Sintra dedicates a weekend to the beauty of camellias
08 Feb 2024
Winter is synonymous with camellias, especially in Sintra, where this flower's beauty has been celebrated for many years through various cultural initiatives, such as dances and festivals. To promote this vast botanical heritage, now emblematic of the region, and bring it to a wider public, Parques de Sintra organises an annual show exhibiting Sintra's most beautiful camellia collections, timing it to when the camellia shrubs reach the height of their splendour. This year, the eleventh edition of the event, will take place over the weekend of 17 and 18 February, at the Park of Pena's Stables, including participation from 9 exhibitors.
On Saturday 17th, the show will be open from 11am to 5pm. At 3pm, the opening ceremony will take place, followed by the award ceremony, with prizes for the best camellias in the competition's three categories: "Best Camellia Species", "Best Portuguese Camellia Cultivar" and "Best Group on show". A guided tour of the Mira-Mar, or Vale Flor, estates is scheduled for 4pm, in collaboration with the Sintra Hills Farm Owners’ Association and support from the Montepio Mutualist Association.
On Sunday 18th, the event will run from 10am to 5pm. At 11am, there will be a guided tour of the exhibition and of the Camellia Garden in the Park of Pena, distinguished as a Camellia Garden of Excellence by the International Camellia Society in 2014. In addition to the specimens on display, visitors will have the chance to explore the remarkable collection begun by King Fernando II in the 19th century. Today, after Parques de Sintra's numerous campaigns to enhance this botanical heritage, the Park of Pena's camellia collection now includes 386 cultivars belonging to 37 different species, with 27 hybrids.
The exhibition is free to enter, upon purchase of a ticket for the Park of Pena, which, like the rest of the heritage sites managed by Parques de Sintra, has free admission for Portuguese residents on Sundays and public holidays.
The programme's guided tours require the advance purchase of a €1 ticket, which gives access to the Park of Pena, the exhibition and the Mouco Hunting Grounds car park, located 600 metres from the entrance gate to the Chalet of the Countess of Edla (subject to available space). Tickets are available on the Parques deSintra website.