Walking Tour of Cascais - Page 1
The pretty fishing town of Cascais makes for a fantastic day trip from Lisbon. The area surrounding Cascais is regarded as having excellent beaches and the town was once where the Portuguese royal family took their bathing holidays, giving Cascais the affectionate name of “The Town of Kings and Fishes”. This royal connection brought in the Portugal’s wealthy who constructed fabulous residences which line the town's streets.
This association with wealth has continued to the present day with construction of the exclusive marina designed for cruising Mediterranean yachts. Cascais is a play ground for the famous or rich and the town is maintained like no other city in Portugal. The Cascais walking tour focuses on the sights of the town and lasts between 3-4 hours, for a guide to the beaches that surround Cascais click here.
The tour starts from the train station of Cascais. The train is the recommended method to reach Cascais from Lisbon and for further details on getting to Cascais click here.From the entrance of the station cross over the main road and pass down Rua Seb JC Melo, this is the street with the McDonald’s on the right.
The road leads to the small and picturesque beach of Praia da Rainha. This delightful beach is surrounded by small cliffs and rock formations and it's secluded location was popular with the nobility of Portugal. Due to the small size of the beach, it is usually crowded during the summer months.
Head away from the beach towards the centre of Cascais along the main shopping street, Rua Direita. This street is lined with exclusive shops, temporary market stalls run by gypsies and street performers. Rua Direita opens up into the street Alam Combatentes Grande Guerra and the square of Largo Luis Camoes, these two areas which will tempt any visitor who is after a meal.
Contained within this small area is a vast selection of different open air restaurants catering from all tastes and nationalities, including the English all day breakfast! Due to the competition waiters touting for customers speaking fluently in many different languages, trying to charm visitors in for sometimes over priced food.
To the north of the central square is the tourist office which contains the remains of a 16th century dwelling and the staff here will happily provide a free map of Cascais. South from Largo Luis Camoes square is the main beach of Cascais, the Praia da Ribeira.
This is a traditional beach shares the water with the small fishing fleet of Cascais and is over looked by the some of the best examples of 19th century Portuguese architecture. The beach of Praia da Ribeira has golden sand but the small size means it is again crowded during the summer months, for a day on the beach there are many better beaches between Cascais and Lisbon – click here for them.
From Praia da Ribeira walk up the road heading up the hill, Rua Marques Leal Pancada, this street ends at the charming church the Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Assunção or more commonly referred to as the Igreja Matriz de Cascais. The tourist trade is flowing in Cascais and at the time of writing this guide the Igreja Matriz de Cascais church was undergoing a painstakingly detailed restoration.
Opposite the church is the brightly painted Centro Cultural de Cascais (Cultural Centre of Cascais) which over the three floors of the museum hosts touring art exhibits. As all museums are free in Cascais, pop in an enjoy the varied selection of art to be exhibited in the museum.
Head north from the Centro Cultural de Cascais and across the roundabout on to the Avenue da Republica. One of the entrances to the carefully maintained park of Marechal Carmona is on the left but this is detailed later on the walking tour.
The next sight along the street is the Museu do Mar (Museum of the Sea) this was once the summer time residence of the Portuguese royal family. Contained within the Museu do Mar are permanent exhibits detailing the fishing history of Cascais, the sea life of the coasts of Portugal and other sea related exhibits. Each of the displays is clearly described in both Portuguese and English and the museum is another interesting detour of the tour.
Cascais Tourist Guide Navigation
Memories of Cascais
Cascais had such great beaches
The lighthouse in Cascais...
That pretty central beach
Remember where we got those great ice creams from