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What to do in Cascais? 7 ideas for one-day trip

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Cascais is a unique place in itself and you definitely need a few days to discover its charms. However, if you have enough time to go on a one-day trip - below we present the 7 best ideas for a one-day trip from Cascais. In another article we mentioned 5 things you should pack when traveling to Portugal. If you have any doubts about what to pack in your backpack, this article will certainly help you.

What to do in Cascais? 7 tips for one-day trip
What to do in Cascais? 7 tips for one-day trip

Lisbon This point seems obvious, but there are still people who gave up discovering Lisbon for the pleasures of the beach. However, the capital of Portugal definitely deserves to devote at least one day to it as part of your vacation. Starting from the winding streets and red roofs of Alfama, through the spectacular viewpoints and rooftop bars of Chiado or the industrial Alcantara, to the riverfront of Belem with delicious Pasteis de Belem in the main role. Do we still have to convince you that Lisbon is worth visiting? When staying in Cascais, the easiest way to reach Lisbon is by direct train, which runs approximately every 20 minutes and stops at all the most important points in Lisbon located along the river. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.

What to do in Cascais?
What to do in Cascais?

Sintra Sintra is a city from another fairy tale and when we say a fairy tale we literally mean Disney productions with the iconic palace in the main role. Countless palaces, mystical gardens of Quinta da Regaleira with exotic plants intertwined with Masonic symbols, as well as the charming old town full of historic cafes - this is Sintra. Due to the unique mountain microclimate, the city is often shrouded in fog in the morning, which adds magic to this already magical place. You will find there countless mountain trails but also spectacular beaches such as Praia da Adraga or Praia da Ursa. The easiest way to reach Sintra from Cascais is by car - the journey takes about 15-20 minutes. For non-motorists Uber may be an excellent solution - a one-way trip costs around 10-15Є.

What to do in Cascais?
What to do in Cascais?

Parque Natural da Arrabida

Arrabida is one of the most beautiful natural parks on the Lisbon Coast. You will find there, above all, beautiful and mostly empty beaches. It is definitely worth taking comfortable shoes with you because getting to many of them requires several dozen minutes of intense climbing. However, those who are more lazy will find beaches that can be reached by car as well. If you are a fan of fresh fish and seafood - make sure to visit nearby Setubal! Choco frito and fish straight from the fisherman are local specialties there. From Cascais you can only get to Arrabida by car and the journey itself shouldn't take longer than an hour.


All future or current surfers probably already know this place. Ericeira is called the European capital of surf for a reason. There are dozens of beaches with ideal surfing conditions practically all year round and the surf spirit can be felt in every beach bar or local shop. Ericeira amazingly combines the charm of a small Portuguese town with a modern digital nomads' settlement - older residents drinking beer in local tascas intertwine with travellers from northern Europe. During the day life in Ericeira mainly takes place on the beach while in the evenings the towns' streets turn into lively promenades. From Cascais you can reach Ericeira in approximately 40 minutes by car. An alternative Uber trip will cost about 20Є one way.

Peniche & Baleal

Peniche is another place famous for its large sandy beaches and very good surfing conditions. A place particularly worth visiting during your stay in Peniche is the Baleal Peninsula. However, if you have more time and additionally want to take a short boat trip, you can also visit the nearby Berlengas archipelago. Apart from the beaches, there's an old town with some local restaurants offering fresh fish and seafood. The village is small so it is an ideal destination for a one-day trip. You can get there from Cascais by car and the journey will take about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Nazare & Obidos

Many of you have probably seen the famous mountain-sized wave photographed from the perspective of the Nazare lighthouse. It is these waves that the most courageous surfers in the world ride down during the winter season. Before going to Nazare to watch the world's largest waves it is worth remembering that not every day they reach several dozen meters in size. This happens only a few days a year, mainly in the winter season. Big wave surfing competitions are announced a few days in advance and are quite an event. In addition to the spectacular natural show Nazare offers wide beaches and great typical Portuguese restaurants along the city's main promenades. If you have time on your way back from Nazare - stop for a short walk in charming Obidos and have a glass of Ginjinha liqueur there The whole trip should take less than 2 hours by car.

Comporta & Troia

This time we go south to enjoy the azure water perfect for short baths instead of the waves and rushing ocean. Comporta and Troia are cosy and trendy resorts that attract more demanding tourists and city residents on weekends. In addition to beautiful beaches, Comporta and Troia also have the best restaurants and charmy concept stores with interior decorations or clothes mostly by Portuguese designers. This position definitely differs from the previous ones on the list with a more sophisticated style and relaxing atmosphere. The car ride from Cascais takes under 2 hours. On warm summer days it's worth setting off early in the morning to avoid traffic jams.

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