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Basking in sunshine along the Atlantic coast, Estoril is one of Portugal’s most stylish seaside resorts. Set on a family-friendly sandy beach, and around 35 minutes by train from Lisbon, it’s a top spot for a beach holiday. Spend your days cycling, surfing and golfing, and try your luck in the glitzy casino after dark.
Part of the Portuguese Riviera, Estoril has been a coastal playground for the rich and famous since the 19th century. During World War II, the resort was a hotbed for spies – including James Bond author Ian Fleming – and exiled royal families. Today, Estoril remains a favourite escape for Lisboetas, who flock here on the weekend to soak up the sun.
Praia do Tamariz, the sheltered main beach, is just a few sandy steps from the palm tree-lined promenade that connects Estoril to the lively resort of Cascais. And there's no shortage of knockout beaches nearby: Praia das Moitas is a hit with families, while Praia do Guincho attracts surfers from across the globe, thanks to its feisty Atlantic waves.
Away from the water, Estoril is a great place to improve your handicap, with half a dozen top golf courses within easy reach. Tee off at the prestigious Estoril Golf Course and don’t miss Oitavos Dunes, an Arthur Hills-designed links course regularly touted as one of Portugal's best. Motor-racing fans, meanwhile, should make a pilgrimage to the old Formula One track, with its short but superb 13-race history.
Foodies are in for a treat, too. Dine on freshly grilled fish and specialities such as caldeirada (seafood stew) and bacalhau (salted cod), paired with incredibly drinkable Portuguese wines. Afterwards, stroll along the boardwalk to Cascais for an ice-cream at Gelados Santini – a local institution – or retire for a sesta (Portuguese siesta). Whatever you fancy, a holiday to Estoril delivers.
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