A former fishing village with fine beaches, Cascais became famous as the Royal Family's resort in the late 19th century.

TravelCurious Tip

Avoid the weekends if you like a bit of personal space on the beach!

Of Fish And Men

Cascais was once a charming, quiet fishing village, minding its own business, until the 19th century when it caught the eye of Portugal’s royalty. They declared it their favourite summertime retreat, and of course the rest of the nobility followed suit, from Portugal and further afield too. The two extremes of society co-existing in the village gave rise to its nickname, “The Town of Kings and Fishes.”

The Golden Compass

It’s not hard to see why Lisbon’s rich and beautiful were drawn here. Cascais enjoys almost year-round sun, with a delicious salty sea breeze and the ice-cold water of the Atlantic always there to refresh you. Kilometres of golden coastline wend their way from Lisbon, out of the Tagus estuary and up towards Cascais and its neighbouring town Sintoril. The beaches offer much variety, from tranquil inlets with glassy turquoise waters to craggy cliffs that feel the unremitting pulse of the Atlantic waves.

Big waves and strong winds make this area perfect for surfing, windsurfing and sailing. The world championships of these sports are often held on the beaches nearby. Beyond water sports, cycling is a must-do. Rent some bikes and head for the westernmost part of continental Europe, or to the picturesque Sintra, while cutting through the incredible nature reserves next to the city of Lisbon.


There’s much more to Cascais than simply beaches. Its winding streets will channel you between small museums, manicured gardens and a new marina, and the pedestrianised old town is full of designer boutiques and al fresco fish restaurants. When the sun sinks, bubbling conversation fills the night as people turn to bars for cocktails under the stars, or to clubs to stretch their dancing legs.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Pena Palace
Standing boldly atop a hill above Sintra, this beautiful palace can be seen all the way from Lisbon on a clear day.
Fountain of the little birds
An Islamic pavilion with a hexagonal footprint topped by a dome, and inside between some benches a fountain with clear water.
Estoril Coast
Known for its luxurious casinos (including the largest in Europe), this area's glamour and sophistication inspired the first 'Casino Royale.'
The Portugese cousin of Tapas, examples include bifanas (pork sandwiches) and snails (in an herby broth).
Due to its prime location on the coast, Cascais boasts some of the finest clams, shrimp and fish in Iberia.
Cascais Market
Cascais market sells an assortment of local foods including seafood, meats and other Iberian delicacies.

Related Tours

Sintra, Pena Palace & Coastal Towns: Private Day Trip from Lisbon
Experience a magical world of ancient castle forts surrounded by evergreen forests, spectacular fairytale castles, and breathtakingly beautiful views toward the sea on this private day trip from Lisbon to Sintra, Cabo da Roca and the golden sands of Cascais on the Atlantic coast. 
Described as the Garden of Eden by Lord Byron, Sintra is a unique and beautiful town in the foothills of Portugal’s Sintra Mountains, home to the Pena Palace and just 20 miles from Lisbon. Cape Roca or Cabo da Roca is the cape that forms the westernmost point of continental Europe, with not to be missed dramatic coastal views, and Cascais is a charming coastal town known for its pretty sandy beaches and busy port. 

On your private day trip, you will:

  • Explore the famous and eccentric Pena Palace, a colourful Romanticist castle located atop a hill above the town of Sintra and former home to the Portuguese royal family; 
  • Visit the opulent Pena Palace interior and step out onto its beautiful terraces that boast breathtaking views over the surrounding park and Lisbon (on a clear day);
  • Enjoy free time for lunch in the quaint and cobbled streets of Sintra, a pretty and historic town famous for its Moorish fort, the Pena Palace, and its lovely atmosphere, with wonderful bistros and boutiques and views over the hillside - Lord Byron famously stayed here and fell in love with it; 
  • Relax on a drive through Sintra Natural Park which has its own microclimate, making it often cooler than the neighbouring Lisbon (sometimes up to 5ºC cooler);
  • Stand 140 meters above sea level and admire the dramatic cliffside views at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Portugal and of continental Europe;
  • Enjoy free time to explore the charming seaside town of Cascais, once a small fishing village that became the premier holiday destination of the Lisbon locals and nobles, offering charming views, small beaches, the medieval Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the Citadel Palace, a former royal retreat;
  • Hop back in your private transport for an easy transfer back to Lisbon.

Your all-inclusive private day trip led by an experienced local guide starts early with pick-up from your hotel in Lisbon to ensure that you avoid the queues and crowds at Pena Palace, the colourful fairytale castle perched high on the hill above the charming town of Sintra

Built in the 19th century, this was the summer country home of the Portuguese royal family and is set amidst a dramatic landscape of a hilly evergreen forest, with spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. It was built by King Ferdinand II who had a very flamboyant and larger-than-life taste, evidenced by the bright red and yellow domes, and opulent interior! It is an adaptation of 16th-century monastic ruins and an imitation of a medieval fortress. 

After your morning tour, enjoy free time for lunch in Sintra, a pretty cobbled town with wonderful restaurants and views. Lord Byron called it the Garden of Eden on a visit.  After lunch, enjoy a scenic drive through Sintra Natural Park to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Continental Europe, with amazing cliffside views of the ocean. Then drive to Cascais for a guided tour of this historic and charming coastal town, home to the medieval Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort and the 15th-century Citadel Palace, a former royal retreat.

Lastly, enjoy a relaxing drive back to Lisbon. 


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