Castelo dos Mouros

Top choice castle

in Sintra
Image by Xose Casal Photography / Getty Images
Image by Xose Casal Photography / Getty Images

Soaring 412m above sea level, this mist-enshrouded ruined castle looms high above the surrounding forest. When the clouds peel away, the vistas over Sintra’s palace-dotted hill and dale, across to the glittering Atlantic are – like the climb – breathtaking. The 10th-century Moorish castle’s dizzying ramparts stretch across the mountain ridges and past moss-clad boulders the size of small buses.

Tickets and info are available at the entrance (open 10am to 6pm).

The best walking route here from Sintra-Vila is not along the main road but the quicker, partly off-road route via Rua Marechal Saldanha. The steep trail is around 2km, but quiet and rewarding.