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Things to Do in Cascais

Located west of Lisbon, the once-sleepy fishing village of Cascais is now the summer playground of city dwellers, adored for its glorious string of sandy bays and brand new marina. Beaches are the main attraction, but the 17th-century St. Sebastian Chapel’s little museum and the Museum of Stories (Casa das Histórias) are also worth a visit.

The Basics
Urban escapists can enjoy a day of coast and culture in Cascais. Before hitting the beach, experience the contemporary design of the Museum of Stories, dedicated primarily to the works of artist Paula Rego and others. Or pop into the eclectic St. Sebastian Chapel museum to admire the vast collection of sculpture, oriental china, and decorative arts, and the stunning traditional tiles that encrust the walls. Cascais’ coastal locale and proximity to Lisbon makes it a popular day trip from the Portuguese capital. Combine a half- or full-day, small-group or private tour to the village with visits to Sintra (including the majestic Pena Palace) and the Estoril Coast, known as the Portuguese Riviera.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Cascais is a must-visit for beach lovers, and art and history buffs.
  • Choose between the value of a small-group tour or the intimacy and flexibility of a private tour.
  • Cascais day tours from Lisbon can last anywhere from four to eight hours, depending on the option you choose.
  • Many tours include hotel pickup and drop-off in Lisbon.

How to Get There
While many travelers find it convenient to visit Cascais as part of a guided tour, you can visit independently by catching a train from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré station. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

When to Get There
If you plan to enjoy the beaches of Cascais, aim to visit from early spring through late autumn, when the weather is warm enough for swimming.

The Boca do Inferno
When visiting Cascais, make sure to set aside time for a quick side trip to the famous Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth) located just outside of town. The pounding of the Atlantic Ocean against this interesting cliff formation has carved out a small cave, where ocean waves spray out from an opening above. It’s easy to reach the sight on foot or by bike, and many guided tours stop here as well.
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