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Group tours - What happens if fewer people than originally booked turn up on the day of the visit?

When the number of people in a group is significantly higher or lower than originally stated, this may mean that the number of guides or that the materials provided will have to be changed. If the difference between the confirmed number of visitors and the number of people taking part on the day is greater than 10%, then Parques de Sintra must be informed of this fact in sufficient time to avoid your having to pay the full amount corresponding to the number of visitors for which the booking was originally made.

Failure to turn up for the tour, without cancelling it beforehand, means that you will be liable for full payment of guided tours, because of the costs incurred in providing guides for the group. Cancellations must always be made at least three working days in advance, allowing us time to cancel the booking.

Should the group be late, then the previously planned programme may be endangered if there is a delay of more than thirty minutes. The group must therefore try to arrive at the appointed place in good time to guard against possible delays.

Animals are not allowed in any of the parks and monuments managed by Parques de Sintra, except for guide dogs.

Buses travelling to the Farmyard of Monserrate should approach Monserrate from Colares. Buses seating up to 55 people can use this route. We recommend the use of low single-deck buses. If approaching from the Historic Centre of Sintra, you can only travel to the Farmyard by minibus.
The Farmyard is located 800 metres before the entrance to the Park of Monserrate, on the left-hand side of the road if you are approaching from the Historic Centre of Sintra.

When a guided tour is booked, this means that the chosen activity will be accompanied by a suitably trained guide/monitor, and, where applicable, that the material necessary for its realisation will be provided. The guide is therefore not in a position to change the programme at the last minute. The weather in Sintra is typically wet and changeable, so that the group should come prepared for the possibility that it may be raining when they make their visit, if they choose not to cancel their tour in advance because of the weather forecast. Whenever bad weather may endanger the quality of the visit or the safety of visitors, Parques de Sintra will take the initiative of cancelling the tour at no cost to the group.

We recommend that you approach the Convent of Capuchos via the road from Pé da Serra (take the EN247 to Pé da Serra and then turn onto the EN247-3), as this road is the one that is best suited to buses. On this road, we recommend the use of low single-deck buses.

Parques de Sintra must be informed of any changes to the agreed programme – whether this involves the number of participants or even a possible cancellation – at least three working days in advance.

Payment can be made on the day of the tour itself, at one of our ticket offices, immediately before you begin your visit. Ticket offices accept payments in cash, by credit card or direct debit card, unless indicated otherwise. You can also choose to pay in advance by bank transfer. If you prefer to pay by bank transfer, you should contact Parques de Sintra to find out more about how this procedure works.

Buses travelling to the Park of Monserrate should approach Monserrate from Colares. Buses seating up to 55 people can use this route. We recommend the use of low single-deck buses. If approaching from the Historic Centre of Sintra, you can only travel to the Park of Monserrate by minibus. If the group is being transported in a larger bus, then the journey must be made by public transport (Monserrate is served by Bus No. 435 of Scotturb, which departs from the train station and stops at the tourist information office in Sintra).

When wishing to make a booking, the person responsible for the group must contact Parques de Sintra either by telephone or by e-mail, providing all the necessary  information about the intended tour (identification of the group, name and contact information of a group leader, date and times of the tour, number of participants, places to be visited, tour/activity required). A reply will be sent by e-mail confirming the booking. After receiving confirmation of the booking, the group leader must check that the booking has been made in accordance with the expressed requirements. Any discrepancies or alterations must be pointed out as soon as possible, since only the agreed conditions will be taken into consideration on the day of the visit. The group leader must bring the final document confirming the booking on the day of the visit and hand it in at the ticket office when the group arrives.

The starting place for each tour depends on the type of visit you’re making and the monument you’re visiting. This place is always stated in the document confirming your booking, which will be sent to the person responsible for the group.

To buy tickets in advance for Agencies/Tour Operators, use the e-mail: info@parquesdesintra.pt or phone: +351 21 923 73 00.

Know more [+]

Only single-deck buses with less than 35 seats and a maximum weight of 5.5 tons are authorised to travel to the entrance to the Moorish Castle from the Historic Centre of Sintra. If the group is being transported in a larger bus, then the journey must be made by public transport (the Moorish Castle is served by Bus No. 434 of Scotturb, which departs from the train station and stops at the tourist information office in Sintra) or on foot.

