Just 30 minutes from Lisbon, Cascais is a seaside gem in southwest Portugal. We delve into this beautiful coastal town to see why so many expats are choosing to call it home.              

Golden beaches

A major draw of Cascais is its gorgeous, golden beaches. There are three of them in the town catering for every type of beachgoer. On the Costa da Estoril you’ll find tranquil beaches with shallow, calm waters that are perfect for swimming. Head north and the waves get a lot wilder making them ideal for surfing.

Cascais has three sandy beaches – trabantos / Shutterstock.com

Laidback lifestyle

Many people who live in Cascais say that everyday feels like a holiday. The atmosphere is relaxed, the people are friendly and the weather is great! Each year, you can expect to enjoy almost 3,000 hours of sunshine – for context, the UK gets around 1,400.

The town and surrounding areas seem to have mastered the perfect blend of city bustle and peaceful seaside living. Every Wednesday and Saturday there is a wonderful market selling affordable clothing and handmade nick nacks.

Charming Old Town

The centre of Cascais is lovely, with quaint fisherman’s houses that have transformed into chic shops, vibrant bars and alfresco seafood restaurants.

Al fresco dining in Cascais – Luis Ganilho _ Shutterstock.com

Take a stroll through the winding narrow streets, breath in the sea air and admire the pretty buildings with pastel walls and traditional Portuguese azulejos tiles.

There is also a glitzy marina and waterside promenade with plenty to see and do. Head towards Estoril, stopping off in the Casino Estoril, a hub of espionage intrigue, on the way. It was here that Ian Fleming was inspired to create the character of James Bond!

It’s proud of its roots

What makes Cascais truly special, is that despite growing in both popularity and size, the town has never forgotten its origins as a sleeping fishing village. Even to this day, fisherman set off in the early hours, returning with their catch of the day. It’s safe to say that the fish you eat in Cascais is some of the freshest around.

Down by the docks you may even see the fisherman relaxing with a glass of wine or some fish soup after their busy morning out at sea.

If you would like further advice on the buying process in Portugal, download your free Portugal Guide.

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