Local Legend Profile
Introducing our Local Legend Francisco, affectionately known locally as ‘Chico’.
Francisco Batista’s story
Chico grew up in the beautiful Portuguese town of Sintra, a true gem set in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra mountains. The national park there stretches from the hills to the beaches and the forested terrain is scattered with charming pastel-coloured villas and palaces.
As a boy, Chico was captivated by the mystery and magic that surrounded him, and his mother was very often to be found searching for him during one of his childhood adventures, exploring his beloved Sintra landscapes, described by Chico as his ‘playground’. Cursing his wild streak, Chico frequently returned home tired, dirty, covered in cuts and bruises, and even with the odd broken arm! Regardless of his mother’s despair, this wild streak and determination to explore every inch of his beloved homeland only grew stronger, developing into a passion for extreme sports, vintage jeeps and local nature.
These days Chico has successfully managed to combine all of these passions and uses them as a way to introduce his beloved Sintra to visitors from around the world. The result is a unique, fascinating, and intimate guided tour of the region.
During this experience, guests should expect to discover the romantic palaces, mystical forests and hidden corners of Sintra and Cascais by vintage jeep. To be guided by a true local legend who has been exploring the region since he was a child.
- Exploring the hidden corners of Sintra otherwise not accessible by car
- Travelling in the back of an open-air, vintage Portuguese UMM Jeep
- Meeting Chico’s childhood friends who are now local chefs, business owners and who work in the palaces
I’ve been called a Jack-of-all-trades, but you can call me ‘Chico’.
Some kids grow up dreaming of fairy tales. They imagine kings and queens living in mountain-top palaces, a kaleidoscope of colours. Or maybe they picture magical forests filled with fairies, hidden treasure, or even ghosts! I didn’t have to imagine. All those mysterious legends surrounded me as a little Portuguese kid, exploring his wild streak. I always try to show Sintra’s secret spots, those intriguing places where no one else goes. That´s what keeps our experiences so unique and compelling. I also love to incorporate surprises during the tour for the guests to make the experience memorable.