Cascais, Estoril and Cabo da Rocha

11 August 2016 

What to see in Cascais? This city of Portugal is located less than an hour's drive from Lisbon and offers picturesque golden sandy beaches surrounded by a beautiful old town with lot of attractions not to be missed. Cascais can be visited on a day trip from Lisbon, or it can be a pleasant one-day stop during a tour throughout Portugal.

Beach in Cascais Sea in Cascais
Cascais beaches Among the attractions in Cascais we find a series of golden sandy beaches, secluded into small bays not far from the city center and from the main accommodations. Cascais is located along the western coast of Portugal, not far from Lisbon and is a popular destination for a relaxing day tour from the capital of Portugal, or for an interesting stop during a comprehensive tour of Portugal.
Photos of Cascais. The outskirts of the old town, near the beach, offer a mix of ancient and modern buildings, where the facades are often decorated with azulejos (ceramic tiles, a type of ornament quite widespread in the Iberian peninsula) to compose a kind of mosaic.
Azulejos facade
In Cascais old town there are ancient buildings, sometimes abandoned, whose facade consists entirely of azulejos.
Nossa Senhora da Assuncao
Among the attractions to see in Cascais, which should not be missed, there is certainly the church of Nossa Senhora da Assuncao, a building with a rather austere external facade, but with fantastic azulejos inside, which survived the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.
Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assuncao Church in Cascais
Portughese azulejo Azulejos

The interior Nossa Senhora da Assuncao church in Cascais, with its beautiful azulejos antecedent to the destructive Lisbon earthquake occurred in 1755.
Cascais old town Cascais
The historic center of Cascais consists of a labyrinth of narrow alleys, often for pedestrian only, where it is pleasant to get lost among the houses of a thousand colors.
Pizzaria Pizzaghetti
>Fishermen in Portugal Octopus
Meanwhile at the port, the fishermen unload from the boats lot of baskets full of with octopus and squid captured during the fishing trip.
Cascais city
Road paved with mosaic in Portugal
A beautiful square in Cascais, with the traditional Portuguese mosaic flooring and the facades of the buildings decorated with azulejos.
Marechal Carmona park
Another attraction in Cascais is Marechal Carmona park, with lots of green and a duck pond. Inside the park there is also a library and a museum.
Condes de Castro Guimaraes Castro Guimaraes museum
Patio with fountain
Bench made of azulejos
Inside Marechal Carmona park, there is an interesting building dating back to the early 19th century, with a predominantly Arabic architecture (the cloister and fountains are very reminiscent of the famous Alhambra complex in Granada). The building houses a museum, Condes de Castro Guimaraes, with sumptuously furnished interiors showing tapestries from the eighteenth century (but it's not allowed to take pictures).
Cascais fortress Fortress in Cascais

Among the attractions of Cascais not to be missed during a day tour, there is the Citadel, a fortress that once housed the royal family, from where visitors can see beautiful views of the city and the ocean.
Cabo da Rocha Seascape from Cabo da Rocha
If you have enough time, in less than half an hour's drive from Cascais, you can visit Cabo da Rocha, the westernmost point of continental Europe, from where you can admire beautiful views over the rugged cliffs. If your next stop in Portugal after Cascais is Sintra, Cabo de Rocha is conveniently located along a pleasant detour that runs along the Atlantic ocean.
Surfing Surfing in Portugal
Surfing lessons
The beaches between Cascais and Cabo da Rocha are a destination for surfing enthusiasts, and during a trip to Portugal it is also possible to take part in courses of different length, which introduce you to this sport.
Praia Grande beach Beach in western Portugal
Dinosaur footprint
The beautiful Praia Grande beach, not far from Cascais, ideal for a day trip from Lisbon. In the photos below, dinosaur footprints fossilized along the steep cliff in front of the beach.
Estoril, very close to Cascais, has more beaches to spend some hours.
Casa Shanti Niketan
Where to stay in Cascais? For our overnight stay in Cascais we chose Casa Shanti Niketan, a comfortable bed & breakfast in Estoril, not far from the beach.

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