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Esoteric Estoril, Cascais & Sintra

With its romantic beaches, beautiful old architecture and the bright neon lights of the Casino Estoril(the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale), the region straddling Portugal’s Estoril coast has a ritzy elegance more often found on the coast of France than in Lisbon.

Sharing a park with the casino is the luxuriously grandiose Hotel Palácio, abounding with elegant villas, sprawling gardens, nose jobs and collagen. More organic is Tamariz Beach and the various stretches of sand surrounding it, where you can stroll down to the Baroque Santo António church. One thing the fashionable do better than plastic surgery and cocktails is a leisurely round of golf at Penha Longa in Sintra – a romantic town that is also alluring to honeymooners not so eager to be seen…

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra’s Top 10

10. Quinta da Marinha One of Europe’s best golf courses and so much more than a way to ruin a good walk.

5. Casa Das Historias Designed to exhibit paintings, drawings and etchings by artist Paula Rego, whatever’s inside this pair of pink concrete pyramids can’t be better than the building itself!

9. Museo do Mar Paints a picture of Cascais’ maritime history with costumes, tools, nets and boats. Small, but also free.

4. National Palace of Pena This sprawling palace and park is a mix of neo-Gothic, Islamic and neo-Renaissance. One of the most beautifully kitsch and romantic places in Portugal.

8. Casino Estoril The largest casino in Europe. Experience the glitz of Vegas without the abject grittiness.

3. Palacio Nacional de Sintra The opulent interior tells a story of its own (just try to ignore the ignorant graffiti).

7. Guincho Beach A true Atlantic beach, windy Guincho provides excellent windsurfing and an attractive alternative to the romantic beach walk.

2. Cabo da Roca The most westerly point of mainland Europe, with majestic landscapes, dramatic cliffs… and cheesy certificates.

6. Boca do Inferno There’s nothing fiery about this treacherous watery cave – the name means ‘devil’s mouth’.

1. Quinta da Regaleira Sintra is known for its magical forests, romantic palaces, and this Gothic manor and garden. If you’re smart, you won’t forget a torch. If you’re lucky, it might thunder…

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra History

  • Quinta da Regaleira – Located at the centre of old town Sintra, this palace dates back to 1697.
  • Pena Park – This Sintra park is home to Pena Palace (Palácio da Pena), a stunning example of Moorish architecture.
  • Moorish Castle –The ruins of this 9th century castle are a Sintra highlight.
  • Monserrate Palace – An exotic palatial villa.
  • Seteais Palace – A neoclassical palace home to a luxury hotel, restaurant and tourist attraction.

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra Art & Culture

  • Toy Museum – A marvellous museum featuring more than 20,000 exhibits.
  • Palácio de Conde de Castro Guimarães, Sintra – A grand collection of more than 25,000 books can be found here.
  • Estoril Casino – A popular venue for those with money to gamble.
  • Museu do Mar – This museum depicts the history of Cascais.
  • Semanas de Música do Estoril (Estoril Music Festival) – Held in July and August, this acclaimed music festival attracts famous symphony orchestras and leading choirs from across the globe.

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra Shopping

  • A Esquina – This Sintra shop features hand-painted ceramics.
  • Almorábida – Located in front of Sintra Palace, this shop sells Arraiolos carpets, lace and copperware.
  • Henrique Teixeira – A Sintra antiques shop close to the town centre.
  • Shopping Cascais – A large Cascais shopping centre featuring 100 boutique stores.
  • Tear Linhos – A Cascais emporium for hand-embroidered goods. This shop is the ideal place to make purchases for friends and relatives back home.

Gay & Lesbian Estoril, Cascais & Sintra

  • Lisbon & Portugal Gay Pride – This annual festival is held in late June.
  • Hotel da Vila – A modern, gay-friendly hotel in Cascais.
  • Baluarte Bar – A spacious Cascais bar popular with the locals finishing work for the day. The venue is a trendy, youth-oriented place open daily from 4 pm to 4 am.
  • O’Neill’s Irish Pub – Located within a few steps of Cascais' town hall, this Irish pub is where live Irish music can be heard.
  • Adega das Caves – Situated in the centre of Sintra, here tourists can mix with other tourists. The bar specializes in serving up beer and Portuguese wine.

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra Outdoor

  • Parque Palmela – An attractive Cascais park maintained by the town hall. Open-air concerts are regularly held here.
  • Guincho Beach – Located within easy reach of Cascais, this beach features high waves attractive to windsurfers.
  • Grande Beach – Watch windsurfing championships at this glorious Cascais beach or simply relax on the shore in either the sun or the shade.
  • Ribeira d’Ilhas Beach – Located north of Ericeira, surfing and body boarding are popular on this beach.
  • Cascais Marina – An active marina attractive to sailing enthusiasts. Regular sailing competitions are held around Cascais Bay.

