Located 30 km from Lisbon, Cascais is perfect to spend a day discovering the most beautiful palaces, beaches and restaurants by the sea.
The village of Cascais Portugal is a seaside resort, which is half an hour from Lisbon. Beyond the numerous sights that you must visit, is also great for escaping the city and getting in touch with nature. THE charming cove full of palaces and beaches, it has been attracting tourists from all over the world, who often end up moving there. Here we have all the tips on what to do in Cascais Portugal, which will make your trip unforgettable.
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History of Cascais
Before gaining village status, Cascais was a quiet village of fishermen and farmers until the mid-XNUMXth century. Its strategic position in relation to the defense of Lisbon, meant that they were built there important fortifications over the years, such as the Santo António da Barra Fort and the Santa Marta Fort.
Finally, in the XNUMXth century, King D. Carlos and the royal family settled in the Citadel of Cascais, not resisting, of course, the beauties of the cove. It was also at this time that the train connection between Lisbon and Cascais, which then came to boost the region's development.
Already established as the main seaside resort near Lisbon, Cascais has become refuge of many personalities during World War II. As is the case with the writer of “The Little Prince”, Antoine de Saint Exupéry and King Humberto II of Italy. In addition, it was also an espionage center that served as an inspiration to the British writer and secret agent Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond stories.
Until today, Cascais continues to attract many people from outside, who often choose Cascais when they will live in Portugal. In addition, it is an unmissable tourist spot that is less than an hour from Lisbon and easily accessible. See below all our tips on where to eat, where to stay and what to do in Cascais Portugal.
Things to do in Cascais Portugal
Cascais Bay and Marina
The center of Cascais is a grace, full of streets lined with shops and restaurants that lead to the sea. It's super nice to discover the charms of Cascais Bay, the main square of the city. This is where various events take place throughout the year, such as Christmas markets and music festivals in the summer.
Going up the right side of the Bay, looking out to sea, you will arrive at Cidadela de cascais Portugal. This is where the Marina is located, where there are shops, restaurants and bars and where various sailing events take place, given its privileged position.
Cascais Village Market Portugal
Renovated in 2013, the city's traditional market got a new name in addition to great shops and restaurants. Now known as Mercado da Vila de Cascais, it continues to offer fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables, plus fish and meat every morning. Every Saturday there is a fair in the countryside, with regional products, and there is always a themed fair every month. It is open daily froms eight in the morning until midnight and on weekends until two in the morning.
A few steps from Cascais Bay is the Museum Quarter. There you have more than ten museums and parks to visit and it is possible to buy a daily pass that costs 13 euros.
Many of the palaces, included in the daily pass, were the summer residence of the Portuguese aristocracy. As is the case of the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum and the Cidadela Palace, where the decoration has been kept intact since that time. Admission to the Museum of the Sea and the lighthouse, fortress and fort in the region is also included. In addition, Casa das Histórias Paula Rego is also part of the Neighborhood and is undoubtedly one of the museums that you cannot miss, both for its unusual architecture and for the incredible work of the painter.
Boca do Inferno
A supportive mandatory stop for anyone visiting Cascais Portugal, it is the stunning Boca do Inferno. It is just a ten-minute walk from the Museum Quarter, and is a magnificent view of the force of nature. The rough sea lapping against the cliffs has been forming caves for centuries, making this place an ever-changing spectacle.
Other place with local shops and restaurants is the House of the Guide. It is a great option for lunch, with outdoor tables, fresh fish and a breathtaking view of the sea. Take the opportunity to stroll inside the palace that dates back to the XNUMXth century and discover the shops and exhibitions that are always there. from there it is possible rent bikes (BICAS: name of the bicycles made available by the Municipality of Cascais) and go along the bike path that leads to the wonderful Guincho Beach.
Cascais Portugal beaches
Walking through the little streets in the center of Cascais, you will notice that practically they all go to sea. Take the opportunity to take a short break and visit some of the most charming beaches in the region. To do so, just walk along the seafront in Cascais Portugal, which starts at Conceição Beach, passes through Duchess Beach and Praia das Moitas, then continuing until the Estoril. That's where the Tamariz Beach, facing the Estoril Casino. In summer it is a popular place, with nightclubs and open-air bars. Any of these beaches are great to spend the day. #Tip: If you're experienced in Stand Up Paddle, it's worth taking a guided tour and exploring the cove from a different perspective. See here the prices of the SUP school in Cascais.
A little bit more away from the center, is the famous Guincho beach. Rent a bike close to Guide's House and take the 7 km bike path that goes there along the seafront. #Tip: To rent, just present a document, sign a liability waiver and pay 1,99 euros for one hour. Nonetheless, it is much more worth renting the whole dayo for 3,90 euros, to make the tours with greater tranquility.
It is no wonder that Guincho beach is one of the local favorites. It looks like a set out of a movie, with the Sintra's Mountain and the sand entering the sea. The waves and wind, often strong there, host windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing and bodyboarding championships. So if you practice any of these sports, don't forget to bring equipment. Otherwise you can also take some classes at Moana Surf School, which cost around 30 euros. And after a wonderful day at the beach, end up at Winch bar, the best spot to see the sunset falling into the sea. It is an essential visit to put on the to-do list. what to do in Cascais Portugal.
