The steep hills of the Amalfi Coast in Italy provided us with beautiful views over the Mediterrean Sea. In Spain, we got dozy from the Spanish wine and tapas that we ate in a cool cafe hidden away in the warm alleys of Madrid. In France, we wondered how it would be to live as a Marie Antoinette in the Palace of Versailles but in Portugal, we experienced all three.
Facing the North Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is a popular destination among Europeans. The rich history of this tucked away nation is reflected in the local cuisine and impressive architecture. The wildlife is impressive too; driving along the cliffs facing the ocean you'll see wild dolphins and whales. Long story short; Portugal has all you need for a great holiday.
Start your journey in the capital and largest city of Portugal; Lisbon. Pick up your hire car in Lisbon and begin by travelling west to Sintra. This gorgeous city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site but you won't expect any less from a city that dates back to the Roman Empire. Located in the west, the sunsets are simply stunning. A stroll through the city will introduce you to typical colourful Portuguese town houses and delicious sea food restaurants hidden in the basements. Be sure to visit the National Palace of Pena. From the top of the mountain, you will have incredible views over the impressive 11th century Moorish Castle. A weird fact to impress your travel companions with: up until 2010, the lower section of the castle functioned as a prison.
Your next leg of this fabulous journey will be heading south to the coast and a wonderful little town called Cascais. This is where the coastal part of your drive will begin. The views over the sea and rocky cliffs are jaw dropping. As we mentioned before, keep an eye out for those dolphins. Here there is a quaint shopping street lined with restaurants and the beaches are close to the city centre. For those of you who like a little exercise, park the car and grab a push bike. You can hire bikes in the city centre and go for a playful ride, before jumping back in your car for scenic drive along the Estoril Coast.
Wind your way along the coast until you reach Estoril. The magnificent coastline compliments the gorgeous landscape. This is the place to feel lucky as Estoril is home to the largest casino in Europe. Casino Estoril gave inspiration for the first of the James Bond books - 'Casino Royale.' Golf lovers please pay attention! Estoril is considered a top destination for playing golf. Renowned architects designed the seven courses, which include beginner's level and the highest international level.
If golf is the furthest thing possible from your ideal holiday activity, never fear, this part of Portugal is home to the most amazing beaches and impressive cliffs. Fresh seafood is a staple at the local restaurants, and the well thought out town planning allows everything in this community to be within reach. As your drive slowly winds down and meanders its way back to Lisbon, the coastlines, cliffs and beaches will not be forgotten. How could they?
Take the trip and experience the best of Europe wrapped into one country. Nobody puts Portugal in the corner! Call one of our experienced reservations staff on 1300 656 601 or simply book online today!