Sintra is the stunning World Heritage town right outside Lisbon. Itâ€™s Portugalâ€™s most beautiful, and undoubtedly also one of Europeâ€™s. Visit its fairytale palaces (even Disney couldnâ€™t have come up with one as fantastic as Pena), and then escape to its beaches. Adraga has been ranked among the most beautiful in Europe, and you probably wonâ€™t disagree. And if youâ€™re in town on a family holiday, Praia das MaÃ§Ã£s should be your sandy destination.
But if itâ€™s in fact sand and the sea youâ€™re after (and understandably so considering the warm August weather), get on the train in Lisbon, and within minutes you can have your feet in the Atlantic. Cascais and Estoril were the secret resort destinations for European nobility and royalty in the early 20th century, but theyâ€™re now open to anyone looking for a beautiful setting in which to relax and catch some sun.