Cascais (kush-kaish)

By | Travel
Farol de Santa Marta & Casa de Santa Maria. Credit@www.en.wikipedia.org

The municipality of Cascais (pronounced kush-kaish) is a tourist destination within rich natural settings. Overlooking the Atlantic ocean, Cascais enjoys privileged climate, sheltered from the North-western Atlantic winds. Sandy beaches dot the shore, whilst inland countryside continues to the slopes of the Sintra hills. Two highways connect Cascais with Lisbon and the Lisbon international airport. Cascais, only a few minutes drive from Tires’ aerodrome and golf courses, Atlantic beaches and side by side to the Natural Sintra-Cascais Park.

The preservation of the treasures of its past coupled with modern infrastructure, a wide range of accommodation, services and sport facilities as well as entertainment and cultural events aim to attract visitors to this region every year.Inaugurated on the 9th of August 1952, Cascais Municipal Market may be one of the town’s most emblematic architectural features. In 2012, Cascais Market started hosting noteworthy events  such as the Healthy Eating Day, the Honey Market, and the Chocolate Market. Regular themed events at the market aim to promote the status of the local markets and to position the country’s gastronomy as a tourist attraction.

City Hall Cascais. Credit@www.all-free-photo.com

City Hall Cascais. Credit@www.all-free-photo.com

Commercial streets are filled with shops selling different products, including a Portuguese specialty – fashion products and accessories made of cork . Cork oak grows in Portugal and its honeycomb-like tissue structure and nature of the cell membranes give the cork special features such as lightness, suppleness, elasticity, durability, hypoallergenic feature, waterproof, which may appeal to the fashion world. For those interested in design and decoration, the Casa da Guia  commercial gallery offers a variety of attractions, shopping, eating and relaxation options.

Aimed to help visitors enjoy this former refuge of the Portuguese monarchs and the European royalty to the full, Cascais has a diverse selection of local and international restaurants with prices to match different budgets. Many offer fish and shellfish dishes, taking advantage of fresh supplies arriving daily from local fishermen. Some are cafes on narrow streets, whilst others display panoramic views of the sea. The stores and restaurants aim to serve an international clientele; their staff speak different languages such as English, French, Spanish, etc., and some restaurants offer multilingual menus.

The Cascais region has several golf courses  available to both professional and beginner players. Some courses overlook the sea while others are tucked away with the Sintra mountains in the backdrop. Offered the mild climate, it may be possible to play golf year round. The golf clubs are open to visitors and have clubhouses, driving ranges, putting greens, bars, restaurants and shops. Visitors may hire golf clubs and buggies, and lessons are available for beginners.

Cascaisbeach. Credit@www.commons.wikimedia.org

Cascaisbeach. Credit@www.commons.wikimedia.org

Surfing, body-board, fishing, scuba diving, water-skiing and sailing are some of the water sports visitors may enjoy in the waters of Cascais. The Cascais Marina  receives yachts, sailboats and catamarans aiming to serve both residents and visitors.

Sailboats dot the horizon on weekends when local enthusiasts get together for races sailing along the mouth of the river. In the last few years Cascais has become the venue for international sailing regattas   . Horse riding is also popular and, in the summer, Cascais holds an international show jumping event  at its hippodrome.

From the 19th to the 28th of August, Cascais is hosting its annual Seafair . From pop rock to one night dedicated entirely to fado, from symphonic music to soul music, the Seafair celebrations aim to enliven the summer in Cascais. The last night of the event may appeal to people of all tastes and all ages, by mixing classical music with Disney classics. A fireworks display is scheduled for the closing night in the Bay of Cascais.

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