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The Portuguese Costa del Sol and Cascais

Cascais - Guincho Beach

We should start right out and say that we won’t be talking about the Spanish Costa del Sol, although that is what most people think of when they hear the words: “Costa del Sol”; instead we’ll be talking about the Portuguese Costa del Sol, which couldn’t be more different than its Spanish counterpart.

When it comes to the Portuguese Costa del Sol, we’re talking about a vast and relatively untouched piece of coastline, partly due to the fact that the ocean here is as wild as the cliffs overlooking it are rugged, very much different from the Spanish experience.

The pretty little fishing port town of Cascais is possibly the most popular of destinations in this region, featuring narrow old cobble-stoned streets which tend to descent more often than not into idyllic beaches. These beaches tend to be the most quiet that the coast has to offer, a few kilometers from the town proper, on the Estoril coast you can find the opposite of this in Praia do Guincho or Guincho Beach which is popular with ocean and wind sports enthusiasts thanks to its more rugged characteristics. It’s a windy beach where skilled kite surfers can easily launch themselves off the crest of a wave and do impressive spins. This however does not make it a great beach for those who are looking for a nice swim, however those who are interested in adrenaline-fueled activities will find it to be quite ideal to their needs.

After a couple of hours of fighting with the ocean and the winds you can head to the northern end of the beach and hit the Bar do Guincho, a barefoot beach bar set amid dunes in order to shelter it from the ever-present winds. This is a great place to rest, relax, and waste time with some great food and drink after frolicking in the chilly Atlantic.

Starting from Cascais again, a few minutes up the coast you can find Casa da Guia, which is a wonderful renovated villa which now houses a collection of design shops and restaurants. The villa is perched beneath an old lighthouse, only one of the dozens that dot the region, meant to signal how perilous the coast is to ships.

This has been just a quick and general view on what Cascais and the Portuguese Costa del Sol have to offer their visitors, rest assured that there many more things to see and do while there, it’s a wonderful holiday destination.


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