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Cascais-Portugal | Classic Seaside Resort on a Classy Luminous Coast.

Cascais is definitely one of the most stunning destinations of Portugal,a classic seaside resort on a classy luminous coast which conquers every tourist at first sight.

Situated just 30 minutes driving from the Portuguese Capital Lisbon in a spectacular coastal stretch embraced by the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and protected by the picturesque mountains of the Sierra de Sintra that so famed place is currently considered for quality of life one of the best place to live in the country.

That outstanding resort is a splendid place to enjoy sunny holidays all year thanks to its mild and warm climate combined with a beautiful scenery,the sunsets along that coastline are absolutely magic and furthermore it is a place boasting apart its natural beauties also a relevant historic patrimony.

As further detail of relevance the proximity of Lisbon (I wrote a post about that marvellous city in the case you are interested) one of the most attractive and charming European capitals is undoubtedly another great incentive to decide to enjoy a stay visiting that stunning city too.

The resort  is limited at the north by the centres of Sintra and Oeiras and at east south and west by the coasts on the Atlantic Ocean.

The famous and famed Estoril (I wrote a post about that other great resort in the case you are interested)  is part of the Municipality of Cascais.Normally and mistakenly known as Estoril given the amount of tourists it is actually Estoril which belongs to the municipality of Cascais.

Since the late 19th century,Cascais and Estoril together are a stunning bipolar network destination for Portuguese people and foreign tourists with a superb offer of excellent Hotels and great accommodations always ready to satisfy the most demanding requests.

The agglomeration of the municipality including its vast extra radius reaches approximately 210,000 inhabitants divided into six parishes.

The Atlantic has always played an important role since the the development of the first settlement and it is also culturally linked to a local proverb which says to identify Cascais,it is the land ends and sea begins.

Definitely one of the best and special features of that resort are its climate and several hours of light.
The temperatures which rise much in the summer remain mild during all the winter,that place is also known under the name of the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) not be confused with the famous Spanish Coast of Andalusia and as further and notable detail evenings and nights are very ventilated delighting the stay of every tourist.

The light of that luminous coastline is so loved by a multitude of visitors with long days and the sun always shimmering giving Cascais a superlative and attractive aspect also linked to that topic.

Cascais is characterised by a very romantic and captivating atmosphere thanks to the blue of the ocean which bathes its coast,picturesque cliffs and as charming frame you will notice on the other side towards the Sierra a magnificent verdant and lush vegetation which completes the fascinating image of that enchanting place.

The beauty of the old centre is another great and attractive feature with its white houses with decorated doors and shutters and a maze of narrow streets and splendid squares which increase the appeal of that classy seaside town.

The local history is long,interesting and full of events.The territory was already inhabited since prehistoric times as evidenced by some archaeological excavations in all the immediate surroundings.

There are many villages which bear witness to the Roman period when the Imperial Rome established in all the lands close to Lisbon including its coastline important bases of trade but also developing an intense political and social life.

After the fall of the Roman Empire the Moorish occupation dating back the 8th century gave names to many places in the region,it was a historic period characterised by a notable renaissance with a further development in commerce and a new urban asset with the construction of a former Medina,roads and a market place.

All that happened before the reconquest of the  first Portuguese King,Alfonso I  in the year 1153 which restored the site with a new organisation and with a radical change in architecture and a new defencive infrastructure system.

Just some years later,exactly in the year 1159,the town was mentioned and recorded in the new official maps of the Kingdom then belonging to Sintra,it was elevated as official centre in the 14th century concretely in the year 1364 by King Pedro I which probably was the period of major success in the medieval Christian era after the reconquest.

In that period,symbol of the importance of the current resort was also erected a castle and King Joao II in the year 1488 ordered the construction of a tower improving the defencive system surrounding its centre.

The town continued decade by decade its development until the period of the famous Portuguese navigators,the golden ages of Portugal,a country in which were prepared several transoceanic expeditions,an important shipyard activity,organised a multitude of archives of new routes searching new discoveries.

Next to that so relevant maritime activity the country also had a notable artistic life with several architectonic masterpieces developed all along the territory with a massive presence of new artists who started to embellish Churches and palaces giving Portugal a new shining image.

In the year1537 was erected in the municipality the first lighthouse of the country and in its place there is nowadays  the Guide Lighthouse which was built in 1810.

The Portuguese Royal family for centuries chose that seaside town as one of its favourite destinations spending several summers.

That place became since the year 1870 a more than important classy place frequented by the nobility and aristocracy including coming from other countries making the resort a very famed and classic meeting point of the highest European noble sphere .

In the year 1888 took place in the town the first football match of the history Portugal brought by English expatriates and in 1889 was opened the railway line from Lisbon.Some of the magnificent buildings you will notice today such as stylish palaces or splendid huge mansions were built in that century.

In a very short time the prestige of that Portuguese seaside town reached an outstanding International level and since the 30s it became a preferred destination of some notable Monarchies,one of them was the Royal House of Savoy the Kings of Italy.

Related to all that in the year 1946 after the proclamation of the Italian Republic the former Italian Royalty decided to live in that Portuguese municipality which is also the place in which the last King of Italy Umberto II moved.

