Portugal
São Martinho

Here you’ll find travel reports about São Martinho. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

62 travelers at this place:

  • Feb26

    Regaleira - a Prepositional Place

    February 26 in Portugal ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    When we first lived in Mexico and started learning Spanish, we found that knowing prepositions really helped us out. When we asked people for directions, we now knew where we had to go. Our favourite prepositions included to, from, up, down, on, into, out of, under, over, onto, across, around, back. You probably know what words we are talking about.

    So why am I mentioning those words here? Well, we went to a palace in Sintra called the Quinta da Regaleira and as we wandered through the gardens, every person we saw, including ourselves, had to make decisions about where they were going to next. Do we go up the stairs or down the stairs? Do we go into that cave or over the bridge? And the interesting thing was that that was how the gardens were organized. To put people in positions where they had to make choices - to go from darkness and confusion into the light.

    In order to achieve this goal, the creators of the garden created a great collection of turrets, gardens, wells, towers, statues, dark grottos and tunnels, ponds and intersecting paths on the side of a steep hill. Plants and trees, both exotic and natural, were planted to obscure our views of where we were going to next. At times, the views would open up and we saw wonderful vistas. We spent 4 delicious hours exploring this 4 hectare maze.

    In 1883, the property was purchased by a millionaire, Dr. Monteiro who was born in Brazil to well-to-do Portuguese parents. When he was a student, he went to Law School in Portugal at the University of Coimbra. He had a dream of creating a Mansion of Philosophy and hired Luigi Manini, a Italian architect, painter and scenographer (designed scenes for opera) to make his dreams a reality.

    We didn’t have to walk very far to get to the Quinta and were pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the grounds. We entered through a gate at the top of the property where a family of 5 people from France invited me to join their family so I wouldn’t have to pay for the entrance. There was a family rate for 6 family members. So thoughtful. Chris paid a seniors rate, so we both got in for 5 Euros! We had brought our lunch so it all worked out well.

    It was so much fun, getting lost and then finding our way. While eating lunch, we watched as people made choices about ‘where to next?’. Heads turning in all directions and then moving on once a decision was made. That’s what life is all about. Making decisions and choosing the path to go on. Dark into light. Loved it.

    Probably one of the most interesting spots was called the Initiation Well. We came upon a deep hole in the ground. Looking down, it reminded us of an upside down tower. We went down into the well using an immense spiral stairway. Once we reached the bottom, there was a system of dark, winding labyrinths which exit at various parts of the garden. I always carry my flashlight and Chris had his phone which we had to use to negotiate the tunnels. It was pitch black in parts and there were no lights. All we could hear were giggles as visitors felt their way around. And then there would be light with a surprising view. So cool.

    We took so many photos of this beautiful place. I don’t envy Chris’ job of choosing which photos to put in.
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  • Feb26

    "This Glorious Eden"... Lord Byron

    February 26 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Sintra is an easy 1 1/2 hour train ride from Coimbra. We had to switch trains in Lisbon and then take another 40 minute train to Sintra. All easy and with the senior rates, a deal!

    On the train from Lisbon, we met a young man from Brazil who worked training animals for the show Animal Planet. He was very friendly and told us that he has lived and worked all over the place and chose to live on the beach near Sintra. He loves surfing. He was very kind and took us right to the Cinco BnB where we are staying - a 10 minute walk from the train station. And did we ever luck out. This place and its originally British owners, Carole and Stuart, are fantastic!

    After a warm and friendly greeting, we were shown the spacious apartment with its attractive and comfortable living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. The views from the living room and patio outside are just spectacular. The gardens are just coming to life (It’s Spring) and it is so peaceful. It’ll be hard to leave to go exploring. But there is so much to see and do here.

    The town is very touristy but we are in a great area, just a couple of blocks away from all the visitors. It is just perfect!
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  • Day28

    Sintra

    October 1 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Today was our day trip to Sintra. We met our guide Nadia at Plaça Restauradores, outside the front of the Hard Rock Cafe (which is as close as we will get to it). Seems to be a popular meeting point. There were five of us on the tour, John Paul and Sammy from the US, and a lovely young couple, Marci, an older lady from Brazil who doesn’t speak any English, and us. Nadia our guide was vivacious, passionate and full of life, and she is very knowledgeable about Sintra. On meeting her, we were given hugs and kisses, and were soon on our way out of Lisbon and on the road to Sintra. As we don’t speak Portuguese and Marci doesn’t speak English, Nadia had to chop and change between the languages, which she did without issue. She also pointed out various things to us on the way to Sintra, and we also started to get to know John Paul and Sammy. On arrival in Sintra, which is full of small winding and narrow streets, Nadia pointed out some of the important landmarks on our way to Quinta da Regaleira. This was the summer home of the wealthy industrialist António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, who engaged Luigi Manini, a talented scenographer and architect, to design this quite romantic and luxurious estate with wonderful gardens, grottos, caves and a most magnificent well.

    Nadia gave us some of the background to the estate, and then once she got us in, she left us to our own devices to explore the estate for the next 2 hours. On her advice, we made our way to the Poço Iniciático - Initiation Well - and it was magnificent. As it was early, the crowds weren’t too bad, and so we were able to explore the tunnels at the bottom of the well. From there we zig zagged across the estate discovering all types of wonderful little structures and gardens along the way. It was all beautifully designed, and paid homage to nature and the circle of life. The well was my favourite part of the estate, although the gardens ran a close second. This 19th Century estate is quite magical and fantastical in its design and a pleasure to explore.
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  • Day4

    Angekommen in Sintra - Das Rathaus

    October 3 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Unser nächstes Ziel war die Kleinstadt Sintra. Zuerst hatten wir hier einiges vor. Da wir jedoch nach Sintra noch einige Pläne hatten und manche unserer riesigen Ziele sehr schwer (stark bergauf) zu erreichen waren, haben wir Vorort unseren Plan ein wenig überarbeitet. Sintra ist eine Kleinstadt, welche uns sehr gut gefallen hat. Sie liegt im 145 km² großen Sintra-Cascais Nationalpark. Seit 1995 ist die Kulturlandschaft Sintra Weltkulturerbe der UNESCO. Sintra ist vor allem bekannt durch seine zum Teil jahrhundertealten Paläste, die Touristen aus aller Welt anlocken. Nirgends sind uns bisher in Portugal derartige Touristenmassen wie hier aufgefallen. Ursprünglich wollten wir die Paläste der Stadt ansehen, vor allem den Palácio Nacional da Pena, welcher auf dem Berg über der Stadt steht. Hierfür wäre es jedoch ca. 300 Höhenmeter nach oben, worauf wir nach den bereits anstrengenden letzten Tagen nicht mehr so Lust hatten. Lediglich einen Palast, den Palácio de Monserrate, wollten wir unbedingt später besuchen. Haben wir dann auch. In Sintra angekommen haben wir das Auto abgestellt und sind zu Fuß aufgebrochen. Unser erstes Ziel war das wunderschöne Rathaus. Anschließend ging es weiter ins Zentrum zum Palácio Nacional de Sintra.Read more

  • Day4

    Zu Fuß ins Zentrum - Tourismusschwärme

    October 3 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Zu Fuß ging es dann vom Rathaus ins Zentrum. Je näher wir ans Zentrum gekommen sind, desto größer wurden die Tourismusmengen. War aber trotzdem erträglich, immerhin sind wir ja auch selbst als Touristen unterwegs. Sintra als Ort hat uns sehr gut gefallen, da der Ort mit schönen Gebäuden und kleinen Gässchen einen tollen Charme hat. Direkt im Zentrum befindet sich neben unzähligen Cafés, Restaurants und Läden auch der Palácio Nacional de Sintra.Read more

