Cascais a Town on The Atlantic Ocean

By: Douglas Scott

Cascais is a town on the Atlantic Ocean about 30 kilometres west of Lisbon, Portugal. It is a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital and one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. The former fishing village gained fame as a resort for Portugals royal family in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Nowadays it is a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists. It has a regional airport in Tires Airport Municipal de Cascais.

Cascais was once a little fishing village that has now become one of the wealthiest areas of Portugal and tourists favourite.

Cascais is protected from the strong winds of the Atlantic which can be felt further along the coast and fishing boats still line the fishermans beach for this reason.

King Luis I started the aristocratic trend for building palaces and mansions here when he made the Citadela his summer home in 1870. Fifty years later the creation of the first electrified rail line stretching from Lisbon to Cascais also brought increasing wealth to the town. The greatest economic boost to the region came with the outbreak of World War II, during which Cascais became the home of dozens of royal exiles and their entourages.

The bars alongside the beaches are very busy throughout most evenings but the town centre is surprisingly quiet after midnight, as most revellers head to Lisbon for their all night partying.

The British visitor will find a large number of English and Irish themed pubs for those who cannot bear to miss Premiership football or rugby games.

For those less concerned with finding a home away from home Cascais has a wide range of quality restaurants and bars where English is spoken.

The road leading out of Cascais towards Guincho passes the Boca do Inferno, a jagged cavity in the rocks that meet the Atlantic. The sea comes flowing through the natural arch creating a whirlpool within the enclave. It was here that the self styled magi and Great Beast of the Apocalypse Aleister Crowley faked his suicide in the hope of shaking off his pursuing creditors. The Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa assisted him in this endeavour, and it may well have been due to Pessoas poetic imagination that the Great Beast decided to attempt his sham suicide at the Mouth of Hell.

Today there is a large yacht harbour and several small sand beaches in and around town. Cascais is easily reached from Lisbon by car, or by frequent inexpensive commuter trains.

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