Cascais Portugal Guide
Cascais is a charming fishing town that is located on the western edge of the Lisbon coastline. The old-town centre combines grand 19th century architecture with traditional fishing houses, while the beaches of the region are simply stunning. Cascais is both a popular holiday destination and enjoyable day trip from Lisbon, which is less than 25km away. As a day trip Cascais boasts great beaches, historic buildings, immaculate parks and a fascinating coastline. Cascais is a great location to visit so let us at Cascais-Portugal.com show to you why.
Getting Started with a holiday to Cascais Portugal
The Town of Kings and Fishes
Unlike many other Mediterranean beach resorts, which suddenly sprung up with the advent of mass tourism, Cascais has been an established holiday destination since the 19th century. Originally Cascais was a minor fishing harbour until King Fernando II (1816-1885) choose Cascais as his summer retreat and the high society of Portugal flocked to follow him.
They constructed grand residences, fine parks and lavish entertainment venues, which gave rise to Cascais’ popular nickname “the town of kings and fishes”. This trend of high society has continued through to the present day with many of Lisbon’s rich and famous living close to Cascais and this provides the region with a prosperous and sophisticated atmosphere.
Cascais as a day trip from Lisbon or Sintra
Cascais is less than 20 minutes away from central Lisbon and is a popular excursion for visitors who have fully explored Lisbon. Cascais has numerous museums and stately homes, all of which can easily fill a day of sightseeing. Close to the fishing port is the Cidadela of Cascais and the trendy new marina, while further inland is the decorative Castro Guimaraes museum and the pretty municipal park. All museums in Cascais are free to enter and include the informative Museo do Mar, the bright pink Centro Cultural de Cascais and the Casa Das Historias.
The 19th century architecture overlooking the Praia da Ribeira
Bikes can be hired for free (bring ID) and there is a pleasant coastal cycle path that passes the Hell's Mouth cliff formation cliff formation and extends to the great surfing beach of Praia do Guincho. Further along the coast is the most westerly point of mainland Europe, the Cabo da Roca, a region of wind blasted cliffs and ferocious seas, great for lovers of nature's raw power.
The the massive cliffs of the Cabo da Roca
For an enjoyable walk there is a coastal promenade that connects Cascais with the stylish resort of Estoril 2 km away and the route passes numerous small beaches and funky bars and restaurants. There is a varied selection of things to see and do in a day trip to Cascais and the town is rightly a popular day trip from Lisbon.
Cascais Portugal as a holiday destination
Cascais is ideally situated as a holiday destination; it is only a short train ride to vibrant Lisbon or bus ride to charming charming Sintra and the Serra de Sintra National Park. The beaches of Cascais are simply fantastic; Guincho beach is a tremendous surfing beach, while the Praia de Carcavelos is a massive beach easily accessibly by train. For a suggested itinerary for a 1 week holiday to Cascais please click here.
The decorative Castro Guimaraes museum
Cascais offers exceptional value for money and a range of hotels that are able to cater for all visitor types. At the centre of Cascais is the old town that has retained its traditional appeal and is an enjoyable place to relax during the day. As the sun sets the fine restaurants serve up freshly caught fish or other local specialities. The trendy bars are lively and continue late into the night - Cascais is a resort firmly aimed at couples (of all ages) and young families and not for groups looking for cheap drink.