Beach Life in Cascais
After our trip to Lisbon and Sintra, we travel to Cascais to end our Portugal adventure. Cascais is a small beach town just west of Lisbon that’s easily accessible by train or bus. We came for the gorgeous beaches, towering cliffs and fresh fish. We weren't disappointed.
While Portugal is most famous for its southern beaches in the Algarve, such as Faro, Cascais is a great option that’s closer to Lisbon. My sister and I opted to stay for a few nights so we could relax and wind down from over two weeks of traveling, but it’s also a popular day trip from Lisbon. In fact, Morgan flew out the night we arrived to Cascais so we packed most of the sights into Day 1.
What to See by Day
Day 1: Cascais Views
+ Go straight to Praia da Rainha for some sun
After dropping our bags, we walked through town to Praia da Rainha, The Queen's Beach. If you type Praia da Rainha in google translate, it reads “Queen of the Beach,” my preferred translation.
+ Stop for Gelato at Santini's
Santini's is the real thing. It's made fresh every day and there are so many flavors, you won't be able to choose just one. Most are made with just fruit and sugar for those sensitive to dairy! On our first stop, I went with two scoops: melon and strawberry.
+ Stroll through town towards the Marina
Now on to the sites of Cascais. If you walk through town past
Praia da Ribeira, you'll end up on a coastal sidewalk across the Cascais Marina.
+ Stop on the bridge for breathtaking views of the Lighthouse
The Farol de Santa Marta is a gorgeous blue and white striped lighthouse (yes, it matches everything in Morgan's wardrobe) that also happens to be the easternmost point of the region. On the opposite side of the bridge, you'll see Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, a 19th century mansion that rivals some of the castles in Sintra.
+ Walk along the coastline to Boca do Inferno
Boca do Inferno or "Hell's Mouth" consists of towering cliffs that roar as the waves crash against them. Stroll across the rock formations and take some pictures with the sea as your backdrop.
+ Dinner at Entráguas
With a recommendation from my sister's friend, we headed to Entráguas for dinner. Morgan unfortunately wasn't able to join us, but we made sure to send pictures. We started with a pitcher of white sangria, bread and fresh olives. As our entrée, we shared the Arroz de Gambas e Tamboril. It's a traditional Portuguese dish with Monkfish, Shrimp and Rice in a flavorful broth.
Day 2: Praia
+ Beach time
Day two was all about reading on the beach so we went back to Praia da Rainha and were glad we did. With the low tide, we were able to see that the rock formations in the ocean formed a small tunnel to swim through. We spent hours laying in the sun with our books and wading in the ocean. When we got hungry, we snacked on bread and fresh olives at the little restaurant above the beach.
+ Dinner in our Airbnb
We decided to cook our second night, so on the walk back from town we stopped in a market. There are a number of small markets with fresh produce, olives and fish. There are also a ton of restaurants to choose from downtown.
+ Watch the sun set with more Santini's
After dinner, we strolled back to Santini’s for more gelato. This time I went with 3 scoops: chocolate chip, chocolate and raspberry. We walked to Praia da Ribeira and watched the sun set over the Marina.
Day 3: More Praia
More beach time, more gelato.
Where to Stay
Check out our Airbnb wishlist for Cascais listings.
TBP Insider Tips
> From Lisbon, take a train from Cais do Sodre. When getting on the train, find a seat on the ocean side, away from the city, in order to enjoy the views.
> If you decide to stay in an Airbnb like we did, cook your own meals! There were some amazing markets in town.
> Don't forget your sunscreen!
> If you order coffee, you'll get a shot of espresso. We opted for americanos and cappuccinos.
> Bring a great book to read while you're on the beach. We read so many on our travels. I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings.
> If you are coming from Sintra or have extra time, stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of continental Europe. There is a beautiful lighthouse and dramatic views. Unfortunately, we were unable to see anything because of the fog.