My favourite time to visit Cascais is… well it is all year round. Each season has its unique charm in Cascais. In winter, the temperatures are low, but still warm enough to put a coat and a scarf, a pair of boots and walk around the streets all illuminated with Christmas decorations, have a hot chocolate with a Pastel de Nata at one of the cafes, have a hot fish soup or a hearty meal in one of the many restaurants. Cascais never sleeps during Spring and Summer. As soon as the temperatures warm up, the streets are busy with people looking to catch some sun that brings smiles to our faces.
Summer is amazing as we do have long days, hot and sunny, perfect to hit the beach and have sundowners in one of the many terraces around town. Its however the busiest season and if you are looking to tranquility and peace avoid it.
My favorite months are May and September. The town is “quieter” and walking around is easier and more pleasant. The days are long enough to fully enjoy Cascais and warm enough to go to the beach and to stay outside till late.
In September there are many things still happening in Cascais, one of which is the Lumina festival. The streets are full of light attractions, projecting on walls such as the wall of the fortress at the Marina, as well as many other places. The last festival also had gigantic inflatable rabbits on the beach that were the delight of children. The food trucks are stationed in the historical center and you can taste all sorts of food, from traditional Portuguese food, to wraps and tortillas and to what is called “The best chocolate cake in the world” – I must confess in my opinion there are better, but it is a huge success.
In September 3, 2017, Cascais will host the Triathlon Iron Man, from 31st of August to the 3rd of September the Mercado da Vila (Town Market) will host the sardine market and in May the wine market. The Town market has been rehabilitated and is now a place of excellent gastronomy and good for shopping organics as well as handcrafts.
Cascais is a very safe place to walk around either during the day or at night. The historical center is usually busy till late into the night.
Cascais is well served with public transport – taxis, uber, buses, train, bikes for renting at the Cidadela (Bicas).
The main bus station is located on a basement next to Cascais Villa Shopping, and buses depart to many locations, from Cascais Shopping, to Sintra and Lisbon.The bus to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of Europe departures from Cascais Bus Terminal.
Trains to Cascais depart from Cais do Sodré in Lisbon and take between 30 to 40 minutes, departing at every 20 to 30 minutes, from early in the morning to late at night. Its a beautiful train ride, as most of the train line runs along the coast, being possible to see the beautiful beaches of Estoril and Carcavelos, Belem Tower, the Discoveries Monument, Belém gardens, Alcântara Docks, Santos Docks, etc.
The Buscas is a bus service that circles Cascais town, from downtown at the Train Station to Guia and down along the promenade returning again to the Train station. The bus costs 1euro, and leaves every 15 to 20 minutes, with regular stops. One of my favorites is to pick the bus at the train station and exit at Guia, geared up with my headphones and sneakers for a long stroll along the promenade. Its invigorating and the beauty of the landscape is impressive, high cliffs with the most beautiful sea below, ranging from turquoise to a deep blue that blends with the brownish rocks in a fusion of smells and tones.
Stay tuned, next posts will have some tips for restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions