The charm of the Atlantic Coast
Why visit Cascais
Cascais and its spectacular coastline are a must-see destination for any visitor to Portugal. Flanked on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean, the region is located just 25 km from Lisbon and its international airport, stretching west in a rectangle from Carcavelos to Guincho Beach. With its mild year-round climate, the Portuguese Riviera (as the region is known) offers a surprising variety of landscapes and attractions, combining a wide range of possibilities in one very unique destination. From pure leisure to golf, sun, sea, and water sports, Cascais simply has it all, and offers a new definition of the concepts of eco- and activity-based tourism. Cascais is the perfect destination for your European green trip from Lisbon.
Visit Cascais and discover the charm of the Atlantic. Everything will be more intense
Think outside the Capital. Enjoy your short break in Cascais
Culture & Local Life
Since the end of the eighteenth century the region staged many important episodes of the Portuguese history, as the Portuguese Royal Family chose Cascais to become their summer residence.
By that time medical doctors from several countries of Europe had advocated for the therapeutic advantages of sea baths, seaside season became a social event, and the region transformed itself into a fashionable seaside resort.
Upgrading the area’s luxury and tradition, to the Portuguese Riviera came members of the European high society, such as exiled kings, writers, famous artists, and bankers during the Second World War. It also became the main destination for British, Japanese, and German spies, like the British spy and writer Ian Fleming.
Cascais is only a 30 min drive from Lisbon International Airport, which receives all major international airlines. The region is easily accessible by public transportation. To arrive to Cascais from Lisbon airport, take the metro at the Airport direct to Cais do Sodré. This is one of the gates of Lisbon! There is also a shuttle that takes you there (7:00 AM – 11:20 PM), every 20 minutes. From Cais do Sodré, take the CP train (5:30 AM – 1:30 AM) directly to Cascais. The train route takes 35 minutes and follows the Lisbon coastline, providing some great views over the sea.
Travelers will generally find that getting around is best done via walking or bicycling. The Town Council as well as several shops provide bicycles which visitors can easily rent. With getting around on foot being so convenient, it is really unnecessary to have a car in the area. Scotturb operates regular tourist services and bus connections to all the region’s main points of interest, including Sintra, World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
The first thing that amazes about Sintra, Cascais Natural Park, is the way that the whole area has been so well preserved in such close proximity to a metropolis as large as Lisbon and the beautiful Cascais coast, where numerous top tourist attractions exist. Covering about a third of the Cascais region, it is one of those rare examples of how man and nature manage to co-exist.
The park has a great variety of scenery and landscapes including sand-dunes, forests, lagoons, and a rugged stretch of coastline where high cliffs are interspersed with picturesque beaches. With regards to fauna, flora, and geomorphology, the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is particularly rich and varied. The most common animals that you can spot in the park are wild rabbits, foxes, kestrels, badgers, weasels, rat-eating snakes, horse-shoe bats (rhinolophus hiposideros), and dozens of species of birds, most notably the rarely spotted Bonelli eagle and peregrine falcon.
Cascais makes many efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2020. As a consequence, the destination promotes the use of soft mobility. Cascais also gives great attention to environmental education by offering tours informing about the local cultural, natural, and historical heritage and by providing education and information about the rich coastal biodiversity of the area.
Health & Safety
Tourism companies in Cascais are adopting the “Clean and Safe” stamp of approval to distinguish tourist activities which are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections. Cascais is getting ready for your next green trip. To see what is being done, click here.
Good Practice Story
With the climatic changes and the continuous land usage these events are getting worst and more frequent. It is important to assess the real impact of it on the nature and the land usage. Read their story to find out Cascais’s restoration of a burned down landscape to bring back biodiversity.
Travel tips from our editors
Visit the Santa Marta
Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum showcases Cascais and Portugal’s lighthouses’ history and importance throughout time. It opened to the public in July 2007, and its model is unique in the country as it links spaces of exhibits with the function. In the auditorium, 15 minutes tell the story of Five Centuries of History, through the witness of lighthouse keepers, of the company that erected and maintained these monuments along the Portuguese coast.
Hiking trail on Sintra-Cascais
Sintra-Cascais Natural Park offers many different trails, perfect for hiking for all levels, from easy to difficult, always with surprising landscapes and some wonderful views. You can go on your own, following the maps, or choose to hire a guide with knowledge of the secret tracks and most beautiful views. There are some great local companies that organize programs for half-day or full-day.
Biking to Guincho
Bike the 9 km bike path that goes from Cascais city center to Guincho beach. Guincho beach is a vast sandy beach that faces the might of the Atlantic Ocean, the huge waves are great for surfing while the near-constant breeze is ideal for kite surfing. Take it at your own pace and enjoy the beautiful views of the surf crashing into the cliff shore. Make sure to stop at one of the plentiful cafes, viewpoints, and free water fountains along the way.
Cascais with flavour
Taste the local gastronomy (fresh fish and shellfish) at a local restaurant, overlooking the sea. From kings and queens, Cascais has a tasty heritage and a unique sweet pastry, from the age of the discoveries, the multicultural fusion, seasoned with spices and flavours from another world and, from fishing, the best fresh fish and seafood, the whole year round! Whatever suggestion seduces each moment of your meal, don’t forget to try one of the many Portuguese wines, recognised by their diversity and uniqueness in their castes, with consistent quality and excellent price-quality ratio.
Cascais urban beaches
Get to know Cascais urban beaches and the promenade that connects all of these. The Cascais-Estoril promenade is an enjoyable 3 km walk that extends from the fishing town of Cascais to the small village of São João do Estoril. The route follows the sea walls and sea defenses that line the beaches and rocky outcrops of the coastline.
The local market
Visit the local market (Wednesdays and Saturdays) for fresh fruit, vegetables, and all traditional groceries. Themed events take place in this market throughout the year and are also worthy of a visit.
Cascais is selected in the Top 100 Good Practice Story 2021.
In 2013, Cascais entered among the 20 QualityCoast destinations as one of the most sustainable coastal tourist areas in Europe, being distinguished with the "Silver QualityCoast" seal. In 2016 and 2017, Cascais received the “Gold” distinction from the Green Destinations Awards - Best Coastal Destinations with Sustainable Environmental Policies
In 2019, Cascais ranked 3rd for the
ITB Earth Award