After the Spanish Civil War the resort also became a golden refuge of a  large number of noble and people exiles,among them the Counts of Barcelona,the Bourbon Royal Family,Carol II of Romania and many others.

 The resort was mainly populated in the second half of the 20th century by local fishermen and farmers and the name of the resort is the plural of Cascal meaning shells,which should relate to the abundance there.

Fishing continues to be active today and there is still a small fleet of fishermen vessels and a  fish market well known as the Lota although is the Tourism Industry nowadays the main local resource.

The history related to famed characters continued with many wealthy travellers from around the world among them as Onassis family and Renault were often guests of that resort and apart those important figures who increased the prestige of a place in continuous development.

The traditions as VIPs destination continued and the resort in a period was also nicknamed the refuge of the famous.In more recent times Cascais has lost weight as a site of international Jet Set when balanced against Monte Carlo, Saint-Tropez or Portofino but it kept its history,prestige and fame.

Its small harbour is a very charming and pleasant tourist site not so glamorous as in the past but always very attractive and the traditions developed in the past have not deleted the name of the resort from the most charismatic scenes of the tourism.

The centre of the city is developed behind the local port where Avenida Dom Carlos I flanking the Marina and Passeio Dom Luis are two important boulevards which form together a sort of long maritime promenade.

The first Avenue continues west meeting Avenida da Republica another relevant artery bordering Jardim Marechal Carmona the green lung of the resort which is also flanked in its eastern side by Avenida Rei Humberto II de Italia a long avenue which runs towards south just behind the Marina.

The core of the resort is limited by two others long streets such as Avenida Vasco da Gama and Rua Navegantes and between those two relevant axis you will meet many typical narrow streets and picturesque houses.

Largo 5 De Octubro is a square on which was erected the Palácio dos Condes (Palace of the Counts) which is today the City Hall building and from there you can start to appreciate the beauty of the Bay of Cascais or starting a ride to the harbour past the Citadel and the old Cultural Centre.

Situated in proximity of the coast much of its monuments are related to defencive purposes and navigation.As such in terms of architectonic highlights are its forts situated between the beach Praia do Abano and São Julião da Barra which was already with Oeiras until the 19th century of extreme importance for the defence of Lisbon.Besides those structures there are some Roman and Visigoth ruins burial grounds, Churches,Chapels and  the classy mansions of the former Portuguese nobility.

The Muralha de Cascais the city walls are definitely one of the most historic highlights.The foundations of the wall connected two bastions on the shore of beach of Ribeira Peixe and the so called called Bateria Alta (High Battery) which is located in a dominant position in correspondence of the northern beach Praia da Água Doce.

 Classified as a Monument of National Interest in the year 1977 that  battery is currently in ruins and only remains of some vestiges of those walls are identifiable from the Atlantic Ocean and from the west side of the Hotel do Guincho.

A Cidadela is the Citadel of Cascais located on the right bank of the Tagus River.It is a fortified complex which further comprises the Forte de Nossa Senhora da Luz (  Fort of Our Lady of the Light) and the Torre de Santo António ( Tower of St. Anthony).

After the Restoration of Independence of Portugal the idea of the design was resumed having been erected called the Citadel.The whole complex includes the two elements mentioned and all the fortified section which lies between the tip and the Salmodo Clube Naval de Cascais in which also the walls erected there were classified as Monument of  Public Interest since 1977.

The construction of Forte de Nossa Senhora da Luz started in the year 1594 when a former tower was elevated and surrounded by three ramparts reopened under the invocation of Our Lady of Light.

The original fortress began under the reign of the King Joao II of Portugal linked to the Philippine Dynasty and Felipe II of Spain.Designed the expansion and enhancement of that defencive structure which entered in the vast scheme of the defencive system developed along the Tagus.

That project,however was never fully implemented and it has been limited to the strengthening and expansion of the original tower having received the plant in a triangular shape and another reason was the priority given other structures closer to the Capital.

The structure was severely damaged during the earthquake of 1755 which devastated the exterior walls crumbling from the top of the old tower as well as the  floors and ceilings of the Capela de Santo António (Chapel of St. Anthony) the Patron Saint of the Portuguese Army.

With the evolution of more modern military means the old fort lost its defencive function and in the early 20th century there were works of adaptation which imposed new floors and concealed extensive stretches of the old tower.

The fortress had further restoration and architectonic interventions since 1985 and after that with new facilities and pretty well arranged was used by the Portuguese Army.

More recently after the transfer of the Citadel to the Municipality the local authorities were studying projects to revitalise it and its surroundings.One of the most quoted aimed is a intense recovery and implementation of new structures,including a Museum.

The square O largo Camões marks the centre and it is one of the favourite areas by locals and tourists for its lively atmosphere and packed by numerous bars and restaurants.

Through a street called  Rua Direita you can enter in the main shopping street of the city on which you can find beautiful shops and street vendors and including a small shopping centre.That area is also the famous place in which takes place Cascais fairs with excellent opportunities to buy crafts and interesting objects at a very good price.

Very interesting and worth a visit the Palacio dos Condes de Castro Guimaraes,a beautiful palace built in 1890 featuring a splendid and  imposing tower adjacent to a corner and highlighted by a splendid small coloured roof.

