Who hasn’t felt like they needed a vacation reeeeeeeally bad? I’m pretty sure that loads of you know the feeling of just being completely exhausted by everyday life. But don’t worry, I’ve found the perfect, soul-replenishing spot for you in Portugal!
Cascais is a seaside town about an hour to the west of Lisbon. It’s quite a tourist hotspot in the summer, but just before the main season hits, you’ll mainly find locals at the beach. I was there in June as the season hadn’t quite fully started yet and found it to be lovely and quiet.
The town is beaming with history and you’ll find stunning architecture everywhere. No wonder that this once used to be a favourite beach getaway for Portugese monarchy!
How to Get There
Getting to Cascais is fairly easy from Lisbon. Take the underground from the airport to the Cais do Sodre station in the west of the city (you’ll have to change underground lines once) and then get on the train that’ll take you to Cascais which is the final stop.
What to Do
1. Do a Yoga Retreat
I spent a week at the Salty Pelican which is not only a fab hostel but it also offers a Yoga and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) retreat which I took. They also offer Surfing if you fancy something a bit more challenging.
What I loved most of the retreat was being surrounded by like-minded girls in the same age gap as me and having a fixed daily routine. We did a yoga session at 7 am (yes, it’s early but it was fab!) before heading back to the hostel for breakfast and then going down to the beach for 2 hours of SUP. After a spot of lunch in town, we would head back to the hostel and do some evening yoga in the park at 7pm and then head out to dinner with everyone.
It was such a fab time and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so calm and relaxed in my entire life. It was just what I needed to get my mind off work and the daily struggles and I met some fab people that I’m still in touch with today!
2. Bike Ride to Boca do Inferno & Farol da Guia
At the yoga retreat we always had the afternoon off which was great because it gave us the time to explore the nearby sights. One afternoon, Anette from Norway and me decided to hire bikes and cycled along the coastline to Boca do Inferno which is a cave in the cliff where the water splashes spectacularly during high tide.
We then continued to the Lighthouse Farol da Guia which is just beautiful before having some lunch near the cliffs to enjoy the view.
3. Go to the Beach / Surfing / SUP
Cascais does have quite a few nice beaches in the center of town although they are quite small and it can get quite crowded there. After failing miserably at surfing in Bali, I decided to give SUP a go and I loved it! Looks like I finally found a sport I’m good at! We did our SUP lessons at Beyond Boards on Praia da Conceição with Pedro who was fantastic! He even pulled me and another girl back to the shore when the wind was so strong we couldn’t make it back!
4. Explore Sintra & Lisbon
Lisbon and Sintra are both under an hour away from Cascais and make great day trips. Make sure to check back soon as there will be separate blog posts on both places on here!
Portugal really got me when it comes to food. I love trying out new flavours and I love fish! Close to our hostel was Tapas do Monte which has the most flavourful tapas and the owner is very nice and accomodating! We went here quite often because it’s reasonably priced and the wine was delicious! (Also it was already halfway up the hill, so the journey back to the hostel wasn’t too bad.)
In town, I loved House of Wonder for great vegetarian food and it’s rooftop terrace that gets lots of sun! For an afternoon treat, don’t miss out on an ice cream at Santini’s. Even though it’s a chain, the ice cream is fab and it’s famous all over Portugal!
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