Palácio da Pena, Sintra – Image courtesy of raileurope.com
Top attractions near Estoril
Discover a choice of must-see attractions in and around Estoril on Portugal's Costa do Sol – perfect for inquisitive couples celebrating a honeymoon holiday or romantic getaway.
Lisbon’s bustling seaport and compelling labyrinth of cobbled streets and picturesque squares are best explored on foot. However, you may wish to tackle the steeper gradients of the city on the trams and funiculars that rise effortlessly up steep hillsides overlooking the Tejo Estuary.
Discover numerous cultural gems in this likeable city, including the moated Castelo de São Jorge, with its Moorish-built walls overlooking the medieval Alfama district, the Romanesque Sé (cathedral), the 16th century Mosteiro dos Jerónimos at Belém and Igreja da São Vicente de Fora church and its display of unique wall tiles.
Admire superb collections of ancient and modern art at the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga. Elsewhere, explore avenues and squares crammed with churches, museums, art galleries, chic bars, cafes, restaurants, shops and a huge choice of accommodation options.
The beach resorts of Estoril and Cascais are just half an hour away by train or car to the west, while to the south, along the Costa da Caparica, lie kilometres of sand dunes and idyllic coves near Sesimbra – an easy day trip from Lisbon. To the northwest sits the enchanting hillside town of Sintra.
Explore this magical hillside town surrounded by lush green landscape and crammed with an array of architectural gems including richly-adorned palaces, medieval monasteries and manicured gardens overlooked by a Moorish castle.
This former summer retreat of Moorish sultans and Portuguese kings has inspired millions of visitors over the centuries, including writers such as English poet Lord Byron, who extolled Sintra’s beauty in his autobiographical travelogue, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Sintra is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Admire the twin conical chimneys of the Palácio Nacional, a mix of Moorish and Baroque architectural styles begun in the 14th century and finished in the 16th, then explore the palace’s many rooms crammed with paintings and tapestries.
Visit the Palácio da Pena, a fairytale romantic palace built by King Dom Fernando II in the mid-18th century on a 450m-high plateau overlooking the sea. Then stroll through the exotic trees and plants of the surrounding Parque da Pena.
Savour panoramic vistas overlooking Sintra and the Atlantic coastline from the crenellated battlements of the hill-top Castelo dos Mouros, an 8th century castle that was besieged then captured from the Moors by Crusaders in 1147.
Tour the magnificent 19th century Quinta da Regaleira, a fusion of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance architectural styles, crammed with antiques and mythological symbols. Don’t miss peering into the tiny cork-lined cells in the Convento dos Capuchos, built in 1560 to house 12 monks.
Come on a day trip or stay longer at one of the most luxurious hotels in Portugal – the Tivoli Palacio de Seteais. Or stay at the Penha Longa Hotel, a palazzo-style building set amid rolling hills overlooking two world-class golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Sintra is 13km from Estoril and is easy to reach by car and train from Lisbon, just 24km away.