As with some destinations in Spain, Portugal also has wonderful places that are sometimes overshadowed by others with more fame. And this is what happens to Estoril. This beautiful seaside town, located just half an hour from Lisbon, is the ideal destination to escape for a few hours (or a couple of days) from the capital. Is famous for its elegant palaces and gardensas well as the fascinating spy legends that accompanied it during World War II.

Spa and resting place

Its fame began at the beginning of the 20th century thanks to the presence of hot springs, which turned this town into a resting place of wealthy people. Thus, internationally famous hotels, golf courses and a casino emerged. And although there are still vestiges of the luxury and pomposity of its glorious past, today Estoril is above all a relaxing town with spectacular beaches overlooking the Atlantic. A quiet and charming destination that is worth discovering, even though it is overshadowed by its neighboring Cascais, to which it is linked by a promenade with impressive views.

Empty street in a coastal village of Ericeira, Portugal.

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Coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Cascais and Estoril, resort towns in Portugal, near Lisbon, Portugal
Only 2 kilometers separate Estoril from Cascais on a trail with views of the Atlantic Ocean Coast

On a walk through the historic center you will find numerous buildings that are reminiscent of the luxury tourism that left its mark on this city. Also notable from the golden age of Estoril is the famous Casino, whose fame is linked to that of James Bondsince it was here that Ian Flemming, its author, was inspired to write his novel, Casino Royal.

This haven of peace on the Portuguese coast has never lost its ancient calm. You will see it by enjoying this pleasant plan: relax along its promenade by bicycle or on foot, on a route with great views and that leads to the neighboring town of Cascais. It won’t take you more than half an hour, assuming that you’ll probably stop more than once to take photos.


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Church of Saint Anthony of Estoril

Detail of the marble Holy Water Stoup and the tiles panel depicting scenes of the life of St Anthony, in the Church of St Anthony, in Estoril, Portugal
Interior of the Church of San Antonio de Estoril and typical Portuguese tiles with representations of the saint.

Another place that you should not miss is this temple that is located near the promenade. It has a baroque facade and its construction is typical of Portuguese churches. It was built by the Order of Saint Francis and its interior highlights the ceiling painted by the Portuguese artist Carlos Bonvalot and the tiles with motifs from the life of Saint Anthony.

Neighborhoods with stately homes

Discovering Estoril it is inevitable that you will come across luxurious mansions and chalets, which were residences of members of Spanish and Italian royalty, and today are part of the town’s heritage legacy. Above all, you will see them in the neighborhoods of Sao Pedro or Sao Joao. One of these most notable buildings is the Chalet Barros, built in the 17th century in the shape of a medieval castle. It is also known as Estoril Castle or Forte da Cruz, which was its original name. It is one of the most recognizable images of this town and is located in the popular Praia do Tamariz.

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The best beaches in Estoril

ESTORIL, PORTUGAL - JUNE 21, 2016: Umbrellas on public beach in Estoril in a beautiful summer day, Portugal on June 21, 2016
Estoril public beach

And of course, this charming corner of the Portuguese coast has beautiful and calm sandy beaches, as it could not be otherwise. Among the most pleasant beaches is the Tamariz beach. It is small and has mansions around it and the Estoril train station in front. Its waters are very calm, so it is ideal if you go with children. Very close to it there are also some natural saltwater pools which were built in 1953. Another of the beaches that we recommend is Carcavelosvery good option for families.

How to get to Estoril from Lisbon

If you go by car, the most beautiful route is along the Marginal highway, EN 6, along the coast. Another option is to take the A5, following the signs for Cascais/Estoril. It can also be reached by train from Lisbon. In this case you have to go to the Cais do Sodré Station and take the Cascais-Lisbon regional train. It leaves approximately every twenty minutes and a single ticket costs €2.40.

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