The Estoril Coast has been a popular Portuguese escape since the 19th century, when the then king chose to build his summer home in the bay. Often referred to as the Portuguese Riviera, Estoril Coast holidays can be spent partying in style at Europe’s largest casino, enjoying the great outdoors on wild beaches or navigating cliff-top walking paths where the villas of Portugal’s rich and famous look out to the dramatic Atlantic Ocean.
A long promenade makes walking and cycling between Estoril and the fishing town of Cascais an easy and pleasant way to take in your surroundings, too. Keen for some shopping? Estoril locals are proud of their crafting traditions, the best of which can be seen during its huge craft and folk music festival in July. Another reason to love this region is that it’s only a 40-minute drive to Portugal’s cool capital. This means you can easily visit for a day and soak up some culture at Lisbon’s many art galleries and museums. That said, you may find it hard to leave Estoril, with its rugged beaches and lively seaside bars. With a wild, beautiful coastline where you can find both buzzy bars and moments of calm, just a short trip from Lisbon, holidays to the Estoril Coast show off Portugal at its best.
A fairytale palace
The brightly coloured walls of Palacio Nacional da Pena in Sintra are a must-see piece of history. Now a Unesco World Heritage Site, the palace was originally a Catholic monastery.
Paintings by the sea
Cascais, on the southwestern corner of the Estoril Coast, is packed with galleries and is home to the Cidadela Art District – a vibrant cultural space with sea views.
Like most of Portugal, the Estoril coastline boasts some beautiful beaches – but the long Tamariz Beach, in the heart of the bay, deserves a mention of its own.