Notable is also a series of arcades forming a wonderful portico and mullioned windows on the main facade,the access is by a staircase exactly situated under the tower and it is considered an architectonic complex unique in its kind for different architectonic elements used in the execution of that building.

The owners the Counts of Castro donated that building to the city of Cascais and thanks that since 1931 it houses the Municipal Museum which presents several collections displaying gold items and pottery and a wide variety of historic Portuguese objects dating back the 18th and 19th century and furniture and Chinese vases of the the 17th century.

You will notice apart the scenic silhouette the location of that palace is very strategic,separated from the sea just down the road,it has a small private beach by an underground passage crossing a road.

A short distance from the palace is situated the Capela de Sao Sebastiao a Chapel dedicated to San Sebastian and the large municipal park with a mini-zoo.

The Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Assunção is a Church dedicated of Our Lady of the Assumption considered one of the most relevant Religious buildings erected along the entire Lisbon Coast.

Built in the early 17th century and as many constructions in all the the country it sadly suffered severe damage in the earthquake of 1755 but the walls miraculously resisted.

That Religious temple erected on a rectangular plan has a sober light facade with a rectangular frame portal,two false bell towers on its sides with the belfries covered by domes with pinnacle.Two towers enclose the nave of the Church which is surmounted by a large pediment topped by a cross,

The tower on the right side has a circular watch and in the middle of the facade over the doorway was placed a symmetrical series of ample rectangular windows.

There is evidence around the year 1771 about the major works which were done in that religious temple which  returned to work after the earthquake recovery and also in the early 20th century and the last intervention in the building is dated the year 1973.

Allowed under the floor to find the body of the Church,several graves and head stones some of them are today in the Condes Castro Guimarães Museum and others were used for the construction of the new altar and  of those stones with the Cross of the Templars is in the outer wall of the Religious building.

Inside you can admire some tile panels depicting scenes from the life of Our Lady and the Apocalypse, the paintings which adorn the chancel are by the Masters of Lourinhã while the nature of the Josefa de Obidos the Last Supper are attributed to Pedro of Alexandria,worth a mention the splendid Baroque altarpiece and the series of lateral arcades along the nave which are authentic gems for their sinuous lines.

The city also offers the opportunity to visit some very interesting museums and one of them is Casa das Histórias Paula Rego (House of Stories Paula Rego) which was opened in 2009 and dedicated to the life and work of internationally known painter Paula Rego.

Born and raised in Cascais Paula Rego moved to England where she composed a monumental and unique work which glorifies is homeland.The exhibition is a clear career spanning 50 years of painting and truly unique pieces designed for the visitors and for the husband Victor Willing.

Another very interesting and relevant exhibition is Museo Conde de Castro Guimarães which was founded in the year 1931 and it is situated in a house on the seafront once belonged to Manuel Conde de Castro Guimarães and also residence of an Irish Baron.

That beautiful light yellow building was erected around the year 1900 in a peculiar style mixing Moorish architectonic details to more classic  local elements and in addition you will notice a presence of Mudejar tiles and a dome on the left side while other architectonic pieces are reminiscent of Renaissance and post medieval styles.

Splendid is the entrance highlighted by columns with capitals forming a charming portico and supporting a balcony placed in the middle of the facade.

On the right side you can admire a stupendous fountain with a wall with Mudejar tiles.Other highlights of the building are a charming rounded tower with watch and splendid stoned frames developed around the windows on the main facade.

The Museum contains an extensive collection displaying the original text of the maritime discoveries by Alfonso Enriques and a wonderful section of paintings from the 16th to 19th  centuries,sculptures and antique furniture.The building is surrounded by a beautiful garden and it also has a library and a Chapel which complete a more than enchanting environment.

Another site of relevance is undoubtedly the Museu do Mar (Museum of the Sea) located in a place which was a private Club of various friends of the Parada dictatorship.

That exhibition contains interesting items related to local archaeology and it pays tribute to the maritime heritage of Cascais and the King Carlos I, the pioneer of oceanography famous Portuguese Monarch killed in the year 1908.

Rare fossils,special shells,some old boats and the remains of sunken ships in the Tagus river are displayed in different sections rooms and that visit is particularly suggested to learn more about the ancient and secular history of that land linked to the navigation which was for centuries one of the main feature which elevated Portugal as an international power.

The Cultural Centre of Cascais is hosted inside an ancient Monastery.The initial construction of that former Religious building is dated  the late 16th century but the earthquake of 1755 totally destroyed the left side.The current building was totally rebuilt and transformed in the 19th century as summer residence of the Count Gandarinha.

The construction after a period was abandoned,it was in decay and suffering severe deterioration when some years ago the local Institutions decided to held its recovery installing there that space as Cultural Centre.

Today with a new image and aspect it is one of the most streamlined in the county-level cultural and regularly hosts exhibitions of all kinds of art of national and international authors.

One of the most shining local attractions is the famous Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell) true to its name,that is a deep ravine of the great highlights of the entire country.

It could be considered a natural monument among the most visited,photographed and known not only in Cascais but in all the district of Lisbon.That nature masterpiece has been formed by the fury of the Atlantic against the rocks and today several visitors flock there to admire that natural wonder and the spectacle of the huge ocean waves crumble in the rocks.