If you choose to make the journey on foot, the group may consider the following options:

Walking from the town of Sintra, passing by the Church of Santa Maria:
The bus should leave the group in the Historic Centre of Sintra; follow the route beginning next to the National Palace (Largo Rainha D. Amélia), walk up to Fonte da Sabuga, climbing up the hill of Calçada dos Clérigos to the Church of Santa Maria where you will find the footpath leading to the Moorish Castle; this path is an upward climb of roughly 1.65km and takes you to the Visitor Reception Centre of the Moorish Castle; most of this route takes you along footpaths; however, you should take care to protect the group’s safety on the section that takes you along roads where there are cars.

Walking from São Pedro de Sintra:
The bus should leave the group in the fairground of São Pedro de Sintra, where the bus can also park; the group should then walk along the cobbled street leading up to the Park of Pena from Largo de São Pedro and make their way from there to the Moorish Castle; this route is an upward climb of roughly 1.75km and takes you to the Visitor Reception Centre of the Moorish Castle; you should take care to protect the group’s safety since this is a road on which there are cars travelling downhill.

All tours that are accompanied by a guide must be booked in advance except for the fixed guided visits that are available every day at the Palaces of Pena, Queluz and Sintra. These fixed guided visits have a pre-established timetable, so that all you have to do is buy a ticket when you arrive at the monument. You may, however, make a booking in advance to guarantee that you have a place on the tour at the time that you want.
Guided visits that take place outside the fixed times must be previously booked in advance in order to guarantee that the dates and times you wish for can be arranged and that a guide is available. To make a booking, you must contact Parques de Sintra by e-mail info@parquesdesintra.pt or by telephone + 351 21 923 73 00 (open every day from 09.30 to 18.30). The type of visit that you are looking for, the date and the size of your group are factors that may affect your booking. Your booking will only be valid after you have received and accepted the booking conditions sent to you by Parques de Sintra in the document confirming your booking.

Only single-deck buses with less than 35 seats and a maximum weight of 5.5 tons are authorised to travel to the entrance to the Park and Palace of Pena from the Historic Centre of Sintra. If the group is being transported in a larger bus, then the journey must be made by public transport (the Park of Pena is served by Bus No. 434 of Scotturb, which departs from the train station and stops at the tourist information office in Sintra) or on foot.

If you choose to make the journey on foot, the group may consider the following options:

Walking from the town of Sintra, passing by the Church of Santa Maria and the Moorish Castle:
The bus should leave the group in the Historic Centre of Sintra; follow the route beginning next to the National Palace (Largo Rainha D. Amélia), walk up to Fonte da Sabuga, climbing up the hill of Calçada dos Clérigos to the Church of Santa Maria where you will find the footpath leading to the Moorish Castle; this path is an upward climb of roughly 1.65km and takes you to the Visitor Reception Centre of the Moorish Castle, and from there to the Park of Pena; most of this route takes you along footpaths; however, you should take care to protect the group’s safety on the section that takes you along roads where there are cars.

Walking from São Pedro de Sintra:
The bus should leave the group in the fairground of São Pedro de Sintra, where the bus can also park; the group should then walk along the cobbled street leading up to Pena from Largo de São Pedro; this route is an upward climb of roughly 1.4km leading to the main entrance to the Park of Pena; you should take care to protect the group’s safety since this is a road on which there are cars travelling downhill.

You should present official documents that serve as proof of residence, such as the Cartão do Cidadão (Citizens’ Card, which requires your PIN), Identity Card, Driving Licence, Taxpayer Identification Card or Voter Identification Card. If you present an electricity, water or gas bill, among others, this must be accompanied by an identification document to be checked against the name on the bill.

The Park of Pena, the Pena Farm and Stables, the Park of Monserrate, the Farmyard of Monserrate and the Convent of Capuchos have special areas where you can picnic in the open air.
At the Moorish Castle, the National Palace of Sintra and the National Palace and Gardens of Queluz, there are no authorised picnic areas.

For the greater comfort of visitors, and because of the typically wet and unstable weather conditions in the hills of Sintra, we recommend that you wear comfortable footwear with soles that are not slippery and clothes that are suitable for the weather conditions that you may encounter during your visit. We are always available by telephone to provide you with any information that you may require about the weather conditions in Sintra up to the day before your visit. Even if you are not making an outdoor visit, if you are visiting the Palace of Pena, the Palace of Monserrate and the Convent of Capuchos, this requires you to walk through the respective parks. The visit to the Moorish Castle is outdoors at all times.

Only residents in the municipality of Sintra are allowed free admission on Sunday mornings (until 13.00) at all the monuments managed by Parques de Sintra.

All the monuments managed by Parques de Sintra are open every day of the year, except for 1 January and 25 December.