Cascais Mini Guide
Cascais in a Nutshell
Cascais is a seaside resort, close to the city of Lisbon
in Portugal. It was formally a fishing village and became a resort after the Portuguese royal family holidayed there in the late 19th century. It is known for being cosmopolitan and one of the richest areas in the country. During World War II, the town become a haven to many of the exiled royal families in Europe. Today, the town retains much of its charm from the 19th and 20th centuries and has been compared to Weymouth
in the UK
Once you are in Lisbon, it is very easy and flights arrive here from worldwide destinations. You can take a train, they leave every 15 minutes and the journey time is 40 minutes. If you wish to drive, just take the A5 highway from the city to Cascais, it should take around 30 minutes depending on traffic. In Cascais you can get around using the Buscas bus service or you can hire a bicycle for free from various points in the town.
What is There to see in the Town?
Take a walk and explore the cobbled streets of the old town. There you will find the Church of Nossa Senhora da Assuncao, where you will find inside paintings by the 17th century artist Josefa de Obidos. Visit the Sea Museum and find out more about the story of Cascais and its fishing heritage. The Castro Guimares Museum is a mansion by the sea, where many of the rooms have been left just as the last residents left them.
What Else can I do?
Head for the Marina and see the yachts and the local fisherman auctioning their fish or go sailing for the day. Sunbathe and swim at the Praia da Rainha beach or surf or kite surf at Guincho Beach. If you like a game of golf, you will never get bored as there are ten golf courses to choose from. Take a stroll along the promenade and look out for the Boca do Inferno (mouth of hell) a rocky formation of caves in the sea, that makes a unique blowhole creating a huge spray and deep booming sound.
What’s the Food Like?
There are many excellent restaurants in Cascais. Look out for local dishes such as ‘bacalhau’, a dried salt cod that can be cooked with port and onions or try the merces style pork. The seafood is very good and there are some unusual local varieties to try, ‘percebes’ a goose barnacle or ‘bruxas’ (witches) which are small lobsters. For something sweet you should try the ‘pasteli de nata’ a popular egg custard tart.
Can I Shop There?
Yes. You can shop till you drop there. Browse the stalls at the market Monday to Saturday or take a look at the antiques fair held every Wednesday. There are lots of little boutiques and shops selling souvenirs in the town or you can visit one of the shopping centres or mall outlets.
Staying in Cascais
For a special treat, stay at the 5 star Hotel Cascais Miragem. It has elegant rooms overlooking the bay and free wired internet. You can swim in the infinity pool or have a massage at the spa which has ocean view treatment rooms. Visit the champagne bar for a pre-dinner drink and dine at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant and enjoy the local flavours. Guests have free access to the Holmes Place Health Club.