It is very interesting to see that spectacular place from different perspectives and positions at distance in the Ocean it looks like as a monument on the sea with a developed arcade while from a specific angle you will notice the erosion generated by the waters of that rocky wall and noting at which kind of altitude the waves of the Ocean came.

On the base you will note another special effect as a sort of perfect canal modelled by someone but all is a work by nature in all its beauty and essence.

Cascais Marina is another iconic symbol of the resort,it  has been increasingly sought as a stage for large national and international events nautical appointments besides being the resting place for many pleasure boats.

It offers a wide range of facilities and infrastructures for water sports lovers and all linked to the sea and the nautical world The Marina is also since long time ago a meeting point for locals and tourists and place of fun with a lively nightlife but also pretty animated during the day,thanks the presence of several bars and restaurants ready to satisfy the most demanding requests in terms of gastronomic quality.

A new marina was also recently developed in what the local fishermen considered the least suitable place in which the waves hit the Atlantic coast with great violence,so that the concrete wall at a distance of 5 years it has already shown signs of breaking.

The local coast offers a large number of beautiful beaches and that classic seaside resort boasts over 15,0 kilometres of beaches.Praia do Guincho is one of the most famous and popular beaches of Portugal,a famous place for all types of water sports such as surfing,windsurfing,kite surfing,swimming and diving.

The beauty of that spectacular sandy line is also its space and length considered a jewel for maintenance and for its scenic horizons,ideal place for long walks any time and it is also very loved by photographers which find in it an ideal set for ample and endless image at sunset along that luminous coast.

Another one very famous is the crowded Praia Carcavelos which ends in proximity of the Tagus estuary,past the beach wall and it is pretty well known for its therapeutic waters rich in iodine.Situated approximately 3,0 kilometres north from the centre it is also very loved  by surfers and windsurfers for its strong currents and winds,high waves but also for its soft sands and space,very long and wide beach it is also ideal to enjoy other activities such beach volley and beach soccer.

Praia da Ribeira is located in the centre just outside the Hotel Baia.It is a small beach with calm and crystalline waters ideal for a dip.It provides all the typical services such as showers,first aid and other facilities and also for that is considered a top beach.

Praia Azenhas do Mar is very picturesque and also very scenic with a small agglomeration of houses visible on a rock,very inviting for its clean waters and that breathtaking view.A tiny beach but very charming beach is also Praia da Parede,a small and quiet sandy line with all the usual amenities such as bathrooms, showers and lifeguards among other facilities.

 The beach is surrounded by rocks with even some in the middle and at the top of it there is a terrace with benches for relaxing stops admiring unforgettable panoramic views over the Atlantic and it is pretty appreciated for its proximity to the centre not far from the port and the beach Praia da Ribeira.

Following the coast you will find others such as Praia Grande Praia das Maçãs Azenhas do Mar long lines of fine golden sands which are always crowded during the weekends of summer.The waters are crystalline clear and clean,usually somewhat cold and they never reach elevated temperatures but all them offer large spaces and also spectacular views and as further detail in their proximity there is a wide variety of excellent restaurants.

Continuing along the coastal road,you will notice the presence of three lighthouses called Santa Martha, Ghia and Cabo Raso.The latter is located in an area with calm waters but at short distance of about 200/250 metres the waves are pretty high.

If it were not a too high rocky coast would be ideal for surfing, practised a few kilometres further up the beach Praia do Guincho,that coastal stretch is part of a national park not very large but simply beautiful for its tropical aspect in terms of vegetation.

Known as the most westerly point of Continental Europe the Cabo da Roca is also recognised to be located about 100,0 metres over of the edge of a steep precipice, facing the Atlantic Ocean.It is of course another stupendous natural attraction not only for that geographic position but also for its views,colours and lights.

That place was also in old times considered as relevant reference on the routes of the navigators who took it in consideration leaving or landing the Portuguese coasts,further west the land mass closest to the island of Madeira which is about 3,000 kilometres away about halfway between Europe and America.

Superb is also the offer the resort provides as a sport destination with over 10 Golf Courses nearby and in the year 2007 Cascais was the official place of the World Championship ISAF sailing boat and yacht racing.

The municipality also hosts and hosted international tennis and motorcycling events with Estoril and also was site for many year of the F1 Grand Prix of Portugal.

The famous Estoril Casino (I wrote a post about Estoril) is one of the largest in Europe.Near the Casino there is the famed Hotel Palace,a 5 star Hotel so famous because it was set of some scenes related to the famous movie of James Bond.

There is also something you definitely can not miss in that classy resort and and it is Market of Cascais which takes place every Wednesday morning in the centre and during the summer months you can also visit the traditional Craft Fair at Estoril in which you can buy domestic crafts enjoying local folklore shows and tasting the local delicious gastronomy.

Cuisine specialities of Cascais are mainly based on fish and seafood.The Arroz de Marisco is one of the main highlights,delicious rice with fresh seafood combined with garlic,onion,white wine,olive oil,laurel,same ingredients replacing the seafood with fish is the delectable variant called Arroz de Peixe.

Another traditional plate with rice as base are the Arroz de Polvo,a delicious risotto prepared with spices,butter,olive oil,white wine,onions,garlic and octopus and also the Arroz de Tamboril in which the rice is cooked with same ingredients of the previous but adding fresh monkfish.

