Visit Cascais and Estoril
Cascais and Estoril are part of what is known as the Lisbon Riviera. Two small towns along the ocean that practically fit into each other. The Lisbon Riviera is a seaside holiday destination whose charm will not leave you indifferent, rest assured! The ocean water, even in the hottest summer, does not exceed 18º C. So you don’t necessarily have to visit Cascais and Estoril to swim, but rather to breathe the air, walk along the ocean, admire the view of the coast and its old houses, bask on the beach in the sun and enjoy the other thousand and one ways to relax in this beautiful region. Cascais and Estoril can also be of interest to surfers, who will be able to cope with the slightly cold water temperature thanks to their wetsuits. After all, visiting Lisbon, its region and not seeing the ocean would be a bit of a shame. Many Portuguese jump into the water in one go, so it is quite possible to swim!
Cascais has no world-class attractions. You won’t be immediately struck by architectural masterpieces but the houses on the waterfront are very interesting. The most important thing in Cascais is the view of the coast, the amazing colours of the dark blue ocean, the blue sky, the coastal cliffs and the yellow sandy beaches that will leave no one indifferent. Bicycle rides along the coast are also very popular in Cascais. Cycling will get you there if you want to save your energy but walking is also great!
For your information, there is the Lisboa Card: a card that will give you access to many discounts on transport, tickets to monuments and even free entrance to some of Lisbon’s sights. Discover the main discounts and everything you need to know about the card by visiting the Lisboa Card page, or click on the card below to order it directly online.
Click on the Lisboa Card to order it online
How to get to Cascais
To get to Cascais, you will have to go to the Cais do Sodré station in Lisbon, from where you can take any train to Cascais. This is the last station. There are very regular trains and they make few stops. The train journey to Cascais takes no more than 40 minutes. First it runs along the banks of the Tagus, then along the ocean. The cost of the trip is 2.90€ one way. You won’t have to wait more than 10 minutes for the train to depart, which means you don’t have to worry about the departure time, which is still appreciable.
If you want to visit Estoril and you like walks by the sea then I have only one piece of advice. Take the train from Lisbon, stop at Estoril station, walk through the tunnels to the beach just behind the station and walk all the way to Cascais: you won’t regret it!
How to rent a bike in Cascais
In Cascais you can rent a bike for free, but it will be a very basic bike with no gear change and owned by the municipality. You will have to show your passport or driving license, leave your phone number and your hotel address in Lisbon or elsewhere. Free bikes are marked with the “Bicas” logo. There are only three free bike rental stations:
- Near Cascais train station (Largo da Estação, Cascais)
- Tourist Office of Plaza 5 de Outubro 2750-320 Cascais
- Near the shopping center of Casa da Guia (Av. Nossa Senhora do Cabo, Cascais)
Free Bicas bikes can be rented:
- In summer (from 1st May to 30th September): every day from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm
- In winter (1 October – 30 April) – Daily – 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
However, you will need to get to the rental office as soon as possible to make sure you have a bike. Otherwise, you have the paying option that I recommend more for renting the best bikes in Cascais: there is a rental shop at the train station in Cascais. Prices vary but it’s around 4€ per hour and 7€ for 4 hours. 4 hours is enough to see the coast and for information, the cycle tracks are approximately 16km long. The most popular bike path is the one along route 247.
Things to see in Cascais and Estoril
The most spectacular natural beauties are located at a certain distance from Cascais. Boca do Inferno is about 2 km from the train station in Cascais along the coast. The devil’s mouth is a picturesque natural formation. Boca do Inferno is of course more impressive during a violent storm, but it will be less pleasant for your day trip to Cascais and Estoril. Walking is much more pleasant in good weather. Nearby there is an observation terrace and a café.
The Farol da Guia lighthouse, 1.5 km away at the Fort of São Jorge de Oitavos, is 5 km from the train station in Cascais. You will have to walk at least 10 km, which is why many people rent a bicycle and use the bicycle paths: they are separated from traffic and therefore very safe.
Then, of course, you have to see the centre of Caiscais. The town itself is very small. It will not be difficult to walk around it, but you will be able to see the typical Portuguese architecture and the traditional Portuguese paving in all its forms in the small alleys. The most common model is the wave pattern with black stripes in basalt and white stripes in sandstone.
In 2006, a monument to the penultimate king of Portugal, Charles I, was erected on the Cascais dam. He decided to install the royal summer residence there, after which Cascais was electrified and a railway was built to Lisbon. Behind the king and the court of Cascais there were aristocrats and a rich bourgeoisie who built villas, castles and palaces. The old fishing village has now become a fashionable seaside resort on the Atlantic coast, where you can picnic on the beach of Cascais: its funnel-shaped layout will protect you from the wind and allow you to enjoy the warm sunshine. Most of the year there is a person on the beach of Cascais who makes sculptures on the sand, it is very nice to see.
I would strongly recommend allocating a full day to visit all this area or booking a guided tour of Cascais, Sintra and Estoril at the top of this page to target the things you must see. This part of the Lisbon region is full of charm and absolutely beautiful to discover.
Further information: Cascais and Estoril
The Estoril coast offers many beaches that are very different from each other. Guincho beach is the largest beach along the Atlantic coast. A large number of high quality golf courses are also available for golf lovers. The bay of Cascais offers favourable conditions for water sports, sailing and windsurfing, etc. Guincho beach is a favourite spot for surfers. Click here if you would like to take surfing lessons in Ericeira, north of Guincho beach.
On the Estoril coast, there are also equestrian polo competitions and a race track for the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Portugal’s food culture is characterised by its culinary diversity. There is a rich selection of dishes all over the Estoril Coast. You can find high-end meat and seafood restaurants, but beware of tourist traps… In the centre of Cascais you will find many shops for all tastes: from trendy fashion shops with very good prices to traditional handicrafts.
To visit in the surroundings:
- The art museum of Castro Guimarães and its brilliant collections surrounded by a breathtaking garden.
- The church of Cascais is a famous 19th century art building with old tiled paintings.
- The village of Sintra with the famous market of São Pedro
- The westernmost cape, Cabo da Roca, is also worth a visit.
- Wonderful walk along the ocean between Cascais and Estoril