Destinations

Costa do Estoril: Timeless refuge

When talking about Portuguese destinations, what comes to mind are attributes such as the weather, the safety, the food, the heritage, but there is a characteristic that applies to Estoril more than any other: sustainability.

From the sustainability viewpoint the Estoril Congress Centre is the beacon that lights the way and can mobilise the region’s movers and shakers in the common goal: to organise more sustainable events with a lesser impact on the environment and for future generations. And it has been successful in making its mark internationally, even as a good-practice case study. Its standing as a sustainable destination is a strategic asset in attracting international events, so important to the destination. A destination, moreover, that has huge potential for events and incentives, is just 30 minutes from Lisbon airport and has sea, mountains, culture, sports, bars, restaurants, good hotels and venues.

Modernity and tradition

The Estoril Coast brings together modernity and a heritage almost unparalleled in our country. Instantly, Sintra comes to mind, a World Heritage Site, a unique, unforgettable place that invites you to enter a romantic universe of fairy tales, castles and palaces, princes and princesses. The landscape, bucolic and harmonious, takes your breath away, as if the green takes on a special hue, a hue of there and nowhere else. Cape Roca is another special place, not least because it is the westernmost point of mainland Europe. A little further north stands the Convent of Mafra, world famous thanks to the book by José Saramago Baltasar and Blimunda. Now Oeiras is a thriving municipality in constant evolution with an ongoing focus on events, home of Optimus Alive, the music festival that is all the rage. And Cascais offers cheerful, relaxed bustle, with good restaurants, bars, hotels, shops, a marina, besides, of course, the beaches with their calm and crystal-clear water.

The region is widely known for its very good conditions for sports such as surfing, bodyboarding, windsurfing, sailing, and so many of the these sports’ European and World Championships take place along the Estoril Coast. Equestrian sports and tennis are also relevant here, as are motor sports, with the Estoril Autodrome hosting several competitions every year. The potential for adventure sports is also enormous, and there are several companies actively engaged in this field in the region. And, of course, golf lovers will find an ample choice of golf courses, some of the country’s best.

Food and wine are always good reasons to choose Portugal as a destination for leisure or business. Truly typical in this region are the Negrais suckling pig, the Mercês-style pork, and the sweets such as Travesseiros, the Sintra Queijadas or the Fofos de Belas. Here, too, there’s fine fish to be eaten. In terms of wines the Colares area is outstanding.

Arms wide open to the world

Estoril’s international vocation isn’t new. During the Second World War the Portuguese Riviera was, for example, an espionage and diplomacy centre for several of the warring powers. The country’s neutrality caused many kings and aristocrats to seek the region as their place of exile. The atmosphere of peace and security, along with the mild climate, the beaches, the luxury hotels and the casino charmed crowned heads, writers, actors and many other foreigners, who saw in Estoril an Eden in a Europe put to the sword. James Bond was born during a stay by Ian Fleming in the region, while the famous Casino Royale is neither more nor less than the Estoril Casino, still the show-piece of this destination.

 

Tags: Estoril

07-01-2015