The Cascais coast was the first place to be seen by ships approaching the Tagus Estuary and was the last image seafarers took with them when they headed for the far-flung corners of the Portuguese Empire. Its population witnessed the departure of the earliest explorers and saw them return with treasures from Africa, spices from India, and gold and gems from Brazil. In more recent times, the region became a pioneer of Portuguese tourism when in 1870 the Portuguese royal family chose Cascais, more specifically the Cidadela, as its summer residence due to the excellent location, natural surroundings, temperate climate and high quality of the local sea and spa waters.
Due to the events of world history, and on account of Portugal’s rare status as a neutral country, the Cascais area was a place of immense strategic importance during the Second World War and became a major hub of international diplomacy and espionage as one of Europe’s safe havens during this time of crisis.
Cascais hosted many European celebrities, royal families and renowned artists, including Josef Von Habsburg of the Austrian royal family and King Humberto II of Italy.
Today, with over 650 years of history, the region has retained its cosmopolitan and sophisticated feel to become affectionately known as the Portuguese Riviera