Cascais is a lovely town located in the Lisboa region of Portugal. It’s known for its picturesque beaches and dramatic coast, which are spectacular even when the tide is low. Today’s blog is all about the best things to do in Cascais.
Best Things to do in Cascais
Here are some things to do while visiting this intriguing little town of Cascais:
- Go on a surfing excursion with a local surf instructor or rent your own board from one of Cascais’ many surf shops. Local companies Surf4All and X-treme Adrenaline provide high quality surfing equipment and professional instruction for both beginners and advanced surfers.
- Have a picnic on the beach; sunbathe, swim, kayak or try out SUP (stand up paddle boarding) which is a new sport gaining popularity in Cascais.
- Explore the pristine beaches of Cascais. Head out early (especially in summer) to avoid the crowds and enjoy the wide, beautiful beaches of Cascais (which are well equipped with public facilities). The beach at Guincho, which is very close by is particularly beautiful.
- Attend a professional sailing event. The annual championship of the Clube Naval de Cascais is held in June or July every year. Enjoy the thrilling winds and beautiful views as sailing enthusiasts from all over Europe compete here for the championship title. The competition takes place in front of the António Nobre Museum of Sailing located by Barra Forte beach in Cascais. The top sailors are supported by an amateur race program that includes children and adults who compete against each other during this traditional event.
Parque Natural da Arrabida
- Visit Parque Natural da Arrábida, a nature preserve on the southern coast of Cascais. It’s an ideal spot for hiking, biking and picnicking on the wild beaches. The park has many creeks, small lakes and small waterfalls, and it makes for a great day trip while you’re in Cascais.
Military Fort of Cascais
- Visit the historical military fort of Cascais, Forte de Cascais. It’s a beautiful fort that has dominated the landscape since 16th century. Inside the fort, there is a small museum with exhibits about the history of Cascais.
- Take a tour of one of the many iconic wineries in the region for a tasting session accompanied by local cheese and ham. The region is known for its many wine and olive oil factories, where you can see how these products are made in person and learn about their history.
Cinema Casa da América
- Watch a film at Cinema Casa da América, which is located inside the António Nobre Museum of Sailing. The cinema shows a wide variety of films from around the world. There are also events here that provide an opportunity to meet with Portuguese filmmakers and enjoy cultural activities such as live music and art exhibitions.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Go for a ride in a hot-air balloon at sunrise or sunset. Portugal Balloons offers scenic flights, including tours over Lisbon, Porto and beaches all along the coast of Portugal. You can choose from short scenic flights or extended transatlantic adventures which take off from Cascais (or various other departure points).
Fish market at Praça de Touros
- Visit the fish market at Praça de Touros in Cascais. It’s a large market that sits by the ocean and is a favorite hangout place among locals. The market has numerous stalls that sell fresh fish, fresh seafood and various locally grown fruits and vegetables. The market also serves as an open air restaurant with numerous restaurants that serve freshly cooked Portuguese dishes (such as cataplana), as well as delicious seafood dishes.
- Practice archery at Escola de Arqueiros in Cascais. In this activity, you’ll receive instruction on how to aim your arrows while competing against other archers. This is a fun activity for families and groups.
- Visit one of the many famous restaurants in Cascais. You’ll find a variety of creative eateries in Cascais, including seafood restaurants, traditional Portuguese restaurants and modern cafes. It’s difficult to recommend just one since the local cuisine is so varied. So why not sample a little bit of everything?
If you need accommodation while staying here, check out Villa Pacifica Apartments. These stylish apartments are prestigious, modern and centrally located — in fact they are just across from Praça de Toiros square and close to the marina and Barra Forte beach (which is located by Forte da Barra).