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Portugal May 11-22, join our Sintra Tour May 11?

We are excited to go on our first Rick Steves Tour this year!

We have the day free in Lisbon on May 11 and have planned a private tour to Sintra with a recommended local tour group, Top Ten Tours. On their website it is called "Wonders of Sintra" and we will visit Pena Palace, Sintra Castle (which I think is the Moorish Castle), have lunch on our own and then visit Quinta da Regaleira. I plan to ask to be back at 4 so we'll be sure to have time to rest a bit before the 5:00 group meeting.

We'd love to have others join us, it lowers our costs and we would get a chance to meet others on the tour. Let me know if you're interested and we can get in touch by email.

Posted by
787 posts

Sadly we're on a completely different tour later in the year but I'm glad you posted this as it might be an alternative for us. Does the 8 hours include travel time between Lisbon and Sintra? Like you we'd need to be back for a tour welcome reception.

Please please post a review or private message me if you take the tour.

I keep watching YouTube videos of Sintra and excited to see it. I agree that from the pictures it looks like the Moorish castle.

Posted by
7686 posts

Doesn’t sound like your tour includes Sintra? Surprising. Can you guarantee you will return to Lisbon in time for your RS meeting?
We went there on the train, saw all the major sites. Very easy to do.

Posted by
3343 posts

When we took the Portugal tour several years ago, I recall a few tour members took the train to Sintra and made it back about 5:00 for the group meeting. We arrived 2 days before the tour and did a Sintra & Cascais Tour with Lisbon Riders. It was less than 8 hours. There were 6 of us. Our guide was Manuel. He was great. He was engaging & knowledgeable. It was a wonderful introduction to Portugal.
https://lisbonriders.com/

Posted by
2133 posts

We just did three different all day tours with Lisbon Riders. One of those three days was in Sintra. I can confirm that Lisbon Riders is an awesome little company to tour with!

They offer a lot of small group tours - maximum of 8 - that are great itineraries.

Posted by
3343 posts

Hi Valerie!
Thanks for adding your review for Lisbon Riders. I have recommended this awesome company to others and got the same feedback.Glad to hear that you had the same positive experience.

Edited to add: Oh my word, I just looked at your current blog! I swear “your Ron” & “my Steve” must have been separated at birth! Scalp scars, etc. It’s always a plus to have medical expertise along the way. On one of our tours there were six RN’s (including myself) and one Psychiatrist (nuff said!). Hope the rest of your journey is uneventful. ;)

Posted by
4 posts

I recently returned from the RS Portugal tour. I chose to fly into Lisbon a couple of days early and by metro/train went to Sintra prior to the start of the RS tour. I wanted to get my body clock acclimated. I stayed at Chalet Saudade (highly recommend) and had a great time despite the weather (March weather in Portugal isn't great). You could come into Lisbon a day early and simply spend that first day at Sintra before the group meeting but it would be rushed. I found I enjoyed Sintra so much, I'm glad I had more than a half day or day. And by the time the tour begin I was on the correct time zone and ready to go.

Posted by
2133 posts

@Janis - Thanks!!!! Oh yes, Ron is always a handful!! And we just started our Road Scholar Portugal tour and there’s not a single doctor or nurse in our tour group - terrifying!!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks everyone for the replies!

cj-traveler- Getting back in time for the tour starting is one of the reasons we decided to do a private tour--this way I won't stress as we are the only ones on the tour. From what I hear it is typically a 6-8 hour tour with the group tours, but I want to be certain. I will definitely post my impressions of the private tour company when we return.

I considered heading straight to Sintra on arrival, a lot of other people do this and stay the first night there. That was really appealing because you can avoid the crowds in the evening and early morning and explore the town and sights then. I read that other travelers who did that really enjoyed it. What decided me not to do this was two things--first we really want to get as much time in Lisbon as possible, second I didn't want to deal with the hassle of checking in and baggage in Sintra, then doing that all over again the next afternoon in Lisbon. Our plane tickets were already purchased so I couldn't add another day and spend two nights in Sintra. I figured with the Rick Steves tour we'd be packing up and moving enough, having the same hotel room in Lisbon is appealing. It's definitely something others should consider depending on their circumstances.

Good to hear about Lisbon Riders--after your posts I read other positive reviews of them. Hope Top Ten will impress as well. I'm super excited to see Sintra and glad I read others itineraries and experiences which caused me to choose to go there!

Happy traveling everyone!