Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca  is a cape which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe

Cabo da Roca lighthouse was the first purpose built light house in Portugal and was completed in 1772 but the present light house originates from 1842.

The Cabo da Roca Portugal headland is marked by a stone monument with a cross.
The inscription on the side of the monument is a quote from the famous Portuguese poet Luis Camoes (1524–1580) who described the area as “Where the land ends and the sea begins”.

The windblown cliffs offer a stunning (albeit blustery) viewpoint over the sea.

p1080323I maybe squinting as the harsh winds may have blown sand and debris into my delicate eyes . ..

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A sliver of Sintra

After exploring the quirky joys of Quinta De Regaleria we had a quick trot around the town of Sintra itself.

This picturesque town is set in the pine covered hills of the Serra de Sintra. The slightly cooler climate enticed the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed exquisite palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens.

Sintra is known for its many 19th-century Romantic architectural monuments, which has resulted in its classification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s also full of tiny, cute shops and detailed tiled frescos which can we found all over.

Pretty pastel pink walls contrast with beautiful tiling and create a visually enticing view.

Everything that can be painted appears on tiles, from sardines to religious icons.

The town is also surrounded by beautiful housing that sweep up the hillside.

In the historic centre of Sintra there are pretty cobbled streets lined with traditional shops and cafes, all centred around the Gothic styled National Palace.

The Gothic styled National Palace was extensively used by the nobility of Portugal between the 15th and 19th centuries. The Palace’s most distinctive exterior feature are the two huge chimneys that extend from the kitchens.

 

Final quirks of Quinta

After exploring the fantastical grounds of Quinta da Regaleira  we head to the house itself.

But first we stop by the little chapel outside the house.

It is a Roman Catholic Chapel, and Its architecture is akin to the palace’s. The interior of the chapel is richly decorated with frescoes, stained glass windows and lavish stuccoes.

Once inside the main house there’s a wealth of lavish details and murals to marvel at.

I love this sumptuous red and silver door with delicious engraved metalwork.

And if you look down you’ll see an impressive mosaic floor depicting animals and birds.

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Detail decorates many of the rooms including this fanciful display of rural hunting and social scenes.

Turn your eyes upward and be treated to some incredibly ornate carved wooden ceilings.

Here’s a few more ornate scenes that can be found dotted around the place.

Even the knobs and knockers are over the top flashy and festooned with details.

Then it’s off for a final glimpse of the marvellous exterior of the house and its grounds.

Yet another marvellous gem that Sintra has to offer the intrepid explorer.

It’s definitely worth taking the time to explore this incredible little slice of paradise.

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Grottos, follies and fun

After the excitement of the Initiation Wells we continue the exploration of the Quinta de Regaleira.

The true wonder of the Quinta da Regaleira are the grounds, which cover four hectares and were inspired by the owner’s mystic ideologies.

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The estate is a sprawling wonderland of follies, castles, underground tunnels and grottos.

The enigmatic buildings, scattered throughout the gardens are believed to hide symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians

Around every corner is some ornate, whimsical object to climb, crawl into or peek out of.

Underground tunnels, lit only by fairy lights, lead to hidden back passages where you emerge into the sunlight.

Here the man tries his luck at balancing on the pixie glad stepping stones. No mean feat given the constant stream of other visitors jostling for position!

I also take a perch on the tiny bridge to enjoy the fantastical feel of the tufa glen.

This place is awesome! You feel childlike and transported to a far more innocent time while exploring.