To have gone to one of the most beautiful and enchanting places in Portugal without my fancy-pants camera is one of my biggest regrets of 2013, not even exaggerating. Needless to say these photos off my phone don't even come close to doing Sintra justice. I personally didn't do much research on this area of amazing architecture and landscapes, so you can imagine how awestruck I was when we arrived here after the relatively short drive from Lisbon. We didn't have much time to spend (we took a trip organised by the hostel - quite cheap and great company), but most of it was spent on the grounds of the Quinta de Regaleira, which is the most fairytale of them all, complete with grottos and stepping stones and spiral towers. If my pictures don't convince you, just Google it and you'll know what I mean :P.
Apart from the amazing Romantic architecture, Sintra itself is a charming little town, and we got the chance to sample some local wines, ports, cheeses, charcuterie....yum. It's worth spending a day here just exploring really, its such a photogenic place you'll want to spend as much time as possible here, especially if the weather is good.
Further west from the main area of Sintra is Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Portugal, as well as Europe. Racing towards this point so as to not miss these sunset has probably been one of the most exhilarating rides of my life, and more than once did myself and the American girls in the minivan with us think we'd fly through the windscreen at any moment. Running to the edge of the lookout, past the lighthouse, to catch the last rays of sun touching Europe. I cannot express how amazing this moment was.
Just a side note, if you are travelling back to Lisbon (most likely), stop over at Pasties de Belem, widely known as THE place to get the best pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tarts). You'll probably end up taking some home, or eating them on the way...the hot chocolate is pretty good too :).