Known as the Portuguese Riviera, Sintra and Cascais, are perfect cities for cultural and leisure outings with the family or your other half. Given its characteristics horseback riding becomes a very inviting activity. But before we get there, let's go through some of the most emblematic points.
Visit Sintra is like entering an enchanted kingdom but at the same time feels a modern reality.
One example is the NewsMuseum, the recently opened museum dedicated to the history of the news, media and communication evolution. Located on the same premises where was once the toy museum. Over its three floors you can see more than 25 thematic modules, where you counted by news, the history of Portugal and the World. It has more than 300 journalistic articles for consultation and about 16 hours of information, entertainment and media available, an interactive approach that enables visitors to see and associate with the stories told.
Built over time, Sintra’s National Palace that began as a Moorish palace, has acquired various architectural styles such as medieval, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance and Romantic.
Located right in the historic center of the village it tells their stories along the rooms, as in the Hall of the Two Sisters, the Hall of Columns, the Room of the Archers - where previously was the Royal Guard of Archers - the Swan Room - so known because of the ceiling decoration where you can count twenty-seven swans - The room of Pêgas, the hall of the Sirens or Gale - which is a room where the ceiling is painted with the mermaid image and a Gale - the hall of Emblems, the Chinese room - where stands a Chinese screen folding in six black lacquered leaves and with vegetable decoration of animals, birds and butterflies - the Arab Room - so named because of its decor dating back to their Muslim origins - and Don Sebastian’s room - where you can see a ebony bed of large dimensions decorated with copper paintings.
Cascais Castle or the Moorish Castle as it is known, stands on one of the Serra de Sintra peaks, this fortification was built around the tenth century after the Muslim conquest. It was sent rise because it offered a strategic lookout point over the Tagus River and the town of Sintra.
The passing years have not been easy for the castle in 1636 a lightning caused a fire that eventually destroyed the central tower and in 1755, the famous Lisbon earthquake brought down its walls and ramparts. The castle became increasingly insignificant until King Ferdinand II decided to give a new life to Sintra’s region and made it possible that you could visit it even today’s days, being the perfect place to admire the village’s scenery, the Palace of Sintra, the Pena Palace, the mountains and even the view of the plain and the Atlantic ocean.
Getting to Cascais the scenario is not so romantic but more bohemian with its wild dune beaches, excellent to be enjoyed on a horseback ride that also passes by Quinta da Marinha.
Cascais, known for its beautiful shopping streets full of shops and its cosmopolitanism, the village, which never ceased to be fishing town, Cascais has adapted to the times, becoming a refined pole of culture with a lively nightlife, while at the same time they remain in a sophisticated resort by the sea with the same glamor of before, when it served as a summer retreat of the Portuguese monarchy.
Given its proximity to the sea and be a strategic point for the defense of Lisbon, many of its monuments are related to defense and navigation.
In its historical center there is the Largo de Camões, full of Italian food restaurants, bars and Irish pubs. Right there next to the famous right street which is now called Frederico Arouca’s street, known for its local trade and various souvenirs and crafts selling stalls.
And nothing like finish this tour in Estoril’s area. It started as a barren and inhospitable land but the view of some made her what we all know today. The plans to make it a tourist center of international ambitions began in 1913, but with the outbreak of the First World War was necessary to postpone.
The coastal road and a period of immense construction gave the breath that Estoril needed to become a tourist center of first order, coming to receive during and after World War II a large number of refugees and exiles.
Today, the region is considered the Portuguese Riviera and has as a symbol of its great growth, the Estoril casino, which opened in 1931 and is considered the oldest and largest casino in Europe.
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