Planning a trip from Lisbon to Cascais? Portugal has many fascinating destinations to visit, and the journey from Lisbon to Cascais is a great place to start. Whether you’re planning a longer stay or a quick vacation, you’ll discover that Portugal’s diverse landscapes and cultural attractions make it difficult to see everything you want to see.
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If you’re flying into Lisbon and considering a road trip heading North to Porto or Douro Valley, starting in Cascais may be the perfect choice. Taking the trip from Lisbon to Cascais provides a refreshing beginning, especially if you’re concerned about finding your bearings amidst Lisbon’s bustling energy. Cascais offers a less strenuous terrain for walking, and the overall pace is slower – ideal for settling into your new surroundings.
The drive from Lisbon to Cascais sets the tone for slow exploration, allowing you to immerse yourself in Portugal’s distinct culture at your own pace. While many locals speak English, you should not be surprised if you come across someone who does not. Learn a few Portuguese phrases to enhance your trip from Lisbon to Cascais; it’s definitely worth the effort. I recommend Practice Portuguese.
Getting From Lisbon Airport to Cascais: A Comprehensive Guide
When planning your trip, you may be wondering what is the best way to get to Cascais from Lisbon Airport. Portugal offers a plethora of transportation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Here’s a detailed look at the available choices for your journey:
- Metro + Train + Bus:
- Cheapest Option: Utilizing public transportation is the most budget-friendly way to travel from Lisbon Airport to Cascais.
- Lisboa Card: If you plan to use public transport frequently during your stay, consider purchasing a Lisboa Card. This card offers free and discounted rides on trains, metros, and buses and includes complimentary access to certain attractions. It can be purchased for 24, 48, or 72-hour periods and also provides discounts on popular local sights.
- Check train schedules.
- Private Transfer:
- Convenience and Comfort: A private transfer offers a hassle-free journey, costing between $30 to $60 for a group. It’s a popular choice for those seeking a comfortable and straightforward ride.
- Most Expensive Option: Taking a taxi from Lisbon Airport to Cascais is the quickest method, but it’s also the most expensive, costing upwards of 75 Euros one way.
- Rideshare (Uber or Bolt):
- Flexibility and Affordability: Ridesharing services like Uber or Bolt offer a balance between cost and convenience, giving you the ability to book a ride on demand.
- Rental Car:
- Fastest and Customizable: Renting a car can be the fastest way to reach Cascais, taking approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Costs vary depending on your specific plans and needs.
- Recommended Rental Car Companies: For fair rates and inclusive insurance, consider renting from reputable companies such as Sixt or Europcar.
Your journey from Lisbon Airport to Cascais can be as unique as your travel preferences. From the economically savvy public transportation system to the luxurious private transfers or the flexibility of a rental car, there’s an option to suit every traveler. Plan ahead, and choose the one that aligns with your budget, timing, and comfort level to ensure a smooth and enjoyable transition from Lisbon to the charming coastal town of Cascais.
Where to Stay in Cascais: Accommodations for Families and Groups
Finding accommodations in Cascais that cater to families or larger groups can be a challenge. For those requiring more space, villas and suites offered by resorts may be the perfect solution. Here’s a guide to some top choices that can accommodate various needs and budgets:
- Martinhal Cascais: 5-Star Luxury for Families
- Accommodations: Designed with families in mind, this resort offers suites, hotel rooms, bunk beds, and 2-bedroom villas.
- Amenities: The property boasts a kids’ clubhouse, playgrounds, children’s activities and clubs, 2 restaurants, a lounge bar, spa, and bike rentals.
- Location: Close to the shore with easy access to Cascais’ central attractions.
- Rates: Starting at $400+ per night.
- Sheraton Cascais Resort: Elegant and Flexible Options
- Accommodations: This 5-star resort offers hotel rooms and up to 3-bedroom villas, with 2+ bedroom suites starting at $350+ per night. Marriott rewards may be applicable.
- Amenities: Enjoy a spa, restaurant, bicycle rentals, complimentary on-site parking, valet, and an electric car charging station.
- Location: Conveniently situated near the shore and a short drive to central Cascais.
- Vila Bucuda: Budget-Friendly 4-Star Resort
- Accommodations: Offering studios to 3-bedroom villas, this resort is suitable for various group sizes.
- Amenities: On-site mini-market, cafeteria, laundry, restaurant, kids care, and a children’s park.
- Location: Easy access to the beach and central Cascais.
- Rates: Spring rates start as low as $121 per night.
- Onyria Quinta da Marinha: 5-Star Comfort with Golf Course
- Accommodations: A range of rooms and villas to fit different needs.
- Amenities: This resort features a spa, golf course, and high standards of cleanliness and comfort.
- Location: Proximity to the shore and a 10 – 20-minute drive to central Cascais.
