Cascais: famous vacation spot, easily reached from Lisbon & favorite restaurants

Cascais is a famous & chic vacation spot in Portugal by the Atlantic Ocean, quite close to Lisbon (about 25 km; 30 minutes by train, 15-20 minutes by car).

Center of Cascais in summertime

Cascais is a pleasant mix of history, tourism and local life. Once a small fishing village, nowadays packed with elegant boutiques, luxury hotels and restaurants. But still many small colourful fishing boats are bobbing up and down in the water in front of the village’s sea front. Fresh fish every day! 🙂

Fishing boats in the bay of Cascais, Portugal: Praia dos Pescadores

Cascais is situated on the north side of the mouth of the River Tejo which flows through the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Cascais’ popularity dates from 1870, when King Luís I decided to convert the 17th century Citadela here into his summer residence.

Cascais, very popular place for tourists: Rua Direita , 2016 ( nowadays this street is called Rua Frederico Arouca)

Portuguese pavement workers are real artists!  What a lovely design, you feel like you’re walking  on waves like Jesus did 😉  😉 

Terrace restaurant, cafe & bar ‘O Poéta’ Cascais

Restaurants Cascais center & aggressive waiters

On this square aggressive waiters try to entice you to eat in their restaurant.

Football lovers : huge screens are strategically placed outside and inside the restaurants.

Vegetarian restaurant House of Wonders in Cascais: great, quiet location 🙂

Easy to reach from the trainstation, 5 minutes walk: Largo da Misericordia 53, Cascais
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Vega Restaurant House of Wonders Cascais:  Sofia, Pasang, Sandeep & Bipek, November 2019

My favorite vegan restaurant and roofterrace in Cascais is House of Wonders, delicious vegetarian food

Lovely new terrace Vega Restaurant & cafe House of Wonders Cascais

July 2019

Facebook House of Wonders Cascais

December 2019

Restaurant Maritimo, Cascais & Ben Weijers, owner of holiday paradise Quinta do Corvo in Colares (near Sintra)

In case you prefer fresh fish or meat, go to nearby restaurant Maritimo

Set under 2 centuries-old trees there’s tiny restaurant Maritimo ‘s terrace where you can enjoy fresh fish and salads. Instagram

Restaurant Maritimo Cascais & delicious prawns with garlic: 15 euro.

Instagram

The big square next to the restaurant is an ideal place to let the kids play. Portuguese family restaurant Maritimo (closed on Sunday).

Largo Cidade de Vitória 37, Cascais

Cascais in September

There’s free bike-rental for tourists, and the nearby (5 km, easily accessible by bus or by train) popular Guincho beach is one of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing beaches in Europe.

YouTube movie Graham goes Guincho

Cascais: Museum Conde Castro Guimarães

This Municipal Museum is near by the sea and it keeps a very original architecture because its aim is to promote art. The palace is from 19th century and it was property of Manuel Castro Guimarães (a Portuguese Count from Cascais). MORE

How to get there from Lisbon?

Lisbon, train to Cascais

Cascais is easy to reach from Lisbon by train: ‘Linha de Cascais’ (name of the train line joining Lisbon to Cascais) from Cais do Sodré, Lisbon’s major bus, metro, ferry and trainstation.

Return ticket: cheap.

Cascais & wonderful pavement, November 2019

Great beaches, and a promenade that connects Cascais to Lisbon providing one of the most spectacular costal walks available.

More: Visit Cascais 

Beach Costa Caparica Lisbon, gay Beach 19, beach train & how to get there

If you want to escape the hassle and the heat of Lisbon on a hot summer day, try the beaches of Costa da Caparica, just across the Tejo river. The locals swarm to the village of Caparicabut just away from the village, past the vast camping sites tens of kilometres of white, unspoilt beaches are at your disposal!

Lisbon Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica beach in summertime.

Take the little train (in season)

at the end of the boardwalk and it will take you 8 kilometres south to the quiet stretches of sand. The train has 21 stops.

Portugal Costa da Caparica train

Little train Costa Caparica YouTube movie

The best beaches are Morena and Sereia, surrounded by dunes and with good bars. At almost every stop there’s a beachclub and the further south you go, the more you have the place to yourself.

Costa da Caparcia trans praia train

The ‘Trans-Praia’ train.

World famous gay Beach 19

Stop (paragem) 19, also known as Beach 19 or Praia de Bela Vista,  is where the nudist beach starts, also world famous for being Portugal’s most popular gay beach.

Gay clubs and parties in Lisbon

Lisbon Costa da Caparica Beach 19 1

As everywhere in the world: where the nudist beach ends, the gay cruising begins and this is the largest in Portugal.

In the vast bushes behind the railway track, guys from all over Europe and beyond, meet for some fun and relaxation.

Lisbon Costa da Caparica Beach 19 2 men near the sea

Beach 19 Costa da Caparica Lisbon

HOW TO GET THERE

From Lisbon to Costa da Caparica: by car, go South to Caparica and south again all the way to the last access to the beaches. When the road goes uphill, you have just passed the access you want to go! Go past Praia do Rei until the parking at the end of the dust road. Upon Bela Vista, walk south, to the left of the restaurant. It’s some 2 miles of white sand beach and dunes! A taxi will take you there from downtown Lisbon for a little over € 25.

By bus: from Praça de Espanha take bus 153 to Costa de Caparica busstation. Walk five minutes south along the boulevard and you’ll see the little train, that leaves every half hour (until end of September). The 161 bus from Praca de Areeiro will also take you to Caparica.

Ferry Lisbon Tagus River Martijn Kramers

Ferry to Lisbon Cacilhas

An alternative route includes a mini-cruise (15 min.) on the ferry from Cais do Sodré across the river to Cacilhas. Get on bus 138 (directo) to Costa da Caparica (bus 124 via Almada will provide you with a long detour past 1960 highrise architecture, that’s better avoided).

By train: cross the Tagus river to Pragal railway station and take bus 196 to Caparica. The train may be a good alternative on weekends, it’ll help you avoid the traffic jams on the 25th of April Bridge.

Praia da Fonte da Telha

Stop 21 (paragem) Beach Fonte da Telha

At stop (paragem) 21 at the end of the line where the little beach train turns, there’s the village of Fonte da Telha (‘Fountain of the roof’). This little fishermen’s village is perfect for that holiday feeling. This is the real Portugal, with some trendy beach cafés added to it. Fonta da Telha can also be reached by bus from Cacilhas harbour. Beach 19 is just a short walk from the centre of Fonte da Telha. A taxi there from Lisbon will put you back a little over € 30.

MECO Beach

Even further south, about 10 kilometres from Fonte da Telha: Meco Beach, a real mecca for nudists & surfers

Meco beach (praia) 40 km south of Lisbon: popular gay beach & how to get there

The beach of Meco is really wonderful, very popular by the Portuguese and the most well known internationally. Meco near Alfarim, 40 km south of Lisbon, is located in the middle of a natural park called ‘Serra da Arrabida’. This is a real ‘mecca’ for nudists & surfers!

Meco nudist beach and argil cliffs

The beach of Meco got famous in the 70s as one of the first nudist beaches.

At the beach, facing the ocean, on the left side is a high dune from where onwards start the naturist area, opposing to the right side, where the beach amenities are situated, frequented by families.

Meco nudist beach and argil cliffs 2

Meco beach

Nudist tourism

The excellent beach cost line in this area, the well persevered surrounded forest and the climate attracts tourists from all across Europe. Nudist tourism is growing vastly in the last several years in Portugal.

Protected by a high cliff, with small springs (drinking water) and excellent green mud (argil) for skin treatments, which is a common sight.

Meco Restaurant Bar do Peixe

Beach restaurant “Bar do Peixe (Fish Bar)”

Excellent bar/restaurant with a chill out area (closed Tuesdays). Traditional Portugese meals.

Meco beach restaurant Bar do Peixe

Beach restaurant ‘Bar de Peixa’ (fishbar)

Bar do Peixe’ Meco beach Facebook

Our choice for lunch: Salada Russa com gambas (Russian salad with shrimps) € 7.50, Salada Atum (Salad with tuna) € 7.50, a small bottle of white wine (vinho branco) € 3.80, agua (water) € 1.00.

