We did not have an opportunity to visit any bathing beaches in Lisbon, but it isn’t far from the fishing town of Cascais which was one of the stops on our tour and which does have nice beaches. In addition Cascais has delightful parks, interesting buildings and chic retail shops in the center of the town.
The drive from Lisbon took us past beautiful scenery as the bus headed toward the coastal city. I was impressed almost as much by what this small city didn’t have as by what it did offer. Unlike some of the popular beaches in the United states like Coney Island in New York, Wildwood in New Jersey and Santa Monica in California, Cascais seems to say: “Take me for what I am and enjoy what nature has provided.” As far as I could tell, there were no beach front roller coasters or other such seaside amusements.
Any city proud of what is has to offer will showcase itself to visitors upon entry. Cascais greets guests with a robust floral display and coat of arms at the entrance to the town.
The bus dropped us at the edge of town just a short walk to the waterfront. The welcoming streets were lined with flowers and palm trees. To the right of the walkway were a host of restaurants.
There were several parks in town being visited by mothers with strollers, those seeking a bench for relaxing and tourists like us.
We came to a beautiful carousel in Jardim Visconde da Luz (Viscount Garden of Light) with this young fellow looking on perhaps wishing he was riding one of the horses. We also noted that there were convenience stations nearby for those who needed them.
As we stood and watched, this boy (below) looked at us with a sense of curiosity and on a subsequent revolution returned a wave of hello.
The streets nicely decorated with a cobblestone pattern. The hardscape waves tie in nicely with the waterfront theme. It may be a bit hard to stare at the pattern for any length of time as the wavy lines seem to create motion.
This was the main beach area we were able to visit as our time in Cascais was limited. The houses off to the right had some lovely mansions as well as the Fortaleza da Cidadela (fortress) almost at the tip of the land jutting into the water.
Surfers can find ample wave action at Guincho beach just 6km north-west of town.
Paddle boarding was one of the favorite activities in this area. Here are some of he paddlers heading out to a deeper section of the bay.
Once in deeper waters, the group was paddling along among the small fishing craft.
After a bit more of a stroll around town, we had to head back to Lisbon for further exploration there. One of the most interesting historical structures in Lisbon is the remnants of the Águas Livres Aqueduct serving as a testament to the Portuguese engineering prowess of the 18th century.
Prior to the aqueduct, Lisbon lacked a source of water large enough to serve the entire community so they constructed over 50 kilometers of canals and aqueducts. There are reportedly 109 stone arches that support the elevated water system. I believe the picture below is from the section along the highway which crosses the Alcantara Valley. This photograph was captured from inside the bus as we passed and really does not do it justice.
You can read more about the Águas Livres Aqueduct and watch a video at the link – THE AQUEDUCT OF ÁGUAS LIVRES
I find it interesting how the modern city “grew up” around these ancient structures.
While we had just a brief stop in Casacais, there is much more to experience. The web page below describes the 15 Best Things To Do in Cascais, Portugal. (Unfortunately, my experience was that this page has a series of very annoying pop-ups.)
Continue reading about our trip to Portugal and Spain.
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