A glittering getaway on the Portuguese Riviera, Estoril is positioned a short distance to the west of cosmopolitan Lisbon. This chic resort is famed for its beautiful sun-kissed beaches and quiet Portuguese charm. Estoril is dominated by its Grand Casino and has long been the favoured getaway for Europe’s royal families. The Casino was once a haven for World War II spies and served as the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond, Casino Royale. Today, Estoril is a prime destination for 2017 holidays - not just for jetsetters, but also families who want to enjoy quiet, palm-fringed beaches.
There’s plenty to see and do during holidays in Estoril. Soak up the classic glamour at the Estoril Casino or the abundant sunshine on the resort’s tranquil beaches. Upscale hotels and restaurants populate the resort and you’ll find championship golf courses close at hand. The bustling fishing port of Cascais is within walking distance or you can venture into the Serra de Sintra hills to enjoy all manner of outdoor pursuits from cycling to hiking.
Estoril’s Casino is the biggest in Europe, with a full network of bars and restaurants inside to relax in. You can try your luck at the slot machines, roulette tables or Blackjack dealers here. In addition to gambling, this entertainment centre is the heart of Estoril’s nightlife with its music hall and cabaret shows. Another building of note is the 19th-century palace, Chalet Barros, a symbol of Estoril’s exclusive past.
Sandy beaches give way to elegantly landscaped gardens in well-to-do Estoril. Like many other Portuguese seaside resorts, its beach is a star attraction. Spend your days lounging on sandy Tamariz Beach or stroll along the fashionable coastal promenade to neighbouring Cascais. You can also visit Estoril Park, which is nestled above the beach. It’s the perfect destination if you need a shady break from the intense sunshine with its bubbling fountains and vibrant flower displays. These displays are floodlit at night, making the park a popular gathering place en route to the casino.
Wine and Dine
With its oceanfront location, seafood in Estoril is always fresh. You’ll find plenty of world-class restaurants and laid-back family cafes alike, located both along the waterfront promenade and within the Casino. Visit the Casino’s dinner theatre to enjoy a live acrobatics performance with your meal. Although most of Estoril’s restaurants serve grilled fish and meat dishes in a Portuguese style, you’ll also find Chinese, Nordic and Italian cuisine on offer in the various hotels and eateries here. From elegant dining rooms to casual outdoor terraces, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.
For a more authentic Portuguese experience, travel a few miles away to the charming town of Sintra. Here you can taste traditional dishes like piri-piri chicken and delicately spiced fish stews in tiled-wall dining rooms. Cascais is home to a thriving fish market, making it well worth a culinary excursion to enjoy the catch of the day.
If you’re planning Estoril holidays with the whole family, you’ll find plenty to keep all ages happy in this scenic town. Estoril’s Tamariz Beach is known for its calm, clear seawater and is patrolled by lifeguards for added safety. Stroll along the promenade with an ice cream or build castles in the powdery sand. Many of the area’s hotels offer outdoor swimming pools, kid’s clubs and guided tours to allow parents to relax.
Cascais is within walking distance. Its picturesque old town offers attractions that will entice visitors of all ages including a bustling fish market and traditional tiled buildings. Relax by the waterfront here or rent a bike to ride to and from Estoril. Another prime family attraction in the area is the Marechal Carmona Park, which has been a centre for relaxation for hundreds of years. It hosts an on-site museum and features flower-lined lawns, an organic farmers market and a children’s library. There’s also a playground here complete with a small zoo hosting colourful peacocks, chickens and turtles.
Action and Adventure
Get out onto the sea during your Estoril holidays. Sail up and down the coast or try your luck surfing the waves at Praia do Guincho. Windsurfing and body-boarding are popular pastimes, thanks to the excellent wind conditions. The town serves as an excellent entry point to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, the westernmost point of Europe. Its Cabo da Roca is the famed location of many sea voyages and exploration missions with spectacular vertical cliffs rising up out of the sea. This natural park hosts a number of intriguing features including fossil dunes and the living cliff of Azenhas do Mar.
You can also venture inland to the gorgeous landscapes of the Serra de Sintra. This mountain features its own microclimate with diverse and unique plant life. There are plenty of walking trails here, leading you to breath-taking sights, such as the Convent of the Capuchos or the Hermitage of Peninha. Golfing is another prime attraction around Estoril. Visit the Golf Club of Estoril in the Sintra foothills, widely regarded as one of Europe’s best courses.
Life's a Beach
Local families gather with international visitors on fashionable Tamariz Beach, Estoril’s main attraction. It’s famed for its powdery, soft sand and peppermint-striped loungers. Find your spot under a shady umbrella and enjoy watching the world go by here during your Estoril holidays. In the summer months, the beach heats up with live music and residents take part in football and volleyball matches in the sand.
The beach is skirted by a coastal path and promenade, lined with bars and restaurants allowing you to enjoy a cool drink with your sea views. You can wander along this path all the way to neighbouring fishing village Cascais, which offers another beach and plenty of water sports. Hop on a guided boat tour to explore the Lisbon Coast or visit northern beaches like Praia do Guincho for excellent surfing conditions. There are also a number of attractive beaches and resort towns to Estoril’s east, easily accessible by railway or car.
There’s no chance of suffering from boredom when the sun goes down during your holidays in Estoril. This lively little resort has long been the favourite destination for an international party crowd and the nightclubs and cocktail bars still draw a diverse clientele. On weekends in particular, parties can last well into the morning. The Estoril Casino is the epicentre of nightlife, particularly during the winter when it’s too cold to spend the evening outdoors.
The casino is home to a number of bars as well as the Jezebel nightclub with its overstuffed banquettes, cocktail lounge and dance floor. There are also cabaret shows in the casino, in addition to its classic gaming tables open until 3am. You may wish to dress to impress - a jacket’s required for entry into the gambling floor. Away from the casino, there are plenty of oceanfront bars and cosy pubs. Tamariz is an Estoril hotspot, located directly on the beach. You’ll be able to dance until dawn in the sand or watch the sunrise from a terraced deck.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon yet offering up no shortage of glamour, Estoril is the perfect location for couples. Spend your days soaking up the Portuguese sun by your hotel pool or on the beach. Stroll along the coastal pathways or head into the mountains for rugged scenery. During your romantic holidays in Estoril, you can do everything from taking in a flamboyant cabaret show at the casino to dancing the night away.
Dine in style in a cosy Portuguese café, enjoying the vibrant fresh produce and seafood that’s typical to this area. Take a day trip to Lisbon or Sintra to visit modern art galleries or old-world cathedrals, while meandering along cobblestoned streets. Back in Estoril, the manicured gardens and glamorous terraced bars will lure you in to find a quiet spot tucked away from the crowds.
View architecture from centuries past and learn more about the heritage of Portugal during your visit. Art and culture mingle with relaxed beach life during holidays in Estoril. Within the town, you can visit the Museum of Portuguese Music. It’s housed in a beautiful construction combining painted stucco with traditional tiles and stained glass. Pick up traditional handicrafts at the open-air market in front of the casino in the summertime, where you can see hand-crafted ceramics and enjoy live music.
In nearby Cascais, the Condes de Castro Guimaraes Museum showcases a staggering collection of jewellery, ceramics and paintings from all over the globe. The building itself is part of the charm with its cloisters and gothic architecture. The House of Stories is also well worth a visit, dedicated to the works of Portuguese painter Paula Rego. Visitors can view over 600 unique works in this modern red brick and marble building, notable for its unusual towers framed against the blue sky.