Beach restaurant “Bar do Peixe’, Rua Praia do Moinho de Baixo, Meco.

Meco beach fishermen3

Fishermen with their nets

The village mainly lives from the local tourists; when the season is over, people like to visit Meco because of the good restaurants and to walk on the beach.

Meco parking 1 euro

Park your car near the beach of Meco

If you travel by car: from Lisbon, take the A2 South Highway, then towards Sesimbra and after Fernão Ferro turn right to Alfarim, and right again to the beaches (“Praias”). Meco Beach has several paid parking lots. Once agricultural fields, nowadays transformed into car parking lots during summer time, as it is much more profitable for the local families.

Public transport: from Lisbon this beach is not the best to be reached. You’ll need to catch the bus to Sesimbra from Praça da Espanha bus terminal in Lisbon and get off at Santana. Several buses run to Meco on a regular basis. Don’t forget to ask for a timetable to go back to Lisbon.

Meco February 2008 surfing Rob

Wow! My friend Rob Plews

Meco Beach: excellent for activities such as surf, parapente, fishing or windsurf. On windy days the sea can be quite rough.

Meco restaurante Tropical do Meco staff3

Very popular Restaurant/bar ”Tropical do Meco”.  , Aldeio do Meco, excellent local gastronomy & late night cocktails

Aldeio do Meco is a small rural village, about 1 km from Meco beach

Restaurant/bar Atlantic Grill near Cascais, quality food & amazing sea view

Around Lisbon there’re beautiful beaches, well known for their calm waters, fine sand and quality restaurants like Atlantic Grill, near Cascais  🙂  🙂

Wonderful sea view from the terrace of Restaurant Átlantic Grill near Cascais, August 2019. Watch: facebook.

Specialty: fresh fish, shellfish & seafood

It’s not only the privileged location on a beach between Lisbon and Cascais, that justifies a stop at this restaurant. The quality of the cuisine is essential, which has fish and seafood as a specialty.

Restaurant/bar Atlantic Grill near Cascais, August 2019.

On the background: Cascais, a favourite tourist destination in Portugal, ca. 30 km from Lisbon, easy to reach by train from station Cais do Sodré).

This region is also a popular surf spot .

Restaurant/bar Atlantic Grill near Cascais & seafood. (picture: Atlantic Grill)

YouTube: very sympathetic restaurant owner Jorge Monteiro & how to prepare picanha (rump cap)

My choice for almoçar (Portuguese lunch): picanha , a prime beef cut, very popular in South America/ Brasil (former Portuguese colony).

Restaurant Atlantic Grill near Cascais & picanha: € 11:99. August 2019

Meat picanha & history

The term “picanha” (pea-kan-yah) derives from the word “picana”, which was a pole used by ranchers in the southern parts of Portugal and Spain for herding cattle. This herding technique was then taken to Brazil by Portuguese emigrants and eventually the term “picanha” was adopted to refer to the part where the cow was poked by ranchers.  Source: Wikipedia

Restaurant/bar Atlantic Grill near Cascais. (Picture: Atlantic Grill)

Daily live music or DJ.  Also to book for birthday parties. Special prices for groups. Rooftop & inside dining.

Wonderful location!  🙂 🙂  You Tube Bafureira Beach

Website restaurant Atlantic Grill  & menu

Restaurant Atlantic Grill near Cascais & entrance to inside dining

How to get there

By car: Bafureira beach is about 20/30 minutes away from the center of Lisbon. Go along the “Marginal” (the name of the road), in direction to “Cascais” . About half way across the “marginal” there’re signs to “S. Pedro do Estoril. Free parking near the restaurant for approx. 200 cars.

Restaurant Peixenalinha Beach Sao Pedro do Estoril Bafureira6

Bufareira beach, Parede S. Pedro do Estoril, picture: 2009

Restaurant Atlantic Grill

Praia da Bafureira,  Av. Marginal 2755-239 Parede,  S. Pedro do Estoril, Cascais. Open: every day.

