Quinta da Regaleira is an estate located on the outskirts of the historic center of Sintra, Portugal. It’s a beautiful property that is often visited by those curious to explore its inverted towers, hidden tunnels, and enchanting gardens.
Walking around the property, known as “The Palace of Monteiro the Millionaire” will take you back to the Romanticism period. You’ll see a palace, a chapel, a park full of lakes, grottoes, mysterious wells, fountains, and other stunning pieces of architecture.
Quinta da Regaleira was designed and built in the late 1800s. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
If you’re traveling to Lisbon, I highly suggest adding a visit to Quinta da Regaleira to your itinerary.
- Quinta da Regaleira: History and Facts
- How to get to Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra
- How to Visit Quinta da Regaleira
- Exploring Quinta da Regaleira
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Quinta da Regaleira: History and Facts
- Quinta da Regaleira was originally designed and built in the 1800s
- Owner Carvalho Monteiro recreated the estate with architect Luigi Manini
- Additional work was mostly completed by 1910
- It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002
- Evokes Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Manueline architecture styles
- Believed to hide symbols related to alchemy, Masonry, the Knights Templar, and the Rosicrucians
How to get to Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra
Quinta da Regaleira is located in Sintra, Portugal and is easily accessible by bus, train, and car.
By Train and Bus – From Lisbon, take the Sintra Line to the Sintra train station. You can depart from Oriente, Rossio, Entrecampos stations in Lisbon. From the Sintra train station, take bus 434 to
Largo Ferreira Castro. Walk for 7 minutes.
By Car – If you are driving from Lisbon to Quinta da Regaleira, you can reach the marvelous city of Sintra via the IC19. From Marfa, use the IC30. From Cascais use the EN9 via the A5.
How to Visit Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira Hours
Quinta da Regaleira is open daily throughout the year. Tip: Avoid peak times from 11-3 PM.
October to March
Open: 10:00 AM
Close: 6:30 PM
April to September
Open: 10:00 AM
Close: 7:30 PM
Last entry is 5:30 PM. The Palace, the Chapel and eventual exhibition spaces close half an hour before the garden.
Quinta da Regaleira Tickets
You can book your tickets online in advance. Save 20% when using a Lisboa card.
Adults: 10 €
Youths: 5 €
Seniors: 5 €
Family: 25 €
Children up to 5 years old, Seniors over 80, Handicapped, Guides, and Residents can enter for free.
Quinta da Regaleira Map
Exploring Quinta da Regaleira
Quinta da Regaleira covers four hectares of land. There is a lot to see and explore so I recommend spending at least two hours here. The estate has a coffee shop, a shop, and bathrooms. It’s also wheelchair accessible.
Regaleira Palace has five floors. The richly-decorated interior of Regaleira Palace is inspired by the Manueline, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. The building’s façade is characterized by many Gothic pinnacles, gargoyles, and an octagonal tower.
Here are some of the highlights of the palace:
Piano Nobile (Ground Floor)
- Hunting Room
- Stairway and Hall
- Renaissance Hall
- King’s Room (formerly the Billiard Room)
-1 and -2 Floors
- Kitchens, Larders and Scullery
- Ironing Room
- Private Family Bedrooms
- Octogonal Turret
- Private Study
- Stairway to Laboratory and Roof Terraces
Quinta da Regaleira Park
You can spend a lot of time exploring the estate’s park by following the twisting paths that lead to several grottos, towers, tunnels, decorative buildings, waterfalls, fountains, and lakes.
While walking around the gardens, there are many points of interest. Here are some of the highlights of the park:
- Regaleira Chapel
- Cultursintra Foundation Headquarters
- Coachhouse, stableblock, and cowsheds
- Workshop of the Arts/Services
- Regaleira Tower
- Chimera’s Court
- Ibis Fountain
- Fountain of Regaleira
- Balnearium Fountain
- Terrace of the Celestial Worlds
- Guardian’s Gate
- Portal of the Guardians
- Promenade of the Gods
- Pisoes Loggia
- Tennis Court
- Initiation Well
- Unfinished Well
- Labyrinthic Grotto
- Leda’s Grotto
- Grotto of the East
- Grotto of the Virgin
- Unnamed Lake
- Lake of the Waterfall
The most popular attraction within the estate is the Initiation Well, also known as Initiatic Well or Inverted Tower. It’s an underground tower that sinks 27 meters (88 feet) into the earth and is made accessible by a spiral staircase.
It is believed that the well has been used for secret Masonic rituals and ceremonies. The well has nine platforms which are said to be “reminiscent of Dante’s Divine Comedy and the ‘Nine Circles of Hell,’ the ‘Nine Sections of Purgatory,’ and the ‘Nine Skies of Paradise.'”
At the bottom of the well is a mosaic depicting a compass over a Knights Templar cross, which is said to have been the coat of arms of Carvalho Monteiro, pointing to his association with Rosicrucianism.
No one actually knows what happened in this underground labyrinth or its true purpose, but some speculate it may represent death and rebirth or a connection between heaven and earth.
If you visit during the busy summer hours then you will most likely have to wait in a queue before getting shuttled like goats down the staircase. You aren’t allowed to stop along the way. I recommend visiting earlier in the day or before closing.
The well leads to a series of underground tunnels that connect to different areas of the estate. You can reach the Portal of the Gardens, the Unfinished Well, the Lake of the Waterfall and the Grotto of the East. These tunnels are one-way and must be accessed from the top of the Initiation Well.
Other Points of Interest
It’s really fun to explore the underground walkways and see where you end up! One of the exits leads to the enchanting Lake of the Waterfall, where a stone path over a small lake leads you to a waterfall.
Another underground tunnel from the Initiatic Well leads to the Portal of the Guardians. This structure is composed of twin towers flanking a central pavilion where the entrance to the well is located.
The incredibly detailed stuccoes and stone walls around the property are incredible! I love getting a close-up look.
Across from the Portal of the Guardians is The Terrace of the Celestial Worlds. Climb to the top of the towering Ziggurat for a different perspective of the park.
Leda’s Grotto can be found beneath the Regaleira Tower. From the tower, you can get some great views of Sintra and the Moorish Castle.
No matter which path you take, you’ll discover so many different areas of the estate. If you enjoy photography, you’ll find plenty of great places for photo ops!
Boa viagem! Good travels!
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Do you have any questions on visiting Quinta da Regaleira in Sintra, Portugal? Let me know in the comments.