Cascais is one of the most beautiful municipalities on the Portuguese Riviera and Estoril might just be the most glamorous town within it. Situated just twenty kilometers from Lisbon, it’s perfectly located for international travelers. As such, it makes the majority of its income from the luxury tourism market. With white sandy beaches, blue seas, and plenty of entertainment venues, Estoril is a dream destination for wealthy holidaymakers. However, why should the rich have all of the fun? We’ve collated some of the best luxury for less travel tips to help you make the very most of your break in Estoril, or at least give you some beachy goodness to drool over on your lunch break. If you’ve got more money than you know what to do with though, then by all means ignore us and go and splash the cash however you wish!
At Absolute Magazine we’re always on top of where it is possible for Brits to visit, so we were super excited to see Portugal back on the travel list. If you’re planning your holiday already, then it would be crazy to visit the Portuguese Riviera and not start your trip on the beach. Praia da Azarujinha is a tucked-away cove towards the outskirts of Estoril. Thanks to its slightly less central location you can expect the cafes and bars that surround it to be a little kinder on the budget. The beach itself is sheltered from the, sometimes strong, breeze thanks to the natural curvature of the cliff face. There’s a little climb down to the beach from road level, via a series of narrow stone staircases, but the exertion is worth it. Silky-soft sand, crystal clear water, and plenty of rockpools for peering in make this beach one of Estoril’s hidden gems. Strong swimmers will be absolutely fine to properly explore the waters here, but those who are less confident should take care as the waves are often large.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite at the beach, it’s time to enjoy one of the things that Estoril does best, luxurious lunch. Estoril Mandarim and Cimas English Bar are both staples of the haute cuisine scene, but they have a price tag to match. Lamassa is more sensibly priced, but offers pasta dishes that are truly out of this world. There are only six tables at this family-owned restaurant, so booking well in advance is essential. Although it can seem like an awful lot of trouble to go to just for lunch, it really is worth it. All of the pasta is made in-house and cooked to velvety perfection. Whatever the filling of the ravioli, it is without a doubt worth trying. They rotate the menu regularly to reflect the best quality produce at the time, so whether it’s porcini mushrooms, or creamed salmon, you’ll enjoy every moutful.
Sometimes bigger is better and in the case of the Casino Estoril, this is definitely the case. This behemoth of a gaming venue is the biggest in Europe, but not only that, it has a fascinating history. One of the older still operational casinos in Portugal, construction began on the Casino Estoril in 1916. Right from its inception, it was known that this building was going to have some significance, so the very first stone was laid by the president at the time, Dr. Bernardino Machado. As predicted, the casino came to be incredibly significant in Portugal’s history. During the second world war, it became known as a hideout for royalty, plunderers, and spies, the latter inspiring Sir Ian Fleming to write one of his Bond novels. In terms of grandeur and history, you couldn’t ask for more and it turns out that despite all of this, the Casino Estoril is totally accessible to those who don’t quite have Ian Fleming’s level of wealth.
The casino itself is free to enter and while the games are paid for, if you’re sensible then you needn’t break the bank. There’s also a small art gallery inside, housing modernist works to suit the building. If you find yourself a bit exhausted from the day’s activities but still want to capture a bit of the fun of the casino then there are plenty of online alternatives that you can enjoy using your free hotel wifi. In the name of money-saving, vegas online slots has compiled a list of bonuses available to UK players. Their page specializes in new casinos who are trying extra hard to stand out from the crowd, so you can expect really competitive deals. Though some people are hesitant with newer sites, these have all been verified as legitimate and safe to use. Whether you want to snag a few free spins, or double your deposit money, you’ll be able to find a deal that works for you. So, whilst your holidaying pals are pulling a late one at the casino, you can be tucked up in bed, smug in the knowledge that you’ll be feeling refreshed and ready for what’s in store tomorrow.