discoveries - the 4 hectar grounds are beautifully landscaped, going from very groomed and formal to progressively wilder, almost primitive as you advance from the palace towards the mountain.  After several changes of owners, Sintra city hall bought it in 1997 and in 2002 it was declared a building of Public Interest.

There are many facets to the Quinta. Ar…

The beaches of Sintra

Inspired by the recent new publication of Sintra Tourism Office, entitled Sintra Beaches, I write this blog entry.  Sintra is not primarily a beach destination, but it does have some great beaches.  Golden sand, beautiful round stones and magnificient cliffs.  Surfing, tanning, walking.  Great restaurants, dinosaur footprints, paragliding and fishing. Attention though - the beaches are Atlantic beaches, so the water is not as warm as the Mediterranean ones in the Algarve - and the waves are stronger and more dangerous as well. The long Atlantic Walk passes on the cliffs over all of these beaches.   I will start from the Southern most beaches and work my way up.

Praia da Ursa - The southernmost of Sintra beaches got its name  from the enormous rock that reminds one of an animal sculpted by a giant. Down below, in the sand, there are many rock formations and the effort of the descent is well worth it. The beach is only reached through a path from Azoia, on the road to Cabo da Roca (whic…

Looking ahead

As the winter and spring do their normal match of sun and rain, warmth and cool weather, we play along and try to execute all planned tasks according to the weather. We try to be ecofriendly, and compost and use the tree trimmings for firewood.  So in the dry days we have cleaned the garden, trimming trees, powerwashing patios and lawnchairs.  One particular day the old iron of various origins was taken to recycling and the non-composted and non-choppable garden waste was taken away.  It is amazing the space it seemed we gained! And it is amazing the things you accumulate.

So now we have more space and more firewood, which we unfortunately still need (I am ready for spring). And we have more space for our planned parking area.  We normally park our cars in the street, but some times in the summer we need  more space, so we have dedicated the end of the property for that purpose.  It is where we also have lockable space for guest dogs,  bicycles and motorcycles. But the area still nee…