Living in Cascais, Portugal: What You Need to Know

There are many places to start discovering Europe, and one you might not think of is Cascais. Living in Cascais, Portugal, is a fantastic way to experience a town that is the perfect mix of traditional, laidback, and cosmopolitan life. If you’re looking for an exceptional quality of life, living in Cascais may be the right choice for you.

Cascais is fortunate to benefit from fantastic Mediterranean weather influenced by the Atlantic coast. Temperatures range from 12 degrees C (55 degrees F) to 25 degrees C (77 degrees F), and you’ll find a variety of outdoor activities on offer to take full advantage of this moderate climate, including golf, sailing, surfing, kite surfing, and windsurfing.

Cascais is home to some of Portugal’s most popular beaches. To the north of Cascais, you’ll find Guincho beach, a rugged surfing beach, and Sintra, with well-known tourist attractions like the castle of Pena (Palacio Nacional da Pena), the Moorish Castle (Castelo dos Mouros), and Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Hiking fans should take the opportunity to climb the cliffs of Cabo da Roca, an incredible viewpoint that forms the most westerly point of mainland Europe.

You can easily travel from Cascais to Lisbon, either by autostrada or train (Linho do Cacscais), and visit its many museums, parks, and attractions. For air travel, head to the municipal airport in nearby Tires or Lisbon Portela International Airport, a short 45 minutes from Cascais.


Lifestyle in Cascais

Living in Cascais can feel like you’re on vacation most of the time. The village has become a favorite among expats in recent years, so it’s common to hear Spanish, German, French, Chinese, and Italian, along with English and Portuguese. In addition to this, there are plenty of free, inexpensive, and captivating things to do and beautiful sites to see.

Gleba is a famous bakery located in the center of Cascais. Ideal for breakfast, tea, or a light meal, the bakery is known for its range of bread and quality cakes. Not too far away, you’ll find Boca do Inferno, a dramatic and unique formation of cliffs along the seaside. Originally a sea cave, the Boca do Inferno collapsed, leaving the chasm and sea arch you can view today.

For those who like markets, you’ll be pleased to know that you can visit one on the Rua Mercado on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can find clothes, handmade crafts, and produce for sale at affordable prices.

The cost of real estate in Cascais depends on where you live. The average price per square meter to purchase an apartment in the city center is €5,380. Property taxes will also be based on real estate value. House prices will also depend on whether the property contains all the necessary amenities you require, such as aircon and internet, and whether it’s in a popular location or a short distance from public transport.


Things to Do in Cascais

We briefly mentioned above that Cascais and the surrounding area is full of fun and exciting things to do and see. Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of these activities.


  1. Museums

In and around Cascais, you’ll find over ten museums to visit. The Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, a popular and internationally recognized museum, is dedicated to the works of Lisbon-born British artist Paula Rego. These works are complex and emotionally challenging, intended to push you out of your psychological comfort zone. The Museo do Mar, Museum of the Sea, presents a collection of artifacts related to Cascais’ maritime history. It is also a tribute to former King Dom Carlos I, a former oceanographer.

Another fascinating museum is the Museu da Música Portuguesa, situated in nearby Estoril. The museum is intended to preserve, conserve, study, and promote Portugal’s rich musical heritage and is often used for recitals. Other museums in Cascais include the Casa de Santa Maria, Casa Duarte Pinto Coelho, and Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães.


  1. Festivals

Living in Cascais, Portugal, will mean the opportunity to attend multiple festivals throughout the year. January kicks off with a bang and a huge party to mark the start of the new year. Bars and restaurants offer gala dinners, dance events, and private parties to get you to celebrate. Carnaval, similar to Mardi Gras, is next on the list. The celebration’s exact dates are dictated by the lunar calendar and generally occur from mid-February to mid-March.

In March, you can indulge your sweet tooth at a chocolate festival. If you enjoy jazz, you’ll enjoy the months of May through to June, during which Lisbon holds a series of Out Jazz performances. On the last Saturday of the month, Cascais hosts free performances. This festival is a fantastic meeting point for local and international jazz artists.

July and August are the time for the Cascais Summer Festival. Stalls and entertainers line the route between Cascais and Estoril. The Handicraft Fair also runs during this time and features handmade, high-quality creations from all over the country. The end of August brings the Festas de Viana, one of the most popular festivals in Portugal, and the Sea Festival.

During the Sea Festival, thanks is given to the surrounding seas for protecting the town’s fishermen, prayers are made for bountiful catches in the coming year, and a blessing is given to the waters and town. Finally, 1 November is All Souls’ Day, a celebration to remember those who have passed on.


  1. Sports

Cascais offers many sporting activities to observe and take part in. The Millennium Estoril Open starts in late April, putting on a display of world-class tennis. You can even reserve a court at the venue, Clube de Tenis de Estoril, to play a game yourself. You can also take surfing lessons, rent a paddle board, or spend the day in the sun with fellow beachgoers.

If you’re in Cascais for golfing opportunities, you’ll be happy to know that there are a number of golf courses to choose from. The renowned  Estoril Golf School is open to players of any skill level.

The Cascais Marina, located between Cabo da Roca, Europe’s westernmost point, and Cabo Espichel, has hosted a number of contests over the years, including the America’s Cup World Series Cascais 2011. Its facilities and services are well-maintained and can be enjoyed by all.


  1. Hiking and biking

There are plenty of outdoor activities within walking distance. The Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais is a stretch of designated parkland that offers extensive hiking and biking trails not too far from the village center. A walk through the hills surrounding Covento dos Capuchos, a former monks’ lodgings built into the stone, will add a bit of history to your physical activity. The nearby village of Colares has a cafe that overlooks a small river that runs through the town, a tranquil spot to enjoy a meal. This village is also a great starting point for cyclists looking for a ride through the picturesque countryside.

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