Lisbon and Coast

Lisbon, a city of seven hills with its cobblestones pavements and narrow streets full of Art Noveau cafes promises a lot to discover.  Situated on the north banks of the River Tagus, the charm of Lisbon exists in its strong links to the past.  Its renovated palaces, magnificent churches and an impressive castle mirror the city's rich cultural heritage.  The city is not all culture and history, Bairro Alto is the centre of nightlife with an electic range of restaurants and bars to suit all palates whilst enjoying the fascinating melancholic traditonal music of Fado.  Lisbon's mild climate makes it an ideal all year round destination with winter temperatures rarely going below 10C (50F) and it is the only European capital located so close to sandy beaches enabling one to combine culture with enjoyment by the sea.

Estoril the beach resort is only 26km west of Lisbon and has long been a favoured haunt of the rich and famous.  It has one of Europe's largest casinos, located in the magnificent Parque do Estoril and even boasts a motor-racing circuit.  Estoril is also known for its spectacular golf courses - the region offers seven 18-hole courses.

Cascais which used to be a former fishing village has been tuned into tourism since 1870 when nobility came here for the summer and is now the liveliest beach resort on the Estoril coast attracting a young and international crowd.  Everything of interest is within walking distance and the pedestrianized centre offers an abundance of cafes and restaurants and the unspoilt old town area provides a pleasant afternoon's stroll where some remnants of traditional fishing activity still carry on.  The beaches are one of Cascais' great attractions tucked into little bays making pleasant suntraps and one of the famous tourist attractions is the Boca do Inferno (mouth of hell) just a couple of kilometres from the centre where the sea roars into an abyss in the coast which attracts many visitors.