Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Cascais (Cascais) is a small fishing village that exudes charm. Just over 200.000 inhabitants and located on the Portuguese coast, in a beautiful bay overlooking the Atlantic, just 3km from Estoril and 25 from Lisbon. A quiet, elegant and sophisticated place, it has traditionally been a popular vacation spot, chosen especially by nobles and royal families. Cascais has known how to adapt to new times without losing its essence from the past. Today it is still a magical destination to spend the summer, it has it all: beaches, good gastronomy, atmosphere, culture, sports… It is one of the favorite destinations for lovers of water sports , since the conditions of its beaches make it the ideal place to practice surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing…

If you are thinking of traveling to Cascais, we are going to tell you our 10 recommendations before you pack your suitcase. There are options for all tastes. Take note!

1. Beaches In The Heart Of Cascais

If you like the sea, Cascais is your place. Golden and shiny sand, crystal clear waters of an imposing blue… a landscape that will leave you speechless. In the town there are four beaches that are truly marvelous, and all of them can be reached on foot: Praia da Rainha, Praia da Conceição, Praia da Duquesa and Praia da Ribeira. With calm waters and very comfortable for tourism, they are perfect for relaxing and enjoying this enclave. The most beautiful for us is the first, Praia da Rainha. This small cove, with white sand and located between cliffs, is a very special sandy area. One piece of advice: go early, being so small it tends to get crowded.

queen beach cascais

2. Walk Through The Marina

Cascais has places that are a joy to walk through, and its port is one of them. Cascais Marina is a mandatory stop. Located in the heart of the bay, it is the third largest marina in Portugal. Of a noble character, it has hosted many international events, such as sailing championships, regattas… and even the twenty-first edition of the Rey Juan Carlos Trophy, an annual sailing competition. If you like boats, you will have fantastic views: you will see spectacular boats up to 36m in length. But its terraces in the Marina with its unbeatable views make it a privileged place to sit and enjoy a good time. It also has exclusive restaurants, as well as fashion stores and beauty services.

port marina cascais Portugal boats

3. Surfing Paradise

If you like surfing or want to start this sport, Cascais has an ideal coastline for surfing. The Estoril Coast is famous for its incredible conditions, with wild beaches that make it a paradise for many surfers. There are different beaches where you can surf depending on your level. Our favorite for surfing is Praia do Guincho, one of the beaches that receives the most surfers every year. Located in the natural park of the Serra de Sintra, it is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and has incredible waves to surf. It is only 20 minutes from Cascais. Although it is a wild sandy area, with 750m of beach, it has tourist facilities that make it a welcoming place: beach bars, showers, restaurants, parking lots… Is there anything better than sitting in a beach bar after a day of surfing?

surf grinch Portugal playa

We want to reveal a secret to you. A beach not as well known as Guincho, which is a magical place to surf, is the Praia de Cresmina. Unlike the previous one, it is not overcrowded and you will be able to surf with total freedom. You’ll have all the waves to yourself!

A great option if you want to try surfing for the first time is to come to a surfcamp. Surf Cascais is a surf school that also offers accommodation in a villa, equipment rental, classes… It’s a fun experience, especially to go with friends!

4. Windsurfing & Kitesurfing Lovers

The Estoril coast is famous for the presence of strong winds, especially in the winter season. Praia do Guincho, although it is more famous for surfing, is an ideal spot for lovers of windsurfing and kitesurfing. It has the perfect conditions: winds on shore (direction sea-beach) direction west, temperatures of 25-30°, waves… It is the perfect beach to start in any of these two sports. And if you are going to stay for several days and want to discover new corners, you can take the car and go on an adventure to try new beaches! Just 40 minutes away is the Costa de Caparica, near Lisbon. Caparica has excellent beaches for these sports: São João, Fonte da Telha, Lagoa de Albufeira, Sesimbra… If you have the chance and you like sea sports, do not hesitate to explore these beaches.

windsurfing kitesurfing cascais sea Portugal

5. Visit The Citadel Of Cascais

The Citadel of Cascais, or also the Fortress of Our Lady of Light is a place with history. It is made up of several fortifications that were built between the 15th and 17th centuries: the Fortress of Nossa Senhora da Luz de Cascais, the Tower of Santo Antonio de Cascais and the Palace of the Citadel of Cascais. It is located in the town to the right of the Tagus river . It was built with the aim of protecting the port of Cascais from possible maritime attacks. In the 19th century, King Luis I of Portugal ordered it to be converted into the residence for the royal family and the nobility, and the area of ​​the royal palace was built, which is now a museum. It was his place of retirement from 1870 to 1908, with the assassination of King Don Carlos. Being considered for so many years as the vacation spot of the nobility, made Cascais grow as a vacation destination for wealthy people. Since 1977 it is a Property of Public Interest. What does this mean? That you can visit all the rooms of the Palace, even the bedrooms of the kings. It also has rooms in which exhibitions are held. It is a highly recommended visit.

