Portugal

A Day Trip to Cascais: The Best Beach Escape from Lisbon

September 21, 2016

Whenever we find ourselves walking through a quaint old town near the ocean, eventually one of us wonders aloud, “would you want to retire here?” The other responds with a list of some of the pros or cons, and then usually muses allowed, “I could definitely see us retiring here.” Cascais had us wishing 30 was the new retirement age. We love that it’s easy to do a day trip to Cascais with a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon.

For another great day trip from Lisbon, check out our post on the palace-packed town of Sintra.

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal

Getting there

The easiest way to get from Lisbon to Cascais is the regional Comboios do Portugal (CP) train. You can purchase your reusable Viva Viagem card (€ 0,50  for the card) in the Cais do Sodré railway station in Lisbon (or almost any train or metro station) and load it with one of the following options:

  • Two one-way 4 zone tickets:  € 2,15 each way, so € 4,30 total
  • 24 hours: € 10,00 valid for unlimited trips on Comboios do Portugal (CP) trains, Carris trams and buses and metro
  • Zapping: € 1,80 each way, so € 3,60 total. We found this to be the cheapest and most convenient way to pay for transport around Lisbon. You can fill your card with as little as € 3,00, and you get a more favorable rate on trains, buses, trams and the metro than if you were to purchase a single ticket.

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal

Beaches

Beaches were our main draw to Cascais. There are two beaches directly in town, Praia da Rainha and Praia da Ribeira. During the summer months (especially July and August), these beaches get pretty packed as everyone else decides a day trip to Cascais is a great idea too.

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal

Praia do Guincho is about 10 km out of town, and totally worth the bike ride. Cascais offers free bikes called Bicas, which you can pick up from one of three locations:

  • Cascais train station: If you walk out of the train station, walk left towards the McDonald’s and there should be a trailer with the bikes. All the bikes from this location were gone by 9:30 am.
  • Marechal Carmona Park: Just outside the park entrance in a small hut. When we got there around 9:45am in the summer, they had plenty of bikes left.
  • Casa da Guia: This is a ways down the path to Guincho, about 3 km along the oceanfront bike path.

All you need is an ID to borrow the bikes. Note that the bikes don’t come with helmets or locks, and they’re not in the best condition. If you’re looking for a smooth ride, a rental costs about € 10 a day.

If you’re not up for the ride, the Scotturb 405 and 415 buses run from Cascais to Guincho beach. From the Cascais train station, exit and head right towards the bottom level of the shopping center. A bus ticket costs a bit over € 3 each way.

Sand dunes at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Sand dunes at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Sand dunes at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Sand dunes at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Little surfers at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | Perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Kitesurfers at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

 

On the path to Guincho

On the path towards Guincho, there are a few fun stops. The Parque Marechal Carmona, where you can pick up a Bicas (free bike), is a great place to relax and enjoy the sunshine. The ride from here to Guincho is about 10 km on the oceanfront bike path. If you stick to this path, you’ll pass the following along the way.

There are two large, beautiful houses near the park, the Condes de Castro Guimarães house and Casa de Santa Maria, near the lighthouse. Both cost a few euros to enter.

Boca do Inferno is a rock formation that is supposed to feature fierce waters, but every time we stopped by, it was pretty serene. Nonetheless, it is still beautiful and a fun place to stop on the way to Guincho.

Casa da Guia is an old mansion converted into a small commercial space with shops and cafes. If you’re looking for a place to grab a bite to eat on the way, here’s where you’ll have a beautiful view!

The hotel Arriba by the Sea opens up its pool for public use from May til early October. 

Bicas, Free bikes in Cascais, Portugal

Lighthouse in Cascais, Portugal

Condes de Castro Guimarães house in Cascais, Portugal

Boca do Inferno in Cascais, Portugal

Bike Ride along the coast from Cascais to P

Bike Ride along the coast from Cascais to P

Food

Our favorite place in Cascais is Cafe Galeria House of Wonders. It lives up to its name; they do wonders to make fresh, delicious vegan food. Even as meat-eaters, we couldn’t stop talking about the delicious flavors of each of the mezze, the sauces, the zucchini noodles, everything. You can elevate your dining experience by grabbing a table on their rooftop terrace, complete with sea breeze and ocean view. Cafe Galeria House of Wonders is the best way to end a beach day.