Also the traditional Caldeirada is relevant part of the local gastronomy.It is a sort of soup prepared with salt,pepper,olive oil,garlic,seafood and adding potatoes.The Sopa de Peixe as a variant with very similar in ingredients but with with fish replacing seafood.

The famous and appreciated Bacalhau cod cooked in several ways is so appreciated for its delicious flavour and unique taste,grilled,baked with herbs,including fried with sour cream.

Very famous is Bacalhau a la nata or the Pasteis of Bacalhau which consists in small fried dumplings of cod served with salad and also as a starter or appetiser or furthermore combined with other plates.

The popular Bacalahau Grelhao is another famed speciality known all around the country consisting grilled cod adding olive oil,onion,pepper,salt and eggs.That kind of fish can be prepared in a multitude of styles,the Portuguese gastronomy has over 360 styles of preparation of cod and considering some other variant in details and combinations the Portuguese cuisine boasts over 400 different styles.

Very famous and national pride are the Sardinhas Assadas,delicious grilled sardines among the best in the world for their unique flavour.

The sardine have a secular history and it is one of the iconic symbols of Portugal often presents in starters appetisers and snacks the Paté de Sardinhas which can be spread on bread.Other highlights related to the most classic sea gastronomy is also a rich presence of fresh crab,clams,lobster and sea bass too.

Apart fish and seafood the area also offers other plates with meat,the are excellent plates with chicken as the traditional Frango Assado chicken roast cooked in several styles including adding spices,capers,olives and Piri Piri sauce.

Chicken is also used for the Sopa de Galinha,a soup with chicken meat adding stock meat,garlic,pepper,  onion bread and eggs.Using chicken is also the Cabidela,that plate consists in two versions one using rabbit meat and another one chicken,the meat is cooked with saffron,rice,pepper,cloves,pepper and using other spices to give more flavour.

The Ensopado de Borrego,is a popular lamb stew.The meat is cooked with olive oil,garlic,onion,pepper, olive oil white wine,herbs while the Caldo Verde is a soup which contains smoked sausages or pieces of Chorizo,potatoes,garlic,cabbage,onion and salt.

The Cozido Portuguese is pretty similar to the Cozido Andaluz.It is a stew very traditional in thee interior it can be contain piece of chicken,pork meat or also chorizo and sausages, lard,chickpeas, cabbage,carrots, turnips,potatoes and rice.

The preparation depends in many cases by the familiar tradition or geographic situation,it is a very energetic plate mainly prepared in autumn and winter despite there are restaurants in particular which have it always present in the menu all year to invite also the tourist to try it.

Notable are also the cheeses of high quality,many of them are pretty salted and spicy,ideal to combine in starters but also to recipes.Some of the most relevant are the Serpa, Santarem, Nista, Azeitao, Saloio, Serra and Rabaçal among others. 

The regional fine wines are of very high quality.The mild and temperate climate all year with the oceanic breeze and many days of sun linked to a soil very productive and ideal for the cultivation of vineyards planted in local hills which receive all those compounds give excellent results with grapes which collect all those favourable properties.

The red wines have a very smooth flavour derived by robust grapes matured during the year until the autumn harvest enjoying great climatic conditions,palatable at the first sip and ideal for great meals but also perfect for cuisine.

The white wines have a perfect colour and texture,they are highly recommended accompanying seafood, fish,crustaceans,crustaceans with an excellent lobster or great with a fish stew and seafood rice too.

There is a long list,some of them are the Colares and Bucelas from Sintra Hills.Others very suggested are Carcavelos,Arinto,Lourinha DOC,Ramisco,Trincadeira all of premier quality.

Other really excellent and selected wines are produced by local traditional grapes such as Syrah,Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay,including you can taste a great Sauvignon Blanc of relevant level.

The Portuguese wines from north to south are always a warranty quality,flavour and colour,the result is a total satisfaction for who loves to taste those wines,including there is also local notable Malvasia for who loves also that kind of aromatic wine and it is very appreciated for its savoury flavour.

Lisbon International Airport, is just 25 minutes driving from the resort and there are services by bus and trains from and to Lisbon.

Cascais is simply a wonderful place,one of the best places you can find in that beautiful country called Portugal,so recommended to everyone to spend very pleasant holiday or also unforgettable short breaks.

 Lights,reflects of the beautiful and luminous Atlantic coast melted to the picturesque houses and the green of an enchanting vegetation with those magnificent golden sands is a magnificent combination more than special and unique.

That unforgettable mild breeze contemplating in a early evening one of its sunsets along the most scenic corners of that classic resort is an incentive more,something which will remain alive in your trips memories waiting for to come back very soon to that marvellous destination once again.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Hotels in Cascais

Hotel Cascais Miragem 
Hotel The Otaivos 
Hotel Quinta Da Marinha Resort 
Hotel Grande Real Villa Italia 
Onyria Marinha Edition  Hotel & Thalasso
Hotel Fortaleza Do Guincho 
Hotel Albatroz
Hotel Farol Design 
Hotel Senhora Da Guia
Pousada de Cascais


The beautiful London city of Olympic games hosts another important event from the 28th to 30th September 2012  NATIONAL WEDDING SHOW at Olympia Exhibtion centre.

