Cascais is beach town in the Lisbon Region of Portugal, located at the end of the mouth of the River Tagus as it meets the ocean, with spectacular beaches to be found on its Atlantic shorelines.
The combination of maritime leisurely charm, strategic position and location close to Lisbon made it a favourite residence of the Portuguese royal family and several other nobles and one of Portugal’s first holiday resorts. Dominated by the bay and the imposing Cidadela fort, the historic centre is brimming with architectural treasures of a religious, military and civil nature. Likewise, the museums of the Sea, Casa das Historias de Paula Rego, and the Municipal Museum Condes de Castro Guimaraes are also must-see attractions.
Today, Cascais now boasts a smart new Marina with lovely yachts adding a further attraction to the town. The next town to the east of Cascais is the resort town of Estoril with its popular Casino. You can walk to Estoril from Cascais along the beachfront esplanade, passing many beachside bars and restaurants.
Cascais once a fishermen’s harbour is a nice and sophisticated town, also a great gateway to explore the beautiful gold sand beach of Guincho.
Access : Coordinates: 38.6979 -9.42146 / Cascais is easily reachable from Lisbon by car or by train (40 min), from the Cais do Sodre station. A return ticket costs €2.30 and can be bought from the automatic ticket machines. Remember to keep the ticket as it will be checked and punched by the conductor in both directions. Carris operate a bus between Cais do Sodre and Lisbon Airport every 20 mins. A car ride between Lisbon International Airport and Cascais can range between 30 minutes and 1hr 15min (during rush hours).
- Boca do Inferno , Av. Rei Humberto II Italia (Walk or ride a bike a long the footpath between the marina and Av. Republica). Just outside the town is the famous Boca do Inferno in which the sea on rougher days hammers into the rock and creates a booming noise and a spectacular spray thus creating its name which in English means “mouth of hell”. The English occultist Aleister Crowley faked his death there in 1930. Free.
- Palacio de Conde de Castro Guimaraes, Av. Rei Humberto II de Italia Parque Marechal Camona 2750-319 Cascais. One of the most outstanding palaces is the Palacio de Conde de Castro Guimaraes that is open to the public and exhibits its own grand private collection that includes over 25,000 books and such rarities as an illustrated book by Duarte Galvao.
- Museu do Mar Rei D. Carlos (Museu do Mar), R. Julio Pereira de Mello 2750 Cascais. On a much more modest scale is the Museu do Mar that depicts the story of Cascais and its fishing history.
- Parque Palmela. The Parque Palmela is an attractive park created by the Duques de Palmela and now maintained by the Town Hall and in which open-air concerts are often held.
- Guincho beach (Praia do Guincho). Within easy reach of Cascais is the famous beach at Guincho with its high waves that attract windsurfers from all around the world as having some of the best rollers in Europe.
- Casa das Historias Paula Rego (in parkland a short walk due west from the Citadel). Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, closed Monday. Modern red-coloured museum devoted entirely to the works of Portuguese-born artist Paula Rego and her husband. The museum’s large collection is rotated every few months following different themes. €3. Casa das Historias
- Town Hall (Camara Municipal de Cascais), Praca 5 de Outubro 1 (In the centre of Cascais by the sea close to the Hotel Baia). An attractive building with an excellent, small museum on the ground floor that provides a good introduction to the town. Free.
- Lighthouse museum (Farol Museu de Santa Marta). Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, closed Monday. A museum dedicated to the lighthouses of the Cascais coast, situated on the site of an old fort next to a working lighthouse. You can get up close to some of the lights used.
Cascais is the dormitory of the Lisbon international working community and the “younger set” who enjoy the diverse and sophisticated nightlife.There is a famous beach and casino in Estoril. These were a series of underground caves only discovered in the late 19th century. The Grutus do Poco Velho are located in the centre of the town and date back to the Neolithic period.
Activities : Cascais is a magnet for those looking to practice every type of sport and leisure activity. Besides excellent facilities and all the professional staff and necessary equipment, the region boasts a wide range of natural advantages such as pure air, temperate year-round climate and close proximity to the sea and mountains.
Water sports / Golf : Golfers will find a lot of courses concentrated in a very small area, the majority of which are designed by the world’s best architects.
• Best beach close to Cascais – Praia da Conceicao
• Best beach for families – Praia da Duquesa or Praia do Tamariz
• Most popular beach of the Lisbon coastline – Praia de Carcavelos
• Best location for surfing – Praia do Guincho
• Most scenic beach – Praia da Rainha
• Beach for a day trip (with a car) – Ericeira
• Where locals go to escape tourist crowds – Praia da Adraga (Transportation needed)
Autodromo de Estoril : Motor racing / Estoril’s famous motor-racing circuit hosts many important car and bike competitions, such as the Motorcycle GP Championships. It can also be arranged for individuals to experience the thrill of motor racing first-hand. Racing Track, Fernanda Pires da Silva, +351 214 609 500.
Horse-riding : The variety of forest paths and excellent facilities throughout the region are a major attraction for those who enjoy horse riding. Here you’ll find a good selection of riding schools where you can hire horses and learn to ride.
Every year a five star equestrian event is taking place In Portugal called Global Champions Tour. It is a social gathering for all horse shows’ amateurs and professional riders at the Manuel Possolo hippodrome in Cascais. If the thrill of show jumping excites you, check what’s on at Quinta da Marinha or the Cascais Equestrian Centre.
Go next : Sintra , a town in the Lisbon Region of Portugal./ Cabo da Roca is a cape at the western coast of Portugal in the Lisbon Region / Lisbon – the capital of Portugal / Praia das Macas is a small, seaside resort about 30km to the west of Lisbon