November 2009: Bafureira beach & Erika Reusens

Facebook restaurant Atlantic Grill

From Lisbon by train: ‘Linha de Cascais’ (name of the train line joining Lisbon to Cascais) from Cais do Sodré, Lisbon’s major bus, metro, ferry & trainstation.

Trainstop (paragem)São Pedro do Estoril (ca. 10 minutes walk) to restaurant Atlantic Grill

Restaurant/bar Atlantic Grill near Cascais, inside dining (Picture: Atlantic Grill)

Praia (beach) Bafureira is very small, surrounded by cliffs and accessed by a narrow staircase from the upper parking lot.

Ferry from Lisbon to Montijo: Samouco beach, great day trip & pink flamingos

Away from the crowds, on the south bank of the river Tagus (Sul do Tejo), there’s the beach of Alcochete, located near the small city of Montijo . From Lisbon you can take a bus across the Vasco da Gama Bridge directly to Alcochete centre at Oriente station  (431, the most frequent), or 432 and 437.

Ferry to Montijo from Cais do Sodre station Lisbon

Ferry boat from Lisbon to Montijo

But it’s really worth it taking a ferry from Lisbon to Montijo (time schedule ferry boats, also from Cais do Sodré ferry terminal), walk around in this picturesque village, have lunch, take a bus to the centre of Alchochete and walk to the beach called Samouco (ca. 15 min.)

Ferry to Montijo at Cais do Sodre Lisbon 25 April Bridge

Beautiful views ferry boat to Montijo: Lisbon city and the 25 April Bridge.

The ferry trip to Montijo takes about 20 minutes which gives you a chance to enjoy the river and the views of Lisbon and also the surrounding areas. Return ticket: around 5 euro.

Montijo city centre Portugal

Montijo, Praça da República

You’re away from the crowds…and it is really a pleasure walking around here.

Montijo near Lisbon city centre cafe

Montijo , a lazy afternoon in September, Rua Guerra Junqueiro.

Not one tourist in sight! Coffee (bica) euro 0,60.

Beach Alcochete near Lisbon Samouco

Alcochete , Samouco beach

PINK FLAMINGOS

From Montijo, take a bus to Alcochete centre and walk 15 minutes to Samouco beach  (YouTube).  You can enjoy watching pink flamingos or egrets (white heron) near the Reserva Natural of the Tagus river, which is famous for the birds.

Beach Alcochete Samouco near Lisbon2

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Of course in July and August there are more tourists. On the background: Lisbon, Parque das Nações. 

Alcochete, like Sintra, has in the past been a popular haunt for royalty, coming here to relax and holiday. The town’s foundation dates back to the 7th century, after the Moors conquered Lisbon. Its name derives from the Arabic word for kiln, as there have been many found in the area.

Bullfighting also has a history here, and bulls are still let loose in the streets during the Barrete Verde and Salinas Feasts (the second weekend of August). 🙁  🙁

Beach Samouco Alcochete near Lisbon Fitness exercises

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Fitness exercises at the beach…. ! On de background: Vasco da Gama Bridge

beach near Lisbon Alcochete small cafe

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Near the beach there’s a small cafe. Very nice people!

Typical Portuguese snacks and drinks: coffee (bica) euro 0.60.

Lisbon Vasco da Gama bridge

Beautiful Vasco da Gama bridge Lisbon

By car it’s about 30 minutes from Lisbon to Alcochete beach.

The wonderful Vasco da Gama Bridge connects Alcochete and Montijo with Lisbon. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts),with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi). The bridge connects the north of Lisbon with the south bank of the Tagus near Montijo.

Beach Alcochete near Lisbon

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Cabo da Roca Portugal: nearest point Europa to USA & how to reach

If your Portugal vacation takes you to Lisbon, don’t miss Cabo da Roca (Roca’s Cape), in the municipality of Sintra, 40 km from LisbonThe magical atmosphere of the westernmost point of mainland Europe (at 9° 29.8′ W), the nearest point between the European Continent and the USA, is really worth a visit! In summertime there’s lots of photo-snapping tourists posing right here.

