Three weeks ago. That’s when we began our two week summer holidays. Our first stop was Cascais. We travelled from Brussels to Lisbon, before heading to Cascais by taxi. We stayed four full days in Cascais. My boyfriend booked three surfing lessons with a surfing school, and in the end ended up going a fourth time. Most of his sessions were in the morning, and about a 20-25 minute drive from Cascais, so I didn’t see him then. He had one afternoon session where we went by bike. Unfortunately, it was a very very windy day. I was wrapped up in our beach towels but was still able to take some photos of the beach and him surfing. It wasn’t his best day but it was great seeing him enjoying himself.
What did I do when he surfed in the morning? Pretty simple. The day following our arrival I was ill. A nasty flew. I slept really badly that night and needed some serious rest. When he was done, I joined him at the surf school and we walked around the city. We mostly enjoyed an afternoon by the beach and before diner had a delicious sangria. We tried a few places, but always ended up going to one in particular – Piriquita. Even though the service was not that great, they’re white sangria was simply delicious. I wrote down most of the ingredients, ok all the fruits, that were in it and hope to replicate this at home some time soon. We’d then mostly enjoyed a diner outside, and had a pretty amazing BBQ at the surfing school on Thursday evening. We met some really great people. Lots of Swedish, but Norwegians, French, Dutch and Belgians too. We had a great night out!
We also rented mountain bikes when we were there. On Saturday we went back to the beach where my boyfriend did his surfing lessons, before heading to the most Western point of Europe and then up to Sintra. We were quite disappointed by Sintra. It was full of tourists. There were way too many. And lots of traffic too, between coaches and cars. We were literally the only ones by bike. After looking around for a bit, we headed back to Cascais. We left for approximately 7 hours, and cycled 50 km, with lots of stops to enjoy the views! It felt great to be that active during our holidays. Even though, I must admit that sometimes I had to push my bike as it was too steep for me to cycle.
In Cascais, there are three places I’d recommend for lunch or diner. The first is Moules and Gin. The concept is really simple; muscles, muscles and more muscles with delicious small French fries. My boyfriend had moule a la mariniere and I had the ones with coriander. Accompanied with white win, delicious! If you want to go there, make sure to reserve. There are limited seats. The second place I’d recommend is O Pescador. I had some amazing grilled sardines and my boyfriend had sole. Everything was perfectly cooked. Amazing service by the waiters. It’s a little pricey but it was divine. The perfect restaurant to close off our vacation in Cascais. If you’re vegetarian, you should definitely go to House of Wonders. They have a beautiful cold buffet and two warm dishes. As we wanted to try both, we decided to share a plate of cold dishes and then tasted the two warm dishes. It was definitely more than enough for the two of us. It’s definitely a place to try, vegetarian or not!
Cascais is a great holiday destination for surfing, and is really not far away from Lisbon. Within 30 minutes you’re in the city. Cascais is a cozy little city with small streets and lots of places to eat. There are also some beautiful villas. Wow. We were amazed by how big some of those properties were. I’d say that the beaches were ok. Too packed for my own tasting, so we’d usually wait the end of the afternoon to go to the beach. As they are artificial beaches, they are quite small. I wouldn’t be able to stay there a full day with all those people. Apart from that, we had an amazing first week. Can’t wait to share our next stop, Lisbon!