15 Best Sintra Tours

Located in the Greater Lisbon region along the Portuguese River, Sintra is a city of about 400,000 inhabitants known for its rich castles and palaces.

For those looking for a convenient day trip option in Lisbon, Sintra usually doesn’t take more than an hour, depending on traffic, and can often be crowded during rush hour and other peak travel times.

Sintra, one of the country’s architectural wonders, is also known for its friendly people, vibrant food and art scene, and stunning natural beauty.

Here are 15 of the best things to do in Sintra, highly rated by previous travelers.

1. Walking tour of Sintra, visiting palaces, castles and old town

Pena Palace in Sintra

After meeting their guide at a central location and getting an overview of the day’s activities, guests of the Sintra Walking Tour set off to visit many of the city’s most iconic sights.

Especially for those who have never been, the city is a fascinating mix of historical and modern ruins. Tour stops can be personalised according to the interests of the guests to ensure maximum value.

The heart of the tour is, of course, palaces, castles and old towns, but there are also natural and cultural attractions.

The tour lasts four hours and begins in the morning at a relatively relaxed pace.

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2. 3 ½ hours of rock climbing

rock climbing in sintra

For those who have never tried it, rock climbing is one of the most exhilarating full-body workouts you can possibly have.

Avid climbers will meet with their guides in the morning or afternoon, after which they will be given an introduction to climbing, all the gear they need, and a safety briefing before heading out to nature to put their newfound climbing skills to the test.

Within sights of the Moorish castle, Palacio da Pena and the majestic Sintra mountains, participants will experience a unique blend of sport, nature and history that their tour bus counterparts could only dream of.

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3. Sintra Heritage Hike

Moorish castle in Sintra

The Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is a short drive from the city centre. It is criss-crossed with a network of hiking trails suitable for all ages and levels of physical activity.

On this full-day tour, nature-loving hikers will leave the hustle and bustle of the city in the rear-view mirror and delve deeper into the world’s most beautiful landscapes characterized by towering cliffs, rocky coastlines, otherworldly dunes and tranquil forests dotted with lakes and streams Idyllic setting.

You’ll get up close and personal with the 8th-century Moorish castle and Pena Palace, which looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale.

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4. Portugal Beach and Colares Private Jeep Tour

Azenhas do Mar

Sintra’s coastal location gives sun, sand and surf lovers easy access to many of the country’s most stunning beaches.

This 7-hour private beach and jeep tour includes pickup at your accommodation in the morning and a brief meet and greet with your guide before the adventure begins.

Once aboard their trusty 4×4 jeep, guests will be able to explore not only several beaches and undisturbed coastlines, but also the region’s mountainous interior.

Make sure to charge your camera as the views are breathtaking; you’ll get up close and personal with Monserrate Palace, Pena Palace and Moorish Castle.

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5. Pena Palace Food Tour

Pena Palace

Whether you are staying in Sintra, Lisbon, Ericeira or Cascais, this tour has something for you. It includes hotel pickup or a convenient meeting point in a central location.

Upon arrival in Sintra, guests will head to Pena Palace.

This is the perfect place to start, as it is considered one of the most impressive and historic sites in the entire country.

Guests will learn about its history and admire its impressive architecture, before heading off to experience other attractions and taste some of the country’s most delicious cuisine.

Plan to enjoy everything from Portuguese coffee and fresh pastries to port wine and cayadas.

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6. Day trip to Pena Palace, Cascais and Natural Park

Sintra Palace

Tours that offer a variety of options are popular with travelers who like to focus on the sights that interest them most.

On this 6-hour morning tour, guests can choose to explore some of the city’s most famous icons, such as the Moorish Castle, National Palace or Capuchos Monastery, before heading to the hinterland.

Sintra Natural Park is home to a variety of scenic gems, including impressive boulder fields, sweeping sea views from the westernmost tip of the African continent, and the rugged landscape of Cape Roca.

The tour begins and ends in Sintra and includes a relaxing lunch at a traditional restaurant.

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7. Inquisition Night Private Walking Tour

Sintra at night

The Inquisition was a particularly dark period in Spanish history, with thousands of residents killed in purges aimed at preserving the country’s Catholic traditions, according to historians.

Thankfully, those days are long gone, but Sintra has many attractions related to events of the 15th century.

This private nighttime walking tour begins in the historic center of Sintra and includes the services of a local guide historian, who will take guests to relatively unknown corners of the city and delight them with fascinating stories of life at the time.

