The once-sleepy fishing village of Cascais has transformed itself into one of Portugal’s most-attractive coastal playgrounds, luring sun worshippers with its golden beaches. Whether you are visiting on a day trip from Lisbon or spending the night, here’s how to make the most of one day in Cascais.
Soak up the sights and learn the history of Cascais on a sightseeing tour that explains the town’s transformation from fishing village to court’s town in the late 19th century, to today’s modern seaside resort. Most tours visit historic landmarks such as the Cascais Citadel (Citadela de Caiscais) and palace (Palácio da Cidadela de Cascais), as well as the town’s lavish mansions. For stunning scenery of the Portuguese Riviera, walk along the coast to nearby Estoril, where you can glimpse the faded glamour of this one-time luxurious haunt of the rich and famous, known for its glitzy casino.
Whether you are brand-new to surfing or an experienced surfer, you should not miss the chance to catch a wave in Cascais, home to some of the best surfing beaches in the Lisbon area. Guided tours typically include transportation from Cascais to surf spots at Praia do Guincho or Praia do Carcavelos. Both beaches are around 20 minutes away by car. Instructors choose the appropriate location for the lesson based on your level of surfing experience and skills, as well as the day’s surfing conditions.
Back in Cascais, having worked up an appetite, you can take your pick from the many restaurants. Seafood dishes are prevalent, but you’ll find plenty of other options, from steaks to vegetarian plates. Try to find a spot at a restaurant on the waterfront for dinner with a view. Afterward, if you are in the mood for dessert, stop into a popular ice cream parlor for a sweet treat. Some shops are considered the best in the Lisbon area.