I bit into Pasteis de Cruz Alta, a dangerously scrumptious egg and almond pastry named just after the highest point of the Sintra Mountains, and looked about in contentment. It was my second day in Portugal with Take a look at Cascais, and we had been beginning it off at Casa Piriquita – an unassuming, 19th C bakery perched alongside a steep street in downtown Sintra.
Virtually unchanged due to the fact the 1800s and decorated with azulejos, Piriquita’s been ran by the similar household for 5 generations and remains 1 the town’s most common breakfast spots. I later found that this mix of tradition and modernity is somewhat standard for the region — it is as if Portugal identified the way to seamlessly blend the previous with its present-day identity.
Take Pena Palace for instance, only a brief drive away from Sintra. Constructed on the remains of a former monastery, its colours bringing to thoughts the cheerful streets of Burano and Cape Town rather than your standard castle, Pena blends Manueline and Moorish traditions into a modern day day fairytale. Visible from each and every component of the Pena Park, the vibrant colours of the castle walls are the ideal reflection of the area – vibrant and wealthy in colours, smells, and experiences.
I completed my tea and stopped myself from finishing up the crumbs that remained from what’s got to be 1 of the most effective pastries I’ve ever eaten, only to be waved goodbye with a box filled with a fresh provide – a present from Piriquita’s owner.
A bag of warm pastries in hand, I headed outdoors and smiled at the sunshine. These days was a day for adventure.
WHY Keep IN CASCAIS?
When Take a look at Cascais invited me on the trip, I knew I was in for a treat. I’ve been to Portugal twice ahead of, to Lisbon and Lagos, and every expertise left me wanting a lot more. Portugal has a way of producing your soul sing. Be it Lisbon, with its steep, colourful streets the charming coastal towns, their shores lazily washed by the Atlantic as the sun shines on or the national parks, speckled with castles straight out of a fairytale — the power right here is contagious.
Exactly where TO Consume
Sat appropriate by the Atlantic, its coastline stretching for 30km, Cascais acts as a bridge in between the vibrant city life of the capital and the nature of the East coast, marked by the Sintra-Cascais National Park. Cascais could be compact in comparison to Lisbon, but what it lacks in size, it tends to make up for in culture and nightlife. Aside from the charming old town, its cobblestone streets lined up with colourful, tiled homes and the Atlantic Ocean sparkling in the distance, Cascais boasts a rather impressive decision of cafes, bars, and seriously trendy restaurants.
The Mix at Farol Hotel, a beautiful seaside spot combining modern art with fantastic meals and equally beautiful sea views The Reverse Restaurant exactly where you can appreciate some of Cascais’ most effective seafood from the comfort of the poolside the beautiful Restaurante Maria Pia and Taberna na Praça – an atmospheric tapas restaurant combining library and dining into 1, are just a couple of alternatives worth exploring. This, coupled with the truth that the town occurs to be household to Europe’s largest casino, are just a couple of factors why the nearby nightlife will maintain you on its toes.
Exactly where TO Keep
Cascais managed to keep away from the fate of numerous other coastal destinations whose recognition turned them into tacky tourist traps and retained a sense of culture and sophistication. The ideal instance is Hotel Cascais Miragem exactly where we set our base. There are numerous factors why I have a soft spot for this location – as a travel blogger, I’m extremely fortunate to visit lots of fantastic hotels but the welcome we’ve received at Miragem had to be the warmest 1 however, comprehensive with cocktails and a canapé reception on the terrace overlooking the Atlantic.
Constructed in the shape of a cruise ship, the five-star hotel oozes luxury in a classy, non-ostatencious manner. Just like the town itself, Miragem merges tradition with modern design and style. From the beautiful rooms facing the seaside, to the spa and water area facilities – such as an outside pool, two indoor pools and a salt water bath comprehensive with a sauna and Turkish bath, the hotel is an oasis of relaxation. It hardly ever occurs that I uncover it tough to determine in between staying in and exploring, but Cascais Miragem produced this decision a particularly difficult 1!
CASCAIS AND THE SURROUNDINGS: THE COAST AND THE Organic PARK
Cascais’ place tends to make it ideal for exploring the coast, such as the beautiful Sintra-Cascais Organic Park. Stretching from the mountains of Sintra to the beaches of Cascais, it is household to beautiful landscape and nature, such as Cabo da Roca. Europe’s Westernmost point, its rugged, windswept cliffs unveil what’s got to be 1 of the most spectacular sights on the Portuguese coast – or possibly in Europe alone!
The dramatic sights and the emerald water at the bottom of the rock bring to thoughts the exotic landscapes of Thailand rather than Europe, and are not a view to be missed.
Accurate to the adventurous spirit of the area, my travel companions and I had been pretty fortunate to discover the region on a jeep safari with Extremo Ambiente – a nearby tour enterprise specialising in tailor-produced travel. Aside from receiving windswept at the Cabo da Roca, we’ve produced a stopover at Santuario da Peninha – an isolated chapel perched on a craggy outcrop with beautiful coastal views at its feet.
LISBON IN HALF A DAY: WHAT TO DO, SEE AND Consume
With the National Park to the east, Cascais is only a 30min drive from the heart of Lisbon.
Lisbon is 1 of these cities exactly where you just cannot enable but smile. It is as if somebody opened a giant bag of Skittles and sprinkled colour everywhere. I loved strolling by way of the steep, cobblestone streets, taking in the smells, colours and sights. The power right here is contagious and it appears not possible to get adequate of it.
Lisbon’s most effective enjoyed the similar way you’d bite into Portuguese meals – gradually and delectably. But if like me you are brief on time, then I suggest heading to the Timeout Market place to refuel ahead of taking on the city’s numerous steep hills. Why? This historical meals hall homes 32 of Lisbon’s most effective and most common restaurants, providing you the possibility to get a taste of Lisbon all below 1 roof. Believe of it as a permanent pop up. Do not leave without having attempting pasteis de nata from Manteigaria (it is meant to be the most effective location for pasteis just after the renowned Pasteis de Belem) and seafood from Marlene Vieira.
Just a brief stroll away from the market place lies Calçada da Bica Pequena – a steep, narrow street that turns into a tram track anytime trams make their way up and down the street. It is extremely charming and tends to make for a fantastic beginning point just after your lunch at The Timeout Market place!
Lisbon’s Pink Street, or Rua Cor-de-Rosa, is one more fantastic quit. Promptly becoming Lisbon’s most Insta-worthy spot, courtesy of the pink paint covering the road, the brightly-coloured street has an equally colourful previous. After a hang out (ahem) spot for sailors, criminalsand prostitutes,Rua Cor-de-Rosa underwent a key facelift back in 2011, swapping its Red Light District previous for millennial pink. Judging by the quantity of influencers and bloggers striking their most effective pose for that ideal shot (guilty!), it definitely appears to be functioning.
The street is a component of a common region named Cais do Sodré, household to numerous cozy cafes, bars, and streets so colourful, they actually burst in character.
Lisbon streets are a fantastic maze of colour and wonder, but there’s nothing at all really like admiring the city from the prime. Lisbon has 16 official viewpoints, or miradouros, and you can study a lot more about them on Timeout’s internet site.
Sun-drenched, wealthy in colour, culture and sights that will quite actually take your breath away, Cascais and the surrounding locations are like a tiny spa for the soul – they will leave a smile on your face, salt in your hair and memories that will maintain producing you coming for a lot more!
Lots of thanks to Take a look at Cascais for producing this trip achievable. As usual, all opinions are my personal.