A summer resort of old, folk have been holidaying in Estoril since the Second World War. As a result of her neutrality, various great and (not so) good characters from the aristo-exiled community flocked into Portugal, settling on Estoril as a pleasant spot to see out any trouble in their respective motherlands. The region hence became known as the Portuguese Riviera, renowned for jolly international frivolities while the rest of Europe was at each other’s throats.
But these days the palatial and regal homes that are dotted along the coast are crumbling with only the imperial Casino Estoril to hark back to the region’s glory days. The town’s focal point is in front of the Casino on Praia Tamariz, where cafés line the sun-kissed promenade and family-friendly coves of sand lick along the curling coast to the neighbouring seaside town of Cascais. Some tourists come here for a beach holiday and nothing more, but, if you want, Lisbon city centre is just a 40-minute train ride away.