Estoril has its own medieval castle, right on the seashore. It is massive and quite impressive. I will call it ESTORIL CASTLE as I could not find out anything about it. The girl behind the desk at the Estoril Turismo was a little embarrassed to admit that she didn't know what it was called or anything about it. I googled it - lots of pictures, but no information about it showed up! If anyone does know about it, please let me know. Obridgada!
Update: July 20, 2006
JLBG, you are a magician. You suggested it might be Fort da Cruz. I googled it and there it was. I found out it is now known as CHALET BARROS.
Just past the Tamariz Beach, you will see Forte da Cruz, or Old Fort of Santo Antonio da Cruz, a former fortress that protected the Bay against invaders. Over the years, it became obsolete, so financier Joao Martins de Barros bought it in 1894 and transformed it into a villa - Chalet Barros.
Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Estoril Coast stretches all the way from the Tagus Estuary to the Guincho Beach. Thanks to its close proximity to Lisbon and therefore quickly and easily accessible, ESTORIL is well served by rail and road, most notably the scenic coast road known as the Estrada Marginal.
The Estoril coast's climate is temperate throughout the year and never subject to any extreme weather conditions. Estoril has wonderful beaches like "Praia de Tamariz" near the Estoril Train Station.
Estoril has excellent restaurants offering a wide choice of fish and seafood. Our VT group had dinner here Saturday at a restaurant near the Estoril Casino. The Casino is the largest in Europe.
Hans and I walked a few times to Estoril from Cascais, as a continuous promenade runs from Sao Joao de Estoril to Cascais.
Estoril was born in 1914 because of one man's dream - Fausto Cardoso de Figueiredo - and it was to become the most cosmopolitan holiday spot in Portugal until the rise of the Algarve.
Fausto helped develop the transformation of the region, mainly Tamariz Beach, and Estoril Casino.
A tribute to Fausto in the form of a statue, can be found on the grounds of Estoril Casino.
Favorite thing: Hans and I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the ESTORIL PROMENADE from Cascais. The promenade accesses most of the beaches between the two towns. All along the promenade, you will find restaurants with outdoor terraces, many "OLA" ice cream kiosks - my favourite was chocolada - places to rent snorkel equipment and kayaks, places to rent umbrellas and loungers ( expensive at 12 Euros for all day), plenty of benches to sit on, washroom and shower facilities, Circuito Activo ( exercise area) and so on. We would usually go for a few hours - sit, people watch, have an ice cream, enjoy the seaside breezes and the warm sun on our faces - just relax!
Favorite thing: Right across from the train station, in the corner where the bars and restaurants are located, is the TURISMO ESTORIL. I walked in to get some brochures and information. There wasn't much available. I asked the girl at the desk, what was the name of the Huge Castle across the street, as I had taken many pictures of it, but didn't know what it was. Obviously embarrassed, the girl said she didn't know - duh! I said " it's right across the street!!!"
The tourist information in Estoril is right by the Estoril train station and when i was there the young lady working there was very helpful with advice and supplied me with lot´s of maps for me and my clients.
The office is easy to find as it is right as you exit the station and it´s just down the hill from the Casino.
Ian Flemming who wrote the James Bond novels spend part of the second world war in Estoril which was a center for spies in the second world war as Portugal was neutral and therefopr a safe ground for both parts of the war.
Casino Estoril was the place where the spies mostly met and the first James Bond Book "Casino Royale" is inspired by what he experienced in Casino Estoril so Casino Estoril is actually the real "Casino Royale".
Today the Casino is still there right in the center of Estoril and worth walking past even if you are not a gambler as this is a place with quite a bit of history to it.
Fondest memory: The train from Lisbon to Estoril continues to Cacais, further along the coast, but a nicer way to reach Cascais is by the path above the beach. The views of the sea are great though in the other direction some of the touristy hotels ruin the panorama. The walk begins just above the beach in Estoril, it runs almost alongside the train tracks and takes about 20 minutes to get to Cascais.
Favorite thing: The narrow beach next to Estoril train station PRAIA DE TAMARIZ attracts a mix of tourists and locals alike. Above it, bars and restaurants. Sunshades and loungers may be rented. Toilet facilities and showers available.
Favorite thing: The beach in Estoril is perfect for a stroll on the boulevard. There are cafes and restaurants everywhere. And of course you can also go for a swim.