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Coastal Gem with Pristine Beaches, Unique Architecture, and Cultural Heritage.

Cascais

Cascais, Portugal, is an oceanfront resort town, both a seaport and a municipality within the district of Lisbon.

Cascais, located on the seaside, 30 km from Lisbon, is well-known from the times when prehistoric tribes lived here. It received the status of a city in the middle of the 14th century, and before that, it was considered a small fishing and agricultural village, and fishing is still an important industry here.

Nowadays, it's a popular holiday destination for both Portuguese and foreign tourists. It has a perfect location, surrounded on three sides by the ocean, being a house for many beautiful historical sites and monuments. 

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, Cascais became the residence of the Portuguese royal family. From that time on, the city began to develop as a tourist destination. 

Cascais is the perfect spot for water sports enthusiasts. There are many good sandy beaches with famous Cascais luxury hotels, especially on the Estoril coast, where there are organized regattas and international competitions. The West Coast is especially popular among fans of Cascais outdoor activities, such as kitesurfing and windsurfing due to the constant large waves, and competitions in these sports are regularly held here.

Speaking about the best beaches of Cascais should be noted Conceicao, one of the most popular and crowded beaches near Lisbon. Praia da Rainha with the convenient bay is one of the best Cascais beaches, protected from strong winds and powerful waves. Praia da Ribeira occupies the central part of the coast of Cascais. The sandy beach and gradually increasing depth make the place very attractive to people. Guincho is the most picturesque of all the beaches in Cascais. As for Ursa, it's one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. It is called “bearish” because of its inaccessibility.

Cascais tourist attractions are numerous. Just three kilometers west of the city lies a stunning cliff with the famous Boca do Inferno, or "Devil's Mouth" grotto. Its roaring waves and dramatic crashes make it a must-see for tourists, earning it the nickname "The Gates of Hell.”

As for Cascais historical sites, the first must-have spot for a visit should be the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It's located in the city center and is considered one of the most famous churches in Cascais. The temple was built in the 16th century, and decorated with paintings of sacred subjects, created by Josefa de Obidos, a famous 17th-century Portuguese artist.

Santa Marta lighthouse Cascais is located on the site of a former fort and the entire complex has been converted into an entertainment and cultural center, although the lighthouse is still part of the coastal signal system. The museum offers an overview of lighthouses in general and the work of a lighthouse keeper.

On the outskirts of Praia do Abano is located Fort do Guincho, also called Fort Velas. It stretches along the southern coast of the Alcabideche district. Although the fort was included in the list of objects of public importance back in 1977, it needs renovation.

The small fort of San Teodosio, located along the coast in Estoril, on Poza Beach, was built during the reign of King João IV.  The fort served as a defensive line between San Julian da Barra and Cabo da Roca.

The Cascais Citadel, used as a summer residence for the President, was built around 1488 by King John II. In its garden is located a small open-air artillery museum.

The Palace Museum of the Counts of Castro Guimarães is located in the ancient port city of Cascais, where fishing flourished in ancient times. 

Currently, it attracts tourists with its endless beaches, international events, and the pleasant warm atmosphere of a resort town.

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All About Cascais

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When to Visit

In Cascais, summers are warm, dry, and partly cloudy, while winters are cool, wet, and partly cloudy, with windy conditions all year round. Still, before the visit, it's recommended to check the Cascais weather forecast.

Cascais, like the entire coast of central Portugal, has a temperate climate, great for beach rest and swimming in the ocean from May to October. The ocean water near the coast warms up to 20. The rest of the time, the water in the ocean is quite cool.

However, most tourists come here in the high summer season, July-August, when the temperature reaches 27-28 degrees.

The cool season lasts from November to March, with a minimum average daily temperature below 17 °C. The coldest month of the year in Cascais is January, with an average temperature is 10°C- 15°C. This period is good for sightseeing tours without crowds of tourists.

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Getting Around

The train station and bus stations, which are close to each other, are located in the heart of Cascais. From here it is convenient to travel to neighboring cities and explore Portugal. There is also a bus running around the city itself on a single circular route every 15 minutes. The ticket price is around 1 euro. To get around the city and be flexible it’s convenient to use a taxi.

