A short train ride from Lisbon is the town of Sintra, sitting in the shadows of a small mountain. J. and I ventured here for the day based on the recommendation of a friend, and it was very much worth it.

Not only is the town itself very cute (I wish we hadn’t had to rush out later just to catch the train), but the mountain hosts two castles – one a Moorish ruin, another a bizarre palace.

Both were spellbinding, for different reasons, and the views of the valleys below made the trek up (and run down) all the more satisfying.