Parque da Pena (Pena Park)
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PARQUE DA PENA (PENA PARK)

King Ferdinand had built his extraordinary castle that was so exuberant and fantastical he now needed fair-tale surroundings to suit. The design of the gardens follows the same exaggerated ideals influenced by the German Romanticism movement Pena Palace was built upon. During the creation of the park, the landscape was totally remodelled. Sintra's tropical micro-climate and topology were used to full effect. The visitor is guided along winding paths that traverse over 85 hectares of exotic trees and plants gathered from all four corners of the globe. Divided into several gardens and landscaped areas passing pavilions, small decorative buildings, water features such as waterfalls, ponds, lakes and fountains along the way. Today the visitor is still filled with a sense of wonderment and touched by a little bit of magic more than a century since King Ferdinand's vision was realised.

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A WALK AROUND THE PARK

Parque da Pena (Pena Park)

Queen Amélia's Garden

Once through the two small gatehouses which guard the main entrance, the path leads uphill towards the Pena Palace past Queen Amélia's Garden on the right-hand side. It's fair to say Pena Park was not only the brainchild of one man, but Queen Amélia II also played an important role. Where there was once allotments for the palace's staff, Queen Amélia created a French-style formal garden. During the 20th century, the design of this garden has encountered many alterations. Recent restoration work endeavours to return the gardens to their original late 19th century's layout.

Dovecote House

Close by in the Dovecote House is home to a multimedia 3D model of the Sintra landscape. Within this interactive centre visitors can access information and activate the projection of geographic contents on the 3D model of the Cultural Landscape. A great way to familiarise yourself with the park before starting your adventure. | 10h00 to 13h00/14h00 to 17h30

Parque da Pena (Pena Park)

After rejoining the route, the path forks at the Manège. This is an area of level-ground once used as a riding school and as a tennis court. The left-hand path is the recommended route around Pena Park whilst the right-hand path leads to the Pena Palace itself. If you take the anti-clockwise direction around the Temple of the Columns (see below), you'll come across the Table of the Queen, so-called because this was one of Queen Dona Amélia's favourite spots. Looming overhead, standing on a rocky pedestal, is the Statue of the Warrior (see below).

Beyond this point, you will encounter a crossroads. The first left path leads up a long walk to the Cruz Alta (high cross), the highest point of the Sintra hills. Your aching limbs will be compensated with astounding vistas (more below). The other two paths will eventually lead you to the Camellia Garden. The first path takes you via a rocky outcrop and viewpoint known as Saint Catherine's Heights.

Parque da Pena (Pena Park)

Camellia Garden

Opposite the Water Wheel which once fed the water storage tanks of the Palace of Pena is the Camellia Garden. Planted on the site of an original 16th-century monastic estate in a series of terraces, a collection of camellias grow. They were imported from the very best growers in France, Belgium, Italy and Britain. Portuguese varieties primarily came from Porto and were added to the collection later. From October until April, the park is in bloom with the Camellia flowers. Each year there are numerous competitions and exhibitions of the most beautiful. Seedlings are nurtured in the nearby Hot House whose original plumbing system is still functional.

The Queen's Fern Valley, adjoining the Camellia Garden, contains a collection of tree ferns that originate from Australia and New Zealand. Planted after a period of acclimatisation in the Azores.
Downhill from the Queen's Fern Valley, you will come upon the Fountain of the Small Birds, an Arabesque pavilion whose spherical dome contains an Arabic inscription (see below). Following on from the Fountain of the Small Birds, the path leads down into the Valley of the Lakes (Vale dos Lagos). Five small bodies of water famed for their unusual duck houses (see below). Close by, at the gatekeepers house, there is a café where you can have a cuppa and rest for a while. West of these lakes is the Chalet of the Countess d'Edla and its gardens.

