Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ruins of Castelo dos Mouros in Sintra, Portugal

Or in English--Castle of the Moors, built around the 9th century by the moors or Muslims of Northern Africa from Berber and Arab origin as they were once called. Portugal and the south of Spain was the notable Al Andalus (from the Arabic word, Atlantis), part of the Iberian Peninsula occupied by the moors some 800 years ago, and the cradle of Islamic learning, and leading cultural and economic centers of the Mediterranean basin during those times.

Castelo dos Mouros


This is a 'zoom' foto of the castle ruins from my hotel room balcony. My camera is old tech now, I need to buy a new one soon.


This visit is never perfect without a souvenir foto of me! I managed to find a spare hair band to tie my hair from the crazy wind.

The castle is my beautiful view from my hotel room balcony. I was lucky enough to have a room that looks up to the romantic castle ruins. When the hotel manager asked me, per email, if I wanted an upgrade to the valley room, I hesitated. I didn’t want to spend extra money on my room so I replied back that I will check the room first upon check-in. Well, looking back I am glad I took the upgrade because the valley room had the best and breathtaking views. I woke up to beautiful and relaxing nature surroundings with panoramas to the historical center and looking up from my bed to the dreamy mountain and the castle ruins on top. It is worth every penny.

There is a bus stop in the town center of Sintra right across the Tourism Office and I took this bus going up to the Moors Castle. Tickets can be bought from the chaffeur which includes the bus ride to and fro Palacio Pena and Moors Castle ruins. There is also a walking trail from Sintra to the castle ruins but looking that I will be walking a lot anyway plus the hike time is one-hour, I didn’t further want to waste my time. The tourist bus is therefore convenient.

Lovely views!


From the castle ruins you get this spectacular view (camera zoom view) of the historical UNESCO world heritage town center of Sintra. That is the National Palace of Sintra with the big grounds. 


Didn't I say that Sintra is home to many stately mansions?. From the top of the castle ruins one can spot all of them easily! 

Super windy up here


Moi with my hair all over the place. I was freezing until I found a spare scarf to save my neck from hypothermia and a hair band to tie my untamed hair. Check out the tourists climbing the walls just to get the best foto souvenirs. Hilarious.


More beautiful fotos of Castelo dos Mouros ruins. Going back to the main road I came across a lovely couple having their wedding pictorials done. Of course I could not pass this chance not taking a snapshot of them too =).

It takes about a five to ten-minute walk from the ticket/entrance to get to the ruins of Castelo dos Mouros. Along the road I saw cisterns that were used to store grains and water. There is also a church ruin lying within its walls and its said to be the Church of St. Peter in Romanesque inspiration. I had a short break here sitting on the bench on my way back.

The castle ruins have two main walls that remain standing, decorated with a series of colorful flags from the different stages of Portugal’s history. I heroically climbed both ancient walls... woohoo, lol! It was awfully windy and chilly up there and the flags were making terrible noises, they fly proudly fighting the wind by pulling the fastened ropes and smashing it back against the pole every time there are strong wind currents. The sound is really defeaning and irritating. Plus, my long hair was all over the place and my bare neck freezing. Yikes. Thank god for two things I found in my bag: a spare hair band and a scarf.


From the Moors Castle ruins one can have gorgeous views to Sintra’s historical center and the Pena Palace. This obviously is the main reason why visitors come to the castle ruins and climb up its once glorious walls. The panorama is simply marvelous.

Travel Period: November 2009
Destination: Sintra (Lisboa), Portugal

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