Take a day trip to Cascais

Explore the coastline outside of Lisbon by bike

After an easing going ten days in Lisbon, we were feeling ready to take a day trip outside of the city and what could be better than a day at a beach?

Cascais is a coastal resort town known for its beaches. Despite it being winter, we figured it would be beautiful nonetheless (we were not disappointed!). We rented bikes and travelled to the most Westerly beach with bike trail access, Praia Grande do Guincho, and enjoyed the ocean views along the way.

Getting to Cascais

From Lisbon it was very easy and affordable to travel to Cascais. We walked down to the Cais to Sodre train station, each loaded up our Viva Viagem card (sort of like a presto card for those from Toronto) with our tickets, and hopped on the 9:40am train. After 40min of coastal views we arrived in Cascais.

Biking to Praia Grande do Guincho

Disembarking from the train we quickly located the city bike rental kiosk across the roundabout from the train station. After exchanging one of our bikes three times to get one in adequate working order, we set off to the coast.

We had perfect weather for a winter trip to the beach! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and we quickly found ourselves stripping down to just our t-shirts. The path was mostly flat, with a few sections that had a slight grade. Ordinarily we wouldn’t have noticed the grade, but with a single speed and soft bike tires, we felt all the hills. Even in January, the path was crowded at certain spots with walkers, strollers, runners and other bikers. Despite the occasional crowd we had a very leisurely ride out to Grande do Guincho beach.

Stopping to take in a view on bike ride to Grande do Guincho beach

Stopping to take in a view on bike ride to Grande do Guincho beach

At the Beach

The ride to the beach was well worth it. We were rewarded with soft sand and a beautiful view of the ocean. While at the beach we spent most of our time just walking and enjoying the sun. There were a number of brave souls in full-body wetsuits surfing; it looked really fun, but in the end we didn't give into the temptation to join them, perhaps next time!

Walking down to Grande do Guincho beach

Walking down to Grande do Guincho beach

A Hot Dog? Yes Please!

On our way home, we pulled over a few times to pause and take in the sights along the coast. We ended up dropping off our bikes at one of the bike rental locations a couple of kilometres outside of town, allowing us to more leisurely experience the last of the sun.

On route we stumbled across a hot dog truck, offering a dog covered in chips, how could we say no?

A highlight of the journey back into Cacais was finding a secluded spot along the coast to sit on the edge of the cliff and watch the sun go down.

Roadside hot dog truck

Hot dog

Stopping along the coast to take in the views

Watching the sun set from cliff's edge

After the sun went down, Cascais became very quiet. Most Portuguese restaurants tend not to open for dinner until 7pm, so that could have been why it seemed so quiet. We grabbed a quick bite to eat, and jumped on the 20:00 train home to Lisbon. Cascais made for a great trip, but was definitely at its best during the day, not at night (although the ferris wheel was fun to see lit up at night).

Cascais ferris wheel

The Verdict

While in Lisbon, a day trip to Cascais is a great way to get outside the city. To anyone travelling to Lisbon we definitely recommend you make a day trip yourself to visit Cascais and the surrounding area. As funny as it sounds the day trip felt a little like a mini vacation within the vacation!