citadel cascais portugal

6. Mandatory Stop: Santa Marta Lighthouse

One place that you must visit is the Santa Marta Lighthouse. This 20m high lighthouse, characteristic for its blue and white colors, began to be built at the Fort of Santa Marta in 1864, as a method of military defense. Since July 27, 2007, it has been turned into a museum that attracts huge numbers of visitors every summer. Do not miss it. Visiting hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays it opens from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just a few meters from the lighthouse, is Casa de Santa María , a noble house built by Jorge O’Oneill, a descendant of the Royal House of Ireland in 1902, who wanted to establish the residence of he. This palace is beautiful, its architecture is typically Mediterranean but with Arab influence, horseshoe arches, 17th century tiles and oil-painted wooden ceilings… a true marvel with unbeatable views. Next to the Santa Marta Lighthouse and the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum-Library, it is a place for conferences and exhibitions, and can be visited for free.

Our recommendation is that you go to Praia de Santa Marta and stay until nightfall. With views of the lighthouse and the palace, you will enjoy a beautiful sunset in the middle of silence, listening only to the sound of the sea. Pure peace.

faro santa marta house santa maria cascais portugal

7. Walk To Boca Do Inferno

Another plan that you cannot miss is to take a walk along the coast, enjoying the spectacular views, until you reach the Boca do InfernoSituated between cliffs, completely wild, it was a sea cave that created the Atlantic Ocean itself, but over the years it collapsed and shaped this arch. Why is it called that, you ask? It is so called because of the loud noise produced by the waves colliding with the rocks, especially in times of storms. The most beautiful time to visit it is in the late afternoon, since you can see a warm sunset, with an incredible sunset.

mouth of hell cascais Portugal

8. Buy In The Municipal Market

The Mercado da Vila Cascais is a place to stop and take a look at all the products they offer. Perfect to buy fruits, vegetables, and more fresh products. It has been around for over 65 years and knows how to combine both tradition and modernity, with stalls that have been selling for years and years, and new restaurants serving modern or avant-garde cuisine, as well as bars where you can stop for a drink. The best days to go are Wednesdays and Saturdays, as this is when all the stalls are open. If you can, go in the morning, which is when they have the most variety of products. Also, you can walk from the center as it is about ten minutes.

village market cascais portugal

9. Counts Of Castro Museum Of Guimarães

The Condes de Castro Museum is located in a small inlet, so few meters from the sea that at high tide the waves brush against the building. It is in a luxurious romantic palace, so its interior is a true work of art: pieces of furniture and porcelain, silver, painted ceilings, an elegant library, etc. This museum keeps an original manuscript from the year 1505 and a music room with a wonderful organ. It can be visited from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

palacio castro guimaraes cascais portugal

10. Make A Hiking Route

The natural landscapes of Cascais make it a unique place. The best way to get to know them if you like sports is by taking a hiking route. The Cabo de Roca is an ideal place for hiking, excursions or even climbing, for the most daring. Did you know that it is located at the westernmost point of all of Portugal and even of Europe? Until the 14th century, this cape was believed to mark the end of the world. It is located 40km west of Lisbon, in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. It is of extraordinary beauty, with little urbanism, a very primitive cliff.

These are the 10 things you cannot miss if you travel to Cascais. Surely you are already taking tickets to go this summer. It is our favorite summer place. If you dare to go, you will not regret it.

cabo da roca cascais portugal

Questions And Answers

What To See In Cascais In One Day?

If you are going to be there for only one day, we recommend making plans that do not go too far from town. You can go to one of the urban beaches (Praia da Rainha our recommendation), eat in the Marina Port and visit the Santa Marta Lighthouse, together to the House of Santa Maria.

  • Where To Surf In Cascais?

The Guincho beach is always the first choice when it comes to surfing in Cascais. If you have a car, we recommend you go to Cresmina beach, much clearer and with fantastic conditions for this sport.

  • How Many Inhabitants Does Cascais Have?

Despite being a town, it has a very high number of inhabitants. It has more than 200.000 inhabitants.

  • How To Go To Cascais From Lisbon?

If you don’t have a car, you can take a very comfortable train (line 19001) that lasts only 40 minutes and costs less than €3. There are also two buses (35 and 417) that last 1 hour and 40 minutes. By car you arrive in just over 30 minutes, it is 30.7 km away.

  • Which Is The Best Beach In Cascais?

Cascais has many beaches of different conditions, wild beaches, quieter beaches… if you want to go simply to relax and enjoy, we recommend Praia da Rainha, a small cove with very fine sand, clear waters crystal clear and not crowded.

  • What To Do In Cascais With Children?

A very comfortable beach to go with children is Cresmina. They will have a blast playing in the waves and in its dunes. At any of the beaches you can try sea sports, and children learn very quickly. Another very fun plan is to take an excursion in the surroundings, such as Cabo da Roca, or visit Boca do Inferno… the whole family will enjoy it!


By Lala