Sintra Walking Tour: Local History; Tips Of Food, Traditional Sweets, Fun Facts

Duration: 2h
Languages: English
Quality Verified Registered on May 15, 2021

Hi! I'm Francisco :) I´m a local guide, born and raised in sintra. I know sintra many years before the turism started, before 1996, it was my playground and a place for locals. I heard many legends about mysticism, secrets and sintra stories, told by local elders. Later I joined a group in sintra and deepened my historical knowledge and the Portuguese spiritual tradition linked to the Templars and knights of order of christ. The passion for history comes from my father, a history teacher and a monarch. Now, I'm responsible for sharing my passion and knowledge in a immersing guided view of Sintra, Quinta-da-Regaleira, and Pena Palace and the keeper of the first door to sintra history culture and spirituality. "Only on the pilgrim's path will you discover a world hidden in plain sight"

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  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

The mist of time hides many stories of the old Sintra). This captivating tour will guide you through a history of romanticism, medieval ideals, and mysticism.
We will begin at the exquisite town hall, with its achiteture of manuelism style. Facing the Sintra mountains. (Mons lunae). With the Moorish castle looking down on us, we will share stories  about the origins of portuguese monarquia, the templars movement in Portugal. After knowing the story behind the Sintra’s mouthwatering pastries,  (Queijada, Travesseiro e pasteis cruz alta), we set off to explore and understand why Sintra is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On this tour we will visit the São Martinho church (knigths templar church) The Sintra National Palace and its relation to the Discovery portuguese navy age, the Sintra castle always lurking, and the luxurious Sintra forests always around us. Many consider Sintra one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its palaces and castles and many other chateaux and mansions in Sintra are part of the Romantic Movement of the XIX Century which transformed this charming medieval town into a romantic capital and the spiritual capital of Port-Graal or Portugal...

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Av. Dr. Miguel Bombarda 6, 2710-631 S...
    Av. Dr. Miguel Bombarda 6, 2710-631 Sintra, Portugal
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    Cafe Saudade, Black Umbrella

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Jardim Correnteza

    This is one of the most popular leisure spots in Sintra, largely due to the monumental complex and the green landscape that can be glimpsed from its walls: the Raposa Valley, Vila Velha with its houses and the National Palace of Sintra and the ocean on the horizon. At the top, the Castelo dos Mouros. Very close to the Historic Center of Sintra, in this viewpoint easily accessible from the Sintra train station, you can sit down to rest and admire the breathtaking view.

  • 2
    Outside visit
    Largo Dr. Virgílio Horta

    The city hall palace as a lot of the historical signature of the portuguese neomanuelin style and rainessance period, with the cruz of the portuguese knigth templars. this is where this journey of descovery starts...

  • 3
    Outside visit
    Largo Rainha Dona Amélia

    In the center of the village of Sintra, marking the landscape with the unmistakable silhouette of the two conical chimneys that crown the royal kitchen, stands the only palace that has crossed the entire history of Portugal.

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Fonte Mourisca

    Built in 1922 with a project by Master José da Fonseca, the Moorish fountain was built to enhance the town entrance and to “dignify the most appreciated water of Sintra”. The widening of the road in 1960 forced the dismantling of the fountain; it was rebuilt 20 years later, not in its initial location, but rather in the middle of Volta do Duche.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    Igreja de São Martinho

    The Parish Church of São Martinho de Sintra is a secular ecclesiastical administrative circumscription, founded in 1147-1154, by King D. Afonso Henriques, following the Christian territorial reconquest to the Islamic military domain, receiving statutes in 1283 and approved in 1306, confining, until the century XIX. Home of the 6º Grand Master of the order o the knigths templar, Gualdim Pais.

  • 6
    Outside visit
    Palácio e Parque Biester

    Located in the heart of Sintra, the Biester Palace opened to the public in 2022, after restoration works. The various areas of the palace and the park offer a privileged view of the Castelo dos Mouros, while a few minutes from the lower entrance you can find the mystical Quinta da Regaleira. More than a historical monument, the Biester Palace is a mysterious adventure in a fascinating and (still) little explored cultural labyrinth.

  • 7
    Entrance not included
    Quinta da Regaleira

    Italian architect Luigi Manini, transforms the 4-hectare farm into a palace surrounded by lush gardens, lakes, caves and enigmatic buildings, places that hide alchemical meanings, such as those evoked by Freemasonry, Templars and Rosicrucians. It models the space in mixed layouts, which evoke Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline architecture.

  • 8
    Outside visit
    Palácio de Seteais

    Of neoclassical architecture, it is part of the set of palaces renovated by the bourgeoisie. The entrance stands out, with triangular gables, sash windows and a two-armed staircase that extends inwards towards the secondary façade. One can also see the adaptation of the palace to the irregular terrain, which has a framework with the Palace of Pena.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

210 ratings
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Noi 27 May 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - May 2024
Francisco was such a fun, kind and energetic tour guide. He shared a lot of good historic information about Sintra along with where to eat (to avoid tourist traps). We had a great couple of hours Francisco and will definitely recommend for a guided tour that’s not too serious, friendly and easy going!
Jenna 13 May 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2024
no guide
Iwona 26 Apr 2024
The Hague

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Apr 2024
Walking with Francisco was a real pleasure. He gave us a lot of useful information and you can tell he has a great knowledge of history of the city. He was also very emphatic and considerable for others. Really recommend it!
Mark 26 Apr 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Apr 2024
Fab tour - would recommend.
Nabil 13 Nov 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in group - Nov 2023
Francisco is a very passionate tour guide. He carries the torch of his father, the historian, and told us much about the history of Sintra, Portugal and more. We had a really fun time being toured by him and would recommend you hire him for your tour of Sintra. The inception well and the whole site there is remarkable, make sure you don't skip that part of the tour!
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Accepts reservations up to 50 people.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
A minimum of 5 people is required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour requires the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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