Portugal Cascais Waterfront

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
Just 30 minutes from Lisbon, is the resort town of Cascais (kush-kyesh). At one time Cascais was the summer retreat for the Portuguese nobility. But before royalty came to the area it was a prosperous fishing village. Because of this, the town was nicknamed “The Town of Kings and Fishes.”

The 1755 Earthquake destroyed a large portion of the city but the Marquis of Pombal worked to restore the city. Considerable improvements came to the city when the royals arrived—electric lights, a better road, a sports club, and railway.

The city has cobbled streets, a fort, museums and a lively bar and restaurant scene. Surrounding the town are the beautiful beaches of the Portuguese Riviera.

Many exiled royal European families [the House of Bourbon (Spain), House of Savoy (Italy), Hungary and Bulgaria] came to Cascais during WWII due to Portugal’s neutrality. Cascais is still one of the wealthiest municipalities in Portugal and the Iberian Peninsula. Just a few miles away is the Casino Estoril which inspired Ian Fleming’s novel “Casino Royale.” Fleming lived in the Palácio d’Estoril to “run” an English-German double agent. With both the Germans and Allies in town, Estoril became known as the capital of espionage.

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