Portugual Highlights: Cascais and the Estroil Coast

We were so happy with our decision to stay on the beach and explore the Estroil Coast on our quick trip to Portugal. Our hotel was in a sleepy town called Carcavelos, but our favorite little spot was the little city of Cascais.

Carcavelos attracts dozens and dozens of kite surfers. The fort in the background was pretty cool-looking.

Graffiti is a fact of life in Portugal. It is everywhere! Sometimes it had a friendly message, though, like the graffiti on the wall outside the airport that said “Welcome.” I thought this one was appropriate for our beach experience.


The hotel was just a couple blocks from the ocean. Traditional blue and white tiles covered the balconies. We stayed on the 7th floor, which was just below the top-floor restaurant.

The pool looked refreshing, but we never did get the chance to try it out when it was warm enough. See the diving board? It was a serious high-dive: quite unexpected for a hotel pool!

The restaurant, where a huge breakfast was served each morning, overlooks the ocean.

Cascais is just a 20-minute ride down the coast from Carcavelos. We ventured over for the late afternoon and had dinner there. The photo above shows the old fortified citadella.

For dinner, we had lobster soup and then Seth and I shared a huge platter of fresh seafood. It was too much to finish!

The next morning we headed to Estroil to catch a bus to the hill-top city of Sintra. We had a little time in Estroil, so we walked a bit along the water.

This tile work adorned the wall of an otherwise unimpressive train station in Sintra.

This old villa was for sale. Just a little fixer-upper.

Street view in Sintra.

Note the castle on top of the hill.

Cheesecake is a specialty, so we couldn’t pass up the chance to taste it after lunch.

The modern art museum is supposed to be one of the best in Europe. After walking for 30 minutes looking for it, we found out it was closed until mid-June! At least we got to see this gigantic torso…

We took the (long) scenic busride back from Sintra to Cascais, because it stops at the westernmost point in continental Europe (above).

Back in our favorite little town, we hung out on the beach and near the docks for a while.

The most bizarre boat decor we’ve seen yet.

On the beach, Seth found a canine friend…

…who had the funniest way of drying off after a swim!

On the walk back to Estroil to catch a train to Carcavelos, we saw the coolest paddleboats ever: check out that slide!

Back at the hotel, we took advantage of the last hours of sunlight by the pool.

5 thoughts on “Portugual Highlights: Cascais and the Estroil Coast

  1. You look stunning in your swimsuit! Pregnancy suits you well! 🙂

    P.S. Falcor dries off the same way as Seth’s beach buddy! We always have to trick him to run to the car from the beach so he doesn’t have time to get sandy!

  2. I love your blog. So well written and photographed. Makes me want to pack up and move back to Europe for a while. Brought back memories of culture and great food. I`ll be a regular reader. Thanks for the comment on my blog.

  3. You look so beautiful! Your baby is going to grow up to be the least picky eater ever being exposed to all that wonderful food from different cultures. How do you and Seth stay so fit with things like cheesecake there? I’m surprised there isn’t a picture of Seth on the high dive!

  4. Now I want to go to Portugal! It looks gorgeous. I wish I had gone before I left. oh well, it’s not too late, I’ll go someday!

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