Take the 2.750-meter course along the seafront, starting at Conceição beach in Cascais and walking along the wall until reaching the Azarujinha Beach in São João do Estoril. Along the way, take the opportunity to discover the charming beaches and oceanic poolss, to have a coffee on one of the terraces or exercise on the sports equipment. Take a small detour when you arrive at Praia do Tamariz and cross the garden to reach the Estoril Casino. In addition to the game rooms, there are always excellent shows going on there, take a look at the agenda to plan a different night.
Where to eat in Cascais Portugal
Cascais has many restaurant options, with foods from all over the world and for all tastes. The proximity of the sea explains why so much offer of fish and seafood, which you cannot miss.
Lunches and dinners by the sea
On the way to Guincho beach, one of the best restaurants to eat the clams (shellfish), the barnacles (shellfish), the prawns (shrimps) and the freshest fish in the region. In addition, the restaurant Furnas do guincho it was built practically over the sea, which means that you will be having lunch with a wonderful view in front of you. Other equally good options are the Monte Mare the restaurant of a Michelin star that stays at the hotel Guincho Fortress.
If you are touring Estoril, try one of the best Chinese food restaurants. At the Estoril Mandarin delicious dim sum and the famous Peking duck are eaten. The Restaurant is located inside the Estoril Casino.
For those who prefer to stay in the center, the good tip is to take a look at the various restaurants that are inside the Village Market. There is also fresh fish and other alternatives, from healthy food to hamburgers.
You can also venture through the small streets of the village, where there is no shortage of places to eat in Cascais Portugal. For those who are a mussel fan, be sure to go to the restaurant “Mussels & Gin” where there are more than ten different recipes, all made with mussels. If on the other hand sushi is your thing, then you will love the restaurant”confraternity”. And for vegetarians there is the charming House of Wonders, common rooftop with view to Cascais Bay.
Dessert in Cascais
Finally, for dessert, the pastry Jewel of Cascais serves traditional sweets, but it's the ice cream parlor Santini that steals attention around here. It is likely that you will have to wait a while in line, quite common especially on weekends, but it is worth it to try the delicious fruit ice creams and unique flavors.
How to get to Cascais Portugal
Cascais Portugal is perfect for those who want unwind and breathe the sea air, after visiting Lisbon. The beach village is less than an hour from the center of the Portuguese capital and you can get there by public transport.
Buy the train ticket at Cais do Sodré station and get ready for a beautiful trip by the sea, through “Costa do Sol” of Portugal. Take the train to the last stop. Along the way, notice the charming beaches and palaces that frame the coast. It is undoubtedly a worthwhile journey, and the return ticket costs only 4,50 euros.
If, on the other hand, you choose to rent a car, there is the possibility of taking the same route as the train, taking the marginal road (N6). For those who prefer to go from Lisbon to Cascais by the fastest route, it is best to opt for the A5 motorway. The toll is 1,35 euros and the journey takes an average of 35 minutes. Arriving in the center of Cascais, it is possible to leave the car in the underground parking lot at Largo da Estação, and get to know the village on foot.
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#Tip: For those visiting Cascais by car, it is also worth going to Sintra which is on the side. Learn more about this wonderful village, full of palaces, castles and mystical gardens in our article “Sintra Portugal: What to do, where to eat, hotels and much more!”.
Hotels in Cascais
the five star hotel lady of the guide is a region icon. It is located next to the boardwalk that leads to Guincho beach and close to the Cascais golf courses. It's from boutique style, with a saltwater pool and peaceful gardens surrounding the rooms overlooking the sea.
To the golf lovers, the best option is to stay in the modern The Oitavos. This hotel is a true refuge located in the Cascais-Sintra park. Guests have access to the award-winning Oitavos Dunes golf course. It also has a wonderful swimming pool between the mountains and the sea, in addition to being a 5-minute drive from Guincho beach.
A more classic option is to stay in Guincho Fortress. Overlooking the sea, this five-star hotel is, as its name implies, right on Guincho beach. The fortress provides a cozy atmosphere with luxurious and careful decoration. And the restaurant is simply unmissable, with a Michelin star and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
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A Pergola Guest House is a great accommodation option with a prime location, next to the Cascais train station and the beaches. The charming Mediterranean mansion offers rooms exclusively decorated with traditional-style furniture, recreating the authenticity of a classic Portuguese day to day.
to take advantage of nightclubs in Praia do Tamariz, the ideal is to stay in Somewhere Guesthouse in Estoril. This fully renovated home offers modern design rooms with a balcony to enjoy the sea breeze. It also has a swimming pool and parking space, so you don't have to worry about where to leave your car.
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One best hostel options in Cascais is the Art 4 You. With tasteful decoration, there is a swimming pool, barbecue and double rooms with private bathroom. And for those who like to meet other travelers, there is also the option of shared rooms. Prices start from 19 euros per night with breakfast included.
Another budget accommodation option is the Hostel Ljmonade, very close to Paula Rego's House of Stories. It has private suites and mixed dormitories, some with a balcony and sea views. In addition to the included breakfast, you can prepare your other meals in the fully equipped communal kitchenThe. A great one to save, don't you think?
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#Our suggestion: Continue your itinerary to Sintra Portugal. See everything about the charming city of the Portuguese mountains: What to do, where to stay, where to eat and much more!
Now that you know everything about what to do in Cascais Portugal, why not start planning your trip?
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Are you also tired of only being able to use your cell phone at points that you find Wi-Fi free during the trip? And having to pay per day to be able to use a GPS in the rental car on the trip?
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