Discover Sintra on our full-day excursion from Lisbon with a private car, skip the line tickets, and in the company of PhD or MA-level historian. Just a short drive from Lisbon, Sintra is one of Lisbon's most beautiful and popular excursions—there's a reason it's been the summer residence of the Portuguese elite for hundreds of years. Designed for enthusiasts of history and architecture (or those just wishing to venture outside of Lisbon), this tour will uncover the magic and mystery of this UNESCO World Heritage site through 3 of its most emblematic monuments: the Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra town and National Palace, and the Pena Palace.
- Pena Palace (interior and exterior)
- Quinta da Regaleira (interior and gardens)
- Sintra town
- National Palace (interior and exterior)
- Private car to and from Lisbon
- Skip the line tickets to Pena Palace
- Tickets to the Quinta da Regaleira
- Tickets to the National Palace
- Local lunch
We'll make our way to Sintra from your hotel, using the scenic drive to introduce our destination. Our first stop will be Pena Palace, the colorful hilltop castle with amazing views of the surrounding area. The palace itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal (to see 2 more of these wonders—the Belém Tower and Jeronimos Monastery—try our Lisbon Belém Tour
). We'll tour the palace interior with skip the line tickets and learn about its fascinating history, which dates back to the Middle Ages.
After Pena, we will proceed to the mysterious manor house and estate of Quinta Da Regaleira. Despite having been built relatively recently (it dates primarily to the 19th and 20th centuries), this residence and its gardens hide a wealth of stories and secrets. The manor house is characterized by exuberant Gothic architecture, including gargoyles and an imposing octagonal tower. The sprawling gardens include a chapel, several lakes, grottos and a network of secret tunnels, not to mention a mesmerizing initiation well that was used for ceremonial rituals. Your expert guide will help decode the symbols which point to the influence of the Masons and the Knights Templar, among others.
Following a stop for lunch in the historic center of Sintra, we'll arrive at our final venue: the Vila Palace, or National Palace. This sumptuous Royal residence is remarkably well preserved and showcases a mix of architectural styles that are a testament to the whims of the different inhabitants over the centuries. Weaving through the intricately decorated rooms, your guide will help you gain an understanding of what life was really like for the Kings and Queens who called the palace home.
Your car and driver will be on hand at the end of the day to return you safely to Lisbon. For another exploration outside of Lisbon, we recommend taking a gander at our Sintra Cascais and Cabo da Roca excursion.
What is a private tour?
Our private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. They are designed to provide a learning experience that is completely tailored to you and your traveling companions. Private tours give you more flexibility with scheduling (you decide when the walk best fits in your trip), the ability to tailor your itinerary (we'll work to match the itinerary to the interests and dynamics of your group), and more personalized time with your guide.
Where do we meet? Where does it end?
The guide and driver will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodations in Lisbon.
What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to be prepared; we encourage keeping an eye on the weather and bringing along an umbrella, sunscreen, water, or a hat as needed. NB Sintra has its own microclimate and as such tends to be significantly colder than Lisbon even in Summer. You should bear this in mind and dress accordingly for your excursion.
We’re not staying in Lisbon, can we still do the tour?
This tour is designed as a day trip from Lisbon. However, since it’s a private tour, we may be able to arrange for the guide and driver to meet you elsewhere and start your day there instead. If booking online, please mention this in the notes section so we can adjust your booking.
Can we visit more palaces?
Can we customize the tour? If booked privately, we can customize the excursion to focus on a particular theme. However, since it’s a full day tour, it’s not possible to extend to route beyond an 8 hour duration (typically enough time to see about 3 monuments in the Sintra area). Please contact email@example.com
to inquire about customization options.
Is this suitable for children and / or travelers with mobility challenges?
Yes. We can adapt the route of our private tours based on the ages, needs, and interests of travelers in your party.