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Estoril Portugal Guide - Fully Updated for 2017!
Estoril is a stylish and fashionable Portuguese beach resort that is situated on the beautiful coastline that extends to the west of Lisbon. Estoril strikes the perfect balance between Portuguese charm and excellent tourist facilities, to create the ideal destination for those tourists who want more than just great beaches for their holiday. The town boasts fine restaurants, world-class hotels and the largest casino of the Iberian Peninsula, all of which provide Estoril with a prosperous atmosphere and a reputation for exclusivity.
Within the Estoril region, there is a diverse selection of sights and activities; these include glorious beaches, championship grade golf courses and historic towns to explore. From Estoril it is only a short walk to the picturesque fishing town of Cascais, while to the north are the scenic hills of the Serra de Sintra and the pretty town of Sintra. There is so much to love about Estoril and this guide will provide an introduction to this wonderful region.
Highlights of Estoril
The extravagant Estoril Casino, with its nightly shows, fabulous restaurants and of course slot machines!
The grounds of the Estoril Casino
The amazing beaches of Estoril, which range from calm and family friendly through to wild and rugged surfing beaches.
The Praia do Tamariz beach in front of Estoril
Walking distance to the delightful fishing town of Cascais, which is connected by a coastal promenade that passes sandy beaches, grand buildings and numerous beach bars.
The promenade walk along the coastline
Why have a holiday to Estoril?
Estoril is a fantastic holiday destination as it provides beautiful beaches, enjoyable day trips and wonderful tourist facilities. The beaches of Estoril are simply stunning; within walking distance of the town are glorious sandy beaches, while to the north are impressive surfing beaches. There are great day trips from Estoril, and it is only a short train ride to Lisbon or bus journey to the pretty town of Sintra and the hills of the Serra de Sintra National Park.
During the summer Estoril has an energetic and social evening atmosphere; with delicious food served in the varied restaurants, entertaining shows in the Casino and late night bars and clubs that continue until the sun rises. There is a lot to see and do within the Estoril region, and for a guide to the sights, activities and day trips of Estoril please click here.
Estoril for 2017
Portugal’s tourism is experiencing a massive resurgence, visitors number have dramatically increased, new business are opening and after many years of self-doubt, there is a real confidence about the country. It is expected that 2017 will be a record year for visitor numbers, based upon the sell-out year of 2016, this does mean that hotels and flights will sell out, especially during the peak season. Our advice to you is to book your holiday as soon as possible, and for a guide to the best accommodation in Estoril please click here.
The Lido (sea swimming pool) of Estoril
Who should Visit Estoril?
Estoril is an exclusive resort town that offers fine restaurants, trendy bars and upmarket hotels. It is a prosperous town that is firmly designed for couples or families. Young couples will appreciate the variety of activities, the close proximity to Lisbon and the buzzing nightlife both Lisbon and Estoril provide. More mature visitors will enjoy the history and culture that is within the region and the knowledge that Estoril is a very safe town. Estoril does not cater for groups who are only after cheap drink and all night parties, but is a good location for groups seeking a refined golfing holiday.
What about Estoril for a family holiday?
The Portuguese believe in the importance of the family, and children will be welcomed throughout the country. Estoril could be considered as an "easy" family holiday destination, as within Estoril there are numerous family friendly resorts and English is widely spoken by all who work within tourism. The beaches of Estoril are children friendly with clean and calm seawaters, which are supervised by lifeguards during the summer.
Guincho beach, is amazing for surfing
When to Visit Estoril?
Estoril has long hot summers, pleasant springs and autumns, and winters that are mild but possibly wet. The weather in central Portugal is suitable for spending time on the beach from mid-May until the end of September, while the height of the summer season aligns with the summer holidays of July and August. If you are visiting during the height of the summer season always book you flights and accommodation far in advance as they do sell-out
The best time of year to visit Estoril is during the late spring or early autumn months, when the weather is pleasantly warm but without the summertime crowds. Estoril is not a winter sun destination and the winter weather can be disappointing, with an equal number of wet days and bright sunny days. The hotels, cafes and restaurants of Estoril do not shut down for winter as it is a major town with a large permanent population.
The Average Weather of Estoril Portugal
What about a day trip to Estoril?
Estoril is much more suited as a holiday destination than as a day trip from Lisbon. Cascais, 3km to the west, has many more historic sights and monuments, and is generally considered a better location for a day trip from Lisbon. The one exception is the enjoyable coastal promenade, which follows the shoreline from Estoril train station to the harbour in Cascais. For a guide to Cascais please click here.
Cascais has many more historic buildings than Estoril
Where does Estoril’s Glamorous Reputation originate from?
Estoril has had a long association with Europe’s elite and famous, with many attracted by the glamour of the grand casino. During the Second World War the Casino was a haven for spies, who undertook secret negotiations and covert monitoring, and these were the inspiration for Ian Fleming's first book James Bond, Casino Royale. The reputation of Estoril was enhanced when the casino was centrepiece for the 1970s James Bond movie On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Today Estoril still retains a prosperous and exclusivity atmosphere but has matured into a family friendly holiday destination.
The Beaches of Estoril Portugal
Estoril is situated on a coastline of beautiful beaches and clean waters. The main beach of Estoril, the Praia do Tamariz, is perfectly suited for families and sun worshippers with golden sands and calm seawaters. For the more adventurous are the beaches to the north, which face the might of the Atlantic Ocean and are ideal for surfing. The finest of these beaches is the stunning Praia do Guincho, which is set on the edge of the Serra de Sintra National Park and is just a 10-minute drive from Estoril.
Carcavelos is vast beach
To the east of Estoril is a coastline filled with large sandy beaches and an assortment of small resort towns, all connected by the regional railway. The best beaches of Estoril-Lisbon coastline are the Praia de Carcavelos and the Praia de São Pedro, and these beaches are extremely popular with the residents of Lisbon, who flock to them during the summer weekends. For a full guide to the best beaches of the Estoril-Lisbon coastline, please click here.
Travel from Lisbon to Estoril
Estoril is connected to Lisbon by a regular and inexpensive railway. The train departs Lisbon from the Cais do Sodre train station (green metro line) and the journey takes 30-40 minutes, with a single ticket costing €2.20/€1.10 (adult/child). For a full guide to the Lisbon-Estoril train service, including the latest timetable please click here.
The train from Lisbon to Estoril
Lisbon airport is within the city limits and the journey from the airport to Estoril requires both the metro and the regional train. The total time takes around 1h30min but costs less than €7 per person. A pre-booked transfer costs around €40 and will be significantly more if hiring a taxi directly from the arrivals lounge at the airport. For a guide for travelling from the airport to Estoril using public transport, please click here.
Day trips from Estoril Portugal
There are many enjoyable day trips from Estoril and the town can make for a fantastic base from which to explore the surrounding region. Just a short train journey to the east is Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, with its numerous historic monuments, fascinating museums and buzzing nightlife. To the north of Estoril are the stunning hills of the Serra de Sintra and the pretty town of Sintra, which is considered the best day trip from Lisbon (and Estoril).
Beautiful Sintra is a popular day trip
Cascais is a charming fishing town that has a pretty historic centre and is within walking distance of Estoril. Estoril is famed for its world class golf courses, all are within easy reach of Estoril. There is a lot to see and do in the Estoril region and this is why it makes for such a great holiday destination.