Quinta de Regaleira: Steeped in Romance

Perched in grandiose splendor above the town of Sintra, you can find a UNESCO world wonder straight out of the 20th century. The Quinta de Regaleira is a palace steeped in romance, a touch of Gothic grace and sublime beauty with plenty of hidden secrets to tempt you into its depths.

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Image Source: By Lusitana via Wikimedia Commons

Pale silver and cream turrets welcome you to gaze up in wonder at the intricately carved gargoyles and ornate features illuminating the façade and with nothing but the green jewels of the Portuguese countryside and the elegantly manicured garden surrounding you, you are sure to fall in love.

Quinta de Regaleira Portugal 2

Image Source: By Husond via Wikimedia Commons

The lovingly elaborate home was crafted in 1904 by a wealthy businessman named Carvalho Monterro.  With five stories to explore and endless gardens riddled with secret wells, grottoes, and passageways caught in the throes of wisteria and fragrant nature, it’s no wonder that every year visitors flock to the turrets to gaze at the cultural relic formed so close to our past.

Quinta de Regaleira Portugal 3

Image Source: By Husond via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most spectacular feature of the Quinta de Regaleira is the inverted tower, this sweeping grand tunnel takes you into the bowels of the earth and the endless spiral keeps you going down and down into the womb of a well. After taking all the dizzying turns and descending deeper into the darkness, you suddenly stumble upon glistening lakes, tinkling fountains, elegant grottoes, and secret gardens.

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Image Source: By Stijndon via Wikimedia Commons

Inside the splendor of the palace, you can find over sized and dramatic white carved fireplaces, bright rich mosaics where when the light hits, it turns the room into a flare of kaleidoscope color and ornate handcrafted furniture, rich textiles, and glittering glass. Tiptoe through hall after hall relishing in the cozy charm of such a divine place, step out onto the balconies for impressive views over the fairytale gardens and see Portuguese mythology come to life in the elaborate murals and tapestries adorning the walls.

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Image Source: By Husond via Wikimedia Commons

After spending a few hours bathing in the wondrous glow of the Quinta de Regaleira, you can explore the surrounding area of Sintra. The heady backdrop of rising mountains, the expanse of beautiful misty gardens dappled with flowers and the regal airs and graces of the scattered palaces, country manors, and castles all crested in the dewy salt spray of the Atlantic close by makes for an incredible sight.

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Image Source: By Calapito via Wikimedia Commons

Lord Byron fell hard for this Garden of Eden containing beauties of every description and when you glimpse the embellishments of man meets nature you can see why.  With a wealth of beautiful restaurants offering prestigious glasses of dark port and regional cuisine there is no better way to end the day than sipping something special, nibbling on mountain cheese and daydreaming as you watch the last rays of sun slant over dewy woodlands that tumble down the hills.

Top Image Source: By Lusitana via Wikimedia Commons

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes