If you are staying in Lisbon, it is unavoidable to go on a trip to the charming town of Cascais. Cascais was once a fishing village, and it began to develop during the 19th century as an attractive tourist destination when kings chose this place as their home, and some as an ideal holiday destination.
The origin of Cascais is connected to the 12th century, and its position changed when Lisbon became the capital of Portugal. The former inhabitants of Cascais lived from the sea, fish and agriculture, and today they live from tourism. Fortresses were built in order to prevent the entry of the Spaniards during the 17th century, and some of them still exist today.
The earthquake that hit Lisbon in 1774 also affected Cascais. The Marquis of Pombal, the then Prime Minister of the Royal Government, took responsibility for raising Cascais to its feet. A royal wool factory was founded, which operated until the 19th century. He also protected the famous Carcavelos wine and worked on its promotion. The fortress of Cascais was occupied during the attack of Napoleon's troops on Portugal, and the French stayed there for some period of time.
However, King Louis I chose Cascais and this fortress for his vacation, so the fortress was converted into a royal summer residence. This influenced the development of a small fishing village, roads were built to Sintra and Lisbon, and then the railway. Apart from kings, over time the place was inhabited by many powerful people. The place became recognizable by Portuguese aristocrats and rich people who began to inhabit it and visit Cascais more and more often. Numerous villas have been built, and some of them are still exceptional tourist attractions.
Given that Cascais was made up of wealthy residents, a casino was opened in the neighborhood with the intention that they have a place to gather and spend time. The famous casino was opened at the beginning of the 20th century in Estoril, next to Cascais. Today it is considered one of the best in the world.
Kings from Spain, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria chose Cascais for their vacation and life. The reason for that was that this place was not affected in the Second World War, which was very important for the kings, because they felt peaceful and at ease here. Even today, it is no different, and you can still feel a special peace. Intensive construction of villas took place even after Portugal's entry into the EU, so the singer Madonna has her own villa in Cascais.
Cascais is known for many things, and its main features are beautiful sandy beaches, narrow streets with black and white tiles, golf courses, great hotels and restaurants, a large number of palm trees, mosaics on houses, flowers and facades in all colors. All in all, it is made up of a lively spirit that is complemented by street musicians and performers.
Cascais is very nicely decorated during the New Year's holidays, and on its main square, not far from the port, there is a large Christmas tree with numerous decorations and Christmas lights. It looks elegant and sophisticated.
You can ride on the panoramic wheel which is one of the favorite attractions of tourists.
Cascais is also known for the football tournament that is organized every year for football schools called Castelo de Vide Cup.
This place will really give you some new views. You will want to stay here forever!
Author of the text:
Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
Contact: [email protected]; instagram: travel_europe1
Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash