I’ve previously posted about some of my experiences in Sintra, specifically my visit to Quinta De Regaleira, one of my favourite places in the world, but there is another spot almost as magical in this mountain oasis of fairytale wonder – the Pena National Palace. Situated in the magical town of Sintra, a place full of palaces, castles and not much else 30 minutes outside of Lisbon in Portugal, this is a UNESCO world Heritage Site not to miss. The palace dates back to the middle ages, but has none of the harsh stone and rubble you may imagine – instead it’s an explosion of colourful turrets and scrambled architecture like none I’ve seen before. The palace’s history mirrors that of the country – wars, invasions, falling monarchies all impacted the habitation of this retreat in the clouds.
The exterior hosts a few different styles – big lilcac walkways leading up to the piazza, bright marigold turrets peering over the mountain ranges, imposing red towers housing the main rooms, and mosaic covered facades and archways leading visitors through to enjoy views from every angle over the rest of the town.
The interior leads you through confusing and magical rooms – it’s layout so dizzying and confusing you just have to commit and keep moving. There’s luxurious original furnishings and art work along with ornate furnishings, and a peaceful central courtyard to enjoy. stumble through the yellow entrance to enjoy the insides of this palace.
And while the interiors are beautiful, by far the best thing to do at Pena Palace is explore the outsides – climb all the turrets, and enjoy all the marvelous views through the framing of splendid architecture.