Cascais holidays 2020
Looking for a colourful coastal escape for your 2020 holiday? Cascais, 30km west of Lisbon, Portugal is the ideal choice. Once a vibrant fishing village and summer getaway for the Portuguese Royal Family, Cascais is still a holiday hotspot for sophisticated travellers looking for unparalleled beaches, culture and entertainment. A sparkling new marina is a home to a host of impressive yachts and equally impressive restaurants and bars. The crystal blue waters off the coast are home to pods of dolphins and other marine life, while the town itself is set within the protected Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Inhabitants include rare eagles, foxes and falcons.
With an expanse of unspoiled countryside on your doorstep, Cascais offers an eclectic mix of activities alongside the usual coastal pursuits you can expect from a beach holiday. The town’s ancient castle ruins and many museums are ideal for holidaymakers looking for a cultural fix beyond Cascais’ fine coastline. With so much to do on a holiday to Cascais, you may want to simply relax by the pool and enjoy the views while you decide which Portuguese adventure to try next.
Cascais at a glance
Discover the best beaches
Cascais is filled with lovely beaches including the popular Tamariz Beach
Great national parks
Spend the day at Sintra-Cascais Natural Park for stunning coastal views and dramatic cliffs
Must-visit historical sites
Head to the Citadel of Cascais to add a historical touch to your trip
Art & culture
Check out Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães for your dose of fine arts
Try the local wine
Book a wine tasting tour and taste some of Portugal's best wines
Go on a road trip
Explore Portugal's capital of Lisbon for culture, nightlife and the hustle and bustle of Portuguese city life
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Things to do in Cascais
While the beach might be the main draw on a holiday to Cascais, there are plenty of other things to do. The old town is a great place to start exploring. A maze of winding alleys and lanes lead to cafes, quaint museums, well-kept gardens and boutiques.
The new marina has spurred a wave of regeneration around the water's edge, with the new crop of restaurants and bars catering to a sophisticated crowd. Admire the yachts, belonging to Cascais’ glamorous visitors, or take to the waters on one of the dolphin and whale watching tours. Seeing a pod of dolphins racing through the water or breaching and playing will be a memory to treasure.
Back on land, the Condes de Castro Guimarães museum offers the chance to explore some local history. An imposing building, the museum is a mock gothic castle set within the Marechal Carmona gardens. A shady spot in summer to relax and watch the ducks swim on the pond. Well-manicured lawns surround the pond, dotted with shrubs, plants and palm trees, the park offers a tranquil atmosphere away from Cascais’ bustling town and beach crowd.
A holiday to Cascais gives you the option to try one, or all of the three beaches close to the town. Ribeira beach is the closest to the old town. While it is lively, the beach is fairly small and can get busy. Protected by a breakwater, the calm waters and lifeguards ensure the beach is safe for families.
Behind the beach, there’s usually a bustling market or craft fair selling locally made souvenirs. If you’re looking for a secluded and, at times, a shaded spot in the sand, seek out Santa Marta Beach. This small inlet sits below one of Cascais’ palaces and the famous Santa Marta Lighthouse. The lighthouses never dim their lights and blink constantly, day or night. Cascais’ main and most popular beach is Duquesa Beach. The long stretch of golden sand has plenty of umbrellas providing welcome shade. The warm, calm and clean waters are ideal for swimming and popular with windsurfers.
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