Two days based in Cascais allow you time to thoroughly explore the town and its coastline; get a sense of its history and culture; and venture on a day trip to nearby Sintra. Here’s how to spend two days in one of Portugal’s most charming coastal towns.
Day 1: Explore Cascais
Morning: Check off Cascais’ major attractions, including its forts and lavish mansions, on a sightseeing tour led by a guide who can fill you in on its history. Some tour itineraries include a walk along the coast to the once-glamorous casino resort town of nearby Estoril.
Afternoon: Spend your afternoon catching waves on one of the best surfing beaches in the Lisbon area. Guided tours with instructors travel to surf spots at either Praia do Guincho or Praia do Carcavelos, depending on your skill level and current conditions.
Night: Conclude an action-packed first day in Cascais with a seafood dinner, a glass of wine, and a view at one of the town’s many waterfront restaurants. Make sure to leave room for dessert: Gelados Santini ice cream parlor is considered the best in the area.
Day 2: Discover Sintra
Morning: Cascais’ location makes it an ideal base from which to explore. Travel to nearby Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in about 30 minutes by car or 90 minutes by train or bus. Learn the history of the city from your guide while strolling the streets and admiring the 19th-century Romantic architecture, including many castles, estates, and palaces.
Afternoon: To see more than just city sites, book a full-day tour with transportation from Cascais included. These tours often stop at Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe, and the seaside cliffs of Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell) where you can see the waves of the Atlantic Ocean plunging into an ancient cave, now collapsed due to erosion.
Night: After dinner, sample the city’s popular almond cream puff pastry, known as a travesseiro. If on a guided day trip, you’ll arrive back in Cascais with time for dinner as well as a taste of the nightlife scene on your last day.