Highlights include the Pena, Royal and Seteais palaces.

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8. All monuments and Cabo da Roca road trip

point roca

Whether you only have a few hours or a whole day to spare, this self-drive tour from Sintra is a great way to explore the Portuguese countryside at your own pace.

Before the tour starts, guests can plan their route and what they want to see, and when they have an electric car, they can set off without wasting precious time.

From historic villages and impressive monuments to castles, palaces and vast stretches of undeveloped coastline along Cabo da Roca, there is something for almost every type of participant.

Tours are held at one central location and include an overview of local driving laws and a tutorial on how to operate their electric vehicle.

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9. Sintra Half-Day Walking Tour

Sintra Walking Tour

For those who value physical activity as much as sightseeing and cultural immersion, there is absolutely no shortage of activity options in and around Sintra.

This half-day walking tour begins at the National Palace, where guests will meet their guide and learn about the day’s activities.

After a leisurely stroll through the park, hikers will pass several major sights such as Palacio da Pena, Sintra Castle and the Forbidden City.

Along the way, you’ll benefit from your guide’s interesting insights and have plenty of time to take photos, ask questions, and relax with a traditional pastry and a cup of coffee at the café.

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10. Main Highlights Private Half-Day Tour

Ginger Beach

The coastline between Sintra and Cascais is one of the most scenic areas on the coast, boasting an impressive array of historical sites, as well as breathtaking views of inland rivers, oceans and cliffs.

Guincho Beach is popular with wind, kite and body surfers. Just a hop, a hop and a hop from the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, where most of the tour will take place.

Together with their guide, guests will visit palaces, castles and some scenic spots, and taste traditional Portuguese food in quaint villages.

Tours can start and end in Sintra or Lisbon and include round-trip transportation.

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11. Sintra Full-Day Road Bike Tour

Sintra Road Bike Tour

The hills and winding roads from Sintra along the coast are perfect for cyclists who want to see things from a street perspective.

After meeting the guide at the train station in central Sintra, energetic cyclists will head to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, where they will get up close and personal with the Pena Palace, the Moorish Castle and the area Some of the most stunning scenery.

Tours include hilly and flat terrain, picturesque villages, undeveloped natural areas, and a visit to Cape Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe.

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12. Tuk-Tuk Guided Sightseeing Tour

Tuk tuk in Sintra old town

Sintra is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means history and culture lovers can spend days exploring and never run out of new attractions.

While walking, cycling and bus tours are plentiful, many guests agree that exploring the city by tuk-tuk is definitely the way to go.

Tours meet in a convenient central location and include stops at many of Sintra’s most impressive historical sites, including castles and palaces with Egyptian, Moorish, and Renaissance architectural influences.

The two-hour tuk-tuk tour includes the services of a local guide and is available in multiple start times and four languages.

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13. Legends and Medieval Stories Private Walking Tour

moorish castle

Not every trip to Sintra includes the services of a tour guide who is also a historian. This is what makes this private walking tour of legends and medieval stories so important.

Starting in the city’s historic center, participants will begin to explore Sintra’s history and culture, while hearing from their partners intriguing and obscure stories of intrigue, war, corruption, and long-standing family feuds.

Sintra Castle is one of the most impressive and historic highlights of this tour. Those who choose to hike to the top will enjoy impressive panoramic views of the city and countryside far below.

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14. Praia Grande 2-Hour Private Surf Lesson

Playa Grande Beach

Learning to surf can seem a little intimidating to someone who’s never been on a surfboard and hit a wave.

While it’s not something that can be mastered in a few hours, this private surf lesson experience offers participants of most ages and fitness levels the opportunity to get started relatively quickly.

Each will be given a surfboard and wetsuit and paired with an experienced and patient instructor who will outline basic safety and surfing techniques to them before hitting the water.

Tours meet at a convenient location, in Playa Grande, and are leisurely and stress-free.

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15. Sintra Guided Tour of Life and Death at Capuchos Monastery

capchos monastery

For those who prefer to sleep in and relax in the morning before entering Sintra’s sights, this early afternoon guided tour of Capuchos Monastery will be perfect.

Located in the Sintra Mountains, the monastery is full of history, legends and legends, and many guests are surprised to find its far from idyllic setting, with dedicated monks praying, mediating and working for the benefit of the common man.

The monastery dates back centuries, and the tour includes both indoor and outdoor sections.

The tour lasts about five hours in total, three of which will be spent on-site before guests return to their original starting point in town.

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