The best independent guide to Cascais
The Boca do Inferno is a unique sea-arch and cliff formation close to the town of Cascais.
As a visitor this is a dramatic section of coastline for you to visit, with giant waves smashing into the cliffs and high-tide waves roaring through the arch into the base of the chasm. At the Boca do Inferno is a seaward viewing platform, a decent seafood restaurant and a selection of handicraft tourists stalls.
The ideal time to visit the Boca do Inferno is at sunset, and watch the sun sink below the ocean horizon and illuminate the sky in orange glows – magical.
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The Boca do Inferno lies 2km to the west of Cascais and is a popular 20minutes walk from the centre of the town.
Warning: While at the Boca do Inferno you will see locals fishing at the very edge of the cliffs, do not follow their example, these cliffs are very dangerous.
Close to the Boca do Inferno Cascais are a set of small market stalls which sell some of the best value tourist gifts in Cascais. To fully appreciate why Boca do Inferno was given its name, sneak a look at the postcards on sale at the gift shops.
The seafood restaurant at the Boca do Inferno, the Restaurante Mar do Inferno, has a very good reputation and romantic sea view setting. Their menu can be seen of their website:
For a less expensive meal option the café next door, the Rocha do Inferno, is highly recommended.
The Boca do Inferno was formed by the erosion of a weak vein of limestone in the cliff face. This initially led to a cave being excavated which slowly expanded over the generations. The tougher outer rock remained while the weaker rock was eroded to such a stage that the roof of the cave collapsed forming the unique Boca do Inferno.
In 1930 Aleister Crowley a magician, astrologer and mystic, faked his own death at the Boca do Inferno Cascais. As part of the stunt, he secretly left Portugal to reappeared three weeks later at an exhibition of his work in Berlin. The whole controversy was wildly and excitedly reported in the newspapers of the era and helped to promote his work.