5 Must-Do’s In Cascais, Portugal

The Monaco of Portugal, Cascais is the richest and most expensive area to live in in Portugal.

Photo: Nadia Cho

With a reputation akin to the Monaco of Portugal, Cascais is the richest and most expensive area to live in in Portugal. It’s where many of the country’s well-known figures such as renowned Michelin chef José Avillez resides, along with many other celebrities and aristocratic, upper class families from all over Europe.

Cascais is elegant, jetsetter and flossy as hell. It’s impossible not to be in a pleasant mood as you stroll through the lovely town of white and sea-washed turquoise hues or lounge on dreamy beaches with soft sand and long stretches of glimmering light-blue ocean.

This beautiful gem on the Portuguese coast is only a 15 minute drive from Lisbon or a short train ride away. Here are some flossy activities you can do in Cascais to get you in the mood for some fabulous jetsetting and R&R.

Visit Casa de Santa Maria and Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães

casa de santa maria
Photo: Nadia Cho

Casa de Santa Maria and the Museum of Condes de Castro Guimarães are the two most popular historical attractions in Cascais. Both are beautifully preserved private homes of former aristocrats from the early 20th century that illustrate unique Portuguese architecture, such as the use of tiles, vibrant colors and Arabic influences.

Casa de Santa Maria is the pretty house next to the lighthouse on the sea and the Museum of Condes de Castro Guimarães is the stately mansion right across the road which has its own tiny private beach in front. Both are open for guided tours and visits each day of the week except for Monday.

Get cultured in the Cidadela de Cascais

Photo: Nadia Cho

The Cidadela is the historic citadel of Cascais that’s still standing strong and protecting the city. Surrounded by the old fortress walls, it has now been converted into a super cool minimalist cultural center with an art district, bookstore, hotel and restaurants. Everything within the walls are chic, charming and classy.

The Pestana Cidadela de Cascais Hotel is a luxury hotel and member of Leading Hotels of the World that’s located inside the restored fortress and overlooks the stunning harbor beyond the wall. The bookstore located above the restaurant and bar is charming and full of used and donated books in different languages and has lots of cute seating areas to read at. The Cidadela Art District provides spaces that connect artists with the public and puts on contemporary art exhibitions. Here’s more information about the hotel and the Cidadela Art District。

Hit the Praia

Praia da Rainha PHOTO: NADIA CHO

Of course your trip to Cascais wouldn’t be complete without hitting the awesome beaches!

Praia da Rainha used to be a private beach for royals in the past, but you’ll definitely still feel like royalty as you lounge in this precious, small sliver of beach nestled among the enviable mansions overlooking the ocean. As you walk away from town towards Estoril, there are longer, bigger beaches with waves and wide stretches of sand. Praia de Carcavelos is one such beach that’s extremely popular for sporty activities like surfing, bodyboarding and windsurfing.

Walk the promenade to Estoril

Estoril Promenade by We Love Lisbon flickr Photo: Nadia Cho
Flickr/We Love Lisbon

There’s a beautiful, elegant promenade that connects the town of Cascais to the neighboring beach town of Estoril. It’s a really nice 3 km walk that’ll take you through the various beaches along the coast between the two towns. There are also lots of sweet cafés and restaurants where you can sit and relax while looking out at the ocean.

Drive to Cabo da Roca

Photo: Nadia Cho

Cabo da Roca is a cape that’s the most western point of the European continent. It’s a 15-20 minute drive from the town of Cascais through windy cliffs and mountains that take your breath away. Once you arrive you’ll find yourself surrounded by awesome cliffs, mountains and the sea, definitely worth the dizzying drive on the cliffs.

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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