The Portuguese Riviera.jpg

The Portuguese Riviera

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

In this travel feature, Paulo Silvestre takes readers on a guided tour of the best places to visit in Portugal. Paulo provides inside information and useful tips to assist you in planning relaxing trips and enjoyable days out. You’ll discover the best of Portugal and enjoy celebrating its unique culture! Paulo holds a degree in Media Studies and his hobbies include playing in a band.

To the west of Lisbon there is a stretch of coastline known as the Portuguese Riviera. The Casino at Estoril and the beaches of Cascais, Estoril and Guincho, offer a playground for the rich, as well as home for expatriates and exiled European Royalty. This entire area enjoys wide-ranging sports facilities, such as golf, fishing, water sports and grand prix racing. To get there just catch a local commuter train from the Cais do Sodré railway station near the Tejo river.

Picturesque Estoril

Estoril is a very scenic area. You can sit on the boardwalk and appreciate the stunning beach, or take a leisurely walk in the park, with a view of the Casino just up the hill. The well-known Estoril Casino, with its enormous gaming rooms and first class amusement, is one of the jewels of the area and always puts on a first class show to remember.

If you are willing to walk a bit, you may enjoy seeing the luxurious homes and gardens and many of the large mansions dating from the last century when the resort was a favourite of European nobility. For golfers there are numerous accessible courses. There are also provisions for horseback riding and sailing.

Praia do Tamariz.
Praia do Tamariz.

Seaside walk by Cascais

There is a stunning seaside walk that runs from São João Estoril to Cascais. Feast your eyes on beaches, waves and people. Start your walk at São João Estoril and from there you will see the Cascais Yacht Club and the marina entrance. As you continue you will be amazed at the rocky slabs that are great for sunbathing and fishing and also the waves that catch the fancy of surfers. After this, continue on towards Cascais. Pass the Hotel Eden and then the Hotel Estoril-Sol and a few more restaurants before arriving at the beach in front of the Hotel Albatroz. A short while later you will reach Cascais harbour. If you wish, you could stop in the shopping street mall with its high fashion boutiques or perhaps delight yourself at some of the fantastic seafood restaurants.

Praia do Guincho.
Praia do Guincho.

Guincho coast

Guincho has a wonderful sandy beach backed by sand dunes and pine trees. This beach is known as one of the best surfing beaches in the world. It is a paradise for surfers and wind surfers because of the strong breeze. If you are interested in tennis, horseback riding or a salt water pool, you might try the Real Clube de Campo D. Carlos I. There is also a fine bar and restaurant with an exclusive view of Guincho beach.

Passing the surfing beach at Guincho and following the curved cliffs, you will come to the Cabo da Roca. Stop at the lighthouse for a look at Europe’s westernmost landfall. Guincho is an area that you will remember for a long time.

Discover it!

Paulo can be contacted by emailing [email protected]