Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post done in collaboration with Bookaway, however, everything in the below is based on my experience and research.
Looking back at some of the best (and easiest) solo trips I’ve done, Portugal is definitely on the top. Not only was it an easy destination in Europe to travel solo, but it was also easy to just get from place to place during my time there. I traveled to Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, and finally, Lagos, and one of my fav stops along the way was Cascais.
Cascais is located is a coastal town west of Lisbon and is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, close proximity from Lisbon, and the old town is home to the medieval Nossa Senhora da Luz Fort, and the Citadel Palace. I was heading to Cascais for a beautiful hostel called The Salty Pelican that offered daily yoga classes by the beach and the perfect place to call home for the few days I visited (more about that below).
To make planning your trip to Cascais easier, I wanted to put together a little guide for you to help inspire your adventures. Hope this helps in your trip planning!
How to get there
How to get from Lisbon to Cascais is entirely dependent on how much time you’re working with. Here are some options:
Car or Van: Bookaway can be a great place to find a shuttle, car, or minivan. Bookaway essentially is an Airbnb for transportation making it easy to find and book your transportation between places. By taking a car or van to Cascais, your ride should only take around 45 minutes.
Train: Another option is to take the train, this is the option I opted for. The cost of a one-way ticket is around €2.25/€1.15. The train departs from Cais do Sodre in Lisbon and takes around 30-45 minutes depending on the service. The train leaves frequently and cannot be pre-booked.
Where to stay
I stayed at the Salty Pelican in Cascais. This is a surf and yoga hostel that offers a variety of dorm rooms, as well as private rooms. I stayed in a 6-person female-only dorm and I made such great friends with my roommates. I loved my experience so much at this hostel. They had great energy, great breakfast, and I loved the daily surf and yoga class options. It was also located within walking distance of everything you could need, including the beach. Some other top-rated hostels are:
Of course, there are a lot of bougie beach resorts and hotels in the area to, but since I usually don’t stay in those types of places, I’ve only included the budget-friendly options above. There are also some adorable Airbnb options as well.
What to do
To be honest, I didn’t do a whole lot while in Cascais, I mainly took it as a time to relax. I did a lot of yoga through my hostel, hiked, and spent time walking around the old town centre, but if you’re looking to fill your itinerary here are some of the must-see things:
- Visit the pre-historic finds of the Grutas de Alparaia (caves running under the town)
- Visit Palacio de Conde de Casteo Guimaraes (home to over 25K books)
- Wander around the Museu Condes de Castro (a beautiful 19th-century palace)
- Just out of Cascais is the Boca do Inferno, a rocky outcrop jutting into the sea that is a fantastic spot to catch the sunset. I actually did a hike right down to the beach here but it was not an easy one. Go prepared with proper footwear
- There are a variety of places that offer surf lessons or rentals. I’m not a surfer, but found this guide to help you
- Relax on the beaches! There are so many to choose from. Here’s a full list & map
Where to eat
There are SO many fantastic restaurants in Cascais, it’s really hard to provide you with just a few recommendations. However, here is a list of some of the most popular:
- Healthy: Cafe Galeria House of Wonders (loved this place, they were so welcoming)
- Seafood: Restaurant Mar do Inferno, Baia do Peixe, Marisco na Praca
- Ice Cream: Santini’s
- Award-Winning: Fortaleza do Guincho (Michelin Star)
- Local: Hifen
Overall, Cascais is a fantastic spot to visit when you’re looking for a trip away from the busy city of Lisbon. It can also be an awesome add-on to your Portugal trip when you don’t have time in your itinerary to head all the way down to Lagos but want some beach time.
I would love to hear about your favourite spots to visit in Cascais. Share them below in the comments.