Situated on the western coast of Portugal, Cascais is a charming coastal town that draws in visitors with its vibrant atmosphere and picturesque scenery. Once a sleepy fishing village, it has now transformed into a popular holiday destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities. From the sandy beaches to the historic landmarks, Cascais has something for everyone.
Getting to know Cascais: A charming coastal town
Cascais is a small town with a big personality. Its narrow cobbled streets are filled with vibrant cafes, restaurants, and shops, and its beaches are some of the best in the region. The town’s picturesque bay is a perfect spot to enjoy the sunset, while its marina is a bustling hub of activity. Despite its popularity among tourists, Cascais still manages to retain its small-town charm, and visitors are often struck by the friendly locals who welcome them with open arms.
From fishing village to holiday destination
Cascais’s transformation from a simple fishing village to a thriving holiday destination has been a remarkable one. Its transformation began in the 19th century, when King Luis I of Portugal chose the town as his summer residence. This led to the construction of numerous elegant mansions and palatial buildings. Today, these buildings are still standing, adding to the town’s unique architecture and history. Along with its impressive history, Cascais is also known for its proximity to Lisbon, making it a perfect day trip destination.
Sun, sea and sand: Beaches in Cascais
Cascais is blessed with a number of beautiful beaches that are perfect for sunbathing or swimming. Praia do Guincho is a must-visit for surfing enthusiasts, while Praia da Ribeira is perfect for families with young children. For those seeking a more secluded spot, Praia da Cresmina and Praia da Ursa are both hidden gems. Regardless of which beach you choose, you’ll be surrounded by stunning cliffs, clear waters, and golden sand.
Indulge in the local cuisine and wine
Cascais is a gastronomic paradise, offering visitors an array of local delicacies and wines. Fresh seafood is the order of the day, with grilled sardines and octopus dishes being particularly popular. The town is also famous for its wine, with the Cascais Wine Route being a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. Here, visitors can sample a range of locally produced wines, accompanied by traditional tapas.
Exploring the historic landmarks of Cascais
Cascais is steeped in history, with numerous landmarks and monuments that tell the story of the town’s past. The Cascais Citadel, for example, was built in the 16th century to defend the town from pirates, while the Santa Marta Lighthouse is a stunning example of Portuguese architecture. The town also has numerous museums, including the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, which showcases the work of a renowned Portuguese artist.
Nightlife in Cascais: Party by the sea
As the sun sets, Cascais comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. The town is home to numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants that offer a range of entertainment options. The seafront area is particularly popular, with numerous bars offering live music and drinks with a view. During the summer months, there are often outdoor concerts and festivals that attract both locals and tourists.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or a cultural adventure, Cascais has something to offer. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and welcoming locals, it’s no wonder that the town has become one of Portugal’s most popular destinations. So why not pack your bags and discover the charm of Cascais for yourself?