- Rates: Spring rates for rooms start at $130 per night.
From luxurious 5-star experiences to more budget-friendly options, Cascais offers a variety of accommodations to suit families and larger groups. Proximity to the shore and the convenience of complimentary parking make these resorts ideal for those exploring by car. Though slightly distanced from the center of Cascais, a short drive will connect you to shopping, restaurants, and other local attractions. Consider your preferences for space, amenities, and price to find the perfect stay in this beautiful coastal town.
These resorts offer complimentary parking and are very close to the shore which makes them a great choice for families exploring by car. They are a little further from the center of Cascais where more shopping and restaurants are but it is only a 10 – 20 minute drive away.
What to Do in Cascais: Embracing Nature and Coastal Beauty
Cascais is a coastal haven that invites relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re content to stroll the shoreline or keen to delve into activities and historical sites, there’s plenty to discover. This guide caters to nature lovers and walkers who wish to immerse themselves in Cascais’ unique charm.
1. Walk Along the Shoreline
- Overview: Cascais encourages simple pleasures, such as wandering along the shoreline to soak in the serene views.
- Where to Start: Begin at the Northern Beaches and follow the coast south.
- Tips: Don’t forget to bring comfortable walking shoes and a camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.
2. Explore Guincho Road (EN247)
- Overview: Drive or cycle along this scenic route, stretching from the Northern Beaches to Boca do Inferno.
- Parking: Spots are available near Boca do Inferno, but it can be tricky during peak times.
- Activities: This is an excellent spot to rent a bike or take a leisurely walk.
- Tips: Plan your visit during off-peak seasons or times to ensure easy access.
3. Visit Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth)
- Overview: This dramatic chasm offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean’s force against the rocky cliffs.
- Parking: Limited and paid parking is available, so plan ahead.
- Tips: Sunrise or sunset visits provide spectacular photo opportunities.
4. Explore Historic Forts and Sites
- Overview: Cascais’ history can be traced in its well-preserved forts and heritage sites.
- What to See: Check out Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora da Luz and the Museum Conde Castro Guimarães.
- Tips: Combine historical exploration with coastal walks for a well-rounded experience.
5. Enjoy Beach Activities
- Overview: The various beaches in Cascais offer opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports.
- Where to Go: Visit Praia da Rainha or Praia de Carcavelos for popular beach destinations.
- Tips: Check local conditions and safety guidelines for a worry-free beach day.
Cascais offers a wonderful blend of relaxation and adventure by the sea. From scenic drives and coastal walks to historical explorations and beach fun, you can tailor your time to your interests. The town’s allure lies in its simplicity and natural beauty, so take the time to unwind and connect with the coastal environment. Whether you’re parking to explore on foot or pedaling a rented bike, a day in Cascais promises to be refreshing and fulfilling.
Scenic Spots and Beaches Starting from the Northern End of Cascais
Discover the charm and history of Cascais’ coastline with this guide to scenic spots and beaches from the Northern end. Embrace the natural beauty, unique landmarks, and unforgettable experiences that await.
1. Praia do Guincho: A Surfer’s Paradise
- Access: FREE beach access. Paid Parking available.
- Activities: Surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, hiking, and cycling.
- Historical Significance: Featured in the 1969 James Bond film “Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
- Tips: Ideal for adventure enthusiasts, it offers a range of activities and a captivating cinematic history.
- Where to Stay: Fortaleza do Guincho offers a luxurious stay in a 5* hotel with a Michelin restaurant, 17th-century preserved interiors, and rooms overlooking the beach. Bike rentals are available, and children are welcome.
2. Forte de Crismina: A Historical Wonder
- Overview: This degraded fort was built in 1762 during Portugal’s entry into the Seven Years’ War.
- Experience: In November, the dramatic wind and thunderous waves create a unique, awe-inspiring atmosphere. The chills, fascination, and perhaps even ominous feelings it evokes make it a must-visit during winter.
- Tips: Wear suitable clothing and footwear if visiting during the winter months.
3. Other Nearby Attractions to Explore:
- Cabo da Roca: The westernmost point of mainland Europe offers breathtaking views and a certificate to mark your visit.
- Serra de Sintra: Offers stunning hiking trails and views, connecting with Praia do Guincho for those looking to explore on foot.
- Cascais Old Town: Wander through charming streets, shops, and cafes for a more urban experience.
Starting from the Northern end of Cascais, you’ll find a blend of natural beauty, historic significance, and exciting activities. From the surfer’s haven at Praia do Guincho with its movie fame to the mysterious allure of Forte de Crismina, these destinations offer something for every traveler. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history buff, or someone looking to connect with nature, these spots promise a memorable experience. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in luxury at Fortaleza do Guincho or explore the nearby Cabo da Roca and Serra de Sintra for an enriched experience.
