Monday, May 17, 2010
Mountainbiking Around Sintra
Just west of me, a mountain range splits the peninsula on its way to the sea. The village, national park, and UN Heritage site of Sintra, is located along that range. The high points of the range are graced by old monasteries, a moorish fortress, and incredible views of the coast, while the valleys are filled with dense eucalyptus forest, through which wind miles and miles of excellent mountainbike trails.
Of course, there are plenty of climbs.
At this time of year, the forests are incredibly green.
This ceramic tile marks the route to a mirador (scenic overlook).
Nice spot for a picnic.
Instead of a picnic, we climbed another mountain. The climbs in these pictures never look as steep as in real life.
Once you finish the climbs, though, it's always worth it. This is the monastery atop one of the highest peaks. It's visible from miles away when the weather is clear.
Of course, after a climb there's always a great descent. This one took us back into lush forest, and past the ruins of this elaborate trials course, which featured elevated trails and jumps.
Near the top of the final climb, you can see another monastery atop a neighboring mountain.