Cascais - a Lisbon Coast place to visit
The coastal settlement of Cascais originated in the 12th century. The former fishing village gained fame as a resort for Portugal's royal family in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Due to Portugal's neutrality in World War II and the town's elegance and royal past, Cascais became home to many of the exiled royal families of Europe, including those of Spain, Italy and Bulgaria.
There is now a yacht harbour, several small beaches, a ruined castle, an art and sea museum, parks and the cobbled streets of the historic centre. The town has many hotels, tourist apartments and restaurants. Cascais is a famous vacation spot, a residential area for the Lisbon jet-set and favourite night spot for young people.
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Popular beaches include Guincho Beach to the west. The lush Sintra mountains are to the north. It is a popular golf destination. Surfing, sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are also popular in the region. In 2007, Cascais was the official host of the ISAF World Championship in sailing for dinghies and racing yachts.
International tennis and motorcycling events have been hosted along with the Formula One Portugal Grand Prix. The famous Estoril Casino is one of the largest in Europe. Near the casino is the "Hotel Palácio" (Palace Hotel), a 5 star hotel where scenes of the Bond 007 films were shot.