I’m on holidays in Lisbon and today, despite the rain, I decided to visit Cascais: an elegant coastal resort located in the region popularly called the Portuguese Riviera, about 30 km west of the capital.
This place mainly attracts European tourists from colder countries in search of beautiful landscapes, and white sandy beaches. Cascais also abounds with incredible shops and restaurants.
Cascais was the destination that King Umberto II of Italy chose for exile in 1946, where he built Villa Italia. The beautiful building has recently become a luxurious hotel: The hotell Grande Real Villa Italia, complete with SPA and restaurante.
I reach the town by train, taking a journey of about 30 minutes, starting from the terminus Cais do Sodré to the Cascais terminal, along the homonymous Linha de Cascais. Here the timetable
If you have made the Viva Viajem card of which I speak here, you will be charged € 1.90 otherwise, the ticket price will be € 2.25.
With the Lisbon Metro you can get to the Cais do Sodré train station, inaugurated on September 4, 1895 and today classified as a Monument of Public Interest.
The train moves unhurriedly along the coast, the view is magnificent. Although the weather is not the best, no doubt about it, the ocean is always fascinating.
I found this interesting Virtual Journey onGoogle maps.
Arrived at destination, I leave the station and go left: I can not go wrong because the railway line runs parallel to the sea.
At the end of the street turn left again, step next to the pretty Orthodox church Ermida Nossa Senhora da Conceição dos Inocentes and I arrive at the beach where I used to come when I was a child, with my grandmother, my mother and my sister: Praia da Conceição
The Praia da Conceição is one of the most popular beaches in the village due to its proximity to both the town center and the train station.
At low tide, Praia da Conceição connects to the nearby Praia da Duquesa becoming a unique and huge beach.
The beach is bordered on one side by the Palazzo Duque de Loulé, which has become the elegant Hotel Albatroz Hotel Albatroz (currently closed for renovations, will reopen in May 2019)…
… and on the other side from the Chalet Faial, a former court of Cascais. Built in 1896 by the Marquises of Faial is a replica of the nearby Palmela Palace owned by his parents, the Dukes of Palmela. These villas are two of the earliest and most significant summer residences, built in Cascais in the era when King D. Luís began the renovation of the Cidadela, thus giving way to the transformation of this fishing village into one of the most prestigious of the court: following the example of the monarch, the main families of the kingdom adopted Cascais as a holiday resort building their houses by the sea.
If you are interested, I tell you that the Chalet is for sale for just two million and nine hundred and fifty thousand euro!
The magnificent Palacio Palmela stands at the opposite end of Praia da Duquesa. It was designed by the British architect Thomas Henry Wyatt, in perfect English perpendicular Gothic style, as desired by the Duchess D. Maria de Sousa and Holstein and was built in 1870.
Queen’s Beach (Praia da Rainha)
I walk on the pedestrian Rua Federico Arouca, full of shops and restaurants. Something to be admired is the wonderful calçada Portuguesa (Portuguese sidewalk) that I love so much.
Turned on the second street on the right Tv. da Misericordia that brings me to the Catholic Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção.
Questo tempio è molto antico, essendo già presente nell’incisione di Cascais nell’opera “Civitates Orbis Terrarum” from 1572.
I descend the stairs in front of the church and arrive at Largo Cidade de Vitòria where, I am sure, I will find the craft market.
After the purchases, I turn around the stalls and take Rua Flores passing next near the building of the company “A Pesca“, specialized in the production of statues . I like the cheerful way it is decorated!
At the end of the street you can see the Palacio Seixas or Messe de Cascais. Built in the early 1900s on what remained of the Fort of Santa Catarina, it was the autumn residence of the royal family.
Inside there is a restaurant that offers a wonderful panoramic view of the Atlantic. Booking is mandatory, if you wish you can do it here
Before leaving the center, I visit the Praça 5 de Outubro and the Palazzo dei Conti di Guarda, dating back to the end of the 18th century. It is the current seat of the Municipality as well as hosting, on the ground floor, the Museo da Vila.
