Estoril Line

A drive between Lisbon and Cascais, enabling some learning on the heritage and least known recreational areas along the Estoril Line, from the Vasco da Gama Aquarium to the Caxias Royal Palace, and providing for delightful strolls along the shore.

This tour can be seen as self-evident for those who live or work in the municipalities of Oeiras and Cascais, but even so, it can keep some surprises, even for whom is well acquainted with the Estoril line. Start your route in Terreiro do Paço, via Ribeira das Naus, and surround the Cais do Sodre, so you might pass the train station and turn right, by the Tagus. You will go throughout the former zone of the Port of Lisbon, which has been partially adapted to new functions, from restaurants and bars to recreational areas. You will then meet the area neighboring Cais do Sodre, then the Doca do Espanhol and, after the Gare Marítima de Alcântara, the area of Doca de Santo Amaro. The Electricity Museum is worth a visit, to learn the secrets of a thermo power station, which supplied the capital for decades. Assuming that you are familiar with the area between the Monument of the Discoveries and the Belem Tower, World Heritage Site, the suggestion is a visit to the Forte do Bom Sucesso, with views of the Tagus waterfront and a reminder of the wars of Africa, in the '60s and '70s. Shortly after, pass the viaduct over the railway and after Algés, turn right to visit the Aquarium Vasco da Gama. Built in 1898 to commemorate the fourth centenary of the arrival of Vasco da Gama to India, the aquarium gathers a wide diversity of sea creatures. It also recalls the oceanographic campaigns carried out in the end of the nineteenth century by King Carlos, who pioneered the study of the Portuguese coastal waters. Resume the Marginal road, knowing that arriving at Cruz Quebrada, if you park right after the traffic lights, you have two possibilities to fill your lungs with fresh air. You can stroll around the track at the National Stadium, walking around the canoeing track or move to the other side of the railroad and walk 1.5 km of waterfront trail until near Caxias. And since Caxias is mentioned, just after the beacon of Gibalta and the junction with the access to A5, in the middle of the descent, turn right, leaving the marginal and parking near the station. Visit one of the most beautiful and least-known monuments of Oeiras: the Royal Palace de Caxias. It's a plunge into the Baroque, through gardens designed for the palace of Prince Francis, the son of King Pedro II and Queen Maria Francisca of Savoy. It is a set of beautiful geometric flower beds, designed in the nineteenth century, under French influence. However, the jewel in this landscaping is the great waterfall, designed by the sculptor Machado de Castro, lavishly decorated and evoking the mythological bath of Diana, goddess of hunting. On the other side of the railway, next to the old beach, are the Forte de São Bruno, one of many that made the defense of Lisbon in the estuary, and a cozy terrace. You will be back to the Marginal road in Paço de Arcos, having the option to lunch at Porto Salvo Philharmonic Society or climb to the Poets Park and walk around for a while. However, if you enjoy the seaside, the most tempting suggestion is a stroll along the Atlantic coast , between Santo Amaro and Torre beaches, via the Oeiras marina. The stroll can continue down to the São Julião da Barra Fortress, a major sentinel of the Tagus estuary, and keep on walking till the Carcavelos beach. A new section of the Marginal road will take you to Sao Pedro do Estoril and to the terraces and views of Ponta do Sal, with its footpath and interpretation center. Willing, you may go to Estoril and Cascais, and select among the diversity of terraces in Arcadas do Tamariz and the many restaurants where to have your meal and spend the rest of the day. Access From Terreiro do Paço towards Cais do Sodré, around the Duque da Terceira Square and turning to the outer side of the railroad. To take into account Mainly on summer weekends, this itinerary may have to deal with traffic jams. When With good weather regardless of season. Length Some 40 km Lisbon-Cascais. Meals Restaurante Baía dos Golfinhos (T. 214410443) by the Forte de São Bruno (Caxias) and SIMPS (T. 214213084), in Porto Salvo. Other spots to visit Car Museum in; Fábrica da Pólvora (Gunpowder Manufacturers), in Barcarena.

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