Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Portugal - Cascais - the first week

Having arrived in Cascais from the northern city of Braga at around 7pm on Friday 1st September, we just had time to drop our luggage at my parent's house, refresh ourselves and shortly after my sister and brother in law picked us up. 

Plateau Disco

We drove to Lisbon to meet up with a cousin and a couple of friends for dinner. After dinner the group of over 50's decided it would be a great idea to go to a disco!
I don't think I had been to a disco since...I can't even remember when, but this I was told was a disco for oldies with music from the 70's and 80's.

White Night at Plateau Disco

We certainly had a great night at Discoteca Plateau - they were also celebrating "white night" that weekend, and most people were dressed in white (not us), the music was great and we all danced along to Abba, Freddie Mercury, Boney M, Madonna, Elton John among others. You might not believe it but we left the disco at 3AM!!

Mercado da Vila Cascais (Village Market)
On the Saturday we had dinner at the Cascais MarketThe Municipal market in the heart of Cascais was reconverted in 2012, and apart from selling fish, vegetables, fruit and flowers from 8am to 2pm, there are now a lot of open-air restaurants and others under cover.   There are also shops selling crafts, drinks, health foods by weight, and every month the market hosts monthly themed markets presenting from chocolates to wine, sardines, cheese, chestnuts, etc.  We had a drink in the open air area while we waited for a table to become available in an upstairs restaurant, where we had "Tapas style" food (snacks) at Páteo do Petisco.
Cascais Market - dinner & drinks

On Sunday we met up with my brother in law's parents for lunch at Dom Pedro restaurant in Ericeira.  
Ericeira, a fishing town about 35km northwest of Lisbon or 40km from Cascais, is probably best know to surfing professionals for it's surfing beaches, and is now also very popular with tourists as a holiday place.
From one of Ericeira's beaches the last reigning monarch - Manuel II, and his mother, Queen Amelia (the widow of Carlos I) and others left the country into exile to England on the 5th of October 1910, when the monarchy was deposed by a coup, and the Portuguese Republic was established. 
Tiles in Restaurant Dom Carlos, Statue of Dom Carlos and restaurant and dining room buffet boat
The restaurant named in honour of the penultimate King of Portugal - Carlos I (The Diplomat) who reigned from 1889 until his assassination in Lisbon, on the 1st February 1908 at the age of 55. 
The restaurant had a beautiful buffet set out on a wooden boat with plenty of food from starters to desserts, and everything was great.
After lunch we drove to the beach area and the views were fantastic - to one side the Hotel Vila Gale, which is perched on top of the waves, with the village behind, and to the left the beach which is reached by a long walkway.
                           Beaches and Vila Gale Hotel with village behind it

Ericeira beach down below

Azenhas do Mar

On the way back to Cascais we drove to another magical seaside village - Azenhas do Mar about 20kms south of Ericeira. Between the mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, this small town with white houses perched on the cliff has amazing views, protected beach and a sea water pool, and is quite popular with tourists year round.
The name means "Water mills" and you can see one of the old ones on the photo below.

Azenhas do Mar - the village, one of the water mills

We parked our car at the bottom of the village, and climbed the hundreds of steps to get the best view of the village. When we came down we ordered an ice-cream at the beach bar and sat down to enjoy the view and the sunshine.
The building by the sea pool has a restaurant on the first floor, and the bar is at beach level. They had live music too, giving the area a real beachy vibe.

The beach and the bar

On on the road to Cascais we drove past these beautiful beach areas.

Guincho Fort Hotel in the distance

Birthday celebrations

And then it was time to celebrate my son's and my husband's birthdays, on the 4th and 5th of September respectively.
We had two family dinners - a Chinese take away one night and a home cooked dinner the other night, topped with puddings and birthday cake of course.

My son, daughter in law and baby would fly back to Australia the following day, so the family was getting smaller again...

Birthday celebrations - daughter in law, my mom, daughter, my dad, husband, my sister and Brother in law and my son.         Chocolate Mousse, birthday cake, more birthday cake and Creme Caramel pudding

Azenhas do Mar - sand drawings by unknown artist - photo from internet
And just last week I saw this on my FB feed - apparently an unknown artist did this artwork overnight at the Azenhas do Mar beach (see my photo above) a couple of weeks ago. Isn't it just so pretty? Pity it wouldn't last last.