This very important event cover all the aspect and solutions of wedding,accessories,gifts,
design,catering,wedding planning and honeymoon.

Do not miss this important event in London at OLYMPIA EXHIBITON CENTER



The city of Istanbul hosts the Exhibition Jewelry Show from 04th to 07th October 2012.
The event will be celebrated at CNR EXPO FAIR CENTER with thousands of buyers,trade buyers and Jewels expert from all around the world.

Thee highlight of this event is the presence of over 300 companies and exhibitors to show you all the latest and trendy products of high design about collections of jewelry but also silver,accessories,watches and all the article related to the jewelry industry.

Do not miss this appointment in the Turkish capital at CNR EXPO Istanbul.

Cannes | Everlasting Coquetry Elegance Bordering Boulevard de la Croisette.

Cannes,one of the most famed resorts of the charming and classy Côte D´Azur,a destination so famous for its everlasting coquetry elegance bordering Boulevard de la Croisette one of its most emblematic sites and captivating highlights.

That stylish and prestigious resort of Southern France is one of the most exclusive and glamorous places of the French Riviera since some decades ago,so famous and well known all around the world,thanks also to its prestige linked to the renowned and famed Film Festival and the International Jet set which started to frequent that symbol of France on a spectacular coastline as marvellous frame of a a site which never lost its attributes during its history.

Tourism Industry is the main resource thanks to the several international events,its unmistakable glamour,its inviting beaches and the natural beauty of that Mediterranean corner offers with its unforgettable landscapes which inspired a multitude of artists who fell in love with such divine views.

The proximity of other important coastal cities and towns such as Nice,Saint Tropez,Antibes and the Principality of Monaco is another aspect which played an important role and definitely another incentive to visit Cannes which always shows its splendour. 

Situated at 900,0 kilometres from Paris and at 165,0 kilometres from Marseille in a simply walk through its streets,you will find a very enchanting and captivating atmosphere.a wide range of cosy cafes, chic restaurants and elegant boutiques and all around a sophisticated air which anyway is never retro or demodé, Cannes is like the wine,the years go by and it seems to be more and more delightful.

With its 75,000 inhabitants,Cannes is the third largest city by population in the department after Nice and Antibes,able to grow at the edge of the tourist season and festivals.That place is so popular worldwide for its luxury and its international Film festival, held since 1946 and furthermore it was also residence of many prominent people,it is enough to mention the famous French painter Renoir who lived there for many years and totally in love with Cannes,set of his most deep inspirations.

Art and artists have always brought  fame and notoriety and Cannes,with their presence there was always and every time an automatic promotion which have definitely increased the popularity of the resort.

That place also gained is identity thanks to to some comments and phrases as one by the popular American writer Henry Miller,who in his famous letters to Anais wrote about Cannes "What a clear atmosphere so clear! I had never seen things like this,I think, with so much brightness and clarity in my life. Here the sun is sweet ... the French sunshine! Today I just did the idea of what have the Mediterranean. I was amazed the islands near Cannes, appear in purple at noon! "A message which in its simplicity is a hymn and channel of transmission to exalt the beauty of such place.

Historically the area where lies the current Cannes was already inhabited in the 2nd century BC and it is believed that a Ligurian tribe the Ossibiani created a settlement called Aegitna but that historic information despite those Celtic tribes populated those territories is still uncertain they established an official settlement while it is certain the presence of Phoenicians who explored the local coasts in ancient times.

The former official settlement was a fishing village used as a staging place between the nearest islands of Lerins ad in the 69 A.D the current city became the scene of a violent conflict between the troops of Otho and Vitellius in an internal fight of the Roman Empire who colonised the entire region but it was a period in which Rome in its high class and Patrician society was protagonist of several plots and revolts.

The name Cannes  probably derives from the 10th century when the city was known as Canua (cane)  coming from the small maritime dock of Ligurian origin surrounded by a determined vegetation and later adopted by the Romans who developed in the current resort during the colonisation a Castrum,a defencive inhabited complex which also was used for different purposes linked to social and politic life too.

After the fall of the Empire,all the coast was protagonist of several invasions,including Cannes which in medieval times developed its former fortifications.The chronological history continued with several battles conquests and re conquests in particular between Spaniards and French who were in constant disputes along the Mediterranean coasts to establish their strategic maritime domains.

The city gained prominence and prestige in the mid of 19th century,concretely in the year 1834,when the British Baron Henry Brougham accidentally discovered a small fishing village and fell in love with that site.Lord Brougham was on his way to visit Italy when he was prevented from entering in Nice which was in that period part of the Kingdom of Piedmont and Sardinia under Savoy rule for an epidemic of cholera broke out in Provence and forced to turn back so the gentleman stopped one night in Cannes.

Surprised and enchanted by the stupendous natural environment,the marvellous Mediterranean vegetation,a coast which was practically virgin lining marvellous emerald waters was the decision to come back every winter there and he bought a land building a beautiful mansion which was called Villa Eleonore Louise.

The Baron totally in love with the magnificent charm of the Côte D´Azur,started to work so hard to develop and improve the living conditions of the area,which was practically unknown to many.Subsequently,after a remodelling of buildings,roads,the resort attracted other English aristocrats and wealthy tourists who came to admire that paradise who was born for fortuity.

That high class society immediately noticed that place was a sort of Eden and they decided as the the famous Baron to build elegant houses and villas to spend pleasant holidays and enjoying stays in winter season thanks to the mild climate the French coast offers.

It is from there with further constructions as the Casino,Luxury Hotels and the famed Festival du Cinema (the Film Festival) that Cannes elevated its position in the most prestigious ranking as a Top Destination.

Another activity which was developed in Cannes year by year was shopping,the idea was to transform the city in a sort of little Paris and in a short time many chic boutiques and relevant shops of jewelry were opened,also that detail undoubtedly contributed to increase the incoming flows of tourism in that resort of the Côte D´Azur which was already so popular,the presence of Elite figures and prominent people was naturally a more than valid instrument to increase also that kind of business and activities.

People who was visiting Nice for some meetings started to stop in Cannes so close and also  became apart a destination for enjoyable stays also a destination of one day shopping

The centre of Cannes is mainly developed behind its stylish harbour, harbour,flanking Promenade de la Pantiero and Boulevard de la Croisette,the first flanking Le Vieux Port,the old port and Quai Saint-Pierre which is a sort of prolongation reaching the most southern side of the harbour in correspondence of Quai du Large.

From that place there are the boats departures to the Iles Lerins and Saint Tropez,while the second runs north of the iconic Palais de Festivals de Cannes and adjacent to Rue Jean de Riouffe which is one of the most important streets entering in the lively core of Cannes.

In the immediate proximity there are the most important streets of the centre such as  Rue d´Antibes,Rue Buttura,Rue Meynadier and Place de la Gare,the square where is situated the station.Aveunue Bachada Said Boualam and Boulevard D´Alsace are two long boulevards at north which are together a kind of belt separating the centre to the immediate urban extra radius,while Boulevard Carnot is the main axis which from that junction runs toward north crossing several quarters of the city.

The most prestigious shopping areas of Cannes are framed between the famous and celebrated Rue d'Antibes,Boulevard La Croisette and Rue Meynardier.

Rue d'Antibes is the main shopping street in Cannes,it is a long narrow street, running from the Hôtel de Ville (the Town Hall) eastwards,parallel to La Croisette only a few blocks away from the beach.You will find in that street several boutiques with the most celebrated brands and accessories by relevant Designers such as Kenzo,Esprit,Mango,Diesel,Sephora,Zarabut but also many elegant cafes,cinemas and theatres,that is the street which was mainly developed to launch the Prêt a porter of Cannes.

It continues to be that today,the shops are very innovative and they present day by day new articles,new trends,it is like to be in Paris,obviously it is an ideal place for all people loves to find and buy the most fashionable products.

Boulevard La Croisette bordering the Mediterranean is undoubtedly the most important highlight and tourist attraction in the city.It is an avenue approximately 12,0 kilometres long along the the sea,flanked by palm trees,chic cafes,elegant bistros and a several number of shops and restaurants all around.

That beautiful promenade is famous for its expensive boutiques and prestigious Hotels such as the famed Majestic,Le Grand Hotel and  Martinez.

The prestige of Boulevard La Croisette started when in the year 1858 the first buildings were established there and later with the luxury Hotels and palaces of the European Nobility.For all that Cannes became also thanks to that place a site with an everlasting coquetry elegance which was protagonist along that iconic boulevard which always transmits in all its essence something of special and magnetic attracting a multitude of people.

In the 60s when the French Cinema conquered the world with some great figures such as Michel Piccoli,Jean Paul Belmondo,Brigitte Bardot,Alain Delon and many others that avenue was one of the favourite of that Jet Set,a walk in the most chic and classy Cannes flanking the Mediterranean with in the air a melody of Maurice Chevalier,Yves Montand,Edith Piaf or Charles Aznavour also that created such unique glamour and pleasant atmosphere which conquered so many people worldwide.

 A suggestion about the best time to visit La Croisette is in the early morning hours,when you can enjoy in total relax an atmosphere of Belle Epoque evoking Paris with smell of coffee and delicious brunches in its cafes and admiring the over 4,0 kilometres of sandy beaches with a splendid panoramic the the islands Lerins,a beautiful scenery of course,furthermore with the presence of palaces and buildings remembering the best Parisian districts.During the day naturally you can enjoy a walk there,obviously it is always very busy and lively.
Rue Meynadier is well known as Rue Grande,(Big Street) is the direct link between the old town west of the port and the modern districts which starts north of the street immediately after Boulevard Victor Tuby.Extremely lively,excellent place if you want to enjoy a small and cosy restaurant and completed by the presence of beautiful houses and palaces mainly dated the 18th century apart rich of particular and elegant shops.

That street for many people represents the spirit of Cannes such as gourmet,glamour,shopping and despite the resurfacing work,it never lost its original charm.If La Croisette is the face of what is Cannes that street is the soul,it is also where the aristocrats and the nobles in the past started their pleasant walks before to reach the picturesque historic centre.

It was also a sort of enjoyable hallway escaping from the glamour and strolling the narrow and peaceful streets around Le Chateau de Castre,before to reach the coast along Boulevard du Midi Jean Hibert which directly leads to the harbour from one of its sides and apart that one of the most suggestive corners of Cannes for its scenic environment.

