Destinations »

Estoril

This town was really created from the curious needs of the two World Wars. Once a small Spa location conveniently located between Lisbon and Cascais, it became a prime location for European royal exiles forced to leave their own countries. It has been the residence of King Umberto II of Italy, Juan de Bourbon of Spain, Karl Hapsburg of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and King Carol of Rumania. The modest yet architecturally interesting mansions still remain to indicate their royal owners. At its height its visitors knew Estoril as the “Portuguese Riviera”. The Portuguese themselves were quick to appreciate this added attraction. A Casino with wide avenues and spacious gardens, a golf course, all of which soon appeared and flanked by large hotels and impressive private homes. Today a motorway to Lisbon conveniently links the town, but it still retains a strong glimpse of its former glory with its relaxed gracious style. Nearby is the Grutas de Alapraia, discovered in the late 19th Century containing relics from BC 3.000.