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About Sintra

Newspaper Profiles | Travel guides | Book overviews | Maps | Other useful info

Newspaper Profiles

Peacocks, Doves and Tile-roofed Quintas by Michael Mewshaw, New York Times May 14, 2000 (registration required). This is a breezy travel-journal account, focused on atmosphere over sights. Mewshaw loved the town, but he didn't visit some of the better sites (eg. Quinta de Regaleira).

"Land at the end of its tether" by Stephen Haw, Sunday Times (New Zealand) 27 June 1999. A rave review.

"One doesn't have to be there long to see even the most jaded and monument-hardened tourists in a funk of bewilderment, eyes glazed over and endlessly repeating inanities like, 'It's so beautiful . . . isn't it wonderful.'"

"Original Sintra" by Charles Dubow, Another rave review. Goes into some of the (high-end) hotel options. The final page is a good review of food in Sintra.

"Cintra and Its Surroundings," from Appletons' journal: a magazine of general literature (1870). Anonymous two-page article. The traveller couldn't visit the Pena Palace—it was lived-in, not a tourist-destination. Also read the description of Montserrat. Presumably it would have been rude to mention the Englishman's name:

"A very pleasant ride through this valley wound up the day, and we returned to the hotel, passing, while en route thereto, "Montserrat," the summer residence of a wealthy Englishman, who had chosen a lovely spot, overlooking valley and ocean, wherein he has, with the materials abounding here, erected a beautiful mansion, and surrounded it with terraced gardens and flower-bordered walks, the whole telling of the wealth and taste of its proprietor."

"Strolling through Sintra" by Christopher Somerville, from Telegraph Group Limited (March 2001)

Sintra, Portugal by Sean O'Byrne, from European Visits online magazine. Not very much here.

"Weekending: Sintra" by Tony Jefferies, Travel section of the Telegraph (UK), July '04.

Travel guides

Frommer's: Sintra including an Overview of Sintra, and subpages on attractions, lodging, dining, etc.

Thomas J. Sullivan's rich description and travelogue. Sullivan's site looks unprofessional (and pages with automatic sound drive me up the wall!), but it contains a wealth of detail on every aspect of tourism in Sintra, with descriptions of attractions, lodging and restaurants.

Virtual Portugal: Sintra. This site is basically a decent and large, hyperlinked tourist brochure. It shouldn't be the end of your online research, but it's a good start. I cite it frequently on this site.

Up and Down Portugal. A brief blurb on each major sight.

World66's on Sintra the "travel guide you write" has gotten longer and richer, but is still just a summary.

Portugal Travel. Brief info, but with a handy list of phone numbers and festival dates.

Rough Guides. Brief description of the main sights and some services, with prices and hours.

Excellent French-language site on Sinra from Saveurs du Monde, a French travel site. If you read French, this may be the best general site. The main site offers an entire section Pour l'amour du beurre (for the love of butter), so it's no suprise to find an excellent page on Sintra's food, with information on regional specialties, restaurants and so forth. There are also pages on various restaurants, including, my favorite, Café Paris. Other restaurants include Adega do Saloio, Cantinho de Sao Pedro, Hötel Palacio, Seteais , Refugio da Roca , Restaurant Regional , Restaurant Tulhas.

Book overviews

Amazon. Sintra: A Glorious Eden by Malcolm Jack. Hardcover from Carcanet. This is not a guidebook, but a book about Sintra: The Gulbenkian foundation helped publish it and have a short blurb:

"Sintra: A Glorious Eden evokes the magic of the royal town, at the same time providing the reader with the historical and literary background to what has become a symbol of Portuguese Romanticism at home and abroad. It combines the genre of travel writing with the history and romantic legacy of Portugal."


Amazon. Landscapes of Portugal: Sintra and Estoril Coast: Estoril Coast by Brian Anderson (Landscape Countryside Guides). Amazon UK has much more information on it.

Virtual Portugal: Sightseeing Map, with hyperlinks to Virtual Portugal's sights.

Other useful info

Cintra: Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition (1911). Excellent short article on Sintra, as it was seen by 19th century Britain. William Beckford's English gardens get top billing:

"The park, with its tropical luxuriance of vegetation and its variety of lake, forest and mountain scenery, is by far the finest example of landscape gardening in the Iberian Peninsula, and probably among the finest in the world. Its high-lying lawns, which Overlook the Atlantic, are as perfect as any in England..."
See also Britannica 11th edition on Portugal.

Sintra weather from "Weather Underground."

Wikipedia: Sintra. Brief, factual entry. Wikipedia's sister project, WikiTravel has a page on Sintra, just starting to develop.

Restaurant Phone Numbers from

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