The shining coast of this country is easy to get to by train from capital Lisbon. Gorgeous beaches, golf courses and architecture adorned by azulejos – decorative, ceramic tile – are a feast for the eyes.
First Stop: Estoril. The region is a world-famous resort and true cosmopolitan center, with incredible nightlife (and renowned casino – the largest in Europe), golf courses and even a motor-racing circuit.
For relaxation, there are tens of beaches, many of them in quiet coves overlooked by elegant villas and palaces. Walkways and esplanades are withing close reach – taking you to restaurants and hopping bars. For a quieter spit of sand, the coast to the north of Cabo da Roca has dramatic cliffs and rocky beaches. All alone, you’ll feel completely spoiled – in a place entirely unspoiled.
Prefer higher land? The Sintra Mountains lie at the heart of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, and is the only area designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both cultural interest and natural beauty. Sintra Mountain used to be called “The Mountain of the Moon”, for its natural magnetic properties.