  • Day4

    Palácio Nacional de Sintra

    October 3 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Bevor es dann wieder zum Auto ging, haben wir noch einen Abstecher zum Palácio Nacional de Sintra gemacht. Der Palácio Nacional de Sintra (zu Deutsch Nationalpalast von Sintra) ist ein ehemaliger königlicher Palast. Sehr spannend an der Optik des Palastes finden wir die Zylinder auf dem Dach, welche man vor allem auf Bildern aus der Ferne gut erkennen kann. Bei diesen handelt es sich um die Schornsteine der Palastküche. Die ersten Erwähnungen des Palastes führen bereits auf das 10. Jahrhundert zurück. Vom 14. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert war der Palast die königliche Sommerresidenz. Der Palast befindet sich heute im Besitz des portugiesischen Staats und wird für touristische und kulturelle Zwecke genutzt. Als Teil der Kulturlandschaft Sintra gehört der Palácio Nacional de Sintra zum UNESCO-Welterbe in Portugal. Die Besichtigung des Palastes ist möglich, haben wir wir aber heute ausgelassen. Vielleicht dann beim nächsten mal, heute war die Zeit einfach etwas knapp dafür. Sehr vieles stand noch auf dem Plan und somit ging es zurück in Richtung Auto.Read more

  • Day4

    Pastel de Nata - Süße Verführung!

    October 3 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Auf dem Weg zum Auto haben wir uns dann endlich mal ein Pastel de Nata gegönnt, die bekannteste traditionelle Süßspeise aus Portugal. Pastel de Nata ist ein Blätterteigtörtchen mit Pudding, das vermutlich bereits vor dem 18. Jahrhundert von Mönchen in Belém, heute ein Stadtteil Lissabons, hergestellt wurde. Uns hat das Pastel de Nata unglaublich gut geschmeckt und wir wollen uns morgen unbedingt nochmal eines gönnen! Nicht zu süß aber trotzdem eine perfekte Süßspeise. Der Pudding ist nicht flüssig, sondern bleibt auch nach dem abbeißen in Form. Unbedingt den Tipp beachten, bei jedem Besuch in Portugal mindestens ein Pastel de Nata genießen! Glücklich ging es dann zum Auto und dann über sehr enge und steile Straßen tiefer in den Nationalpark zum Quinta de Monserrate. Hier befindet sich der wunderschöne Palácio de Monserrate, welchen wir unbedingt besichtigen wollten.Read more

  • Day18

    Märchenschloss in Sintra

    September 7, 2017 in Portugal ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Sintra hat viele tolle Schlösser und nicht ohne Grund hat sie den Beinamen Märchenstadt. Ich habe der Quinta da Regaleira einen Besuch abgestattet. Wunderschön!!! Plant drei bis vier Stunden ein um auf eine Entdeckungstour der ganz besonderen Art zu gehen!
    Mehr Reisetipps: www.lilies-diary.com

  • Day30

    Sintra

    October 16 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Llegamos en tren desde Lisboa, caminamos por un montón de callejuelas que suben y bajan por cerros. Nosotros con un rumbo no muy definido consultamos a un mesero que nos explicó que la cantidad de palacios en Sintra daban para una semana de recorrido, entonces nos conformamos con ir al Palacio da Regaleira.

    Y valió la pena.

    Allí pasamos casi toda la tarde. Es una quinta enorme con muchas construcciones, laberintos, cavernas, pozos extraños y un palacio construidos a fines del 1800 y principios del 1900. Además tiene una pequeña capilla, esculturas, diferentes tipos de vegetación, un sequoia y hasta una pequeña cascada.

    Sin dudas dejamos mucho de Lisboa y Sintra en el tintero, esperamos que haya una próxima oportunidad de recorrer con más tiempo lo que dejamos pendiente.

    Porque ganas de volver tenemos.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

São Martinho, Sao Martinho

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