A favorite country. A different place.

We had a lovely time in Madeira and loved Porto. Should we go back to Portugal? YES! This time we’d go somewhere new, but where? We ticked off what we should look for: a smallish city, a beautiful place with some history, a beach would be nice, not too difficult to get to, and easy to get around as we wouldn’t have a car.

We knew very little about Portugal aside from the places we’d stayed on an earlier trip. We turned to Google and typed in “best towns to stay in Portugal.” We made a list of all the towns that appeared on the lists and started studying. Some were too small or too large; some were too remote. We gravitated toward coastal towns. The reality check came when we searched for places to stay in the towns. Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, would be fine for day visits but not really affordable for a longer stay. We narrowed the list to see if there was a town on the coast where we could make day trips to Lisbon and Sintra giving us everything we wanted. And that is how we found Cascais.

Cascais turned out to be a beautiful place with a past, set on the ocean. It was a vacation destination for the wealthy from Lisbon in the early 1800’s.

Our early evening walk started with a two-minute stroll down to the charming plaza on our left.

On our right, the view took in the first of many beaches, strung out along the ocean and separated by rocky headlands.

We strolled by the beaches every day as we walked on Cascais’ promenade, stretching for miles along the coast.

We observed the ruddy turnstones (birds) on the rocks, watched paddle boarders glide across the water, and on one outing we saw a snorkeler with a speargun exploring for prey near the rocky coast.

Strolling wherever we wanted to go was not a problem, especially when we walked on the narrow lanes rarely used by cars.

We always consider food when choosing a region or country to visit. With a kitchen, we usually dine at home so produce markets take on greater importance.

We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best when we walked up to the indoor farm and seafood market in Cascais with our little wheeled shopping cart. The figs and tuna we purchased were superb! And the prices were quite low by US standards.

From other places we’ve visited in Portugal, we’ve been delighted with the street art. Would Cascais be as good?

A painted door we saw yesterday reminded us of the many painted doors in Funchal. So far, we’ve noted the architecture and building decoration has been on a higher level than the street art.

The most important consideration for us when choosing a location is finding an extraordinary place to stay…and this time we were very lucky.

Our AirBnB was right in the heart of town and had everything we needed to keep us happy for the month’s stay. (This view is from our living room window.)

The more we travel, the higher our standards are for staying in a lovely accommodation in a charming, artful, walkable place. Portugal came through for us before and now has done it again. We love Cascais.


August 2017

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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7 Responses to A favorite country. A different place.

  1. I have to confess that we have yet to make it to Cascais and oh, am I regretting it after reading your post. Seems we’ll have to rectify that soon! The town looks lovey, the sea lovelier still and it seems that your stay has been everything you’d hoped. So glad you’re having a great time! Anita

  2. I’ve read a lot on the travel blogs about Lisbon and Sintra recently but this is the first time I’m hearing about Cascais! It looks wonderful. Love the way you always highlight less famous places that are equally lovely!

  3. What a nice outcome to all your careful research. Glad you got there safely and are enjoying the town. All that beautiful tile work and walking streets – the month will go by too quickly!

  4. plaidcamper says:

    Looks a wonderful place to explore! We visited Portugal twenty years ago, and have fond memories of warm days and excellent produce from the markets. Your post is a prompt we should return one day – and maybe visit Cascais!

  5. Good to know. Portugal has long been on my list. We like basing ourselves in one place too.

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