Cascais Europe Portugal

Surf and Scones at Praia do Guincho

On a beautiful mid-December Saturday, we found ourselves walking up the Portuguese coastline out of Cascais en route to Guincho beach. We’d been there once before for a very brief stop and overlook on our first time here but hadn’t really stopped to spend any time.

About 5 miles from Cascais center, Guincho beach in the offseason is mellow. Amidst a few surfers, a few bikers and dogs who outnumber the people you can walk from end to end lost in your own thoughts. Known for its surfing and its wind, Guincho is beautiful.

Its sister beach to the south is Cresmina Beach. Smaller and more rugged with more dramatic cliffs and rocks, the waves pound the rocks and rush ashore with a beautiful fury.

If you’re less ambitious, especially in the off-season, there’s plenty of parking near both beaches from which you can explore the beaches and the trails in the adjacent dunes across the road.

Between the two, sit various restaurants and hotels. We chose to stop at Hotel Fortalezo do Guincho (a Relais & Chateau hotel). The hotel sits atop the cliffside in the westernmost point of Europe. An old fortress whose interior dates back to the 17th century, we sat and enjoyed some well earned scones in the restaurant at the mid way point of our 10 mile walk along the coast.

A great jaunt on a great day.

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