Cabo da Roca spectacular views

Cabo da Roca Portugal

The views to the Atlantic from here are stunning. The cliff rises 144 meters in height above the cape. Expect strong winds when looking down from the cliff-top. You have to be very careful on windy and rainy days. Take care, it’s a long way down!!

How to get there from Lisbon? Take a train from station Cais do Sodré  to Cascais. Bus 403 travels regularly between Sintra and Cascais stops at Cabo da Roca.

Cao da Roca monument with crusifix

Cabo da Roca, 40 km from Lisbon

Portuguese poet, Luís Vaz de Camões (1524-1580)

A cross has been erected in this spot as a monument to celebrate the end of the European mainland, and the beginning of the Atlantic ocean. The cross basement bears the words of the famous Portuguese poet, Luís Vaz de Camões, born in Lisbon.

Cabo da Roca Camoes

Cabo da Roca

‘Aqui…
Onde a terra termina e o mar começa…
Ponta mais ocidental do continente europeu’

‘Here…
Where the land ends and the sea begins…
Westernmost point of the European continent’

Cabo da Roca view on Meco beach

Cabo da Roca Portugal

View from Cabo da Roca on the fabulous beaches. On sunny days Meco Beach (Praia do Meco) can be seen. (ca. 45 km). The small house is still a remain of the long Moorisch occupation (700C – 1400C).

Cabo da Roca is at the end of a 30 mile stretch of the coast known as the Portuguese Riviera, 40 km from Lisbon. The Atlantic coast, which stretches to the north and west of Lisbon, is of surprising beauty: here the landscape swiftly changes from high, sweeping cliffs to beaches of white sand, backed by lagoons.

Cabo da Roca Lighthouse

Cabo da Roca Portugal

The construction of the lighthouse (farol) was completed in 1772. It is still active and staffed by a crew of three keepers. Lighthouses in Portugal are owned by the navy (Marinha de Portugal) and operated by the navy’s lighthouse directorate. Portugal has a long distinguished maritime history; the Portuguese first traveled out and around Africa, launching the European age of discovery 600 years ago.

Cabo da Roca church1

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca’s church is being restored at the moment. According to construction workers apartments will be built in this church.

Cabo da Roca tiles in church

Cabo da Roca, azulejos

Beautiful tiles (azulejos) inside the church. The azulejo is a typical form of Portuguese painted, tin-glazed, ceramic tilework. They have become a typical aspect of Portuguese culture. Azulejo comes from the Arabic word az-zulayj, meaning polished stone.

Wherever you go in Portugal, azulejos are to be found inside and outside cafes, churches, palaces, ordinary houses and even ceilings, train- or subway stations. Many azulejos chronicle major historical and cultural aspects of Portuguese history.

Hairstylist Aurelio Ramos Lisbon: Award in Milan & Teresa, blind hairdresser

Aurelio Ramos de Oliveira was born in Sao Paulo in 1975. He studied at Soho Academy São Paulo in Brazil, Maison 25 Academy Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Facto Lab in Lisbon and Vidal Sassoon in London.

Aurelio Ramos Le Salon 2008

Le Salon, June 2008

As ‘Ambassador of l’ Oreal’ Aurelio worked a few years in ‘Le Salon’ , as a hair director and teacher; besides he works as a freelance hair stylist in Monte Carlo, Nice, London, and Paris.

Le Salon Lisbon Aurelio and Teresa teak a break in the garden

‘Le Salon’ Lisbon, June 2008. Aurelio and Teresa take a break.

Although Teresa is blind, she is very talented to become a good hairdresser

Aurelio Ramos winner of Gothic Luxury Award hairdresser 2006

‘Gothic Luxury’ by winner Aurelio Ramos, International Trend Vision Award in Milan 2006

After arriving in Lisbon in 2001, Aurelio worked 6 years in a trendy hairdresser’s salon, Facto. For his interpretation of Gothic Luxury in 2006, Aurelio was winner of the International Trend Vision Award in Milan. After the Milan event he took part in various Wella Professionals fashion projects to provide his talents and as well profit from working with other top hairdressers.

