The best guide to Estoril

Estoril 1 Week Suggested Itinerary and Tour

Estoril is a trendy and popular beach resort that is situated on the beautiful Lisbon coastline. Estoril makes for a fantastic holiday destination, and boasts glorious beaches, enjoyable day trips and lively nightlife. This guide will provide a suggested itinerary for a 1-week holiday to Estoril and will detail some of the best activities, sights and excursions of the region.

Guincho beach

Guincho beach, north of Estoril

Overview of a week in Estoril

Day 1 – Day on the beach (Carcavelos Beach)
Day 2 – Exploration of Estoril and Cascais
Day 3 – A day in Lisbon
Day 4 – Day trip to Sintra
Day 5 – Beach day (Praia do Guincho or Sao Pedro)
Day 6 – A visit to the Belem district of Lisbon
Day 7 – Visit the Cabo da Rocha Headland or bike ride from Cascais to Praia do Guincho

Day 1 – Day on the beach - Carcavelos Beach

There is no better way to start a holiday than to visit one of the finest beaches of the region, the Praia de Carcavelos. The beach is a wide expanse of soft golden sands that offers great surfing waves and good tourist facilities. The Praia de Carcavelos is loved by the residents of Lisbon who flock here during the summer, which means it can get very busy at the weekends. The beach is only 15 minutes away by train and there are numerous hourly departures from Estoril train station. For a guide to the Praia de Carcavelos, please click here.

beach Carcavelos

Carcavelos beach is vast and great for surfing

For those who wish to spend the day closer to Estoril, should visit the Praia do Tamariz, which is within walking distance of the town. This beach has golden sands but the waters are much calmer and is ideal for families.

Praia do Tamariz  Estoril

The Praia do Tamariz beach infront of Estoril

Day 2 - Explore Cascais and Estoril

Cascais is a historic fishing town that combines grand 19th century architecture with traditional Portuguese charm. A day can be easily spent exploring the pretty town and major sights include the Casa Santa Maria, the Guimaraes Museum and the cliff formation known as Hell’s Mouth. There is an enjoyable promenade which connects Estoril and Cascais and this 2km walk passes sandy beaches and grand houses. For a guide to Cascais please click here.

Guimaraes museum

The Guimaraes museum in Cascais

Day 3 - Exploring Lisbon

Lisbon is the vibrant capital of Portugal, and is only a short train journey from Estoril. Lisbon is a historic and diverse city and no short paragraph will do it justice; for a full guide please click here.

Praça do Comércio lisbon

The Praça do Comércio, in central Lisbon

A day trip to Lisbon should focus around the Baixa and Alfama districts, which are the oldest and grandest sections of the city. Sights of the day could include the Se cathedral, the castle and the grand plaza of Praça do Comércio


Lisbon castle

Lisbon castle high above the city

For a relaxing way to discover the Lisbon hop aboard (take a ride on) the number 28 tram as it passes through the narrow streets and steep hills of Alfama. Alternatively, for a waterside view of Lisbon catch the ferry as it cross the River Tejo. Estoril is connected to Lisbon by a regular and inexpensive train service; for a guide to travelling to Lisbon, please click here.

ferry on the way to Lisbon

The ferry on the way to Lisbon

Day 4 Day Trip to Sintra

Sintra is the most popular day trip from Lisbon, and a visit to the town is highly recommended for all tourists on holiday in Estoril. Sintra is located in the cooling hills of the Serra de Sintra, a setting that attracted the nobility and elite of Portugal, who constructed grand palaces and residences.

Pena Palace sintra

The beautiful Pena Palace in Sintra

High above Sintra is the ancient Moors castle, while in the centre of the town is the gothic national palace with its distinctive chimneys. The stand out monument of Sintra is the Pena Palace, a beautifully decorated palace. Estoril is connected to Sintra by a direct bus service (details here), and for a complete guide to Sintra please click here.

 sintra town

Sintra town and the Moors castle at the top of the hill

Day 5 - Beach Day

After two busy days exploring the region around Estoril a day relaxing on the beach is suggested. There are two recommended choices of beaches: either the calm beach of Praia da Sao Pedro or the surfing beach of Praia do Guincho. Guincho is renowned for its powerful swell and near constant breeze, which make it ideal for surfing but not so much for sunbathing. Guincho beach is set on the edge of the Serra de Sintra national park, which gives it a wild and remote appearance and atmosphere.

Guincho Beach

The coastline north of Estoril

Sao Pedro is a much calmer beach and is very popular with the population of Lisbon. Praia da Sao Pedro is connected to Estoril by the regional railway and is only a 15-minute journey away.

Day 6 The Belém District of Lisbon

Belem is a picturesque district of Lisbon that contains many of the iconic monuments of the capital. The Belem is situated on the banks of the Tejo River and is an area of large open spaces, ornate gardens and carefully maintain parks. Contained within Belém is the extravagant Jeronimos Monastery, the charming Torre de Belém and the impressive Discoveries Monument.

Lisbon Jeronimos Monastery

The magnificent Jeronimos Monastery in Belem

Belem is the traditional home of the Pastel de Nata, a Portuguese custard tart, and no visit is complete without sampling one of these delicious deserts. There are sufficient sights and attractions within Belem to fill a whole day of sightseeing. Belem is located to the west of Lisbon and is connected to Estoril by the regional railway. For a guide to the Belém district please click here.

Lisbon Torre de Belem

The Torre de Belem which guards the Tejo Estuary

Day 7 The Cabo da Rocha Headland

The Cabo da Rocha is the most westerly point of mainland Europe and is an area of dramatic landscapes. The barren land is battered by strong winds, while the massive cliffs fall away to the churning and angry seas. At the headland there is a major lighthouse and coastal footpaths along the cliff top. The Cabo da Rocha may not be appreciated by all visitors as it is a very barren region.

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca

An alternative activity is a bike ride from Cascais along the western coast to the beach of Guincho. The route follows a 7km purpose built cycle path, which is very scenic as it passes cliffs remote beaches, high cliffs and small villages. Bikes can be hired in Estoril or free “Bicas Bikes” can be hired once in Cascais, for a guide to the bike route please click here.

Bicas bikes Cascais

The free Bicas bikes and the red cycle path

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The Best Guide to Estoril