Sintra, Portugal. The History of the City Travel Guide. Vacation Packages. Sintra is a jewel set between the mountains and the sea, waiting to be discovered by all who dare lose themselves in its majestic historical heritage, luxuriant nature, cosmopolitan cultural offer and opulent gastronomy. Sintra exudes a romantic aura that left a deep impression on the soul and work of the writers who, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, pioneered the Romantic spirit and celebrated subjectivity and the emotion of the human drama. It left its deepest mark on Eça de Queirós, Sintra’s romantic atmosphere can be sensed in his most important works, such as when he evokes moonlit walks around Seteais, long quiet rests at Penedo da Saudade and evenings in the village of Várzea de Colares. Or then he recalls “a mild serenity of parks and woods”, “the silence of delicate repose and idle existences”. Or when he portrays the mountains as the “illustration of a beautiful fable of chivalry and love”.Almeida Garrett, Camilo Castelo Branco, Fernando Pessoa, Aquilino Ribeiro and Vergílio Ferreira shared the same sense of wonder. And what to say of Ferreira de Castro, buried at his own wish on one of the mountain paths? And of course Lord Byron, the English poet, who described Sintra as a “glorious Eden” Sintra is truly the capital of Romanticism. It is a place to experience! With its rippling mountains, dewy forests thick with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens and glittering palaces, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale. Its Unesco World Heritage listed centre, Sintra-Vila, is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic. Celts worshipped their moon god here, the Moors built a precipitous castle, and 18th-century Portuguese royals swanned around its dreamy gardens. Even Lord Byron waxed lyrical about Sintra’s charms: ‘Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes, in variegated maze of mount and glen’, which inspired his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. It’s the must-do side trip from Lisbon, which many do in a day, but this can feel rushed and, if time’s not an issue, there's more than enough allure to seize you here for a few days.