Location: Sintra, Portugal
Photo: Keith Ladzinski
Runner: Chris Weidner
The experience: Sintra is about 20 miles west of Portugal’s big-city capital, Lisbon. But its climate and environment feel a world away. In some of Sintra’s higher elevations, “it feels like the jungle”, says Weidner. You can hear native birds calling out to one another, and rainfall is common. The lush, abundant flora “adds a layer of mystery” to any run.
Facts and history:
- Portugal is the westernmost country in Europe, and its annual average temperature ranges from about 55 degrees on the mainland to more than 64 degrees in the south.
- Rosa Mota, 1988 Olympic marathon champion and winner of the London Marathon in 1991, was born in Portugal.
- Throughout the years, Sintra has been considered a country resort by visiting kings and nobles. It is known for its palaces, which include the 18th-century Palace of Seteais, now a luxury hotel.
- In the hills of Sintra are the remains of the Moorish Castle, which dates back to the eighth century.
- Sintra's coast is ideal for paragliding, thanks to the cliffs that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. Some of its beaches are remote and have no facilities, while others are close to restaurants and cafes.
- The Sintra Festival, featuring piano music from the Romantic period, is held during June and July in churches, palaces, parks, and country estates.
Portugal Official Tourism Website
Portugal Sintra Tourist Information