Our weekend in Cascais began in chaos. As the guys were taking part in the Ironman 70.3 Cascais, we were travelling with three bikes, wetsuits, hats, goggles, helmets, best wishes and whatever else you’d need to complete a mega triathlon. Once the bikes were safely checked in at Heathrow, that’s where they stayed. And apparently, you can’t do a triathlon without a bike. Shocked and confused.
On arrival in Lisbon after a delayed flight, we checked the location of our apple AirTags which is when we realised our suitcases were in Portugal and the bikes hadn’t bothered joining us. After an additional 2 hours of waiting for the bikes that BA eventually put on the next flight (thanks besties) our first evening offered nothing but a takeaway and an early night. 13-hour travel days are not the one.
Travel tip: Put an AirTag in your luggage to track its location. & then just pray it arrives.
Where we stayed
Waking up to blazing sunshine in the most beautiful villa helped soothe the stresses of the previous evening. Well, it did for me, as I had the entire place to myself, while the boys sorted bike issues and went to register for their event. My only words of wisdom at this point “people that do triathlons know they don’t have to, right?”. You can imagine how well that went down.
If you’re a larger group staying in Cascais, you have to stay here, and that’s all there is to it. The villa sleeps ten, has a private pool, BBQ, lush seating area, two dining areas, and more chillout space than we had time to chill in. We rented a car for ease, but it’s only a ten min drive into the main town, which is roughly €4 in an Uber or about an hour’s walk. I have linked the Airbnb for you, and there’s a full tour on my Insta highlight if you fancy a nose.
Cascais Old Town
As tempting as it was to stay poolside for the entire time, exploring was, of course on the cards. The old town offers winding streets, bars, traditional restaurants and beautiful houses. Cascais is where Portuguese royalty spent their summer holiday since the 1870’s, so even though it’s gorgeous, it’s not the cheapest place to visit. If you’re thinking of buying a holiday home here, you may want to start saving now.
I don’t know whether anyone else does this, but I always check out the house prices when abroad. After a good old snoop in the estate agent window displaying stunning properties for 2mil plus, safe to say the only thing I could afford to do was stay in my lane and buy an ice cream.
Ice Ice baby – Speaking of ice cream, Why so Cereal is a fab place to stop for a scoop, a milkshake or an afternoon snack. https://whysocerealcafe.business.site/
Wet, Wild and Painful
This isn’t the title of a crap porno but Mike’s description of the Ironman 70.3 they completed on Saturday. For any budding triathletes, I’ll drop a link for you to investigate further; for anyone who’s more interested in trying anything but this, feel free to skip this section.
While the boys swam 1.2 miles (1.9K), biked 56 miles (90K), and ran 13.1 miles (21.1K), I pitched up on the finishing line for a few hours before securing beers and congratulations. This event really does take over the entire town and it’s hard not to get swept up in the buzzing atmosphere and impressive amount of strength and preparation it takes to complete such an event. That being said, if you’re planning a scenic trip to this beautiful little town in October and you’re not into sports, make sure you check the Ironman dates to ensure you don’t get overrun by lycra…
Find out more: https://www.ironman.com/im703-cascais
Furnas do Guincho
This was by far the best food we found whilst in Cascais, with views over the sea and an extensive fish based menu: effectively my idea of heaven. There are alternatives though if you don’t fancy a fish dish. I ordered the noodles with grouper and shrimp and I’m not lying when I say this was enough food for 17 people. Did I take the rest home for later because I don’t believe in too much of a good thing? Absolutely.
While I was outfit admiring (they don’t come to play here) there was enough Chanel floating around for Coco to open a boutique, the boys spied Eric Cantona having lunch at the next table. I had no idea who he was, and will probably never be forgiven for it.
Eat here: https://www.furnasdoguincho.pt/
Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães
Would it even be a blog without a castle? And what a picture Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães is. A gothic revival castle set in a small cove beside the sea, think romantic fairytale architecture, filled with paintings, ceramics and over 25,000 books. It’s worth also taking a wander through nearby Marechal Carmona Park which offers a serene green escape from the bustling town – keep your eyes peeled for wandering chickens (you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl).
Price wise its €4.00 to visit the museum or you can get a daily ticket to visit all sites including the Santa Marta lighthouse for €13.00 – I’ll get to this in a mo.
Tickets and info: https://bairrodosmuseus.cascais.pt/bilhetica
Praia do Guincho
We swung by Praia do Guincho beach, and whilst it was beautiful, we didn’t swim as the waves really did say “no doggy paddle”. Plus, it was windy af! Realistically pack a jumper if you’re visiting Portugal in October because the afternoons can get chilly. I learnt this the hard way after visiting a few years back and packing nothing but bikinis and positive vibes. But do stop by for the gorgeous views and sea air.
The largest Marina on the Portuguese riviera. And she’s a show stopper. If I hadn’t been aggressively downvoted, I’d have dragged everyone on board a boat for a sea adventure. There’s always next time, right? Walking is tiring and food is always necessary so if you’re looking for an ideal lunchtime snack, it’s worth grabbing a no fuss bite to eat at Esplanada Rainha. Order a paella you won’t regret it.
Marina eats: https://esplanadarainha.eatbu.com/?lang=en
Santa Marta Lighthouse
Located opposite the Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, the Santa Marta Lighthouse is an iconic spot in Cascais. It was restored in 2006 and now incorporates a museum. The museum unfortunately wasn’t open when we visited (much to Dem’s joy) but I’m sure you’ll agree that the views were enough. Tickets are €5 and include admission to Casa de Santa Maria nearby.
Boca do Inferno
The last stop on my carefully planned itinerary was Boca do Inferno. We’d walked over 15,000 steps in 26 degree heat at this point and were seriously considering hopping an air conditioned cab back to the villa but mama didn’t raise a quitter. Much to Dem’s disappointment.
Boca do Inferno translates to “hell’s mouth” and gets it’s name from the sizeable waves that batter the shores in winter. The view from the top was incredible but as I’d tripped over my own feet in the carpark I allowed Dem to clamber a bunch of rocks to capture the view whilst I remained housed safely on flat ground.
More info here: https://www.visitcascais.com/en/resource/boca-do-inferno
Right I’ve talked a lot. Hope I’ve inspired you to spend a weekend in Cascais. I’m looking forward to revisiting Portugal to explore Lisbon next time. As always if I’ve missed any of your fave spots in Cascais let me know in the comments. Ciao for now xo
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