Side Trips from Lisbon: Places to Explore

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Estoril

Having long ago established its reputation as an affluent enclave, Estoril is still the place to go for glitz and glamour. In the 19th century, it was favored by the European aristocracy, who wintered here in the comfort and seclusion of mansions and gardens. In the 20th century, it became popular among international stars and was a top playground for Europe’s rich and famous. Although the town has elegant hotels, restaurants, and sports facilities, reminders of its genteel history are now few. It presents its best face right in the center, where today's jet set descends on the casino, at the top of the formal gardens of the Parque do Estoril.

Across the busy main road, on the beachfront Tamariz esplanade, are alfresco restaurants and an open-air seawater swimming pool. The best and longest local beach is at Monte Estoril, which adjoins Estoril's beach; here you'll find restrooms and beach chairs for rent, as well as plenty of shops and snack bars.

Estoril is also very sports oriented. More than a magnet for golfers, it hosts major sailing, windsurfing, tennis, and equestrian events, as well as motor races at the old Formula 1 track.

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