Climbing under castles

I love revisiting a place and seeing it from a different perspective. In this case, I returned to Sintra only a few days after I first went there, to check out the climbing a bit. This was my first (and only) climbing experience in Portugal, and it was a nice introduction.

Routes right under Castelo dos Mouros

The routes were short (the longest route we did was three short pitches), and sport climbing, but thoroughly enjoyable with some pretty great views. I mean, how many crags have a view of a castle??!

View of Palácio da Pena from a belay

Being July, we only climbed for a half day before it got too hot.

View of Sintra from another belay. You can see the Quinta da Regaleira in the left foreground

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the granite here. Certainly there were some dirty parts, but the routes that were clean had great rock.

Some quality rock here

Sintra is noticeably cooler than Lisbon. So while it was a warm day, I was super glad not to be in blazing hot Lisbon. We did not see any other climbers, which made for a great climbing experience. I guess that is not too surprising given that climbing is not hugely popular in Portugal, and this area is also not super popular. I’ll certainly bring some light climbing gear with me the next time I am in Portugal.

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