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Cascais started as a small fishing village which attracted writers and artists to its little cottages. In the 1870s, the Portuguese royalty started visiting Cascais for their summer recess and soon the nobility followed. These visitors built Cascais' pastel colored-buildings, maintained their manicured gardens and villas, but todat, even with those stately mansions the place does not feel exclusive. In summer this fashionable suburb of Lisbon becomes the magnet for the trendy Lisboetas, for the large groups of golfers and for convertibles. With its appealing Old Town, the new marina and the impressive beach, Cascais is Estoril Coast's liveliest resort. And at the same time the simple life of Cascais as a fishing village goes on. Auctions of the largest catch of the day still take place on the main square and in the marina, the colorful fishing boats share space with yachts owned by the international set. Legend has it that Afonso Sanches, a native of Cascais discovered America in 1482. Columbus learned of his accidental find, stole his secret and enjoyed the fame ever since.

Highlights of Cascais

  • Parque do Marechal Carmona, an overgrown subtropical garden with swans and peacocks wondering the grounds
  • Boca do Inferno - Gates of Hell cliffs with roaring ocean waves
  • Old Cascais with quaint back alleys, exotic gardens and small cottages
  • Igreja Nossa Senhora da Assuncao - pre-1755 earthquake church decorated with old ceramic tiles