The Algarve is the most popular beach destination in Portugal, but those looking for a more exclusive seaside retreat often head for Cascais, only a short distance from Lisbon. This coastal town has long been popular with the region's elite and in its glory days drew many of Europe's royals. Although this prestige has waned, remnants of it remain in the region's luxurious beachside villas and attractions.
It's well worth a wander around the old town's central square, where cobbles are lined with designer boutiques and al fresco fish restaurants alongside golden bays, sea caves and a marina brimming with clinking superyachts.
And, there's still chances to step back in time to Cascais' glory days. The Museum of the Counts of Castro Guimarães is a particular draw, once the home of its eponym and now preserved as a museum with extensive grounds, sea views and a library of over 250,000 books.