Archive for April, 2013

The Portuguese Riviera

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Baia de Cascais, Lisbon, PortugalWhere Spain is famous for its Costas, the most privileged coastal settings of France, Italy and Portugal, amongst others, are called Rivieras. The very word is synonymous with a classic sense of opulence and style, and though the term originated centuries ago to describe the Ligurian coastlines of France and Spain, it is with the Belle Epoque of the late 19th century that Rivieras remain forever associated.

The making of  a Riviera
What sets a Riviera apart from a sunny coastal region popular with tourists is therefore a sense of classical elegance and pedigree. In the case of Portugal, it is the distinction between the Algarve, first ‘discovered’ by tourism in the 1960s, and the coastal resort towns of Cascais and Estoril, whose traditions stretch much further back. Situated close to Lisbon, where the Tejo River meets the Atlantic Ocean, the area began attracting sophisticates from Europe and beyond in the course of the 19th century, in much the same way as San Remo, Biarritz and Cannes were doing at the time. (more…)