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15 Places you cannot miss in Cascais

A tour of the best of the county, including forts, museums, parks and beaches.

It was not by chance that kings and princes from all over the world chose Cascais as their summer retreat.

Beautiful, glamorous and serene, this town with the sea at its doorstep and the mountains at its window has much to discover and offer.

1 – Casa de Santa Maria (Santa Maria House) and Farol de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Lighthouse)

One of Cascais’ picture postcards, this house designed by architect Raul Lino was commissioned in the early 20th century by Jorge O’Neil, a descendant of the Royal Sovereign House of Ireland. Inside, its beautiful tiles and wooden ceilings stand out.
Next door is the Farol de Santa Maria (Santa Maria Lighthouse), which now houses a museum dedicated to the former lighthouse keepers.

2- Museu Biblioteca dos Condes de Castro Guimarães (Counts of Castro Guimarães Library Museum)

Also commissioned by Jorge O’Neil in 1900, this incredible revivalist-style building houses a valuable art collection and a library with rare copies, including a manuscript from 1505.

3- Forte de São Jorge de Oitavos (São Jorge de Oitavos Fort)

A military building built in the 17th century for the defence of the coast, it now houses a museum about this fortification on the seafront.

4 – Casa das Histórias Paula Rego (Paula Rego’s House of Stories)

Since 2009, this building designed by the architect Eduardo Souto de Mora has been showing the life and work of the painter Paula Rego. In addition to the permanent exhibition, it usually hosts several temporary exhibitions and activities promoted by the educational service.

5 – Museu do Mar Rei D.Carlos (King D.Carlos Sea Museum)

Opened in 1992, this museum evokes the town’s connection to the sea, through collections of natural history, ethnology, underwater archaeology and models of old boats, among other pieces.

6 – Centro Cultural de Cascais (Cascais Cultural Centre)

One of the most important cultural spaces in the municipality, it is located in the former Convent of Nossa Senhora da Piedade.

7 – Cidadela de Cascais (Cascais Citadel)

An imposing 16th century fortification, built by the sea, it currently houses a luxury hotel (Pestana Cidadela Cascais), an Art District and the Presidency Museum.

8 – Museu da Vila (Village Museum)

Located right in the heart of Cascais, it tells the story of the town from Neolithic times to the present day. It is currently closed for renovation work.

9 – Museu da Música Portuguesa Casa Verdades de Faria (Portuguese Music Museum Casa Verdades de Faria)

Another beautiful building designed by the architect Raul Lino. In addition to countless musical and ethnographic objects, it houses the collections of two important names in Portuguese music, Michel Giacometi and Fernando Lopes-Graça.

10 – Igreja Matriz de Nossa Senhora da Assunção (Our Lady of Assumption Church)

With origins in the 16th century, this is one of the churches most cherished by the Cascais locals. Inside, there are beautiful tile panels, a gilded altar and paintings by the artist Josefa D’Óbidos. It was here that the daughter of King Umberto II of Italy was married.

11 – Parque Marechal Carmona (Marechal Carmona Par)

Located in the centre of the town, it is a pleasant green park with large lawns, leafy trees, a picnic park and a path along the Ribeira dos Mochos. It also has a children’s library, a playground and a mini zoo.

12 – Quinta do Pisão (Pisão Estate)

Located at the foot of the Sintra mountains, it is one of Cascais’ best kept secrets. It boasts over 380 hectares of unspoilt nature and even a cave where remains from the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age have been found. It organises donkey rides, bird watching, hiking and guided tours of the beehives. Admission is free.

13 – Passeio Marítimo Estoril/Cascais (Estoril/Cascais Seafront promenade)

A promenade with more than three kilometres, between São Pedro do Estoril and Cascais, inviting you for a relaxing stroll along the seafront. Along the way, there are several exercise equipment.

14 – Núcleo de Interpretação da Duna de Cresmina (Cresmina Dune Interpretation Centre)

The two beaches of Guincho and Cresmina, located in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, serve as a backdrop for this environmental space that invites you to get to know the local fauna and flora through a walk along the walkways that lead to Guincho Beach.

15 – Beaches

Of Cascais’ 12 official beaches, the most beautiful and natural are Guincho, Tamariz (Estoril), the most cosmopolitan, and Carcavelos, the most popular.

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