Trudging up the scenic fishing village, getting lost in a myriad of shops selling shiny things, I discover, in Cascais all the windy, narrow, streets lead to the white sandy beaches, skirting the Atlantic Ocean.
Tracing the famous Portuguese pavement in all patterns imaginable, I land in a Sunday market at the old town center. Amidst arrays of tables brimming with knickknacks, the Jacaranda trees in the background with drooping trumpet-shaped blue blossoms catch my attention. It is the first time I have seen them live. In excitement, I tell myself Cascais is the most beautiful place I have ever visited.
Only 31 km west of bustling Lisbon, with 30 km of coastline, this seaside village feels like a completely different world. The green of the Sintra mountains framing the azure blue Atlantic Ocean makes for a stunning landscape. Given the weather and site, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Cascais used to be the Portuguese Royal family’s summer retreat. In a way, it helped in elevating the village’s status.
Cascais is like a one-stop shop for vacationers. Beaches, museums, history, culture, sports, stories about spies, food, shopping, you name it, the historic village has it. It is popular as much with golfers as with surfers. The local restaurants known for its fish delicacies swarm with tourists and residents. But, vegetarian will have to do with delicious desserts, and a lot of exercise after that, not just in Cascais but around Portugal.
Here is a photo guide to Cascais.
The flat stoned Portuguese pavements are famous worldwide for their unique patterns. Here’s a pavement representing sea waves.
Seashells appear everywhere in Portugal including the famous Portuguese pavement. They are also a major part of Portuguese architecture called Manueline style.
Read My favourite things to do in Belém, Lisbon to know little more about Manueline style architecture.
Things to do in and around Cascais:
- A walk along Guincho Beach
- Explore the old town
- A trip to Sintra & Pena Palace in Sintra
- A trip to the Paula Rego’s Museum
- Boca do Inferno aka Hell’s mouth