Cascais and the Lisbon Coast

Despite visiting Portugal on many occasions I had never visited Lisbon until recently. I wanted a beach holiday but with the opportunity to do some sightseeing too – the Lisbon Coast has both in abundance.

I stayed in the beautiful village of Cascais. I was really impressed by the whole region as a holiday destination, it had something for everyone. Lisbon itself is a fantastic city, so cosmopolitan and chic with an endless supply of sights to see.

If you are on a city break and staying in Lisbon you will probably just about get to see all of the sights but if you are staying in a coastal resort and just spending the day in Lisbon I would recommend taking one of the old fashioned trams and doing a hop on hop off city tour.

Lisbon by The Travel Expert

The city is quite spread out so by using the trams you can see the cultural centre of Belem, the Castelo de Sao Jorge and even climb the Cristo Rei, a huge statue of Christ where you can see views of the whole city. If you are travelling with kids, the Aquarium is a must, it’s one of the worlds largest aquariums and one that you could easily find yourself spending the day in!

SIntra, Lisbon Coast by The Travel Expert

A visit to Sintra is one of the top attractions of the region, wander through the narrow streets and marvel at the architecture that dates back to the fifteenth century. It has numerous designated UNESCO world heritage sites, the most famous being the National Palace. I loved the lesser known Quinta de Regaleira, a mystical place, great for families with children, who can explore the many nooks and crannies in its wonderful gardens. There are underground tunnels, waterfalls and a magical castle. My son Luke (6) thought we were in middle earth and needless to say he thoroughly enjoyed it!

If, like me, you want to stay in a beach resort, you have many to choose from. I chose Cascais, it oozes charm, with quaint cobbled stone streets, plenty of trendy shops and a huge variety of restaurants to cater for every palate. I found a little gem hidden away from the main centre called 5 Sentidos, Casa do Largo, with typical Portugeese food that catered really well for all of us. There is a nice cove beach with a marina close by and plenty of larger beaches a few minutes drive from the centre too.

 

Lisbon by The Travel Expert

 

The beaches at Guincho are particularly impressive, huge waves and wide stretches of sandy beach. The train station is right in the centre of the town, with trains going every 20 minutes to Lisbon and the surrounding area. Overall it was a great trip. It was not your typical family beach holiday but that was part of the charm. When I think of the thousands of Irish visitors that travel to the Algarve each year, I enjoyed taking the path less travelled on, it made all the difference!

 

Sarah

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