Cascais, a small resort town near Lisbon, left me with the most inspiring photographs in my phone library. As you walk through the city, it is difficult not to bump into tourists, who stop every next step to capture the scenery. At the same time as being overcrowded, you can find complete peace by reading a book and listening to the waves.
Everywhere you go there’s something more to discover: small paths leading to little cafes by the ocean shore, old castle stones to touch or rocks to climb up top. Moreover, it’s a surfer paradise. At Guincho beach, a place where surf classes are held day and night, you can snap an amazing photograph of the ocean, catch an amazing breeze while tanning under the hot, burning sun. Could anything feel more wonderful? The salty water and clean, bright yellow sand kept me smiling. The weather remains great until about mid- October, which is why you can still make your way there!
It is a little difficult to navigate and find taxis, but the beach is a 10km walk from Cascais city center and you’ll love to take a free (yes, free) bike there. Turn on a good old Bob Marley song and ride enjoying the most breathtaking landscapes of castles, lighthouses and hills.
There’s a great lunch spot in the city, one that’s very difficult to find but you will be amazed at how fresh and delicious everything is. Café Galeria House of Wonders boasts a cozy rooftop overlooking the city and definitely food homemade with love. You can ask to make a large salad from whatever they bought at the farmers market in the morning and savor their variety of quiches. For their address and more, find them on Facebook here.
The two best restaurants, also the most expensive, were Hemingway (standing in the marina) and Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho. The balanced tastes of molecular cuisine in Hemingway left me with almost the same,deep thoughts as expressed in the book Old Man and the Sea. However, in the spirit of Hemingway, they do wait until after sunset to serve you your food. I cannot answer why, but if you are hungry ask the waiter to not wait or if you want to have a few or more drinks, just enjoy the intrigue.
In Fuerzo de la Guincho, I saw the most beautiful sunset, and the sun literally set into the ocean. There are not enough words to describe the emotions it sprung, but overall, both venues served amazing, high-class dishes. They absolutely love meat in Portugal, so if you’re a true carnivore you will love every bite. For those animal-lovers like myself, seafood is great and there are some vegetarian options as well, but overall, there’s still a lot of red meat.
In Cascais you will never find yourself bored. There is so much to see, whether you are an explorer like me who enjoys going into small streets and finding pieces of street art or one who likes to go to museums and see old pieces of art, you will find yourself busy. Plus Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is close by where you can find shops from H&M to Zadig Volitaire to Louis Vuitton and restaurants from Starbucks to Michelin star restaurants—that is, if you are looking for a larger city. Apart from that, Estoril (a 10 minute taxi ride from Cascais) is the most famous place to gamble away, unless you are a millionaire and prefer Monaco.