Highlights and things to do in Cascais, Portugal

Highlights and things to do in Cascais, Portugal

Beginning on Avenida Rei Humberto II de Italia, just outside town past the marina, is a cycle lane and footpath extending the whole 5 km to Guincho beaches. This route runs beside the sea and is ideal for morning and evening strolls. The almost perennial North Atlantic sea breeze lends a refreshing air, especially during the hot summer months.

Cascais is the dormitory of the Lisbon international working community and the "younger set" who enjoy the diverse and sophisticated nightlife. There is a famous beach and casino in Estoril.

One of the most outstanding palaces is the Palácio de Conde de Castro Guimarães that is open to the public and exhibits its own grand private collection that includes over 25,000 books and such rarities as an illustrated book by Duarte Galvão(1455-1517). Also, most of the pre-historic finds from the Grutas de Alapraia are stored here. These were a series of underground caves only discovered in the late 19th Century.

The Grutus do Poço Velho are located in the centre of the town and date back to the Neolithic period.

On a much more modest scale is the Museu do Mar that depicts the story of Cascais and its fishing history.

Just outside the town is the famous Boca do Inferno in which the sea on rougher days hammers into the rock and creates a booming noise and a spectacular spray thus creating its name which in English means "mouth of hell". There is also a snack cafe, seafood restaurant and vendors of touristy gifts.

Today, Cascais now boasts a smart new Marina with lovely yachts adding a further attraction to the town.

The Parque Palmela is an attractive park created by the Duques de Palmela and now maintained by the Town Hall and in which open-air concerts are often held.

Within easy reach of Cascais is the famous beach at Guincho with its high waves that attract windsurfers from all around the world as having some of the best rollers in Europe.

The next town to the east of Cascais is the resort town of Estoril with its popular Casino. You can walk to Estoril from Cascais along the beachfront esplanade, passing many beachside bars and restaurants.

To the north and within easy reach is the romantic and fascinating town of Sintra and which was made famous too foreigners after a glowing account of its splendours recorded by Lord Byron.

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