Cascais is to Lisbon what Brighton is to London. Except for the shingle, higher weather, and arguably an awful lot extra placing views. Oh, and a barely greater upgraded model of fish and chips
Cascais, Portugal is placed about an hour to the north of Lisbon and is frequently viewed as the retention of the rich as glitzy houses line the coastline. It has a specific riviera feel, however, it wasn’t usually that way. Before the 1870s (when King Luis I determined to make Cascais his summer season house and firmly function Cascais as a vacation spot for the wealthy), Cascais used to be notably a fishing town and was once a strategic port of name for ships on their way into Lisbon due to the town’s place on the mouth of the river Tagus.
Due to its accessibility from Lisbon (it’s an hour via instruct from the Cais do Sodre station) and its wealth of luxurious hotels, spas, inns (and even a casino) tourism has long been essential to this seaside town; however, we fell a little bit in love with it due to the fact of its wild coastal views and sea air.
In this rapid information to Cascais we’ll cover:
When to go to Cascais
How to get to Cascais
Where to continue to be in Cascais
Top matters to do in Cascais
Favorite locations to devour in Cascais
Tips for Responsible Travel in Cascais
Best Time to Visit Cascais
Being the beachside vacation spot that it is, Cascais is at its most stunning (and busiest and most expensive) in summer. We advise fending off July and August if your tour plans are flexible and additionally heading off weekends the place expenditures hike and crowds surge into the Cascais.
We visited in June from a Sunday to Wednesday and received lovely weather, plus the gain of experiencing Cascais with a long way fewer fellow site visitors as soon as the weekenders went again to Lisbon.
During winter, many of the accommodations and eating places shut down for the season, and the climate is chilly, however, wintry weather can be a time to have the Cascais to yourself if you are feeling the want of some brisk sea air.
How to get to Cascais
If you’re traveling from Lisbon, Cascais is a stunning and effortless trip from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre station via train. Trains run as frequently as 4 per hour for the duration of top times, we endorse journeying backyard of commenting hours in the early morning and early night – mainly if you’re journeying with luggage.
From Lisbon Airport, unluckily there is no public transport (you would want to go in and out of Lisbon). We took a taxi from the airport which values fifty-five Euros inclusive of toll, and then located out that the usage of Uber would have been 1/2 the fee (around 27 Euros)!
Where to Stay
Travelling in June, now not on a weekend, we have been at the start greatly surprised through the expenses of Cascais hotels. Put it this way: Cascais is now not a finances destination. There are a few hostels in Cascais however they have a tendency to be on the fancier end, and a non-public room will nevertheless frequently set you again upwards of one hundred Euros per night.
Due to the influx of tourism to Cascais and hastily growing property fees and construction, we advocate selecting a resort as an alternative of Airbnb’s and condo rentals, as staying at a motel is typically greater supportive to the nearby economy. See greater on our accountable tour hints below!
Where you’ll prefer to remain in Cascais relies upon on your price range and additionally what you design on doing in the course of your visit. If you desire to loosen up and take it easy, you may want to reflect onconsideration on one of the motels outdoor of Cascais city centre – there are lots of these lining the coastal road, entire with pools, spas and even golf courses.
If, however, you desire to be free to stroll round city and strive a wide variety of restuarants, shopping, and usually potter round we advocate staying in Cascais city itself – there are a few alternatives in the suburbs the place you’ll be in a position to get a bus/taxi/uber into Cascais city centre. We stayed in the Fontainhas district of Cascais, however wouldn’t sincerely endorse it as it used to be an effort getting in and out of town, with few consuming picks around.
Centrally positioned Eco Ljmonade Hostel is squeaky clean, centrally located, life like price and is vegan and vegetarian friendly, as properly as supplying eco-friendly bathe products.
Check fees and availability for Eco Ljomade Hostel here!
Mid Range Choice
We propose the boutique lodge Pousada Pestana Citadela Cascais – superbly designed and set simply subsequent to the ancient fort in the town. You can cool down in the hotel’s pool in summer time months and experience being centrally placed in the town, whilst away from some of the noisier streets. A outstanding alternative for relaxing.
Check charges and availability for Pestana Citadela Cascais here!