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra Sport

  • Watch motorsport events at the Estoril Circuit.
  • Enjoy a game of golf or watch a championship at the Cascais Belas Country Club.
  • Catch tennis stars in training at the Quinta da Marinha in Cascais, home to six tennis courts.
  • Witness the Global Champions Tour, an annual five-star equestrian event at the Manuel Possolo hippodrome in Cascais.
  • Catch show jumping at the Cascais Equestrian Centre.

Estoril, Cascais & Sintra Events

The Sintra Festival is a series of summer events taking place in a range of locations.

The Estoril International Craft Fair (June to August) is the oldest in Portugal, showcasing the creations of over 300 artists and many equally talented chefs.

July brings the Cascais Cool Jazz Fest. You may forget the names of the acts, but you won’t forget the open-air experience.

July’s Estoril Music Festival has broadened its horizons in recent years to include orchestral and choral concerts plus workshops for those who don’t simply want to watch.

Cascais’ Festival of the Sea in August features marine-themed processions and ends with a bang when the fireworks come out.

When To Go

The Costa de Estoril’s ruggedly romantic landscape also comes with cold weather and lots of rain.

Even at the height of summer temperatures seldom exceed 27°C (81°F) and are cooled by sea breezes.

May to September sees the best of the weather, but correspondingly more people.

Getting Around

Car rental companies abound around Estoril, and renting a vehicle is the best way to see the scenic Cascais coast.

Walking is ideal within the small town, although the hills present more of a challenge.

In the town, anyone unfamiliar with European driving (and parking) may struggle when it comes to driving, but buses are cheap and reliable.

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Hotels in Estoril

Recommended hotels

From US$32

1 Hotel Londres

3 stars
Not yet reviewed

Avenida Fausto de Figueiredo, n 279 Map

.Hotel Londres is located in Estoril just 450 meters from the beach, 500 meters from the casino, 2 Km from Cascais and 20 minutes from Sintra. A quality hotel with friendly service, for your... More

From US$41

2 Hotel Inglaterra

4 stars
3.8 / 5

Rua Do Porto 1 Map

Welcome drink included

With pleasant views over Estoril gardens, the sea and Cascais bay or residential areas, the Inglaterra Hotel Estoril is located in a quiet area that provides all the conditions for a tempering... More

From US$65

3 Vila Gale Estoril

4 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

Avenida Marginal-Apartado 49 Map

Vila Gale Estoril is a perfect place for you to reside and explore the surrounding areas. GeneralBusiness meetings, banquets, cocktail parties and other events can be hosted at the meeting rooms... More

From US$121

4 InterContinental ESTORIL

4 stars
Not yet reviewed

Avenida Marginal,8023 Map

Set in the Oceanfront of the Atlantic, on the “Portuguese Riviera” a region full of beauty and history, where the omnipresent Ocean has created a fascinating coastline and a mild microclimate.... More

From US$40

5 Lido Hotel Estoril

3 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

Rua do Alentejo 12 Map

Surrounded by the beautiful gardens, the Lido Hotel Estoril with its courteous service and quality amenities prides itself as an ideal location for business and leisure travellers. GeneralThe... More

From US$132

6 Hotel Cascais Miragem

5 stars
4.6 / 5

Avda Marginal 8554 Map

Includes buffet breakfast

Offering contemporary accommodation blended with maximum comfort and charm, the Cascais Miragem Hotel is the perfect setting for those seeking a tranquil retreat. GeneralThis marvellous property... More

From US$53

7 Alvorada Hotel Estoril

3 stars
3.7 / 5

Rua de Lisboa 3 Map

Offering an excellent service and friendly ambience coupled with beautiful surroundings, the Alvorada Hotel Estoril is the ideal base for all kinds of travellers. GeneralThe hotel provides well... More

From US$55

8 Saboia Estoril Hotel

3 stars
4.7 / 5

Rua Belmonte, 1 Map

With well-appointed units and contemporary facilities strategically situated a stroll away from the beach, Saboia Estoril Hotel makes for a suitable base for travellers in Estoril. From this... More

From US$60

9 Amazonia Estoril

4 stars
4.0 / 5

Rua Eng. Alvaro Pedro De Sousa No. 5 Map

Save 33%

Offering impeccable service and unique hospitality, the Amazonia Estoril Hotel is the right place for a pleasant stay. GeneralThis property features meeting rooms for organising your various... More

From US$42

10 Sana Estoril

3 stars
3.3 / 5

Avenida Marginal, 7034 Map


Sana Estoril Hotel is a perfect place for you to reside and explore the surrounding areas. General Guests can make use of the two conference and banquet rooms, which can accommodate up to 140... More

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