As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the town of Sintra, Portugal was almost the playground of my youth; for sure, visits here each summer were a highlight.  

Ma Marta and Joana in Sintra retouched

(My father took this picture of my mother, sister and me with the Palacio da Vila – Town Palace – in the distance.  I’m the one nearest the trash can.)

Back then the world seemed a little more black and white to me, and I got used to thinking that the palace was supposed to look worn and grey.  Years later when I visited and saw the two conical towers (chimneys above the palace kitchen) looking like this…

Palacio da Vila2

I thought someone had “Disney-fied” the view.  Now I know better and am grateful that this palace (and the town) has been designated a World Heritage Site; and, as such, is lovingly looked after.

Palacio da Vila

On our previous visit to Portugal seven years ago, my husband and I took the guided tour of the inside of the palace which is well worth seeing.  This time, however, we chose to spend most of our time at Quinta da Regaleira (to see pictures, click here).  On our way to the Quinta, we passed through the center of town with its pristine houses…

flower boxes against yellow house in Sintra

And quiet cobblestone streets.

street in Sintra

After exploring the grottoes, tunnels and gardens of Quinta da Regaleira, we continued further up the hill to see the Palace of Seteais.  Now a Tivoli hotel, you can actually book a room here.

Seteias 2

Walk through the archway…


And you’ll come upon a panoramic view over the gardens to the Atlantic Ocean.

view to the Atlantic from Seteias

Turn back around and the view of Palacio de Pena is perfectly framed by the arch!

view of Palacio de Pena from Seteias

(Here’s a closer look.)

Palacio de Pena

After such a strenuous day of sightseeing (life is so hard when you’re on vacation), we of course needed a break, so we headed to Piriquita, one of the best Pastelarias (pastry shops) in Sintra.  The specialty sweets here are the Travesseiro – literally, meaning pillow– and the famous Queijada, or little cheesecake.  The former is a puff-pastry confection filled with egg and almond cream; the latter, a small tart made with Requeijão cheese, eggs, cinnamon and sugar.

I think this is what they serve in heaven!

travesseiro and queijada

(P.S. Want to satisfy more of your virtual sweet tooth?  Then come back tomorrow for my post about the most famous dessert from Belém, Portugal.)


  1. Elizabeth Anderson says:

    I’ve been loving your photos (new and old!) of your trip to Portugal Joana!
    Hope to see you when you return,

    • Joana says:

      Thanks so much, Betsy! I’ve been hoping that I’m not inundating my readers too much with the travel photos. The trip was so near and dear to my heart that I feel compelled to post them.

      I am back in town and I look forward to seeing you on our next “gig”…whatever that will be. 🙂

      A big hug, Joana

      On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 8:09 AM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


    • Joana says:

      And now you’re probably getting more info than you ever wanted! 😉 Still to come are pix of Obidos, a medieval walled city about an hour away from Lisbon, and my pix from the island of Madeira (off the coast of Morocco.)

      I hope you’re having as beautiful a day today as we’re having. xox – Joana

      On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM, JOANA MIRANDA STUDIO wrote:


Leave a Reply