Pena Park: Lush Gardens of the Pena Palace
The Park of Pena has 200 hectares of lush forest and exotic trees surrounding the majestic Pena National Palace in Sintra.
It is the most unique and significant part of the site, with walking paths, secret paths, pavilions, lakes, and ponds.
The park is often regarded as dense and vibrant, perfectly surrounding the palace and complementing the castle’s romantic architectural style.
This article shares everything you need to know about Parque de Pena.
Quick Facts About Pena Park
- Official name: Park of Pena Palace
- Address: Estrada da Pena, 2710-609 Sintra, Portugal
- Opening times: 9 am to 7 pm
- Best time to visit: Before 10 am and after 4 pm
- Architectural style: Neo-Gothic, Neo-Manueline, New-Romanesque
- Annual Visitors: 2 million
- Entry ticket: 8 euros
Highlights of Pena Park
Apart from the exotic and unique species, there are viewpoints, places, and landmarks at the Park that you must visit during your tour.
1. Alto do Cha (tea hill)
The third-highest peak of Serra da Sintra will give you the finest view of Pena Palace.
As a boulder-spread hill, it is far from the palace, offering visitors a peaceful, calm atmosphere in the park.
2. The Feteira da Condessa
It is a lush fern garden surrounded by a dense forest in the deep valley.
After exploring the palace, the tiny ponds, streams, and shaded paths make it an ideal place to relax.
3. Chalet da Condessa d’Elda
It is a gorgeous mock alpine chalet designed by Countess Elda in 1969, which consists of an exterior decoration with a local cork.
You will spot a footpath behind the Chalet that circles Pedras Do Chalet and passes beneath the boulders.
4. The Estatua Do Guerrerio
The towering statue of Estatua Do Guerrero is 2.75 meters high, a granite giant of a medieval warrior.
Today, you can only see a part of it as the forest half hides it.
5. Cruz Alta
The Cruz Alta is the highest point of Pena Park, Sintra, at 529 m, and is a popular point for its visitors.
There are also incredible south-facing views of Cascais that one can spot from here.
6. Pedras Do Chalet (Chalet Rocks)
The Chalet Rocks are one of the best attractions at Pena National Palace.
Its path also offers incredible viewpoints for visitors along the way.
7. Vale Dos Lagos (Valley of the Lakes)
The last stop for Pena Park, Sintra, is the Valley of Lakes, consisting of five different lake streams.
But the highlight of the attraction is the two duck houses resembling the Moorish Castle and Pena Palace.
Insider Tip: The Palácio da Pena is a popular tourist destination, and timed tickets are required to manage the number of visitors.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket office at the palace.
However, it is recommended to purchase tickets in advance, especially during peak season, to avoid long lines and ensure you get the time slot you want.
Pena Park opening hours
Pena Park opens at 9 am and closes at 7 pm.
The last entry and time slot inside the park is 6 pm (one hour before closing time).
If you want to know more about Pena Palace’s opening hours, read this article.
How long does it take to visit Pena Park in Sintra?
Visitors prefer to spend about one and a half hours exploring the Park of Pena.
It is likely that you will spend the majority of your time looking through the various exotic plant species in nearby and far-off gardens.
You can visit Pena Palace in an hour, so to complete your tour of the park and the castle, you will need at least 2 to 3 hours.
Insider Tip: The Parque da Pena ticket used to allow entrance to the terraces, but this changed a few years ago.
Now, you need to purchase a separate ticket for the terraces.
If you visit Sintra on a day trip, we recommend visiting the palace and terraces first. You can then explore the gardens of Pena Palace with the remainder of your time.
If you plan to stay in Sintra for a long time, you could spend a whole day in the park. The park is a beautiful place to walk, hike, and picnic.
The park also has several other attractions, such as the Chalet of the Countess of Edla and the Capuchin Convent.
Tickets for Pena Park
Entry tickets to Pena Park will allow you to wander among 2,000 different species of plants, walk on secret paths, and walk on the bridges.
If you are limited on time and want to visit the park only, this ticket will only cost you 8 euros per person.
This cheapest ticket allows you to access all park areas, terraces, restaurants, and the Palace cafeteria, but not the palace.
Also, the Chalet of the Countess of Edla entrance is free.
The gardens of Pena Palace have no time restrictions, so you can move freely or even spend a whole day exploring the park.
However, if you plan to book your tickets at the counter, you may have to wait for 2 to 3 hours.
Hence, purchasing your tickets a day before is always a good idea.
There are last-minute Pena Park tickets available online, so do not worry if you forget to purchase your ticket in advance and there is a long line at the entrance.
Also, if you want to explore the Park and Palace of Pena, you can upgrade your ticket by paying an additional 6 euros.
Map of Pena Park
The below Pena Park map shows the locations of all the sights and routes you should take to make your trip convenient.
You can even download the map from their official website.
History of Pena Park and Palace
- In the 12th century, there was a chapel on the site of Pena Palace and Pena Palace Park.
- In the 15th and 17th centuries, the chapel was used as a royal monastery.
- The great earthquake of 1755 damaged the monastery, and Ferdinand II took it down completely.
- In the 19th century, Ferdinand II envisioned his summer residence in Sintra and built the Pena Palace on the site of the former monastery.
- The Park of Pena Palace was created at the same time.
Who built Pena Park?
Ferdinand II commissioned Baron Wilhelm Ludvig von Eschwege to build the Pena Palace and Park.
He made significant contributions to the study of geology in the 19th century, and his work is still relevant today.
In addition to his work on the Pena Palace gardens, Eschwege also conducted extensive research on the geology of Brazil.
He was the first to map the country’s mineral resources, and his work helped lay the foundation for the Brazilian mining industry.
What are some noteworthy unique plant species at the park?
There are several noteworthy features in Pena Park, and you may view some unique plants and ferns from all over the world, including Gingkos (China), Australian ferns, tree ferns, Cryptomeria (Japan), Sequoias (America), Succulents (Australia), and ferns from New Zealand.
Is Pena Park worth it?
Pena Palace and Park is a must-visit, particularly for its views and Disney-inspired architecture.
If you ever visit the palace, we highly recommend touring its park.
The park has many exotic plant species and other attractions like Chalet da Condessa D’elda, Cruz Alta, and more.
Is Pena Palace Park accessible?
You will need a ticket to enter Pena Park.
To enter Pena Park, the ticket costs €8, which you will need to show at the second entrance that provides access to the grounds only.
How to visit Pena Park?
You will need a ticket to enter Pena Park, which costs 8 euros.
You can buy the palace and park ticket, or if you choose to skip the palace, you can go for the only park ticket.
How big is Pena Park?
The park is about 200 hectares (500 acres) of forest land you can visit, along with the palace of Pena.
Exotic trees ordered worldwide include Camélias from Japan, Redwoods from America, and more.
What are Pena Park’s timings?
The Pena Park is open from 9 am to 7 pm daily, and the last entry to the park is one hour before closing time (6 pm).
What is the best time to visit Pena Park?
If you want to avoid the crowds, weekdays are the best time to visit Pena Park.
Also, visit the park early in the morning to explore it peacefully.
Featured Image: Viagens.sapo.pt