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Estoril Coast

ESTORIL COAST

Situated on the Lisbon coast, half-hour drive or by train from the Portugal capital city, the Estoril Coast has a wonderful climate and is a superb natural environment.

Owing to a Mediterranean type microclimate, the Estoril Coast has mild winters and an ideal summer temperature which never gets too hot. The autumn is ideal and is like a second spring.

Nowhere else in the world can such dramatic changes of scenery and such contrasting atmospheres be experienced in as small an area as the Estoril Coast. The region offers a concentration of different experiences all within a half hour’s drive. Apart from an enormous range of sights attractive to any visitor, a number of more specialised interests can also be pursued.

In this section, we will speak about The towns where to go, History of the region, Entertainment, Sports you can practise & learn, Beaches, Nature, and Gastronomy.


The places

Lisbon

Very close to Lisbon, one of the oldest and most fascinating capital cities in Europe, it has everything a city can provide: a unique atmosphere, a rich history back to the time of the discoveries, good shopping, entertainment of all types and a wealth of cultural activities.

Cascais

Cascais was originally a small fishing port with tourism and a variety of properties situated on the sea front, it has now developed over the years into a very high standard place to live for many Portuguese. The town centre has kept its charm with a good selection of restaurants, shops, lively bars all located within the narrow cobbled streets.

Estoril

Estoril is set in a costal location with its natural landscape outlay ideally set out for properties and hotels situated near the sea, providing some fantastic views from the hotel rooms. It is renowned all over the world as having Europe’s largest Casino (see our page concerning the
Casino of Estoril), the area has a friendly atmosphere and everything is at walking distance.
See as well our section: Estoril & Cascais at night.

Sintra

Sintra was one of the favourite summer retreats of the royal family. And it is today World Heritage site classified by UNESCO. See our presentation of Sintra. Can not be missed!

Brief History

The Arabs in particular left their mark on the architecture and culture, and their influence is apparent in many place names. They built the first windmills and the first literary reference to them is in a poem by the Arab poet Ibn Mucane of Alcabideche, a village near Cascais.

The Lisbon coast was reconquered by the Christians in 1147. From that time onwards, because the area is so close to Lisbon, its people have borne witness to many of the ups and downs of Portugal’s military and political history.

Cascais was the first town that sailors would see as they approached the Tagus estuary. The people of Cascais watched the explorers leaving and their ships returning laden with African treasures, Indian spices and Brazilian gold.

In 1558, they saw the Spanish Armada, the largest naval fleet ever to exist until the Second World War, sailed out on its ill-fated trip to England. The coastal fortifications remind us that the coast was once vulnerable to attack by pirates and that Spanish, French and English forces all landed here at various points in the history of Portugal.

More recently, Estoril became the favourite heaven of many of the kings and aristocrats exiled at various points during the tumultuous history of the 20th century. Estoril was a major centre of international espionage and secret diplomacy during the Second World War, and from that time onwards has retained a sophisticated, cosmopolitan atmosphere.
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Culture & Entertainments

The attractions of the Estoril region are not limited to the sea and the extraordinary coastline. The historical heritage, particularly the delicious and picturesque town of Cascais, is one of the great interests of the area, with important architectural and artistic works. There is a wide variety of cultural activities to ensure that you are never bored. The Casino of Estoril, the largest in Europe, is the best example of this. One of the most important entertainment venues in Portugal, it offers visitors an extraordinary selection – from the many different forms of gaming to great moments of entertainment, with daily shows.

There is a large number of major annual events in the Estoril coast. These include the Cascais International Dog Show, Cascais Fashion, the Cascais Jazz Festival, the Cascais Cool Jazz Festival, the Estoril Music Festival, the Seteais Dance Nights in Sintra, the Sintra International Music Festival (during which there are performances in the magnificent National Palaces of Sintra, Pena and Queluz) and Estoril’s Crafts Fair, where craftspeople from all over Portugal come and work here.

There is an important night life in the Estoril Coast with the downtown of Cascais and its bars, the Marina of Cascais with many restaurants and discothèque, in Estoril you will find as well a discothèque in the beach during the summer (the Tamariz) and close to the Casino during winter.
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Sports

With the obvious exception of winter sports, the Estoril Coast has an ideal natural environment and perfect weather for engaging in any sport imaginable all year round.
Options range from the so-called extreme sports such as parachuting, paragliding, abseiling, rock climbing and mountain cycling to more traditional sports such as horse riding, tennis and golf.