Lisbon Aurelio Ramos new hair saloon Lisbon Empire Baixa1

September 2010

Aurelio Ramos & his new hair saloon in Baixa area, Rua das Chagas 17, Lisbon

December 2014: Aurelios Ramos and new assistant hair stylist Marcio Neris

In his saloon in Lisbon Aurelio likes to work with the products of C: EHKO. The hair style of the fashion model on the poster is one of Aurelio’s extraordinary creations.

December 2014: Aurelio Ramos and Birgit Damke: Feliz Natal! Happy Christmas!

Facebook

In his leisure time Aurelio likes everything related to art (painting, theater, music)….

Sardinha for Aurelio

…..and eating!

Lots 😉 of sardinhas (grilled sardines)…….

Aurelios Ramos favorite place Castelo Sao Jorge view stairs Bairro Alto

Favorite places: Castelo Sao Jorge in Lisbon.

Beach: Meco, an amazingly huge and beautiful beach. ‘I like surfing in the weekend’.

Meco beach

Map Meco beach, near Alfarim Meco is a very popular (gay and nudist) beach, 40 km south of Lisbon. More information about Meco Beach and how to get there from Lisbon

Restaurant/bar ‘Tropical do Meco’ in Aldeio do Meco (40 km from Lisbon): great gastronomy

Aldeio do Meco is a small rural village, about 1 km away from the fabulous and famous sandy Meco beaches, ca. 40 km from Lisbon. In Meco village you can find a few trendy bars and a number of restaurants offering the best local gastronomy, in particular seafood and fish dishes, but in case you love meat there’s plenty of choice.

Meco Village Restaurant Tropical do Meco terrace

Restaurant/bar “Tropical do Meco”, Meco village in September

During our stay in Meco village we ate in several restaurants in the previous days. Our favorite: Restaurant/bar “Tropical do Meco. At night the weather is turning a bit colder in this time of the year (end of September and close to the Atlantic!), so we enjoyed our dinner at the veranda (smoking allowed).

Meco Restaurant Tropical do Meco smoking allowed veranda

Restaurant/bar “Tropical do Meco”

Restaurant’s specialties (especialidades): Mexilhões de cebolada (Mussels prepared with onions) ; Caldeirada de Peixe-espada com amêijoa (a fishstew of scabbard fish and small clams); Filetes de Peixe-espada preto fritos com arroz de tomate (Fried black scabbard fish fillets with tomato rice).

Aldeio do Meco restaurant Tropical do Meco fish espetadaRestaurante Aldeio do Meco ‘Tropical do Meco’ picanha

Our choice: Espetada Tamboril Camarao, € 12,50 and Picanha Carvao (Grilled Picanha, € 11,00) .

The espetada is a typical Portuguese dish made of chunks of beef or fish rubbed in garlic and salt, skewered onto a bay leaf stick with vegetables such as onions and bell peppers and left to grill over smouldering wood chips.

Picanha (meat from Brazil) is generally considered to be the number one cut, even better than beef fillet. Picanha (pick-ahn-yeh) is much better than a steak, meltin-in-your mouth !

Meco restaurant Tropical do Meco owners Sergio Nuno and mother

The restaurant service was really great, professional and friendly.

Tropical do Meco’ owners Hugo, Sergio (brothers) and their mother Teresa. Besides being a great restaurant, Tropical de Meco is also thé place for the Meco beachcrowd for late night cocktails and other drinks (try a caipinrinha!).

Restaurante Tropical do Medo kitchen

Restaurant ‘Tropical do Meco’

We also got invited to a tour of the kitchen: Teresa, Isabel, Gladys, Clarice and Niso.

Restaurant ‘Tropical Meco’ Meco wine Montado and liqueur Moscatel Roxo

Restaurant ‘Tropical do Meco’

To accompany our food we enjoyed a bottle of Montado white wine from the Alentejo region (€ 5,50), a superb choice! While drinking our coffees a glass of a delicious liqueur was offered by the restaurant: ‘Moscatel Roxo’, a liqueurous wine from the Setúbal Peninsula.

Restaurant ‘Tropical do Meco’, Rua do Comércio 28, Aldeia do Meco, Sesimbra, Setúbal                             Facebook. Closed Tuesday.