You get to Cascais Portugal in 35 minutes from Lisbon. Fantastic, right? Best to visit this place in summer as it is famous as a summer resort with beaches and all.
Cascais is considered a cosmopolitan city and one of the wealthiest municipalities in both Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula. It ranks highly for its quality of life and for its lots of beaches (16 of them).
The main thing to do in Cascais, Portugal is swimming in one of its beaches and enjoy water-sports of course, yet read a few more ideas to taste around.
Cascais seems more like a day trip thing you can do when you are in Lisbon.
Here are what we saw in Cascais, Portugal.
Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum
That is one of the most characteristic landmarks in Cascais. That blue and white lighthouse was guiding ships to safety since 1868. It still functions, so is its fog horn. The museum is built and seen next to the lighthouse tower.
The museum has exhibits related to Portugal’s seafaring.
Boca Do Inferno (Mouth of Hell)
Around 5 minutes driving time from the center of Cascais is this place that became famous after Alistair Crowley (famous English mystic) staged its suicide in this place. It is 20 minutes walk from the centre of Cascais or you can drive there.
The suicide was more like a show and never actually happened but you will see the marble plate stating the story.
Here is a video showing why this place is wild. It shows the inner part of the cove.
Here is the video showing how it looks from the sea.
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães
As you walk around Cascais, you will notice this palace with an architecture that combines Manueline-style mouldings & an imposing Gothic stone tower.
It hosts a museum that is full with paintings, prehistory archaeology exhibits, Indo-Portugese furniture, porcelains and jewelry.
A really big library is also hosted here with more than 25.000 volumes dating back to 1600s, with even a manuscript from 1505.
Everything is close in Cascais and in 5 minutes walking distance you can go to the marina. Most people were enjoying the promenade next to the marina, walking up and down breathing in the healthy sea breeze (it was a bit chilly, though).
Old Centre of Cascais
One of the things to do is to simply wander around to explore Cascais centre and the nearby streets and neighborhoods. Above is the famous “5th of October” square, where Cascais City Hall also resides. The statue represents Dom Pedro I.
Different architecture elements mix as you walk around the City of Cascais.
Tiles and stone paved roads, decorated with tile patterns are everywhere. There are plenty of restaurants and small bars to enjoy drinks and food.
Parque Marechal Carmona
The park is in the grounds of Palácio Condes de Castro Guimarães and the land that belongs to the Viscount of Gandarinha.
There are fountains, pods, flowerbeds along with the river of Mochos.
There are 8 beaches (!) in Cascais. Yes, you read it right. If you are a surf lover head to Praia do Guincho & Praia de Carcavelos.
Beach time weather is suitable from mid-May until the end of September. Summer or not, the sea temperature of Cascais is always chilly. In summer it tops at 21C.
Here are all the beaches in and out Cascais, Portugal.
- Praia da Conceição and Praia da Duquesa: Beautiful sandy beaches with calm and clean sea waters, and lots of beach activities.
- Praia da Rainha: It was the private beach of Queen Amélia during the 1880s. Charming and secluded beach, considered as one of the prettiest of the Cascais coastline.
- Praia da Ribeira de Cascais: The central beach of Cascais, directly facing the fishing harbour and the fort. It is also known as fishermen’s beach (Praia dos Pescadores).
- Praia do Tamariz: It is the main beach of Estoril. Estoril is the next resort town along the coastline from Cascais.
- Praia das Moitas: A small beach partway between Estoril & Cascais, connected by the beach promenade.
- Praia de Carcavelos: Most popular beach in Lisbon coastline’s. It is much larger than all of the beaches close to Cascais. It has medium size waves for surfing.
- Praia de S. Pedro do Estoril: Slightly sheltered from the headland, smaller than the Praia de Carcavelos, not so much for surfing.
- Praia do Guincho: A wild beach that lies within the Serra de Sintra nature park.
There a few more beaches along the Portugese Riviera, but not so close to Cascais.
Getting from Lisbon to Cascais
You can get to Cascais via your own car, bus, train or through a guided tour.
Lisbon to Cascais: A 30 minutes drive from Lisbon. You just take the highway and there are signs to get you there.
Bus to Cascais: This site is useful but it is not suggested as you will not land in the center of Cascais.
Train from Lisbon to Cascais: In Lisbon, the train departs from the Cais do Sodre train station (take the green metro line). From Cascais you get at the western terminus, which is in the central of Cascais. That option is the best to get to Cascais. Check this site for European Rail Travel.
Ticket price is: €2.25/€1.15 (adult/child). Return ticket is the price of 2 single tickets (€4.50/€2.30 (adult/child)).
Organized tours to Cascais: This link will get you to all organized tours for Cascais.
Hotels in Cascais Portugal
Casa da Pergola: Well located for major sights.
Villa Vasco da Gama: Outdoor pool, good for couples.
Farol Design Hotel: Good for local colour, uniquely designed interiors.
Fortaleza do Guincho: 5* Luxury, michelin star chef, great views from hotel.
Senhora da Guia: Beachside retreat with Hammam, hot tub, massages and a salt-water pool.
Pousada de Cascais: Art exhibitions and open studios are scattered throughout the hotel.
The Oitavos: Romantic, perfect for a relaxing break by the sea.
Hotel Albatroz: Wonderful sea views.
Martinhal Cascais: Designed with families in mind.
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