Estoril Coast has a rich historical past. A tantalising range of historical
buildings and other sites of cultural interest all lie within easy reach.
Cascais has several places of cultural and historical interest, notably the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum, the Museum of the Sea and a number of old churches and forts. In the Sintra hills, the National Palace, the Moorish Castle, Pena Palace, Monserrate and Regaleira are all fascinating.
Between Sintra and Lisbon lies Queluz Palace, a smaller version of Versailles.
In the northern part of the region, the glorious sound of the bells of Mafra’s huge National Palace and Convent is legendary.
The monastery shows that the life led by the Franciscan friars who lived here was one of extreme austerity.
The plans of the original 18th
century fort, first drawn up in 1796, are in the National Archives.
They were used in restoring the fort and its rooms are exact replicas of the original 18th century building.
This 16th century fortress was built to defend the Bay of Cascais against invasion.
The interior of this 16th century church is richly decorated in typically
There is some beautiful gilded woodcarving round the altar.
A Baroque church, with the octagonal shape typical of the period.
This early 16th century church was built on the site of an even older building.
The museum is housed in the Palace of the Counts of Castro Guimarães, a beautiful mock-Gothic building in an inlet by the sea.
The first floor of the building has been converted into a small museum with a permanent exhibition on the theme “Cascais - Estoril, a Place of Exile”.
The magnificent Berardi Collection of modern art was brought together by Francisco Capelo.
The museum’s vast range of exhibits gives a full and fascinating picture of Cascais through the ages.
The collection in this modern archaeological museum dates back to the mid-16th century, when a group of Humanist scholars began to collect and to classify their archaeological findings.
The invention of the motorcar at the end of the 19th century had a major impact on 20th century life.
The museum contains about 20,000 toys from various historical periods.
Designed by the famous architect Raul Lino, the house used to belong to Mantero Belard, a wealthy patron of the arts who dedicated the second half of his life to studying traditional Portuguese music.
PALACES AND CASTLES
This palace is in the historic old town centre of Oeiras.
This elegant palace was built between 1747 and 1760.
Sintra’s unique geographical
location sets up an intimate connection both with the sea and with the sky.
Dramatic qualities of light and shade endow it with a powerful atmosphere, enduringly attractive to the romantically inclined and to people with an interest in the occult.
This palace, with its spectacular views over the countryside and the sea, has been converted into a luxury hotel.
The huge, unusually shaped chimneys of this palace are a well-known symbol of the town of Sintra.
This palace, like many other houses in Sintra, was designed to evoke the past.
The Moors built this medieval castle on the site of an earlier Arab fortification.
This imposing building is reminiscent of the Escorial Monastery in Spain but is even larger.
Built by Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg Gotha in the early 19th century, this Romantic palace includes the ruins of a 15th century convent.
The Estoril Casino is the
largest casino in Europe. There is a great deal of entertainment here,
including different types of gambling and nightly cabaret and music hall shows
in a sophisticated atmosphere. Apart from the main activities, there is an art
gallery specialising in modern painting and sculpture.
Open every day from 15 – 3h.
The nights on the Estoril Coast are as “hot” and enjoyable as the days. The region’s relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere goes on well into the night at the many bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Whether just out for a drink, relaxing in the company of friends, enjoying some romantic moments or dancing all night, Estoril and Cascais is the perfect setting to spend the long winter nights in an enjoyable atmosphere. Whatever your choice of setting, it will surely be near the sea. Go for an evening stroll and you will soon discover that the nights on the Estoril Coast are simply vibrant.
In the centre of Cascais, the terraced cafés are excellent places to spend the end of the afternoon, whilst making your plans for the rest of the evening. The bars at Camões Square are a great starting point for a fun night.
Just 15 minutes from the town centre, towards the west, there is Cascais Marina. Here you will find a modern and sophisticated setting with a variety of bars, an ideal place to enjoy the night in the company of friends and great music.
The discotheque Nuts Club is one of the favourite spots of the Cascais nightlife and is only a few metres from the Marina, on Avenida Rei Humberto II de Itália. With seven bars, karaoke bar and two dance floors, it promises a hot and exciting night. Let yourself be captivated by the youthful atmosphere and join the party!
An unforgettable place is without doubt Casino Estoril, where you can watch shows and concerts every night of the week. If you prefer disco, pop round to the nightclub Jézebel, located in the same building as the Casino.
Outside the centre, the bars and beaches of Carcavelos beach are also an excellent place to spend the evening with the sea as a spectacular backdrop.
The region boasts a wide
variety of beaches that have been awarded the prestigious blue flag by the
European Union for the quality of their sea water, infrastructure and back-up
The Estoril Coast has delightful beaches, many of them in coves overlooked by elegant villas and palaces, very much like the Côte d’Azur, with walkways by the sea, esplanades and a wide range of lively, cosmopolitan bars.
The coast to the north of Cabo da Roca has dramatic cliffs interspersed with rocky beaches. The water has a high iodine content and the natural environment is still absolutely unspoiled. Some of the smaller beaches are somewhat inaccessible and therefore almost empty.
The beaches at Oeiras, Sintra and Mafra are also well worth visiting.
Abano; Adraga; Avencas; Azarujinha; Bafureira; Carcavelos; Conceição; Cresmina; Duquesa; Ericeira; Guincho; Parede; Poça; Praia das Maçãs; Praia Grande; Rainha; Ribeira; Ribeira D'Ilhas; Santo Amaro de Oeiras; São Pedro; Tamariz; Torre
No one should visit the Estoril Coast without going to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. There is a lighthouse and various facilities. The tourist bureau will supply you with a document certifying that you have been to the most westerly point in Europe. An indigenous plant, “armeria pseudarmeria”, is highly characteristic of the area.
The Mafra Game Park has a pack of wolves living wild in their natural environment. The animals can be observed, visited and even adopted by anyone wanting to support their survival. The sanctuary is at Vale da Guarda, near Malveira.
Visits may be made at weekends.