Free bicycle rental is available for tourists who check in at the local Cascais beach resorts. Rental hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The most convenient way to access Lisbon is by train, which goes every 20 minutes during high season and costs 2 EUR. At night there are three flights to the capital. Tickets must be purchased in advance before boarding. During the trip, they must be presented to the controller. Depending on the number of stops, the trip takes 30-40 minutes. There should be no problems with moving between cities in Portugal using public transport.

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Travel Information

You can get an unforgettable experience while traveling in Cascais if you consider a few simple Cascais travel tips:

1. How to make the first trip to Cascais unforgettable?

After walking around the city, discovering its architectural sites, and trying local cuisine, don't forget to visit the impressive rock formations at Boca do Inferno, one of the most popular Cascais attractions. Tourists who come here are amazed by the power of the sea, which breaks its waves against the coastal rocks. After driving a little further along the coast, you will see the westernmost point of Europe, Cape Cabo da Roca with impressive panoramas with many excellent restaurants. Another option is a scenic coastal drive to the charming city of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Magnificent palaces that seem to grow out of the ground create a romantic atmosphere of a magical fairy tale, which once inspired Lord Byron and Hans Christian Andersen.

2. What is a list of Cascais hidden gems?

Cascais has an atmosphere of luxury with a fashionable marina, as well as proximity to the famous Estoril Casino, the Estoril Tennis Club, the Formula 1 race track, and several prestigious golf clubs, tennis courts, and horse riding clubs. Cascais harbor hosts many international events. It is also worth mentioning the numerous nightlife establishments of Cascais, the most popular of which are located near the coast. Lovers of dancing until dawn will like the Baluarte club, which, in addition to a colorful dance floor and variable entertainment program, can offer its guests a cozy bar with a lot of treats and signature cocktails.

3. What dishes are the must-try in Cascais?

The traditional dish in Cascais is cozido à portuguesa - a mixture of meat, sausages, and vegetables. Also, you should definitely try specialties in Cascais seafood restaurants, cod is especially excellent, and the residents of Portugal know countless ways to cook it. It is important to pair each dish with the right wine. In addition to the port, Portugal produces many different varieties of table wine. And, of course, don’t forget about delicious cheeses. The highlight of the program is cheese produced in the mountainous regions of the country.
Don't forget to indulge in Portugal's famous pastries, including pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and queijadas (cheese pastries). Cascais will delight with a selection of sweets, pies, and other confectionery products, which, according to legend, were first prepared by nuns in local convents.

Top Attractions Near Cascais

Explore Cascais's excellent selection of attractions, from ancient historic wonders to vibrant cultural sightseeing

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Explore the list of the best things to visit in Cascais with the most appropriate options for all categories of tourist

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Lisbon

The capital of Portugal is one of the oldest cities in Europe, filled with countless historical, architectural, and cultural attractions. Located on the picturesque banks of the Tagus River, Lisbon is a perfect spot to start the journey through Portugal.

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Nazare

Portugal's most famous surfing spot with the highest waves for professional sport, this authentic fishing village attracts surfers from all over the world. Nazare is a must-visit place to feel the vibe of coastal paradise and walk by the walls of the anci

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Sintra

An ancient Portuguese city with a magical atmosphere and rich history, surrounded by lush greenery, Sintra showcases colorful castles with breathtaking panoramic views. Pena Palace, one of the well-known landmarks, is a must-visit attraction.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get clear and useful insider tips for the most common queries about Cascais

Are there any famous surfing spots near Cascais?

Yes, Cascais is a rather popular spot for surfers of all levels. There are excellent conditions for surfing nearby such beaches as Guincho Carcavelos, with consistent waves and surf schools available for beginners.

What are the most popular Cascais nightlife options?

The nightlife in Cascais is presented by a variety of bars, restaurants, and clubs for any taste. It's easy to find a picturesque restaurant and spend an evening there with cocktails overlooking the ocean, enjoy live music performances, or dance the night away in one of the many clubs in the area.

Are there any famous markets in Cascais to get local products and souvenirs?

Yes, there are several markets with fresh products and handcrafted souvenirs. In the focus of attention of most tourists should be Mercado da Vila, a market, open daily,  offering a wide variety of goods from local artisans and vendors.