Monserrate is one of a group of historic gardens, royal palaces, and other heritage sites managed by Parques de Sintra. It is located some four kilometres from the historic town centre of Sintra. At its centre stands the Palácio an extravagant Victorian showplace built by Sir Francis Cook, Visconde de Monserrate. Surrounding the house are extensive landscape gardens which, though they date back to the late eighteenth century, have been continuously developed and are now undergoing a process of revival and renewal. Woodlands and mountain scenery envelop the gardens and provide splendid views.

The gardens contain a rich botanical collection of sub-tropical and temperate plants, brought from all corners of the globe. The climate of Sintra is one of the mildest in Europe, which combined with fertile granite soils and gentle Atlantic rains enable the cultivation of palms and giant flowering trees not easily found in any other garden on the continent: varied microclimates enable an enormous variety of plants. This combined with a rich and fascinating history has made Monserrate an obligatory destination for visitors to Sintra for over two hundred years.