Golf

The Estoril Coast has an enormous variety of golf courses. There are seven 18-hole courses and two 9-hole courses.

Most of these courses were designed by architects with an international reputation. There is a wide choice of tempting rounds of every level of difficulty up to the highest international standard.
The Estoril & Sintra Golf Coast, also known as the Lisbon Golf Coast, received the award of "Best European Golf Destination 2007" by the industry’s biggest trade event worldwide, the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM).
The Estoril & Sintra Golf Coast, won the “Established Golf Destination of the Year” award in 2003.
See the
list of golf courses in Estoril Coast.



Water sports

The whole coast has excellent facilities for water sports including surfing, windsurfing, body board, kite surf, water skiing and all types of sailing. The Cascais Marina is the main facility for sailors and there are many other sailing clubs in the area.

Others

There are many clubs and companies specializing in a wide range of sports activities including archery, ballooning, karting, jogging or jeep safaris.

Several riding schools in the area hire out horses and offer riding lessons. There are also regular riding events at the Cascais Municipal Hippodrome (“Hipódromo Manuel Possolo”).

The region has a large number of tennis clubs and tennis courts, many of excellent quality. The world’s top hard court players come here every year to compete in the Estoril Open, an ATP Tour tournament held every March/April.

The Estoril Autodrome is a well-established venue, hosts spectacular national and international races (in September, the Motor GP World Championship).

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Some noticeable Beaches

Cascais - Little town beaches (Praia da Rainha, Praia da Conceição) with charming surroundings and yachts bobbing on the water. The Praia da Ribeira is a picturesque spot and still a traditional fishing harbour.

Carcavelos - Next to the imposing fortress St. Julian of Barra, with more than 1 Km of sand line and good transport access, Carcavelos beach attracts crowds of sun burning people in summer and legions of surfers all over the year. A pleasant stroll can take you from point to point along the sand, where you'll pass by lots of beach bars. Parking your car is easy in one of the many places available. There is a skate half pipe and a basket small field in the parking lot.

Guincho - 5 km from Cascais , lying at the foot of the Sintra hills and facing the Atlantic, should not be missed. The sand dunes blend subtly with pine trees, the sea - rich in fish - rushes here and there into majestic caverns such as the famous Boca do Inferno which is well worth a visit. The vegetation is varied and beautiful and mostly of the Mediterranean type. Guincho has always been ideal for surfing owing to the large breakers, but it is now becoming increasingly known for wind surfing - a sport much developed over the last few years.



Tamariz - The beach is next to the magnificent Estoril Casino and its gardens. Nearby there are many beautiful mansions and an excellent selection of quality hotels.
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Nature

Nature is also an important attraction. Complementing the sea, green spaces are also fundamental for the ecological balance of the region. The Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais is a key example, representing not only a unique space for the protection of species, but also a key location for leisure activities connected with ecotourism, with a range of activities available to visitors.

Gastronomy

The region doesn't miss a wide selection of restaurants and high quality service. Try some of the most typical dishes of the region, including fish and shellfish, such as steamed lobster, sea bass, white bream or the memorable Cascais sole.
Points of Interest:

The golf courses in Estoril Coast are: the Estoril Golf, the 9-hole of Estoril Blue Course, the Penha Longa Atlantic, the 9-hole of Penha Longa Monastery, Oitavos, Quinta da Marinha, & Quinta da Beloura.
As well within 30 minutes drive: Belas and the Lisbon Sports Club.

Closest Hotels:

» Hotel Palacio of Estoril, 5 stars

» Hotel Quinta da Marinha Golf Resort, 5 stars, Cascais

» Hotel Inglaterra in Estoril, 4 stars

» Pica-Pau Pension in Estoril

» the Pestana Sintra Golf Hotel, 4 stars
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Casino of Estoril and its gardens
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Marina of Cascais
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The Prestigious Oitavos Golf Course
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Estoril Bay up to Cascais
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Lobster: the Portuguese way

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