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A building with a domed tower peeks out from a dense forest of trees

Nature and Nurture at Penha Longa Resort

Article by Anuja Madar 11.22.2016 Photographed by Anuja Madar & Penha Longa Resort

Tucked within a 545-acre national park, Portugal’s Penha Longa Resort appeals to nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Aside from its lush setting, the resort offers plenty of ways to experience and explore its surroundings.


Given that the site of the Spa at Penha Longa Resort was once a monastery, it’s only natural that the space maintains the peaceful, reflective intent of its original inhabitants. The only of its kind in Portugal, the Labyrinth invites guests to reconnect with their innermost self, focus the mind, release stress and unlock their imagination. Spiraling toward the center, the path can be walked alone in a private session or in a small group workshop, all of which are designed around the three Rs of a labyrinth: release, receive and return.

To immerse yourself in the wellness experience, the resort’s Energize Program (3, 5 or 7 days) combines nutrition, exercise and spa treatments. If you prefer to connect with nature while inside, too, the spa’s Aromatic Touch massage uses therapeutic nectars based on natural plant extracts.

A woman walks along a circular stone path overlooked by trees and a building with a domed tower

The Labyrinth is a place to find focus, balance and peace, offering a unique opportunity to disconnect from the world and reconnect with one’s inner self.


The best way to explore some of the 545-acre national park the resort calls home? With a trainer-led walk/run along the Historical Circuit. The 60-minute trek bridges the past of Penha Longa with its breathtaking natural beauty, passing important sights from the 16th to 19th centuries including royal apartments, the monastery and several gardens. The walk can be tailored to your intensity level (low, medium or high) and can be done as a solo, paired or group outing.

The Historical Circuit takes guests past important sights around the resort, some dating back thousands of years.


Ten minutes from the resort’s lush landscape are the rolling waves of Estoril Beach. Among the most beautiful in the region, the beach’s tranquil waters make it ideal for families with children (kids surf lessons are available through the resort’s Ritz Kids program). Overlooking the ocean, the resort’s Villa Tamariz Utopia beach club includes a seafood-inspired restaurant and an outdoor lounge and terrace for light bites and drinks. Close out the weekend with Sunday brunch followed by a day at the beach.

A two-story building with an outdoor lounge overlooks the ocean at sunset.

Villa Tamariz Utopia in Estoril overlooks the ocean and offers a place to dine, lounge and soak in the view.


Nature’s beauty isn’t lost on young travelers, who have plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors with the resort’s Ritz Kids program. The sprawling Jardim de Damas (Ladies Garden) is overlooked by the Sintra Mountains and includes a playground, cable slide and mini golf. The resort also offers buggy tours and complimentary mountain bikes.

Aerial view of a large grassy area with a playground and long wood walkway

Set within a 545-acre national park and overlooked by the Sintra Mountains, Penha Longa Resort offers boundless outdoor activites.

Plan Your Stay in Portugal

  • Penha Longa Resort

    Location Sintra, Portugal

    Experience A quintessential retreat among rolling hills and mountain lakes.

    • A palazzo estate steeped in history
    • Unlimited championship golf experiences
    • Set within a 1355 monastery