Difference between revisions of "Cascais"
Revision as of 11:22, 14 May 2010
Dominated by the bay and the imposing Cidadela fort, the historic centre is brimming with architectural treasures of a religious, military and civil nature. Likewise, the museums of the Sea, Casa das Histórias de Paula Rego, and the Municipal Museum Condes de Castro Guimarães are also must-see attractions.
Cascais is easily reachable from Lisbon by car or by train (40min), from the Cais do Sodré station. A return ticket costs 2.30€ and can be bought from the automatic ticket machines. Remember to keep the ticket as it will be checked and punched by the conductor in both directions. A shuttle bus service operated by Scotturb runs between Cascais and Lisbon airport.
A car ride between Lisbon International Airport and Cascais can range between 30 minutes and 1h15 (on rush hours).
Cascais once a fishermen's harbour is a nice and sophisticated town, also a great gateway to explore the beautiful gold sand beach of Guincho.
The town is small enough to explore entirely by foot. To get a feeling for the life it's best to stroll around on foot. Uphill, beyond the town centre there are numerous narrow cobbled streets to explore with interesting architecture, plants and animals to see.
Riding a bicycle in Cascais is one of the "must do" things. From the beach you can venture further up the hill towards the westernmost point of continental Europe mainland and even Sintra using the nice roads while crossing the heart of this incredible nature reserve so close to the capital city of Lisbon
Basic, though perfectly functioning bicycles are available to rent for free (providing you have ID and your accommodation address) through the municipal council's BiCas scheme. Bicycles are available from several locations around the town. The tourist office will have further information. This bikes are heavily used by locals, students and budget minded visitors, not always available when needed and when available not always in the best mechanical conditions thus the common breakdowns.
Companies operating from Lisbon include Bike Iberia (Phone: +351 96 242 3455, ) located in Lisbon Downtown right off the train station of Cais Sodre.
A looped bus line, BusCas, serves the town and the nearby surrounding area. For travelling further afield there is an extensive bus service, mainly operating from the bus station beneath the shopping centre opposite the train station. Taxis are always available and easy enough to find in the centre of town.
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".
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.
It seems that the Estoril Coast is a magnet for those looking to practice every type of sport and leisure activity. Besides excellent facilities and all the professional staff and necessary equipment, the region boasts a wide range of natural advantages such as pure air, temperate year-round climate and close proximity to the sea and mountains.
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. Along the way you will find Boca Do Inferno, the famed "Mouth of Hell", where there is also a snack cafe, seafood restaurant and vendors of touristy gifts.
The marina area is very active:
Numerous golf courses are located in the area:
The variety of forest paths and excellent facilities throughout the region are a major attraction for those who enjoy horse riding. Here you’ll find a good selection of riding schools where you can hire horses and learn to ride.
Every year a five star equestrian event is taking place In Portugal called Global Champions Tour. It is a social gathering for all horse shows’ amateurs and professional riders at the Manuel Possolo hippodrome in Cascais.
If the thrill of show jumping excites you, check what’s on at Quinta da Marinha or the Cascais Equestrian Centre.
Estoril Coast Riding Centre, Charneca, Cascais Tel. (00 351) 214 87 20 64
Quinta da Marinha Riding Centre, Cascais Tel. (00 351) 214 86 94 33
D. Carlos I Country Club, Quinta da Marinha, Cascais Tel. (00 351) 214 87 14 03
Manuel Possolo Equestrian Centre, Cascais Tel. (00 351) 214 82 27 50
Cascais is in the development phase and several holiday apartment buildings & hotels are currently under construction. The corso (beach road) is busy at night so ensure you room is not directing to it.
Hotel Albatroz Cascais is located around 30km from Lisbon, this boutique hotel is a reference as a luxury hotel in Lisbon/Cascais Coast. A set of 5 charismatic historical buildings turned into a luxury hotel with a unique location above the sea, also enjoying a wide view over the sea. At the hotel: swimming pool, restaurant, bar, terrace, free private parking, room service, and all services from a 5 star hotel.