Last time we were in Portugal, we ended our two weeks in Cascais, a beach resort town at the end of the Tagus River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. This time, we went straight there and stayed put.
Once a settlement which served as a defensive fort for Lisbon, Cascais became a beach resort for royalty and the wealthy in the late 1800s. With an approximately 2.5 mile walking trail along the beaches, narrow calçada portuguesa paved streets and colorful painted and Portuguese tiled homes and buildings, Cascais is a great spot to unwind after a long stretch of business travel filled weeks.
You can wander northwest out of town up a bike path leading to Guincho, a long popular stretch of beach on the road to Sintra, or aimlessly wander around town. Head away from the main square of touristy and fast food restaurants to find smaller restaurants tucked in among residences, gardens, churches and shops.
The Mercado Vila Cascais is open every day and is a great place for a traditional pork sandwich, fresh fish or a beer (or all of the above). On Wednesday’s and Saturday’s the market comes to town and you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, bread and cheese from the locals.
Try Kech for Moroccan cuisine or the paella at 5 Sentidos (I dare you to try to finish a whole pan of it. We’ve tried twice and failed both times). Head to the Boca do Inferno and grab a beer to watch the sun set over the Atlantic and hope you’ve got another day in this coastal little paradise.
Obrigado, Cascais, until we meet again.