If you’re planning a tour to one of the beautiful towns near Lisbon, a day trip to Cascais is an excellent option. This charming resort town in Portugal is only one train ride from Lisbon. It is famous for its beaches and marina.
Train from Lisbon to Cascais
It is convenient and affordable to travel by train from Lisbon (Cais do Sodre station) to Cascais (Cascais station). Using the Zapping option of the Viva Viagem card, we paid only 5 euros per person for a roundtrip fare. The railway is along the coastline so the ride itself was a treat. We got to enjoy the scenic views and in 30-40 minutes, we were already in Cascais!
Before we realized that Cascais can be explored in a day, we booked an overnight stay at Sheraton Cascais Resort. It is a beautiful, luxurious resort located in the quiet side of Cascais, far from the bustling city center and sea of tourists.
It has indoor and outdoor pools, wellness center, two restaurants, and gardens.
Our room was upgraded to a beautiful deluxe suite. It had a dining room, living room, and kitchen that has direct access to the gardens. The bathroom was very modern and spacious.
Its major drawback is the lack of activity and commercial establishments outside the resort. If you want to explore the main streets of Cascais and its shops at night, you might find it difficult if you’re staying here. To reach the tourist spots in Cascais, you would need to get a taxi which do not also come frequently. You could also catch a free ride from the hotel shuttle but it has a limited schedule.
Remarkable Coastline of Cascais
As always, we chose the scenic route and walked the long coastline to reach the city center. It was hot and exhausting but the views we encountered along the way made our 40-minute walk worth it.
On our way to the city center, we came across a lighthouse in a picturesque setting. Here, you could go down the bridge to have a better view of the lighthouse and the stone bridge. You could also swim in the shallow water in this area.
On the other side of the bridge is Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães. This eye-catching museum looks like a castle from the outside. It has a collection of national and international paintings, furniture, porcelain and jewellery.
Another must-see along the coastline is Boca do Inferno. It has a stunning view of seaside cliffs with unique rock formations. Depending on weather conditions, the waves in Boca do Inferno could turn into giant waves thus giving it its name which means Mouth of Hell.
Another fun but less tiring option to explore the coastline is to ride a bike! Cascais has a designated bike path for cyclists.
Cascais Beaches and Marina
Tourists usually travel to Cascais for its beaches. Its beaches have golden sand and mild sea. There are many beaches to choose from, each with their own view and characteristic. What I liked about Cascais is that you could explore all of its beaches by foot and choose any beach to swim in.
Praia da Rainha
Praia da Rainha may not be as large as the other beaches in Cascais but its unique and charming setting makes it one of the crowd favorites. This beach has a small cove surrounded by jagged rocks, cliffs, and a town above. There were people sunbathing, swimming and stand-up paddleboarding.
Praia da Ribeira
Praia da Ribeira is the central beach of Cascais. Because of its close proximity to the city center, it could easily get crowded.
Praia da Duquesa
This beach has a large sand area which makes it a popular area for sunbathing.
Praio do Tamariz
Praio do Tamariz is the main beach of Estoril. Although it is a long walk from Cascais, many visitors enjoy swimming here. It also has a rock swimming pool which is a big hit with kids.
Praio do Tamariz is next to the Estoril train station and Forte da Cruz.
Cascais Historic Center
Aside from its beaches and marina, the historic center of Cascais is worth a visit. Even though this old fishing town now looks like a holiday destination, you will still find a variety of cultural attractions, local shops, and markets. It has also carefully preserved its old cobblestone streets and historic buildings.
There are many dining options in Cascais. We were craving for Portuguese dishes and seafood so we tried seafood cataplana and octopus rice.
Seafood cataplana is a hearty seafood stew loaded with clams, mussels, shrimps, and fish. The seafood was fresh, seasoned, and cooked well while its soup had a delicious rich, tomato base. Yum!
The octopus rice was served in a large pot filled with rice, chunks of soft octopus, and tomato-based soup, garnished with parsley. We expected it to have a dry consistency similar to a paella but the soupy rice actually worked! The dish had a light flavor while the soup and rice made it filling.
For dessert, we didn’t miss our chance to eat pastel de nata or Portuguese egg tarts and Portuguese coffee at The World Needs Nata. It’s our go-to dessert in Portugal! Why do we love it so much? There’s a light crunch as you eat the buttery, crispy crust of pastel de nata. Its creamy filling is even more satisfying as it melts in your mouth!
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