The popular Portuguese gelato chain Santini is in Cascais. This place makes the best fruit sorbets we’ve ever had, perfect for a warm day.

cafe galeria house of wonders in Cascais, Portugal

Santini Gelato in Cascais, Portugal


PIN IT HERE

A Day Trip to Cascais | The perfect beach getaway, just a 40 minute train ride from Lisbon, Portugal


 

Streets in Cascais, Portugal | The perfect day trip from Lisbon

Plaza and wave sidewalk in Cascais, Portugal

Azulejos in Cascais, Portugal

Streets in Cascais, Portugal | The perfect day trip from Lisbon

Streets in Cascais, Portugal | The perfect day trip from Lisbon

Bike Ride along the coast from Cascais to P

Public pool near Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal

Sand dunes at Praia do Guincho near Cascais, Portugal | The perfect beach trip from Lisbon

You Might Also Like

10 Comments

  • Reply Lori September 21, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Can’t wait to go. We’ll be there in November. It will be interesting to compare the seasons! Beautiful photography and great information. Thanks for the info!

    • Reply nomanbefore September 21, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      I’m sure the beaches will be much less busy, you may even have them all to yourself!

  • Reply Lisbon vs Porto December 29, 2016 at 1:52 am

    […] of Sintra are a must-do and if it’s summer, don’t miss out on the beaches around Cascais. Further north, you’ll find the walled-town of Obidos, complete with the azulejos covered […]

  • Reply Our Favorite Travel Experiences of 2016 January 2, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    […] coastline between Cascais and Guincho beach has rugged edges and sweeping sand dunes, but this experience was made all the more fun as we […]

  • Reply Portugal Travel | 19 Places You Can't Miss in Portugal | No Man Before January 26, 2017 at 5:57 am

    […] coase is Praia do Guincho, a large sand dune beach with great surfing. Read all about our tips for visiting Cascais here, including where to rent free […]

  • Reply Amy May 31, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Thank you for all your amazing Portugal posts. They are amazing! We are going in two weeks, and your posts are making me so excited — and hungry for all the beautiful pastries! 🙂

    Can you tell me anything about the logistics of the beaches? Are there fees? Are their beach houses for changing, etc. ? Thanks so much!

    • Reply nomanbefore May 31, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      Hey Amy! It’s always so nice to hear when someone finds these posts helpful. Thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂

      The beaches around Cascais are really laid back. There aren’t any fees to just sit on the beach (like the ones in town, Guincho, Carcavelos). Most of them have chairs and umbrellas set up for rent for about 10 euro (though nothing like Italy where they practically take up the whole beach and there is no room for everyone else). I don’t remember seeing any beach houses for changing. A few have little bars and restaurants on or near the beach, so there may be a bathroom you can use to change.

      I’m sure you’ll have an amazing trip! I would be looking forward to soaking up the sun and eating way too many pastries too. 🙂

  • Reply 10 Tips for Visiting Lisbon with Kids  | No Man Before June 28, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    […] When both you and your kids are exhausted from trekking through Lisbon, head to one of the beautiful beaches just a short train ride from Lisbon. Hop on the train at the Cais do Sodré railway station. Within 15 minutes you’ll be out of the Tagus estuary and on soft sandy beaches bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Our favorite beaches along this route are Carcavelos, the beaches in Cascais, and Praia do Guincho. For some tips on a day trip to Cascais, including where to borrow free bikes, check out our post here. […]

  • Reply Ana Hoyt August 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Thank you so much for blogging about Cascais. I was born there but have been living in US since I was nine. I’ve only been back to visit four times since we moved here and the last time in ’87. Your pictures brought back some amazing memories of fun times in the sun with my family. I experienced many sunburns on Guincho.

    • Reply Kelly Barcus August 17, 2017 at 9:46 pm

      Hi Ana, thanks so much for reading. What a wonderful place to spend your childhood. I remember the sun being so bright and hot at Guincho too! I hope you get to make a trip back soon.

    Leave a Reply

    Shares