Jo’s Monday walk : A brief sojourn in Cascais

Since I very first heard the name, suggestive of seashells, I’ve wanted to visit Cascais, on the Lisbon coast.  That was many years ago, and so I had just a hint of doubt that it would still satisfy my expectations.  A harbour full of boats, a swathe or two of sand, and beautifully cobbled streets where I can wander at will, all are conjured in my mind.  A haven from the beautiful but busy streets of the city.  But how will I view the reality?

Boarding the train at Belem, I watched the estuary widen, caressed by shimmering sunlight.  With rapt attention I counted off the stations, until at last we reached the end of the line, Cascais.  It was late in the afternoon and I needed to find my accomodation.

Instructions in hand to head steadily upwards, I climbed the steps and streets away from the centre, taking note of interesting street art and entertainers.  A quick introduction to my room and I was back on the street.  Time for a proper look around.

The main square is an attractive space, with wide views out across the bay and locals comfortably ensconced on benches, passing the time of day.  A solid fortress protects the marina.  It dates from 1488, but was inadequate for the task, succumbing to invasion by Spanish troops in 1580.  It was subsequently enlarged by King Philip of Spain, and has the characteristic star-shaped floor plan of a Renaissance citadel.

The light was already beginning to fade as I rounded the headland, only to be enchanted by the sight before me.

A fairytale palace and a delightful cove, with the soft lap of the sea.  And an alluring lighthouse, waiting to beam gently at me.  Noting the restaurant, nestled above the rocks, I head on round the bay, following the setting sun.

All along the shoreline people are pausing to take in this splendour, some settling down on the rocks for a grand finale.

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As the light fades, I take in the majestic proportions of the Casa de Santa Maria.  Where better to sip a caipirinha, as the lighthouse blinks slowly at me, than the restaurant in the cove?  Just time to slip into the park before the gates close for the evening.

And then wend my way back, passing the marina, and the floodlit fortress with its neon support act.  I think I’ve fallen a little in love.

Is it any wonder that King Luis I decided to make Cascais his summer residence in 1870?  The citadel was equipped with the first electric lights in the country in 1878, and with the advent of the railway in 1889 this former fishing community acquired cosmopolitan status.

Next morning it’s time to leave, with not a little reluctance, but I have more to see in Lisbon, and a coach home to the Algarve that evening.  I draw out every last bit of pleasure by walking along the coast to the station at Estoril.

Passing the quiet beaches of Rainha and Conceicao, I revel in the late October sunshine.  A surprising number of people are taking their morning exercise on the promenade, and one or two inviting cafes beckon, but I resist.  Breakfast, not long ago, was spent talking to a lovely young Austrian woman.  All too soon, ahead of me, the distinctive structure that signifes Estoril to me.

I hope you enjoyed my brief visit.  I’d love to have seen inside the fort and some of the museums, but there simply wasn’t time.  Why not pop over to Sami’s blog.  She knows Cascais much better than me.

One week nearer to Christmas, and I still have so much of Lisbon to share.  Thank you so much for all of your support and for walking with me.  Pop the kettle on and enjoy my companions, won’t you?  Details on joining me are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.


Lisa shares some more stories and history from Israel :

Trees, Turtles and Trumpeldor

Meet Dhara, a newcomer to my walks, sharing the beauty of South California :

Our Fleeting Flirtation with Mono Lake… and Why We’ll be Back!

Did you visit Hikeminded last week?  Don’t miss these very beautiful shots of Winter :

Berlin Day Hike : Wintertime at the Arkenberge

It won’t take you 5 minutes to visit Violet, for some delightful sculpture :

And the bears will play

I think Marsha is bidding for longest ever walk post title :

How the Ancient Puebloans Lived Large in the Grand Canyon Even Though Water Was Scarce

I wouldn’t dare accuse Jackie of this!


