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Cascais

cascaisCascais is a coastal town and a municipality in Portugal, 30 kilometres (19 miles) west of Lisbon. It is a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital and one of the richest municipalities in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 206,479, in an area of 97.40 km². The former fishing village gained fame as a resort for Portugal’s royal family in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Nowadays, it is a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign tourists. It is located in the Estoril Coast (named after Estoril, a town in the municipality), in the Greater Lisbon subregion. It has an airport for general aviation serving the Lisbon Region in Tires (S. Domingos de Rana), Aeroporto Municipal de Cascais.

Cascais is situated on the western edge of the Tagus estuary, between the Sintra mountains and the Atlantic Ocean; the territory occupied by the municipality is limited in the north by the municipality of Sintra, south and west by the ocean, and east by the municipality of Oeiras.

Today, there is a large yacht harbour and several small sand beaches in and around town. Cascais is easily reached from Lisbon by car, (A5 Lisboa-Cascais highway, or the scenic “marginal” road), or by frequent inexpensive commuter trains. It has the ruins of a castle, an art and sea museum, as well as parks and the charming cobbled streets of the historic centre. The town has many hotels and tourist apartments as well as many good restaurants of varying cost. It is a fine base to use for those visiting Lisbon and its environs who prefer to stay outside of the city yet in an equally urban and sophisticated environment.

Cascais is surrounded by popular beaches, such as Guincho Beach to the west, and the lush Sintra mountains to the north. Some of its shoreline is cliff-y, attracting tourists for its seascapes and other natural sights such as the Boca do Inferno. It is also becoming a popular golf destination, with over 10 golf courses nearby. Surfing, sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing are also popular in the region around Cascais due to favourable weather, wind, and sea conditions. In 2007, Cascais was the official host of the ISAF World Championship in sailing for dinghies and racing yachts.

The municipality also hosts international tennis and motorcycling events and for many years hosted the FIA F1 Portugal Grand Prix. The famous Estoril Casino is one of the largest in Europe. Near the casino is the “Hotel Palacio” (Palace Hotel), a 5-star hotel where scenes of the James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service were shot.

Information courtesy wikipedia.org/wiki/cascais