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Discover Sintra with ARTEH: Romance Lives in Portugal

Aug 17, 2007
Lisbon, 23rd of September 2006

Can there be a more romantic destination than a place called "Mount Moon"? The Sintra mountain range was so called, due to the sun and moon cults that were practiced there during past eras. On an exuberant strong green mountain, peeking over the Atlantic ocean, lays the village of Sintra, named Cynthia by the Romans and a poet and writer's preferred destination, like Lord Byron who even dedicated a couple of verses.

Sintra is a distinctive tourism region, one of the most notable in Portugal. The strong green landscapes, the mountains and the ocean, the Castle, the Palaces, the Houses and local gastronomy make of Sintra one of the most pleasurable locations of the country.

Named world patrimony by UNESCO due to the cultural landscape of the mountain range and the village, Sintra is a locality where you can easily confuse the symbiosis between Man and Nature, in a romantic environment of great mysticism.

Sintra has been favored by elitists for many eras, and all cultural attitudes have marked the region. Full of interesting houses, surrounded by luxurious gardens, its isolation attracted monks and hermits, who gave Sintra its religious and cultural dimension. It was also the elected place, for a number dynasties to set up their houses (permanent or for leisure), which have been conserves over the years. At the top of the mountain range we can observe the Castle of the Mouros, conquered from the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques in 1147.

Sintra has some of the most beautiful and romantic constructions of the country that coexist perfectly with nature. Perhaps the maximum exponent is the Palacio da Pena, built 500 meters up the mountain range, by King D. Fernando in 1839. The rooms are decorated according to the time, there are mysterious hiding place, all decorative details are beautifully put together and the view is indescribably breath taking. This is what you can expect from this architectural jewel.

Another place to visit is Quinta da Regaleira, an eccentric building, constructed at the beginning of the 20th Century Inspired by Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance styles, it emanates an impressive and mysterious atmosphere. The Iniciatico Well, an intimidating spiral stair case inside the house, invokes esoteric rituals that were repeatedly practiced in the place. Sintra's Paco Real, with its long and conic emblematic white chimneys, marks the beginning of the Old Village of Sintra and is an un-missable monument of the patrimonial wealth, as well as the beautiful gardens of the Palace of Monserrate.

But strolls around Sintra don't only include the Old Village and the beautiful mansions. Not far you will find beaches that are very popular. Such as Praia das Macas (Apple Beach) and Praia Grande (the Great Beach), preferred destinations of elitists of the region. Close by, Cabo da Roca marks the western most point of Europe. Also worth discovering are other villages such as Colares, where famous wines are produced, and Azenhas do Mar built on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

The visit to Sintra will not be complete without tasting and taking home some of its typical pastry, like the Travesseiros and Queijadas de Sintra, that promise to leave a sweet memory in your mouth of one of the most charming destinations in Portugal.

To complete the experience and extend sensations in an unforgettable manner, choose one of the best charming hotels of the region for an accommodation that is guaranteed to prolong the emotions.

Villa Albatroz

As you open the window, feel the sea breeze and appreciate the fascinating life of Cascais Bay.

Encrusted in the centre of Cascais, directly over its attractive bay is the relaxing Villa Albatroz. The perfect and sophisticated setting is the guarantee of a memorable stay.

Luxury and taste are omnipresent throughout the Villa. The rooms display distinct and personalised natures inspired in the D. Maria style that creates a pleasant period atmosphere, both comfortable and charming.

Senhora da Guia

Sip a drink at the panoramic bar, enjoy nature, silence and the glorious ocean view.

Located between Cascais and Guincho Beach, between the sea and the golf course, Senhora da Guia offers the perfect combination of sophisticated atmosphere and quality service.

The rooms and sitting areas, distributed throughout three buildings, are surprising due to their attractive design, the taste of the decor, and the refinement and comfort of the furniture. A number of the rooms provide direct access to the ample gardens and to the salt water pools, while the others offer snug terraces and a superb ocean view.

Quinta do Rio Touro

Rest, read, and dream, nestled in a valley between the mountain and the sea.

Close to a small creek, curiously named Rio Touro (Bull River), along a sheltered and luxuriant valley facing the ocean and in the depths of the Sintra-Cascais natural park, lays the distinguished Quinta do Rio Touro.

The interior design is personalised, the common living areas are replete with genuine antiques and classical and modern paintings, the rooms are spacey and offer superb views of the gardens and the valley with the sea in the horizon.

Hotel Albatroz

Dive into a salt water pool and relax to the sound of waves lapping on the rocks.

"Tiny Almond Box" the pet name of the ancient Palace of the Dukes of Loule, is today, the prestigious Hotel Albatroz, a luxury hotel situated by the sea in the village of Cascais.

The sumptuous and elegant decor in soft colours effuses the charm of a private residence and reveals itself to be both comfortable and warm. The rooms and ample suits benefit from the calming view of the sea, also present at the restaurant and perfectly in harmony with the unique menu of fish and seafood.

Farol Design Hotel

Settle into your designer chair and touch the sea.

The old Farol Guest House, once a XIX century mansion owned by the Count of Cabral, was carefully refurbished, becoming the current Farol Design Hotel, adjacent to the marina in the historical centre of Cascais.

The attention to design is a concern also present on the inside, starting with a balanced comfortable design of the interior space, created by renowned architects, and carries on through to the sober yet cosy rooms, some of which were designed by leading Portuguese designers.
About the Author
Jose Felix is the Marketing and Communications Manager for ARTEH®, the Best Independent Hotel Chain - Publituris Awards.

To visit the Hotels or make your reservations please go to ARTEH® - Hotels and Resorts.
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