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Escape to Portugal's Sunny Haven for Royalty
Portugal is about as far away as you can possibly get from the wet Russian fall without leaving Europe. After a five-hour flight, you can sit on a beach at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Dithering between Portugal's two main beach resorts, I plumped for the Estoril coastline, Lisbon's cherished resort area, over the crowded Algarve in the south. Perched on the edge of Europe, the resort's peaceful atmosphere and sumptuous history and culture ensured I didn't regret my choice. Over a hundred years ago a slightly grander family also made such a choice for their holiday destination. In 1870, the Portuguese royal family decided that their summer residence would be in Estoril, a mere 20 kilometers west of Lisbon. The royal court constructed a series of magnificent palaces and mansions that still can be seen throughout Estoril, particularly surrounding the heights of the Monte Estoril. Some remain unchanged since the day they were built. Others have been renovated into ornate banks, while the seafront villas were knocked down and replaced with typically ugly modern tourist facilities. All the hotels in Estoril are located across the highway and the railroad from the ocean, so there's a 10- to 15-minute traipse from the hotel to Tamariz Beach. Rather overcrowded in the summer, the beach population was thinning out by early October, with only few tourists and tanned locals left. Despite the typically high temperatures 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in October and 5 degrees or so lower in November the water in the ocean is always paralyzingly cold. That makes swimming almost impossible, even during the hottest summer months, and all but the most foolhardy tourists flock to the outdoor swimming pools in the seafront hotels. After a couple of days beach-bumming, the sun claimed my face as its prize, so that, bronzed and peeling, I had no need to appear on the beach for a week and began to explore the town. Everything is within a short, lazy walk. Estoril's central attraction is the ... Read more
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Belgium Online · 249 days ago 0 203
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Belgium Online
Brussels, Belgium
19.09.2017 (249 days ago)
 


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Escape to Portugal's Sunny Haven for Royalty
 

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