After two years of living and loving it here, avidly walking and exploring the amazing Sintra Natural Park, we are still discovering new incredible paths and places. Yesterday was a bright sunny day and we hiked from Colares Velho, a quaint little village, dreamily tucked on a hillside, through parts of the magical Sintra forest with its unique flora and fauna, past some crumbling houses, to the remote village of Gigaros. This hidden gem sits high in the hills of the Serra da Sintra, seems to have been forgotten by time. There are a few very old village houses still without have running water, an ancient convent being restored by an American who, according to rumors, collects houses in remote areas of the planet, several large, beautiful manor houses,and even a B&B which is for sale. The public wash fountain was being used by several elderly and very friendly ladies srubbing their laundry. I was intrigued by the special huge bars of brown soap being used to remove stains the natural way with lots of added elbow grease!
We continued along a high ridge to wonderful Monserat. Monserat is a palace and incredible park once a favorite retreat of Lord Byron´s. It has been lovingly restored and is truely a place of special beauty. The park has many species of unique flora and fauna, , grotos, waterfall, bridges, coves, follies etc and a cafe. Visit www.parquesdesintra for more information.