This small resort town is rightfully considered the Portuguese Riviera. Once Romans lived here, then Moors, exiled kings and titled persons found shelter here. Today Estoril is one of the most fashionable resorts with a lot of restaurants, shops and one of the largest casinos in Europe. This is a very beautiful place with many ancient churches, one of the main attractions of which is the Citadel on a rock washed by the waters of the Atlantic. In the west is the Devil's Fortress (Boca do Inferno), where the rock crashes vertically into the ocean. Here, in bad weather, huge waves rise over the rocks and the sun's rays, reflected in water droplets, crumble with hundreds of rainbows.
This is where Portugal's tourism industry begins. A little more than a century ago, the amazing beauty of nature and mild Atlantic climate attracted the world elite and representatives of famous aristocratic families to Estoril. Her Majesty the Queen of England often rests in Estoril, and Linda Evangelista chose her villa.
Estoril is a fashionable resort with many beaches, ancient churches, an abundance of restaurants and shops. In addition, it is a major center of the gambling and tourism industry in Portugal, with many high-level hotels and nightclubs. Moreover, there is one of the largest casinos in Europe with an impressive entertainment program, as well as an autodrome where European-level races are held. Fans of outdoor activities will find here a variety of water sports, golf courses, excellent opportunities for horseback riding and fishing, as well as eight water parks at once.
Blue seas, secret grottoes, castles, beautiful local gastronomy, fun nightlife, fashionable boutiques and large department stores, museums, hotels for every taste and budget, a whole park of pleasure boats - this is the modern face of this Portuguese resort.
Estoril is located 15 km from Lisbon on the shores of Cascais Bay, so the surest way to get to it is by plane to Lisbon and bus or train to Estoril. Both buses and trains run quite often and cost 2-4 EUR one way, taxis - 20-23 EUR. Given that the city is close to Lisbon and many other settlements where there is something to see, you can rent a car, it will cost from 60 EUR per week.
It is believed that Estoril is the sunniest city in the world. The Gulf Stream current, which washes the coast of Portugal, provides the city with a mild warm climate and a year-round beach season. However, the main influx of tourists falls in the summer months, when the air temperature rises above +30, and the water warms up to +20, in winter the water is hardly warmer than +12 °C, and this time of year is more suitable for cultural leisure.
In the 14th century, a small settlement turned into the largest commercial port, which played an important role in the era of the Great Geographical Discoveries - it was a link between discoverers, traders and the rest of Europe. Then for a long time, like many coastal cities, it was primarily a fishing port, and only in the late 19th - early 20th centuries the city became a tourist center.
Having quickly gained popularity thanks to the variety of entertainment and high level of service, Estoril became a favorite holiday destination not only for aristocrats, but even royal families. At various times, Estoril managed to visit both the last refuge of the deposed monarchs and the new home for many migrants during World War II, to become a "window to America".
The beaches of Estoril are one of the main advantages of the city. They stretch along the entire coastline of Estoril, move to another - Tamariz, the largest and most popular, then San Pedro, Moitas, Carcavelos - and on each you will find all the necessary services - showers, changing cabins, car parking lots, rental points and beach restaurants. There are also casinos on some beaches, and the most famous and largest of them is on Tamariz beach. All the beaches of Estoril are sandy.
In addition to a beach holiday, Estoril offers a lot of entertainment for every taste. Gambling lovers will find many gambling establishments. Gourmets will be delighted with the abundance of restaurants of various levels (but mostly expensive establishments). Fans of outdoor activities can play volleyball, basketball or golf, horseback riding, rent a water scooter or a fishing boat.
Those who prefer to explore the sights after or instead of swimming will not leave the historical places of Estoril indifferent. First of all, it is the Citadel built to protect the city from an external enemy. She repeatedly justified its existence in bloody battles, and in the same battles she received many injuries. The damage forced the fortress to be restored and reconstructed until it grew into a mighty and impregnable stronghold. The Citadel acquired its modern appearance in the 16th century and is considered a brilliant example of Renaissance architecture. There are ruins of several smaller and later fortresses in the district.
Another attraction of Estoril is Boca de Inferno, which translates as "Devil's Mouth." From the sea side, Boca de Inferno makes an amazing impression, especially in cloudy weather - a gloomy dip in the sheer cliff, about which the waves break, looks very atmospheric.
The harsh beauty of ancient fortresses and ancient caves is shaded by many churches scattered throughout the city. The most famous of them is St. Anthony's Church, built in the 16th century and repeatedly restored as a result of fires and earthquakes. In addition, Estoril has several museums of local importance, which, however, are worth visiting - a museum of folk instruments, a museum of ancient cars, a marine museum.