While Lisbon remains one of the top Portuguese destinations, with plenty of attractions to keep tourists busy, the Lisbon coast does have its share of landmarks which turn the surroundings of the capital into an ever so tempting region to explore. Cascais, for instance, is one of the best alternatives for tourists who want to vary their stay in Lisbon with a trip to the splendid hinterlands of the metropolis.

Located some 30 kilometers west of Lisbon, in the very vicinity of Estoril and on the extreme south side of Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, Cascais is a picturesque beach town which has made an impressive entrance on the tourist map of Europe in the early 20th century when, just like the neighboring Estoril, it became the favorite destination of the royal faces and aristocracy on the continent drawn here by the wholesome climate and, subsequently, by Portugal’s noninvolvement in World War Two.

The former fishing village of Cascais (traces of those times are still visible today, amassed by the so-called Museu do Mar which provides, by means of its collections, an insight into the historical trajectory of Cascais) has rapidly turned into an elegant destination where tourists can delight in sightseeing, shopping and sunbathing. Thus, besides the said Museu do Mar, tourists can also visit the Castro Guimaraes Museum where they can get an insight into the other face of Cascais, a town of the 18th and 19th century European aristocracy. This museum exhibits a collection of decorative art (items made of gold and silver, ceramics and furniture) and it is surrounded by a splendid garden, rendering as closely as possible the way the bigwigs of Cascais used to live in the past ages.

The Church of Nossa Senhora da Assuncao (Our Lady of Assumption), which is located in the center of the town can also be taken into account, but for more dramatic sights, tourists are advised to head for the so-called Boca do Inferno ("Mouth of Hell"), a stunning nature set consisting of large caves against which strong waves constantly crush producing an infernal noise which has inspired the very name of the site.

For cannier activities, the Guincho Beach, which is located just nearby Cascais, is an ideal opportunity. Nestling between fine sand dunes, the Guincho Beach is a popular destination for surfers worldwide and one of the top-of-the-range beaches on the Lisbon coast.

Cascais, Portugal
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