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Estoril and Cascais – so much to discover just 30 minutes from Lisbon

12/05/2017

Now that the winter is over it's time to start dreaming about sunny summer days and the lure of outdoor activities. If you are planning your summer break why not include Portugal in your plans? Or more precisely, the beautiful coastline of Estoril and Cascais, just 30 minutes from Lisbon. 

Here are some facts that may persuade you to think about a visit.

The coastline of Cascais and Estoril has a number of beaches for you to choose from. From Praia de Paço de Arcos to Praia das Parede, from the small and beautiful Praia da Bafureira, the beaches of Carcavelos, Tamariz, Duquesa and Rainha to Guincho (Praia Grande), there are more than 20 places of choice where you can enjoy Portugal’s magnificent sunshine and blue Atlantic.

From the surf on the beaches of Carcavelos, stage of a World Circuit Competition – the Cascais Women's Pro and Billabong Pro Cascais – and of Guincho, famed for  a range of activities such as windsurfing, kitesurfing and diving, there are so many possibilities for leisure and fun. There is also much. Much more to discover and enjoy beyond the sumptuous beaches.

Estoril and Cascais – so much to discover just 30 minutes from Lisbon

Estoril Golf Club, which opened in 1929, bears the imprint of the renowned course architect Philip Mackenzie Ross and has the distinction of being one of the oldest and most historically important 18-hole golf clubs in Portugal, having hosted the national championship on 20 occasions.

If you play, you will have at your disposal the Quinta da Marinha course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr, which has hosted several Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) tournaments and the Belas Country Club, the championship course designed by Rocky Roquemore. There are also nine-hole courses.

It would be impossible to speak or write of this region without mentioning the charm of Estoril and of the town of Cascais, where some of the richest and most noble European families including those of Spain, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria settled to escape the Second World War.

The Casino Estoril is where Ian Fleming sought inspiration to create the secret agent James Bond, and the 5-star Hotel Palácio is an iconic landmark in the small village of Estoril. Scenes from the  Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service starring George Lazenby and Diana Rigg were shot at the hotel and, following Sean Connery’s decision to quit, the film marked Lazenby’s only appearance as Bond.

Cascais is a traditional retreat of the Portuguese monarchy during the summer; it blends the calmness of a small town with modern tourism. The secular fortresses and Fisherman's Beach sit perfectly alongside the modern marina, its exquisite restaurants and opulent yachts. Centuries of difference come together, all within a distance of a few metres.

Cascais museums include the Paula Rego Story House, the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum and the Sea Museum. And there is a varied and challenging cultural calendar. Cascais is famed for its lively nightlife, traditional Portuguese and international gastronomy and its wonderful hotels.

But do not think that this is the end of our story. There is much, much more to see and enjoy in the region. Cascais is the frontier of the Serra de Sintra (Monte da Lua), a natural area perfect for a host of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain climbing and mountain biking.

In the hills and in the village of Sintra, the first centre of European Romantic architecture and included in the Portuguese list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, are some of the most iconic Portuguese monuments such as the Pena and Seteais palaces, the medieval Castelo dos Mouros (Castle of the Moors) and the Capuchos Convent.

As you can and hopefully will see in person, there is much to discover along the coastline of Estoril and Cascais. Only 30 minutes from Lisbon.