The place itself has a long history which started in 1540. It was a chapel dedicated to “Our Lady of Monserrate” that belonged to the All Saints Hospital of Lisbon.
Located close to the historic center of Sintra which is popular and gets busy from late morning on. It is part of the “Three Palace Tour” and gets even more crowded in summer the holiday season. The best time for a visit is in the morning when they open at 9.30 in the high season and 10 in the low season. Best sunlight for a good shot in the late afternoon!!
Avoiding tourist crowds:
In July and August Sintra is completely crowded. If you want to visit in summer, you should go either early or late in the day. Weekends are even busier, and it might be very difficult to find a parking space. Winter is the best time to avoid masses of tourists coming by bus from Lisbon and swarming around.
My favorite months are May until mid-June and September, less hot and busy mostly with a blue sky. Anyway, this time we came end of December and had 16 degrees in Lisbon which were 13 degrees in Sintra, and it was sunny for several weeks. None of the places were crowded.
High season (end of March until the end of Oct.): 9.30 a.m. until 8 p.m. for the park last admission at 7 p.m. and the palace 7 p.m. last admission 6.15 p.m.
Entrance fee: adult 8 €
Low season (end of Oct. until the end of March): 10.00 a.m. until 6 p.m. for the park last admission at 5 p.m. and the palace 5 p.m. last admission 4.30 p.m.
Entrance fee: adult 6,50 € and family 22 € (2 adults and 2 under 18 years)
You get a 5 % discount when buying tickets online and avoid queuing in the peak season:
Although Sintra has a different climate to Cascais and Lisbon due to the high elevation summer can be very hot with up to 30 degrees. There is mostly a breeze which is convenient in summer but be careful in autumn and winter. Weather is more unpredictable from October to March, and more rain occurs. However, it seldom rains a whole week a view days only. Sintra is frequently covered in fog which let it appear mystic. Often mid to end of December the weather is fine. This told me a hiking guide and friend from PortugalWalkHike
This was my first time visiting Falling Springs Falls along with my girlfriend and we absolutely loved it!!
Golden hour is the best time to visit about an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise are great for photos because it's the best lighting. Mid day is great for those who wanna get wet during the summer under the falls.
The mission of The Morton Arboretum is to collect and study trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world.
Springtime erupts with stunning beauty creating a sea of yellow in Daffodil Glade or Winter to see the annual Illumination of the trees
Muir Woods National Monument is a must-visit destination if you are in the area. It’s a 30-minute drive from San Francisco.
Muir Woods is situated close to San Francisco therefore pretty popular. One well-maintained boardwalk and paved trail are leading through the park. The path is suitable for the entire family with pushchair and wheelchair as well. The magical times to be there are early morning and late in the day to avoid the crowds and to enjoy the unique atmosphere. The light filtering down into the valley through the enormous trees is utterly delightful.
It’s a magical place, but it’s also heavily crowded. Due to the close location of the urban area, only 12 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge the park is overrun from spring to fall. First of all, avoid weekends and go mid-week if possible. Rainy, foggy or cold days are less crowded as well. To avoid the crowds during the day get there very early. The park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset. Be there at about 7:30. The visitor center opens at 9 a.m. You could also park on Muir Woods Road in the early morning. If you go in summer, we recommend taking the Muir Woods Shuttle. Quote from a Park Ranger: "It takes away all the worries and headaches of driving and parking." Shuttle information
In September and October, many school classes visit the National Monument. Winter is less busy but consider it’s the wet season with most of the annual 40 inches / 1016 mm of precipitation.
Best Accommodations Close to Muir Woods
There are some hotels and lodges around to explore the Bay Area. It's quieter to stay here than in San Francisco, and it doesn't take long to reach the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first choice is the charming boutique hotel Mill Valley Inn. It is just a 3 miles drive to Muir Woods and 5 minutes walk to shops ansd restaurants. What we loved most there are already redwoods in their garden.
To me, the highlight of the area is the two-hundred-year-old tree (which is quickly on its way to being three-hundred).