Farol do Cabo Raso: A Journey to Portugal’s Western Edge
Farol do Cabo Raso stands as an iconic red-towered lighthouse, harboring within the boundaries of an ancient fort at one of Portugal’s farthest western reaches. This landmark, though often understated, represents a piece of the wild, unaltered beauty of the Atlantic coastline. Here’s a detailed guide to make the most of your visit to this captivating spot.
- Walking: A lengthy and uneventful route from Cascais. Recommended only for those who relish long, peaceful walks, accompanied by the soothing sound of the ocean. Walking here on a sunny, even cold, day can provide a contemplative experience.
- Biking: An option for those who wish to cover the distance more efficiently.
- Driving: Most recommended. Pull off the main drive onto a small gravel road (watch out for crater-sized potholes). Though you may doubt the path, others will reassure you. It offers the most flexibility to explore the coastline.
The Lighthouse and Surroundings:
- The View: Although the lighthouse may seem similar to others, each perspective offers something new. Stop, breathe, and take in the panoramic views that make it distinct.
- The Experience: You stand on the edge of Portugal, where the land meets monstrous waves that have been crashing unbothered for centuries. This is not just a sightseeing stop; it’s a moment to connect with the grandeur of nature.
Why Visit Farol do Cabo Raso?
- Unique Scenery: The red tower of the lighthouse set against the rugged coastline is photogenic and inspiring.
- Historical Significance: The old fort adds a historical layer to the natural beauty.
- A Reflective Experience: Whether walking or driving, the journey to Farol do Cabo Raso offers a chance to engage with the landscape in a mindful and personal way.
Tips and Considerations:
- Accessibility: Prepare for the uneven gravel road if driving.
- Time of Visit: Consider visiting during the daytime for the best views and experience.
- Personal Preferences: Tailor the journey (walk, bike, drive) based on your interest and comfort with long distances.
Farol do Cabo Raso is more than just a lighthouse; it’s a symbol of Portugal’s unaltered connection to the Atlantic. A destination for those who seek not only the beauty of the land but also a peaceful and reflective journey. From the challenges of reaching it to the reward of the breathtaking views, the experience of visiting this spot is an intimate and enriching one.
Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos
- Description: This fort offers an intriguing military collection in its museum.
- Entrance Fee: Minimal.
- Highlight: Experience a part of Portugal’s military history.
- Tips: Ideal for history enthusiasts.
Guia Lighthouse – Farol da Guia
- History: Portugal’s first lighthouse, rebuilt in 1761 after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.
- Highlight: A beacon since 1523, reflecting the maritime history.
- Tips: Ideal for lighthouse lovers and history buffs.
Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell)
- Natural Wonder: A sea arch and cliff formed by nature’s force.
- Experience: Witness the Atlantic Ocean’s power as waves crash forcefully.
- Access: Walk from town in 20-30 minutes. Limited taxis; rideshare available.
- Market Stalls: Great spot for tourist gifts at good value.
- Warning: Dangerous cliff edges; heed warnings.
- Parking: Limited; a good point to park and walk if driving.
Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum
- Entrance: €5; includes admission to Casa de Santa Maria.
- History: 1868 lighthouse, 17th-century fort, and 1902 luxurious residence.
- Attractions: Azujelo tiles, Praia de Santa Marta beach, crystal clear waters.
- Stay & Dining Options: Farol Hotel offers sea/garden view rooms, Happy Hour Specials, and Afternoon Tea (15€ – 25€+).
Condes De Castro Guimarães Museum
- Architectural Beauty: Gothic Revival Castle built between 1897 and 1900.
- Collections: Art, 25,000 books, 1505 manuscript, Indo-Portuguese furniture.
- Highlight: Dive into pre-Earthquake Lisbon’s history.
Mirador Casa de Santa Maria
- Scenic Spot: Lookout over the Santa Marta inlet.
- Highlight: End the drive at the Marina and Citadel with a breathtaking view.
From military forts to lighthouses, natural wonders to luxurious experiences, Cascais is filled with a diverse range of attractions. Whether you’re into history, art, nature, or simply looking for beautiful scenic spots, this coastal town has something to offer.
If you start this drive/walk with the sunrise, you still have a full afternoon and evening for exploring more in Cascais.
The journey through Cascais is not only about visiting landmarks but immersing yourself in unique experiences and connecting with local culture. Whether you’re standing at the edge of the roaring Mouth of Hell, exploring a Gothic Revival Castle, or sipping afternoon tea with sea views, every attraction holds a story, waiting to be discovered.
Remember to plan your route based on preferences, considering parking, walking distances, and the best time to visit each spot. Explore at your pace and let Cascais reveal its timeless beauty and rich heritage.
Tried it? Let us know in the comments what worked for you or hidden gems you found along the way!