CHALET OF THE COUNTESS D'EDLA

Also known as the House of Indulgence (Casa do Regalo), this small attractive chalet was built between 1864 and 1869 for King Ferdinand II and his second wife and opera singer Elise Hensler, the future Countess of Edla. The Chalet da Condessa d'Edla can be found at the western end of the Pena Park. The construction is deceptive, the external plasterwork has been textured and painted to imitate wooden planks and give the impression of an Alpine chalet. Its interior covering two floors sees extensive cork decoration, covering doors and window frames, eaves and verandas. Also inside are many mural paintings, stucco work and glazed decorative tiles.

Restoration

Following the end of the Monarchy in 1910 and the chalet suffered subsequent decades of neglect. In 1999 additional damage was caused by a fire which caused the total collapse of the roof, floors, partition walls and balcony. In 2007 plans for a major project to salvage and fully resort to the chalet started with studying original building and decorating techniques and original photographs. The painstaking work began in 2010 bringing its original beauty back to life and since 2011 it is once again open to the public.

Chalet of the Countess d'Edla

The Gardens

The Countess followed the work started by King Ferdinand and Queen Amélia and continued to transform and develop the Pena Park. The surrounding gardens have been planted with imported exotic plants and trees, some from as far away as Australia and New Zealand. The grounds features the Countess's Fernery, the Restharrow Garden, a Pergola, several lakes and the Chalet Stones (a collection of granite boulders).

The stunning scenery over the valley are accentuated by the views of the Moorish Castle, Pena Palace, Cruz Alta and the Atlantic Ocean in the far distance. Alongside the gardens are the various structures that make up the Pena Farm, including the stables, which also have been recently restored and now houses the horse-drawn carriages used for rides around the Pena Park. In 1993 the Chalet of the Countess of Edla and its gardens were classified as a Property of Public Interest.
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Chalet of the Countess d'Edla

MAP OF THE PARK

Map Of The Park
Map Of The Park
Temple of the Columns

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Temple of the Columns

Northeast of Pena Palace, there is a mound known as the St. Anthony's Heights. On top is the Temple of the Columns. From here, there's a spectacular view over the palace whilst itself being overlooked by the Statue of the Warrior. It was built in 1840 on the site of a former chapel dedicated to St. Anthony as a present to King Fernando II from his father.

Statue of the Warrior (Estatua do Guerreiro)

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Statue of the Warrior (Estatua do Guerreiro)

This bronze sculpture of a fictitious knight standing upon a granite summit. It was sculpted by Ernesto Rusconi in 1848 and is believed to be a likeness of King Ferdinand II. The statue forms part of the Pena horizon that can be viewed from various places within the park and beyond.


Cruz Alta

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Cruz Alta

The Cruz Alta is perched on the highest peak in the park at 529 metres above sea level. From here are the best panoramic views over the surrounding countryside and a postcard view of Pena Palace. Accessible via a footpath that does its best to navigate the steep gradient. This current cross replaces a cross first erected by King João III in the 16th century.

Grotto of the Monk

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Grotto of the Monk

The Grotto of the Monk dates back to the period when the area was the garden of a 16th-century monastery. This opening in the living bedrock was used by the Hieronymite monks. It was a refuge for deep meditation and contemplation.

Fountain of the small birds

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Fountain of the small birds

A Neo-Moorish pavilion with a hexagonal footprint topped by a dome inscribed with Arabic writing. Inside between some benches a fountain with clear water. It's believed the pavilion was designed by Baron von Eschwege and built by master João Henriques in 1840.

Valley of the Lakes (Vale dos Lagos)

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Valley of the Lakes (Vale dos Lagos)

A thin string of five small lakes stretches from the Fountain of the Small Birds pavilion to the Entrance by the Lakes, where the Parks streams congregate. Two unique castle-like duck houses add to the magical ambience of the place. There is a soundtrack of trickling water and the odd plop of feeding fish.