Ellen’s eating again!  No utensils required :

Going for a walk in search of Ethiopian food/Little Five Points, Atlanta

While Cathy takes us to one of the world’s great icons :

Mijajima : Itsukushima-jinja & the floating o-torii gate 

Drake celebrates life in one of the world’s great capitals :

Paris, ‘warm’ december

And sprinkling on the fairy dust, lovely Pauline in Oz :

A walk in an enchanted garden

That’s it for another week.  Are you feeling festive?  We have just a scraping of snow here this morning.  It’ll do me nicely.  Have a good week, everybody, and take care out there!


  1. What a charming little place … perfect for strolling and discovering. One of the nice things about some of the towns we went to in Portugal was that the size is not overwhelming, the architecture is always beautiful and interesting and there is always that huge dose of charm. We definitely could live in Portugal … (maybe one day)..



  2. Jo, I’ve fallen in love with the town!! 😀😀 It can be nerve wrecking visiting a place you’ve dreamed of and have high expectations but this fulfills them all. So pretty and beautiful, varied. The palace is magical. Oh, you’ll have to return for a longer sojourn and see all the museums etc. Absolute wonderful post. ❤️


  3. Very cool Jo! Not very often you see street performers wearing a tie. Looks like a wonderful getaway in Portugal. We may have to spend a few days on our way back from the Camino this Spring. Cheers!


  4. Cascais looks just wonderful – any time of the day! Adore your shots and the light is ….wow. That shot of the musicians is gorgeous, and I see we shared a tree.


  5. Nothing to disappoint you there, it’s magic. I think this is one of my favourites of your walks and I bet you’ll go back again. Portugal has so much to offer doesn’t it? I can see why you love it so much, Happy Wednesday and a hug from Gx


    1. Arriving when we did meant a lovely evening stroll, Gilly, and the temperatures were very seductive. I might have liked another evening, but then, less time in Lisbon. At least I know what I’m missing now. Our Portuguese ‘next door’s’ have a home at Cabo da Rocha, just a couple of miles up the coast, and we got into trouble for not visiting them there, so maybe we’ll go back. 🙂 🙂


  6. Oh, you know I loved Cascais! What fond memories you have brought back, Jo. Is this really the first time you’ve been here? When did you go? I love the street art there, as well as that undulating pavement. Such a charming town. 🙂


    1. Yes, it’s taken me years, Cathy! We went to Lisbon/Cascais for 2/3 days while James and Lauren were with us in the Algarve. It gave them a bit of time to themselves and me a bit of excitement. Worked out quite well. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for mentioning my blog Joanne. Your photos and description of Cascais are perfect! I don’t think I have that many photos of the beautiful buildings of Cascais at night, but they do look super!


    1. Hi Sami 🙂 🙂 Great to have you here and I’m glad you approve. It’s always a bit worrying when someone knows and loves a place that I don’t do it justice. Thanks a lot!


  8. Another gorgeous location! You have the most marvelous walks, Jo. I loved the “swirls” and design in the cobblestone streets and the views from the bluffs are definitely breathtaking!


    1. So good to hear from you, Debbie! I was so worried for your situation (and poor Darwin!). When I look at my blog I do sometimes think how incredibly lucky I am to have access to all this beauty, and to have made such lovely friends through it. 🙂 🙂


  9. Yes, we enjoyed this stretch of the coast when we first visited in 2016. Your photos have captured different areas we did not visit, and certainly not the night views. Portugal is a lovely place to visit!


      1. We went back to Lisbon for a return visit this year, and, managed to see new places. Wondered how on earth we missed them the first time around 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for introducing Cascais to me, Jo. I think you have (again?) found the perfect place! I love me a nice sunset into the ocean and the architecture and atmosphere of this town exudes peace and beauty. The weather doesn’t look too shabby either. Sigh!!!


      1. All OK here, Jo. We are fortunate the fires have not reached San Diego as of yet. Thanks for the concern. Mother Nature is taking revenge something fierce this year… I hope the human kind will learn from it and offer the respect and behavior that is required for an improved planet.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. What a gorgeous place. It looks like the perfect place for artists and writers. The water is lovely, but the streets captivated my attention as well. How beautiful. We miss that attention to detail in the United States.


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