Next time we'll be visiting Cascais and Lisbon. Hope you enjoyed the awesome scenic beaches I showed above.


  1. I can´t remember, either, when last I´d been to a disco, but THAT sounds like a lot of fun and great, great music! Guess 3 am is a pretty proof for fun :-)
    The food boat is a cute idea and a beach bar, oh, wow. Fantastic views!

    1. Thanks Iris, the disco was a lot of fun, the music was great and I just sang along as I danced.

  2. The view is magnificent. What a great holiday you had. Family, friends, good health, excellent food, great wine, beach, sun... lots of sun... Paradise on Earth!!
    : )

  3. Forgot to comment about the Disco!!! 3 am!!! Good gracious how I would have loved to have been there... even though that was long past my bedtime!!! : ))))

    1. Thanks Catarina, well I normally would only go to bed at 3AM on New Year's day if we go out to celebrate, but that disco was fantastic!
      Yes, family, sun, good health and great food is all you need!

  4. What a blast you had on this trip!
    I love the Portuguese cliff villages & the blue and white colours

    1. Thanks Christine, those two villages are magical indeed.

  5. The different places look wonderful. 3am! I would be dead. The English miss a lot by only holidaying in the south.

    1. Most English do go to the South, but I think they are now discovering other beautiful parts of Portugal. Thanks Andrew.

  6. Dearest Sami,
    How tedious and very thoroughly you did write down your special, meaningful trip!
    Oh, how we would have loved to have a blog back in the 80s and 90s when most of our travel did happen! Precious.
    LOVE the night out till 3:00 AM and I would be game; not Pieter I'm afraid but for that he's excused being eighty eight. One never knows. Tomorrow he's having a nuclear stress test because two weeks ago at his regular checkup with the cardiologist they found he has a leaking heart valve... Monday at 8:30 AM we will know more. What can they do after his quadruple bypass and stent placed in his neck on September 3, 2010?
    I only can pray and hope that God will grant many more years for being together!
    We bike as often as we can and I want to join him, leaving even the home less tidy as I would love to. What is important in life?!
    Sending you hugs,

    1. It would certainly have been wonderful to have a blog in the 80's as we lived in Germany back then and we also traveled all over Europe, it would have been a nice way to document our trips.
      I hope all goes well with Pieter, it's great that you two still exercise with your bike, I'm sure that's great for the heart. Best of luck Mariette.

  7. A pedir uma visita há muitos anos.

    1. Ola Pedro, por vezes ha tanta coisa e tanta gente a visitar em Portugal que nao temos tempo para tudo. Gostava de ter ido a muitos outros lugares, mas o tempo voa...

  8. É tão engraçado ver os sítios por onde passamos às vezes pelos olhos de quem está fora. Torna-os mais interessantes e faz-nos acordar para pormenores por vezes esquecidos. Um dos passeios que gostamos de fazer (agora que não temos veículo) é apanhar um dos autocarros que faz o "passeio" de Cascais a Sintra, passando pelo Cabo da Roca (e não é que os turistas já o conhecem?). Se gostar de policiais, recomendo os livros escritos em Portugal, do Robert Wilson "A Small Death in Lisbon" e "Company of Strangers" - passam também por Cascais e Guincho.

    1. Realmente quando vivemos num local muitas vezes nao apreciamos o que temos. Tambem fui uma vez de Cascais a Sintra de autocarro, mas fui no que nao passa pelo Cabo da Roca. Nao conheco esses livros, mas ja apontei para encomendar. Li um livro em Ingles tambem passado em Portugal - The high mountains of Portugal - de Yann Martel que tambem escreveu "The life of Pi". Obrigada Paula.

    2. As "high mountains..." está na lista dos A ler, já na prateleira lá de casa. Vimos o autor a falar na "Grand Librarie" e despertou-me a curiosidade. Espero que valha a pena!

  9. Replies
    1. Obrigada Francisco, realmente e uma zona bonita.

  10. I had to smile when I read about going to the Disco ... it is many, many years that I last went to one. I'm an expert at boogie-ing around the furniture at home! LOL!
    Lovely to enjoy two family dinners -

    Talking enjoyment, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of your lovely photographs, such an amazing trip.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thanks Jan, I enjoy dancing, maybe I too should boogie around the house :)


I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment.