Ideal for a weekend of leisure and rest, the Cascais-Estoril area has the advantage of being close to Lisbon and offers a bit of everything. Beaches, great restaurants, places to practise sport, an interesting historical centre to visit and even one of the oldest casinos in Europe.
In Cascais we find Conceição beach, one of the most famous in the region. Besides its excellent location, it offers several entertainment options, making it the ideal place for those who want to spend an active weekend on the move.
For those who like to venture out into the Atlantic waters, Guincho Beach is a popular alternative for sports such as kitesurfing and windsurfing. With 1 km long, it is divided in two parts (the north and the south side). Both are frequented mainly by young people and surfers.
Another much visited beach in this part of the country is Praia da Rainha. Although it is not very extensive, it is also very well located, with several restaurants and cafes nearby.
If you prefer a quieter option, you can choose Praia das Moitas beach, also known as Praia da Rata. “Your legs will thank the blessed location of Praia das Moitas, aka Praia da Rata, next to Monte do Estoril station. It’s small and rocky, so you can’t be too careful of accidents. Does your company prefer still waters? Send them to the Alberto Romano ocean swimming pool, just around the corner (Lisbon-Cascais direction). It’s open from 8am to 6pm and there’s free access”, on the Timeout website.
Hell’s Mouth (Boca do Inferno)
Travelling to Cascais and not going to the iconic Boca do Inferno is a rather frustrating and incomplete visit. Its large rocks, which resemble a large mouth to the west of the town of Cascais, have already become one of the main tourist attractions of the region.
Every day, dozens of tourists head to the site to take photos and appreciate this wonder of nature. The ideal thing, of course, is to visit on sunny days, as it is an open-air attraction.
Close to Boca do Inferno there are some restaurants and shops that make the tour even more fun. Without a doubt, an ideal place to visit after a morning on the beach.
Cascais’ historical centre
In Cascais’ historic centre there is a bit of everything. It is possible to walk its streets for hours, without noticing how time passes, so many are the distractions around you. One of the busiest streets is Frederico Arouca, which is full of traders, restaurants and artists.
During a walk through the centre, you can see the main attractions of Cascais, such as the Condes de Castro Guimarães Museum, the Cascais Marina, the Cidadela de Cascais, Alameda Combatentes da Grande Guerra, Praça 5 de Outubro, Palácio Seixas, the Cascais Cultural Centre and much more.
Among all these attractions, we highlight the Centro Cultural de Cascais. Inaugurated in 2000, it has become an important space for culture in the region, with a special focus on the visual arts and hosting the main concerts and conferences in this part of the country.
Getting to know the main attractions of the historic centre of Cascais takes time, so we recommend that you dedicate at least one whole afternoon of your weekend to this town.
A night at the Estoril Casino
In this part of the country, the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. At night, in addition to enjoying a pleasant meal in any restaurant in the centre of Cascais, you can also have fun with the shows and multiple games available at Casino Estoril. Opened in 1931, it is considered the largest on the continent.
Besides the space dedicated to gambling, this casino also includes an imposing garden, the Jardim Europa, which regularly hosts some of the most interesting events in Estoril, such as the best street food festival in Europe, which took place in this garden in April this year.
In Estoril Casino the visitor can have fun with the traditional electronic machines – better known as slot machines, very popular in the main casinos in the world -, among many other games.
Compiling a list of the best restaurants in Cascais and Estoril is a very complicated task, as there is a wide range of quality restaurants throughout the region. However, the most important thing to note is that there are options for all tastes.
Among the most sophisticated restaurants is the Estoril Mandarim, which specialises in Chinese food. Located at Casino Estoril, it is one of the most famous in the city and the price goes hand in hand with quality.
For more informal meals, Saikō is an excellent option for those who like Japanese cuisine. Located in the Estoril Congress Centre, it is open from Monday to Sunday.
To enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine, Villa Tamariz Utopia, on Tamariz Beach, is one of the most renowned seaside restaurants in Estoril. And Taska Lusa also brings together some of the best dishes of Lusitanian cuisine.
Within the town of Cascais, the quality of the cuisine is also excellent and there you can find all kinds of gastronomic options. Among the best known restaurants is “5 Sentidos”, with a relaxed atmosphere and ideal for a meal at sunset.
In the historic centre of Cascais you don’t have to look far to find a good restaurant. Go to Frederico Arouca Street, for example, and you will surely find a place that will suit your mood at that moment.
Visit Cascais and Estoril in the summer
Visiting places with a beach during the summer is always the right decision. And that also applies to a weekend in the Estoril and Cascais area. The streets are more crowded and prices rise, it is true, but the temperatures invite you to spend hours on the beach, strolling through its streets and enjoying pleasant evenings at any esplanade. Without a doubt, the ideal formula for a perfect weekend, just a few kilometres from the Portuguese capital.