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Cascais Walks - Page 2

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Behind the Museu do Mar is the most striking building of Cascais, the Casa das Historias Paula Rego. The art gallery is at stark contrast to the rest of refined Cascais with the exterior painted vivid terracotta colour and the two pyramid towers represent the towers of the National Palace in Sintra. Inside the museum artwork by Paula Rego is displayed and her art style is strong, comic style and often controversial. The labyrinth layout of the gallery is aimed to disorient visitors and art is bathed from hidden windows.

The Cascais Coastline

The next stage of the tour passes through the exclusive streets of Cascais and then follows the rugged coastline that faces the power of the Atlantic Ocean. From the Casa das Historias turn right (east) and follow the Avenida República (600m) until the roundabout. At the roundabout turn left on the Avenida Vigia do Facho, which passes through some of the wealthiest mansions of the area. This street ends a t-junction with Avenida Rei Humberto II de Itália and the bracing coastline. Opposite the junction is the Boca do Inferno (Hell's mouth) the most interesting natural formation on the Cascais coastline. The chasm is formed by a collapsed cave and the cliff face is battered by Atlantic waves. There are post cards on sale indicating the reasoning behind the dramatic name, when the waves spitting out of the chasm during winter storms.

Time for Shopping

To the south of Boca do Inferno is a permanent market selling traditional wares and products of Portugal. Though designed for tourists the products on sale here tend to be much cheaper than in the centre of moneyed Cascais. The walking tour follows the cliff path south as it curves around the headland back into the town of Cascais, just before the small cobbled bridge turn right, this leads to the Casa de Santa Maria and the light house of Cascais.

Stately Homes of Cascais

The Casa de Santa Maria is a charming house constructed in 1902 which until only recently was a private residence but now has been purchased by Cascais council as a unique building of the town. The house was constructed in defiance of European trends of the era and was constructed solely from Portuguese materials, the tiles used through out were salvaged from a ruined chapel in Lisbon. The house has great views of the marina and is unique designed throughout with the most intriguing room being the boat room.

 

Behind the Casa de Santa Maria is the light house and the Farol Museum de Santa Marta (Light House Museum) which details innovations of lighthouse design. The top of light house can be reached as part of a tour.

 

On the left, after the small bridge on the entrance to Cascais, is the Parque Marechal Carmona an exquisitely maintained park with ponds full of terrapins, rose beds and children’s play equipment. The park is a joy to wander after the sun exposure of the cliff walk and many of Cascais residences are found here also enjoying the atmosphere of the area. For the energetic there is a 30 minute power walk route of the park which is clearly signed, while for the not so energetic a cafe lies to the north near one of the small ponds. By the entrance to the Parque Marechal Carmona is a small chapel, the Capela de Sao Sebastião (Chapel of Saint Sebastian).

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