Best Things to Do in Estoril

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  • Casino Estoril
    Casino do Estoril
    kenward | BY-SA

    Whilst maybe not quite as glitzy as Las Vegas the Casino in Estoril is reputed to be the largest in Europe. Whether or not this is still case the casino is definitely big, offering over 1,000 slot machines. Game tables include roulette, blackjack, banca francesa, punto banco, baccarat and poker.

    In addition to the gambling on offer the casino is also an entertainment venue with events held in the 1,000 seat Salão Preto e Prata There is also an auditorium where concerts are held and an art gallery with permanent painting and sculpture exhibitions.

    Estoril Casino is also home...

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  • Pena Palace Sintra
    Pena Palace
    IPPA/António Sacchetti

    No visit to Sintra would be complete without spending some time marvelling at the enchanting Palacio Nacional da Pena.  This canary-yellow and terracotta coloured former palace is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the town and is an eclectic mix of different styles of architecture which somehow or other manage to blend beautifully together.

    In the 16th century the building that stood here was a relatively humble monastery, dedicated to the Order of Saint Jerome and housing only 18 monks.  The monastery was all but flattened by the powerful...

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  • Cidadela de Cascais
    Cidadela de Cascais

    This 15th century citadel, overlooking Cascais marina at the mouth of the Tejo Estuary, has played a crucial role in the history of Portugal, having witnessed fights against pirates as well as battles against Spanish and French forces.

    The original fort and tower, Torre de Santo Antonio de Cascais was built on the orders of King John II of Portugal and completed in 1490, as part of a series of defensive positions to protect the city of Lisbon from invasion by sea. But in 1580 the defences proved inadequate to resist invasion by the Duke of Alba, who...

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  • Cascais Marina
    Cascais Marina

    Cascais has a long-established seafaring tradition dating back to the Age of Discovery.  The modern marina was only built in 1999, with the more recent additions of shops, high-end bars and restaurants.  The marina in Cascais is the third largest in Portugal and has hosted a number of world-class sailing events including the America’s Cup World Series 2011 and the ISAF World Sailing Championship 2007.

    There is a lively atmosphere here in the summer months, with the usual yachting crowds mingling with tourists who come here to admire the array of splendid sailing craft, people-watch...

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    Cascais
    Maritime
    Public Places
  • Museu do Mar, Cascais
    Museu do Mar

    The Museu do Mar, Rei D. Carlos, to give it its full name; or the King Carlos Museum of the Sea is set near the centre of Cascais. It is a modern museum (opened in 1992) that embraces both traditional and modern multimedia style exhibitions.

    Much of the museum's content relates to Cascais' relationship with the sea, although a good deal of this applies to the sea in general.

    The museum is split into several themed rooms set over a couple of floors. Amongst the more local themes is the Cascais shipwrecks theme with exhibits recovered from some of the numerous wrecks along this...

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  • Palácio dos Condes de Castro Guimarães - Cascais
    Palácio dos Condes de Castro Guimarães
    Joaomartinho63 | BY-SA

    Set within the leafy grounds of the Parque Marechal Carmona is the Museu dos Condes de Castro Guimarães - the museum / library of the counts of Castro Guimarães. The museum is housed in one of the most imposing villas in Cascais, which is also known as the Tower of São Sebastião.

    This fantastic mansion by the sea is worth a visit in its own right. The house was built in the 19th century for Jorge O'Neill, the head of a Portuguese / Irish dynasty with links to the nobility. It encompasses several architectural themes the dominant of...

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  • Santa Marta lighthouse - Cascais
    Santa Marta lighthouse

    The easily recognisable Santa Marta lighthouse stands on what was once the southern tip of Cascais (the marina now extends beyond the point). Built in 1868 on the site of a 17th century fort the lighthouse only came into operation after the site was stripped of its military status.

    Santa Marta's distinctive blue and white striped tower stands at 8 metres (25ft) tall and still stands guard over the mouth of the Tagus. Until 1981 it was manned continuously by lighthouse keepers, however these days the light is automated.

    The lighthouse and fort now incorporate a small museum...

