Cascais Tourist Attractions
Situated 25km/15.5mi west of Lisbon on the Costa do Sol, Cascais (Altitude: 0-20m/0-65f) is one of Portugal's most popular seaside resorts, with a correspondingly wide range of sporting and recreational facilities.
Partly owing to the shelter from north winds afforded by the Serra de Sintra this former quiet fishing port swiftly expanded to become an elegant, almost cosmopolitan, coastal resort but little of this elegance remains today. Although prosperous folk from Lisbon still live here Cascais is thronged in the summer months by an endless stream of sunseekers.HistoryThere was a settlement here in Roman times. Cascais was granted a charter in the 14th C., but it was devastated by the 1755 earthquake which destroyed most of its old buildings. As the summer residence of the kings of Portugal (from 1870) and the President of the Republic, the turn of the Century saw Cascais becoming a meeting place for high society.TownscapeIn recent years Cascais has grown at a furious rate and has now almost joined up with Estoril. Around the outskirts of the town high rise apartments predominate, together with some exclusive residential areas inhabited by rich Portuguese and many British, French and Germans. The old town center is the only place where there are still a few narrow alleys lined by pretty white houses, while the "smart" area of the town center is now a mass of restaurants, cafes and stalls catering for the tourist trade.
Boca do Inferno
From the north side of the citadel the Avenida de Dom Carlos I promenade winds northeast above the Praia da Ribeira (sandy beach) as far as Estoril, affording beautiful views of Cascais Bay. Beyond this are the little beach of Praia da Rainha, picturesquely framed by rocks, and, still farther northeast in the direction of Estoril, the beach of Praia da Duquesa, with fine sand and good facilities for bathers. In the summer all these beaches are overcrowded. On the coast northwest of Cascais there are some larger beaches and pretty, small resorts. Also worth a visit is the Cabo da Roca - the westernmost point of the European mainland.
Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes
Somewhat further up the road from the Citadel in Cascais is the Baroque style church of Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes, which has a remarkable portal and fine azulejos in the interior.
Parque do Marechal Carmona
To the west of the citadel extends the Parque do Marechal Carmona, and on the southeast side of the park is the Palace of the Condes de Castro Guimaraes, dating from the beginning of the Century, which the family conveyed to the State in 1927.
Palace of the Condes de Castro Guimaraes
The history of Cascais is closely linked to the sea. The Maritime Museum north of the Parque do Marechal Carmona provides background information.
Address: Rua Júlio Pereira de Mello, 2750-407 Cascais, Portugal
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Anniversity of the Revolution - Portugal (Apr 25), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), National Day - Portugal (Jun 10), Assumption Day - Christian (Aug 15), Republic Day - Portugal (Oct 5), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec 8), Independence Day - Portugal (Dec 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Good Friday - Christian, Corpus Christi - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €1.30
Useful tips: Admission is free on Sundays.
Nossa Senhora da Assunçao
Just north of the citadel is the Manueline church of Nossa Senhora da Assunçao, with 18th C. azulejos.