It Only Took Me 30 Minutes to Fall In Love With Cascais, Portugal.

Warning! This post was brought to you by a great amount of discontent and melancholy. The great Canadian winter’s starting to get on my nerves and I’d much rather be on a beach now.

As I write, it’s – 15 degrees celsius in Toronto. The mercury has taken a swan dive into a bottomless pit. The brief seven minute walk home from Union Station last night was like cruel and unusual punishment. My face felt like it was going to burn off, my nostrils were stuck together, my lips were chapped and my hands were numb even though I had on warm gloves.

I’m also seriously questioning my sanity at this moment. How will I survive Winterlude in Ottawa next weekend? I’ll be sure to bring sexy back when I wear my Cougar boots and the Polish hat I picked up at the Plac Nowy Jewish Market in KrakΓ³w last year.

So here I am, finding myself longing for lazy afternoons under the warmth of the sun, drinking cold beer, taking breaks for quick swims, drying off in the open air, feeling the sand between my toes. This got me to day dreaming about the beaches of Cascais, Portugal and recalling a brief 30 minutes I spent there last September.

Cascais, Portugal.

While on a whirlwind day tour with We Hate Tourism Tours (yes, this is their real company name), we stopped in this little Portuguese town. Turns out that 30 minutes was all I needed to fall good and hard. Not only am I a cheap drunk, I’m also easy! πŸ™‚

Seriously though, take a look at this gorgeous beach and I think you’ll understand. Doesn’t everyone in these photos look like they’re living the dream? Don’t you wish you could insert yourself into that scene?

Cascais, Portugal.

Cascais, Portugal.

Cascais, Portugal.

Only 30 kilometers from Lisbon, Cascais is an easy day trip away from the hustle and bustle of Portugal’s capital. It’s a perfect place to come, rest your pretty head and work on your tan.

While some people like to laze about on the beach with a drink in their hand (me, me, me), others visit Cascais to get a physical workout. Wikipedia tells us that people come for the sports – old men in checkered shirts and knee socks like to play golf there (there are 10 courses nearby), jocks ride the waves and ballers come to race their yachts.

Another reason why Cascais is worth visiting? James Bond. Yes, that’s right Double Oh Seven himself made his way to these parts when scenes for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service were shot here.

Cascais, Portugal.

Cascais, Portugal.

Even with such a limited time in Cascais, I couldn’t resist dipping my feet in the Atlantic.

Cascais, Portugal.

I also took a quick walk through town. One of my favorite things about Portugal is that even though certain buildings are falling apart from decay and neglect, that pretty details are ever-present in the form of street signs, tiles and of course (my favorite) street art.

Cascais, Portugal.

Cascais, Portugal.

Cascais, Portugal.

This was my last view of Cascais as we drove away and headed back to our Housetrip flat in Lisbon.

Cascais, Portugal.

I’ll leave you with an insider’s tip provided by our awesome tour guide Marta from We Hate Tourism Tours. Apparently, the best place in town to get a gelato is at Santini. Some even go so far as to say it’s the best gelato to be had in *all* of Portugal. I didn’t try it myself as the Portuguese cuisine had already done serious damage to my waistline but my travel blogging friends did tell me it was delicious.

So if you want to escape Lisbon for day and get in some beach time, hit up Cascais. If you’re tired of pastΓ©is, come for the gelato! Maybe I’ll see you there and we can race our yachts together. πŸ™‚

Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


  1. I spent a few hours there too, and loved it! Santini was hard to find, but we found it eventually. We’ll go to great lengths for gelato. I want to go back too!

  2. This is very similar to a beach I visited in Portugal – Salema. The Algarve coast is underrated. Most people head to Spain but hope the beautiful beaches of Portugal remain a secret πŸ™‚

  3. I would have fallen in love too! I’ll race my yacht against yours any day, I mean it’s not a hay bath, but heh πŸ˜‰

  4. @Jeremy – You make me realize that I need to spend much more time exploring Portugal and the coastline. 30 minutes is definitely not enough.

    @Laurel – Portugal is amazing. And yes, let’s race sometime soon. πŸ™‚

  5. Relaxing on a beach in Portugal (with a cold beer) sounds like exactly the right thing for me right now. Portugal is on my list! I love the detail of the tile sign and street art, too.

  6. @Cathy – Let’s go there RIGHT NOW. The cold in Canada is getting to be a bit much. πŸ™‚

    I really hope you make it to Portugal. It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people!

  7. Beach photos in January…not fair I tell you. Reminds me that one year ago we were lazing on a beach every day somewhere on Kauai. Sigh. Not this year. Here in Seattle right now it’s not quite so cold as Canada, but endless days of gray, damp drizzle can sometimes be worse.

  8. It took me only 10 minutes to read your post and fall in love with Portugal again. I love relaxing on the beaches. I visited this place in March 2010 with my friends. And we enjoyed a lot there, as it’s a very beautiful place.

  9. Hi there!

    I’m planning my summer trip to Portugal and wasn’t sure about including Cascais. This might make me switch over to ‘gogogogogogo!!!’ though:D

  10. I love reading all the wonderful emails on here about Cascais- I spent 3 years studying there at college. Absolutely love it there, I go every year for 3 weeks. Will be heading that way again in June this year.

  11. Hi Maria – Oh you’re very lucky! I hope that I can go back there again someday. I live in Berlin and although it’s lovely, I miss being by the beach. πŸ™‚

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