NATIONAL PALACE OF PENA

National Palace of Pena

Pena Palace, one of the most iconic buildings in Portugal as seen on countless postcards and travel brochures, is truly a sight to behold up close. Everything about the palace was designed to impress. It's located just below the summit of the Sintra mountain and overlooks the landscape below for tens of miles. The exaggerated architecture, influenced by medieval and Moorish styles, reflects the obsession of the Romanticism movement of the late 19th century. Pena Palace is the brainchild of Ferdinand II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, King consort and husband of Queen Maria II. The palace is a self-indulgent muddle of vividly painted terraces, domes, towers, decorative battlements, a drawbridge that doesn't draw and mythological statues. Pena Palace was designed to be visible from any point within the park surrounding it. The extensive palace grounds were landscaped to include exotic trees and plants, mysterious follies and lakes, and mythological statues. On the 7th July 2007, Pena Palace was selected as one of the seven wonders of Portugal.
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AMENITIES IN THE PARQUE DA PENA

There are cafeterias at the main entrance, gatekeepers house and in the Pena Palace, which also have a restaurant offering more substantial meals.

There are toilets in the cafés and various places around the park and palace.

The are some small car parks situated close to the main entrance to Pena Park and the Chalet of the Countess d'Edla but these will get full very quickly. Unless you have mobility issues it's advised to park in the old town and take the #434 bus from there.

You can book a private tour: info@parquesdesintra.pt | +351 219 237 300.

There's a hop-on hop-off transfer service available between with-in the Pena Park with five stops along the route including the Pena Palace and the Chalet of the Countess d'Edla. Sign language trained staff, manual wheelchairs available on reservation, traction equipment for wheelchairs, ramps are implemented difficult parts of the park and in certain rooms of the Palace and Chalet. Here too you can find adapted WCs. NOTE: The second floor of the Chalet of the Countess d'Edla is not accessible to persons with mobility restrictions.

There's a hop-on hop-off transfer service available between with-in the Pena Park with five stops along the route including the Pena Palace and the Chalet of the Countess d'Edla. Sign language trained staff, manual wheelchairs available on reservation, traction equipment for wheelchairs, ramps are implemented difficult parts of the park and in certain rooms of the Palace and Chalet. Here too you can find adapted WCs. NOTE: The second floor of the Chalet of the Countess d'Edla is not accessible to persons with mobility restrictions.

Booking.com
Sintra Hiking Routes

Opening Times
Park, Daily: 09h30 – 20h00, (last admission 19h00)

Palace, Daily: 09h30 - 19h00, (last admission at 18h30)


Tariff

PARK ONLY
Adult
€7.50, Concessionary: €6.50 Family €26.00

PARK AND PALACE
Adult
€14.00, Concessionary: €12.50 Family €49.00
Lisbon Card Lisbon Card: 10% discount

ONLINE TICKET | With this entrance ticket you can gain entry to Pena Palace and Park at your leisure. Buy online before you arrive to avoid queues and have the convenience of the e-ticket on your phone…

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Sintra Bus Routes

TRAVELLING TO THE PARQUE DA PENA

There are hicking trails signposted between the historic centre and the National Palace of Pena:
• Santa Maria Trail (Centre to Moorish Castle/Pena; 1770 metres, 1 hour)
• Lapa Trail (Centre to Pena; 1450 metres, 45 minutes)
• Seteais Trail (Centre to Seteais, Pena/Moorish Castle; 2410 metres, 1½ hours)
• Vila Sassetti Trail (Centre - Pena/Moorish Castle; 1850 metrres, 45 minutes).

Take the IC19 from Lisbon, IC30 from Mafra or EN9 turning off the A5 motorway to Cascais. Once you have arrived in the town's historic centre it's best to leave the car and take the #434 bus to the Pena Park.

The Scotturb bus #434 leaves from Sintra Train station, stops in the Old Town centre next to the Tourist Office and takes you to the Pena Park.

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Contact Details
Estrada da Pena, Parque de Monserrate, Sintra 2710-609, Portugal.
38° 47' 16"N | 09° 23' 15"W | +351 219 237 300 | info@parquesdesintra.pt |  Website