An ever growing popular trend with the adventurous holiday maker is to combine a beach and city destination. So for the best of both worlds and for some relaxation and culture I headed off to Portugal to experience what Cascais and Lisbon has to offer.
A short two and a half hour flight followed by a 30 minute scenic train journey and the delights of the beautiful coastal town of Cascais awaits. Cascais is located on the Estoril coastline with both towns close together.
Cascais is a wonderful laid back town that caters for all demographics. There are several coves with sandy beaches and a good choice of hotel and dining options in the former fishing village.
Estoril slightly south of Cascais is a little more than two minutes in a taxi. A huge attraction is the famous Casino De Estoril, which is huge and is highly recommended even if you don't partake in the gambling as it also features restaurants, a club and live entertainment at the weekends.
For a day trip, Sintra comes highly recommended, located a little over 45 minutes from Cascais by local bus or alternatively easily accessible from Lisbon by train. Apart from being a lovely town the huge attraction lies in the overlooking mountains; The Pena Park and Palace once occupied by the Portuguese Royal Family up until 1910, when Portugal became a Republic. The Pena Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and apparently one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. The Park occupies eighty five hectares and has various attractions apart from the palace; it really is a great day trip!
Next up, a short train journey back to the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon with its large avenues and picturesque architecture. Lisbon is quite a large city with rich history a population of 2 million. It can be quite hilly but it is easily accessible via a local metro, tram and bus networks. Taxis are inexpensive and the many tour buses that circumnavigate the city come highly recommended as a great way to quickly get a geographical handle on the city. There are loads of cultural attractions and the hop on hop off bus services is a very convenient option to pack in as much as possible on your visit.
The main thoroughfare, The Avenue Liberdade is lined with designer shops, hotels and cafes and is a great place to spend an afternoon people watching. There are many parks and squares for a stroll and Lisbon has a great choice of hotel options. A trip to the Belem district which features the castle and the Maritime Museum is a must and then there is the contrast of the ultra-modern site for the EXPO '98 which has been converted into business district that features many attractions including Europe's largest aquarium, Oceanarium. Lisbon has many attractions and is ideal for all types of holiday makers.
If you wish to explore holiday options in Portugal or holiday combinations please do pick up the phone or send me an email.