For an unforgettable Cascais experience, appear no in addition to the Fortaleza do Guincho Relais & Châteaux, set backyard of Cascais city about 10km to the north, on lovely Guincho beach. The interiors are a little dated, however, the lodge receives rave opinions for its special views out to sea and is domestic to a Michelin starred restaurant too.
Things to do
You’ll locate masses to preserve you busy in Cascais – many come right here for a weekend (which we don’t advise due to the crowds except that’s your solely alternative – pick a couple of days mid-week to go to instead) – some come for the day (possible, however, you’ll desire you should remain longer!), and others come for a week and lease a condominium or vacation let and use it as a base for exploring the surrounding place consisting of Sintra, Estoril, and even Lisbon. Ultimately, if you have a couple of days it will be sufficient to at least get a taster of what Cascais has to offer.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Sea Food
As a former fishing port, it’s no shock that Cascais is domestic to some of the fine meals in Portugal. Most of the fish transported to Lisbon comes thru right here and is caught through Cascais boats, which means that this seaside city receives the freshest of the catch.
Bear in thought that eating places at Cascais’s visitor hotspots (such as Boca D’Inferno) and in the town center are catering to a captive and regularly transient market, which means that costs can be excessive (especially if there’s a sea view involved) and the exceptional can vary. Two of our favored locations for fish & seafood have been the stunning Grelhas at the Casa da Guia in Guia (about a kilometer north from Boca D’Inferno) and additionally the Restaurant Paixao in Cascais city itself.
There are masses of seashores to pick out from, and many of the first-class seashores in Cascais are a little out of the city itself. Here are some of the principal options:
In Cascais Town, you have the Praia da Conceição on one facet of town, which is larger, and the Praia da Ribeira which is proper in the front of the city square. We weren’t followers of this 2nd option as it’s proper in the front of what looks to be the principal fishing harbor, and suggest heading off at weekends due to the fact of the crowds.
Praia do Tamariz is the foremost seashore of Estoril, simply one in alongside from Cascais. We didn’t have time to make it right here however have heard proper matters about this seashore and its rock swimming pool. The seashore is without difficulty available from Cascais by using taking the teach one cease and strolling from the educate station.
For surfers and sports activities enthusiasts, or these in search of dramatic scenery, the Praia do Guincho is challenging to beat. Located about 10km northwest of Cascais, we don’t suggest Guincho for swimming (there are sturdy currents as nicely as winds here) however if you desire to take to the waves or admire the view it makes for a fantastic cycle experience from Cascais city (see below).
Tips for Responsible Travel in Cascais
Since the 1900’s, Cascais has been attracting tourists, and simply like neighbouring Lisbon, lately Cascais has been beginning to experience extra pressure. As you wander round the town, English is extra broadly spoken than Portuguese, and it’s handy to see that many offerings cater to vacationers as antagonistic to locals. We have been blissful to see funding in environmentally sustainable tourism initiatives such as the Duna da Cresmina which have a good time Cascais’ herbal splendor and wealthy biodiversity too.
Because of the excessive quantity of travelers coming to Cascais, right here are a few matters to do to assist alleviate the overtourism situation:
Visit outdoor of Peak Summer (July and August) if you can. Cascais is lovely at some point of spring and autumn too, and at any place viable go-to the backyard of weekends – you’ll get an awful lot higher value.
Avoid Airbnb’s and residences in Cascais city center (these power-up expenses for locals and make the housing market very elaborate for these who stay in Cascais lengthy-term) – remain in motels to aid the nearby economic system and the present infrastructure.
Understand that Cascais is now not a high-quality low-priced destination. It’s now not a location that’s full of finances lodging even low season however we assume it’s properly well worth a visit, even if you have to spend a bit more.
Try to assist regionally owned locations (hotels and restaurants) and eat neighborhood meals – smaller resorts and visitor homes have a tendency to be regionally owned.
Avoid the usage of single-use plastic – faucet water is protected to drink in Portugal and is on hand in eating places if you ask for it, and take a refillable water bottle with you. Be specifically cautious now not to go away any trash at the back of on beaches.
Relax, take in the sea air, and experience the splendor of Cascais!