what to see in the Portuguese Côte d’Azur


    Portugal is one of those countries that always surprises. For some of its regions it seems that time has not passed, others have adapted to the tourist attraction in perfect harmony with that tradition that is part of its magic and there are many that have simply become cradle of international visitors who decide to settle there for months to enjoy the wonders it offers.

    Cascais is one of them. It’s one of those places where it’s always sad to leave. despite. What was once a Spanish royal residence is today one of the most attractive towns in the country. Don Juan de Borbón walked there and it was common to see the Infanta Margarita sitting on one of the terraces of her bars camouflaged among the rest of the locals and visitors to the Portuguese city.

    It is one of those places where its colors captivate and its perfume gives off the perfect mixology between the aroma of luxury and that of the purest Portuguese essence, the same that preserves its tiles and combines, in perfect harmony, pinks, yellows and blues of the pastel paintings that make out the landscape of their houses. that memory that It evokes us to the American hotels of the 60s and that, also, is found in other admired places of its geography, such as in Lisbon, Aveiro or Porto.

    Because Cascais is beautiful. A town full of life where you can have a drink, ride a bike through its endless walks along the coast, get lost in the charm of the old town and its shops, play golf, run to music, eat (good) fish, or simply sit on a bench and watch the people go by.

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    Like almost all of Portugal, Cascais’ letter of introduction is its Citadel, an old fortification whose objective was to protect the town from Spanish attacks and whose imposing stone structure can now be seen from the outside or even entered to see some of its oldest artillery pieces.

    Among the most photographed places is the Santa Marta lighthouse, 20 meters high, decorated in white and blue tiles and also surrounded by white walls that today house a museum that collects documents and objects that were used as military defense during the 16th century. XIX. From this enclave the landscape is beautiful. An imposing sea of ​​intense blue, surrounded by palm trees, manages to make it a perfect location to relax and let your mind go blank. Or to bathe. Because there are many beaches that stand as the perfect option for every taste.

    Cascais Portugal what to see

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    The Rainha beach, which is the best knownit is located in the center of Cascais and there is direct access to it from the town itself. It is a small sandy area nestled in a cliff that is ideal if you are looking for a lively space, since, being in the town, there are different leisure and food establishments in its surroundings.

    Cascais Portugal what to see

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    If you are also looking for a much larger, windier one where you can practice water sports such as surfing or windsurfing, Praia do Guincho is the ideal. It is a 750-meter stretch of sand dunes in the Atlantic at the southern end of the Sierra de Sintra hills, which makes it one of those with one of the most spectacular landscapes in the area. There are no buildings or urban development in its surroundings, nor will you find a neighbor’s umbrella attached to your towel, because it has so much space that it is perfect for walking, running, sleeping peacefully or, at sunset, opening a bottle of wine. (here 5 wines for 5 generations) and enjoy the sunset in good company.

    Between dunes and the Atlantic: The Oitavos

    Cascais to see

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    Before reaching this beach is The Oitavos, in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Although Cascais looks like a complex In itself, because everything is close by and no activity escapes it, The Oitavos is really the most sophisticated claim to stay in the area. A hotel that has even conquered to well-known personalities such as Chrissy Teigen, who stayed there in early July.

    As soon as you see its structure, it catches your eye: a glass and steel building in the Quinta da Marinha, created by the architect Jose Amaral Anahory, which was the idea of ​​the Portuguese Champalimaud family. The imposing accommodation integrates into the environment, without competing with it and, inside, superfluous spaces, with natural light and touches of ocean blue welcome every guest.

    From France to Portugal: dishes that conquer

    Cascais to see

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    Entering through the revolving door of the hotel, the first thing you see is his living room which integrates, in turn, part of the gastronomic offer it houses. There is the Ipsylon restaurant, a place where you can sit down and delight your palate in style with an ideal mixology of French cuisine and Portuguese product led by French chef Cyrill Devilliers and master pastry chef Joaquim Sousa.

    In it there is a wide variety of dishes that alternate from exquisite cheese boards, to soups, salads, pasta, meat or, as Portugal is known, its exquisite fish cuisine. The baked cod with truffled goat butterrice with washing up or your chocolate flower These are just some of the dishes that can be read on their menu and that, beyond their name, conquer for their flavor. In few hotels you eat as well as in The Oitavos, but in few, too, you drink as well. Because there they offer you a fantastic guide to their wines and adapt their suggestions to each of the dishes you order.

    A few steps from this restaurant, following a corridor that raises the local art, is the terrace of the hotel on which you can see its swimming pool infinite on the golf course of the hotel, the green of its pine forests and the horizon bathed by the Atlantic sea.

    In this area of ​​The Oitavos is another of the gastro proposals. This is Terraço Lounge Bar, a more informal and relaxed proposal in which to enjoy a delicious selection of salads, hamburgers or more casual dishes in what is reminiscent of a silver beach bar, but with (very) high standing.

    Because the five stars that the hotel enjoys are deserved. All the activities they offer have given him the courage to earn them, conquering, above all, the American public. There are many tourists who cross the pond to stay in this relaxing municipality of Portugal and enjoy one of the passions that attracts the most visitors to the area, its 18-hole golf offer.

    Cascais to see

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    In 2001, The American golf course architect Arthur Hills designed the Oitavos Dunes on the 168 hectares occupied by the Quinta da Marinha estate.the hotel’s golf course. Awarded under the “Platinum” status that it achieved in 2015, deserving in the 2020/21 season of the Platinum Clubs of the World certificate in the new category that recognizes the 50 best clubs in Europe, this space makes you travel much further than to Portugal between hats, polo shirts and shorts.

    It is a club in good condition and, like any good club, it also has Verbasco, a conservatory restaurant with a terrace that stands on the same field with an exceptional food proposal: from shrimp to ceviche (with, like all the establishments of the Cutipol national cutlery hotel).

    Rooms designed to dream

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    If something makes The Oitavos special, too, it is the rooms that are hidden behind its walls. Those in which the door closes and the intimacy of each one begins. In which to relax, take a bath with views of nature or dream. Because they are designed precisely for that: to close your eyes and forget everything.

    The silence in the hotel is absolute and it is not surprising since each of its 14 rooms are around 40 square meters. Depending on whether you choose the Superior or the Premium, you will have the orientation towards sunrise or sunset, but they are all exterior.

    Also, if you are looking for a greater experience -and that is saying- The Oitavos offers you 126 lofts of 64 square meters. Their glass-enclosed bathroom makes them one of the most sensual options in the hotel and they have an open dressing room and lounge area. These allow you to see either the sea or, alternatively, the Oitavos Dunes.

    The level of excellence is already reached when staying in one of its two suites or in its villa. The first are 136 or 120 square meters (your choice) and the villa consists of 120 square meters that are integrated into the dunes with a private outdoor seawater pool. An authentic luxury ideal for hedonists.

    Enjoy Cascais

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    They say that Cascais is the spoiled girl of Portugal and it is not for less. Missing out on the excellent location in your area would be a fish. In fact, at The Oitavos they offer a large number of services that allow you to connect with your surroundings and fully blend in with your personality.

    The hotel’s own spa predicts it. In different cabins and with the best professionals, it offers personalized services in a catalog of massages carried out under the protection of the signature Carol Joy London and its 24-carat gold leaf treatments to illuminate the skin, as well as pure collagen to activate the activity of cells or caviar and algae to hydrate and detoxify. An experience that, completed with the good work of its specialists, revitalizes your appearance. They help you feel good on the outside, but even better on the inside.

    And the fact is that the spa also has a sauna, a Turkish bath, jacuzzi and an indoor pool with different jets thermal springs that help you recover the energy you need to face each new day. Or simply, to complete the one you already have. Relaxing there is the only possible option, since its structure, too, is glazed and allows you to observe the landscape to touch the off and disconnect from everything.

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    In addition, if this did not seem enough, from The Oitavos they also plan different outdoor activities. Since yoga classes, going through horseback riding to discover its surroundingseven playing sports like tennis or pumpkinsurfing or a ride on a helicopter.

    Sintra and Lisbon: fabled surroundings

    Wrapped in unique surroundings, The Oitavos is the perfect escape route. An alternative that combats any stress, an option that helps you release tension and that, in addition, offers you other wonderful visits to Portugal just a few kilometers away.

    Seeing the colorful palaces of Sintra in photographs has little to do with being captivated by their beauty in person. Their greatness manages to make you feel like you’re in a story, so much so that it even captivated Madonna for one season, so that she bought a house there.

    And Lisbon. The Portuguese capital, which is becoming more and more popular, is one of those places that never allows you to see it with the same eyes. A city where there is always something new to discover. From its cafes full of charm, to its tram rides, bohemian neighborhoods or, one of the greatest qualities that make Portugal famous outside its borders, the quality of the fabrics of its local companies, like Futah, one of the most valued towel companies and whose designs most captivate locals and visitors.

    What if everything we were looking for was in Portugal? We may not actually need to go that far to disconnect. The neighboring country always gives us a pleasant welcome and, above all, welcomes us with open arms.

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