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  • Moors Castle - Sintra

    Set high on the Serra de Sintra is the towns oldest monument, the Castleo dos Mouros (Moorish Castle). The ruined ramparts of this ancient castle hug the hilltop, spanning two of its highest pinnacles and incorporating the rocky outcrops into its walls. The castle is believed to date back to the 8th or 9th century when large swathes of Portugal were occupied by the Moors. However, the castle fell back under Christian rule when Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, reconquered it 1147. Aided by Scandinavian crusaders this was a major victory in the reconquest of Portugal and can't have...

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  • Quinta da Regaleira - Sintra
    Quinta da Regaleira
    bgnauka

    This lavish, gothic-style mansion, set in equally fascinating grounds is close to the historic centre of Sintra. Known locally as the “palace of Monteiro the millionaire”, the estate was bought by Antonio Carvalho Monteiro, an altruistic, if rather eccentric entomologist with a fascination for all things esoteric.  With the help of Italian architect Luigi Manini, he set about transforming the villa and surrounding estate into the intriguing place we see today. 

    The Regaleira Palace itself is built in the Neo-Manueline architectural style;...

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  • Boca do Inferno, Cascais
    Boca do Inferno, Cascais
    singra13 | BY-SA

    Literally translated, Boca do Inferno means the "Mouth of Hell". Whether this coastal rock formation near Cascais actually lives up to its name largely depends on the sea conditions. On a calm, sunny day it can be positively idyllic, however, when the full fury of an Atlantic storm is thrown this way the display can be awe-inspiring.

    Boca do Inferno is located on the western edge of Cascais, around from the Santa Marta lighthouse. It is easily reachable from the town on foot but there is also plenty of parking here (and a restaurant) if you are driving.

    The name Boca do...

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  • National Palace - Sintra
    National Palace - Sintra
    IPPA/Jose Manuel

    The Sintra National Palace sits in the historic town of Sintra, about 10 kilometres north of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. It is the only royally-owned medieval palace in Portugal which has survived until the present day. This is the place which Portuguese Royals would have called home for more of their history than anywhere else; they resided here from its construction in the early 15th century until the late 19th century.

    Originally this was the site of a Moorish palace dating back to the time when North African Muslims dominated the...

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  • Convento dos Capuchos
    Convento dos Capuchos
    User:W.Rebel | BY-SA

    If you’re looking to escape from Sintra's well-trodden tourist hotspots, and find a quiet, contemplative spot, this former monastery is just the spot. Almost hidden in a shroud of greenery, it gives a glimpse of the simple lifestyle of 16th century Franciscan monks and an opportunity to get away from it all. 

    The Convento dos Capuchos in the Serra de Sintra National Park was founded in 1560 and provided a place of retreat and penance.  In the 1830's, anti-clerical reforms led to the banning of many Portuguese religious orders and their assets were...

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  • Sintra Tram Eletricos
    Sintra - Praia das Macas Tram
    Alain GAVILLET | BY-SA

    This vintage narrow-gauge tramway connects Sintra with the lively coastal resort of Praia das Macas, 14 kilometres to the west.  The line dates back to 1904 and the open red, wooden carriages are a favourite with younger visitors. 

    Don't expect modern comforts or an efficient journey. In the height of the summer season there can be a long wait to board the tram and queue jumpers can be an annoyance.  The journey itself can be quite hair-raising, with plenty of sudden jolts and stops accompanied by the screech of noisy...

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    Sintra
    Railways
  • Monserrate Palace - Sintra
    Monserrate Palace
    felipeyerabarchi

    This exotic palace was Built in 1858 for English nobleman, Sir Francis Cook. The Moghul-inspired features are not out of place alongside other examples Romanticism in Sintra

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  • Palacio de Seteais - Sintra
    Palacio de Seteais - Sintra
    Can Stock Photo Inc

    This 18th century neoclassical palace was built for the then Dutch Consul. It later came into the hands of the 5th Marquis of Marialva who extended it significantly, adding the arch in 1802.

    The Seteais Palace occupies a prime position on the edge of the Serra de Sintra overlooking the countryside and town. It is surounded by extensive gardens with many fruit trees and features inspired by the then popular Romantic movement.

    In 1946 the Palacio de Seteais was acquired by the Portuguese government becoming a hotel in 1954. It is now the five star Tivoli-Palacio de Seteais...

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Estoril

Estoril travel guide »

Long established as the cosmopolitan holiday destination of the rich and famous on the Portuguese Riviera, Estoril has an elegance more commonly attributed to resorts on the Côte d’Azur. Exiled royalty and deposed despots...