The forested grounds of Parque da Pena surround the beautiful Palacio Nacional da Pena. Contained within the park are the highest peaks of the Serre de Sintra, while close to the palace are a labyrinth paths through shaded woodland. The 200 hectares of the park may simply appear as an ancient forest but the area was specifically designed by King Fernando II, who wished the grounds to be a maze of romantic paths to enthrall his guests.
The hidden pathways in the Pena Park
This precise detail to create the perfect fantasy forest extends to the choice of plants and trees, which contains an abundance of exotic non-native Portuguese species. Highlights of the Parque da Pena include the statue of King Fernando II overlooking his palace, the lush fern gardens and the southern view point with the wonderful views over the palace. The Parque da Pena is the ideal location to end a day in Sintra.
The entrance fee to the Parque da Pena is €7.50/€6.50/€6.50/€26.00 (adult/child/senior/family) and this includes the terraces of the Pena Palace. The full ticket to the palace and the gardens costs €14.00. The grounds are open from 9:30-20:00 (Summer season) and 10:00-18:00 (winter season) with the last entrance an hour before closing time.
The Pena Palace and the Parque da Pena are open seven days a week and this includes Monday when many Portuguese monuments are closed. There is a small motorised tram which takes visitors up to the palace while the only source of refreshments are in the palace café or by the ticket office.
The Parque da Pena and the Palacio Nacional da Pena were designed as one. It was envisaged that from the palace the visitors to the royal court would see a blanket of trees that cover over 200 hectares.
There are estimated to be over 2,000 different species of plants with in the boundaries of the park and such exotic species from New-Zealand and South America. The park has several paths and sidewalks, gardens with numerous buildings, bridges, caves, garden benches, arbors and fountains.
One of the most noticeable features of the Parque da Pena is the large statue of King Fernando II that is positioned on a granite outcrop of rocks approximately half a mile from the palace. The statue is 3 meters and is made of stone apart from the spear which is iron. The statue of King Fernando II lies at the top of the outcrop and is not readily accessible from any of the park’s foot paths.
The highest point of the Serra De Sintra is clearly signed to the south of the Park and provides wonderful views over the colourful palace. This walk takes approximately 30 minutes and reaches a height of 529 meters. To the east of the park there are large and deep lakes with an assortment of fish and ducks which are treated as royalty if their hutches are anything to go by!