Being lunchtime and being hungry like a wolf, I take this opportunity to stop at Solar do Bitoque in the square and get a take-away sandwich.
The Prego is a typical Portuguese dish and can be consumed either in bread (no pão) or on a plate (no prato). The composition may vary, but can not miss the beef steak. When served on the plate, it is usually accompanied by patatoe chips, rice, fried egg and salad. Sometimes it can also contain ham, between the steak and the egg. The meat is seasoned a few hours before cooking and is delicious!
Last stop in the square next to the statue of D. Pedro I protagonist, together with Inês de Castro, of one of the most beautiful and moving love stories of Portugal. If I have intrigued you, check out this Portuguese video with English subtitles.
Return by the sea and entrance Av. Dom Carlos I, direct to Cidadela.
As soon as I start going up the street I find the beautiful statue of the Mermaid out of place! Usually the statue that celebrates 500 years of Portuguese discoveries stays in the square, in front of the Hotel Baia. I get informed and find out that, besides her, also the bust of King D. Luis I received the eviction order, as well as the four palm trees planted on the hotel terrace. All of them have been transplanted elsewhere, “out of the way” from the work in progress that will add about fifty places to the hotel’s underground car park.
I must say, however, that I prefer her here. It is much more suggestive at this point near the water than across the street. I hope she stays there.
On top of the avenue another statue I love: the one of Re D. Carlos I
Inaugurated in 2008, the imposing bronze statue portrays the monarch, who has always been deeply linked to the sea, while surveying the horizon from the balustrade of his boat Amélia, a name given as a tribute to the Queen consort Amélia de Orleães
King D. Carlos, the penultimate King of Portugal, reigned from 1889 to 1908, the year in which he was killed.
The last ruler of Portugal was his son Manuel II who reigned just two years until the fall of the monarchy, October 5, 1910, today national holiday.
Behind the statue of the King is the Cidadela di Cascais
The original fortification dates back to a late-medieval tower, built under the reign of John II of Portugal (1481-1495) while the current structure was begun in 1594
The Cidadela de Cascais is a fortified complex that includes the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Luz de Cascais, the Tower of Santo António de Cascais and the Palace of the Cidadela de Cascais.
The whole function was to defend this part of the coast of access to the capital.
After 1870 it became the summer residence of the Kings of Portugal and, currently, of the President of the Republic.
In 2004, the building was opened to the public and the entrance fee costs € 4.00
From 2012 it is possible to stay inside the walls, in the luxurious Pousada Cascais, (of the Pestana group) at around € 140 a night.
I continue my trip. I leave the Cidadela on my left, continue to climb Av D. Carlos I to the roundabout where, turning left, I take Av. Rei Humberto II of Italy. The road curves to the right and, just a few steps away, the beautiful Santa Marta lighthouse appears.
The Lighthouse, built in 1868, is 20 meters high, completely tiled and equipped with a “fog horn”, which produces an impressive three-second sound followed by seven seconds of silence.
The visit to the lighthouse is free.
Attached, there is an interesting museum, an audience, an exhibition space, and a cafeteria of which I immediately take advantage.
You can find some other information here
She lives here and who knows me knows… it was love right away… ❤
A little further on the road, on our right, there is the Villa Italia of which I spoke to you at the beginning (that’s why the street on which I find myself is called Av. Rei Humberto II of Italy)
Still 10 minutes of walking and arrival at Boca do Inferno.
The name “Mouth of Hell” attributed to this place, is due to the large cavity in the rock and to the frightful sound produced by the suction of the waves inside it.
The sea, with violent and merciless attacks, rises in a deathly white foam for tens of meters, continuing to consume the millennial rock, thus increasing the already spectacular size of the “Bocca dell’Inferno”.
It’s six o’clock in the afternoon and it’s getting dark. I have just enough time to capture the fearless fisherman on the rocks
I will stop for dinner at Cascais. The last train to Lisbon leaves at half past one at night so I have all the time I need to have dinner and come back comfortably.
Here below I leave the map of the walk, maybe you can find it useful.
See you soon
If you have questions and suggestions, please write me in the comments
Ciao from yours Crackita!