Forget for a while now the Glamour of the La Croisette,the Hotels Majestic and Martinez,Rue D´Antibes and Rue de Meynadier the elegant cafes and immediately west you can discover the beauty of the old Cannes entering in the popular district of Le Suquet in Place Merimee or walking along the charming Rue St.Antoine.The old part of Cannes called Le Suquet is the historic centre of the former village and of the ancient citadel standing on the hill Mount Chevalier.

The name Suquet is not typically French it derives from the Old Provençal language and it means top.That area was In the year 154 BC during Roman Empire rule in that French coast a  Castrum Defensum as a defencive bastion arranged in a strategic position  at the top of the neighbourhood monitoring the coastline.

In the early 11th century, the Suquet becomes a possession of the monks of Lerins who built a tower as check point which could give the alarm to the inhabitants during the several Turkish assaults.The Tour de Suquet (Suquet Tower) is 20,0 metres high and it was built between the years 1070 and 1385,in those more than three centuries it was modified and reinforced.

 You can climb it and from the top you can enjoy wonderful views of Cannes,Iles Lerins, and the Mediterranean coast.The old district still has some remains of the ancient walls Chapel and Le Chateau Castre The Castle Castre declared national heritage in 1790.

The castle was built in the 11th century as defencive bastion fortress to protect the former town and do not miss a visit to the Musée de la Castre (The Castre Museum).Opened in the year 1952,you will have the great opportunity to admire in that very interesting exhibition a rich collection of relics and artifacts of the Ancient Egypt,The Classic Ionian and Doric Greece,The Imperial Rome but also from Cyprus, Mesopotamia,Persia and Syria.

During the 15th century the decline of the Abbey of Lerins and the village was placed under the guardianship of the King so the decision to restore and reinforce that fortress which was in an advanced state of decay.

Another beautiful highlight of the old Cannes is of course Notre Dame de l'Esperance a beautiful Church in typical Gothic-Provençal style built between the 16th and 17th century.Very charming is its stoned façade with gable roof and a splendid arched portal flanked by a wall and the adjacent bell tower.The portico has a Renaissance aspect and inside you can admire some Chapels on the aisles.The Church was erected to replace the the Eglise Notre Dame Du Puy another Church which was built by the monks which was considered too small.For its architectonic lines and detailed elements that Religious building is considered one of the best example of that period of the French Riviera.

The nearby Chapelle de Sainte Anne is another old historical monument dated 12th century,that Chapel hosts a beautiful collection of musical instruments from around the world and worth a visit.

In Cannes you can have the opportunity to enjoy a mini-cruise visiting those famous small and beautiful islands called Illes Lerins which are of course another of the main attractions that captivating city offers.The Islands are located southeast of La Croisette approximately 900 metres off the coast of Cannes.and the largest is Ile Sainte-Marguerite  (St.Margareth Island).

Landing on its small harbour,the island has a sort of small village with a couple of restaurants and bars and some huts.The most important attraction is definitely the Fort Royal,built by the famous Cardinal Richelieu and later reinforced by Vauban in 1712,for its historic value and importance it is classified as Historic National Monument.

During the Thirty Years War,the Spanish Army occupied Ile Sainte Marguerite and they erected a former fort between the years 1635 to 1637. After the defeat of the Spaniards, reusing the rest of that devastated fortification the French rulers remodelled a new fortress.

In addition to its military function and from 1637 until the 20th century the fort was also used as a prison.Classified as Historic Monument in 1927, in the year 1944 it lost its military purposes and in the year 1995 it was purchased by the City of Cannes.

That place was used as a military prison and it is linked to the that enigmatic Man,protagonist in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas immortalised in his famous novel The Viscount de Bragelonne.The island also hosts the Maritime Museum where you can discover the famous prison at the time of the King Louis XIV

The painter Jean Le Gac made a route from cell to cell, which traces the history of places and men.The island was also inhabited since the Roman period and there is the chance to admire the Roman cisterns which are collected in the archaeological site.

The excavations on the island and the underwater of the surroundings have allowed the museum to exhibit the remains of wall paintings of the first century,the remains of the Roman wreck of the 1st century BC and the wreck of the 10th century.

From the terrace of the museum overlooking the sea, the view is amazing, from the Southern Alps to Cap d'Antibes and the picturesque Esterel.Covered totally with pines and eucalyptus trees,that small island is crossed by paths and it is a great opportunity to enjoy the splendid Mediterranean flora and marvellous nature.

The other island called Ile Saint Honorat even the smaller,it was once the site of a famous and important monastery founded in the 5th century and currently inhabited by Cistercian monks.Both islands are accessible by  ferry,the service is managed by Trans Côte D´Azur Compagnie Maritime with departure from Nice and Cannes.There are other two small islets in that charming archipelago: the islet Tradelière Saint-Féréol very small but very pretty.

Cannes is also famous for its Casinos,it has three, the Palm Beach  managed by Partouche Group, the Croisette and the Princes,those two are managed by the Group Lucien Barrière.The most accessible to the public is the Casino Croisette located, next to the Esplanade Georges Pompidou,Palais des Festivals and Palais des Congrès,the other two are pretty selective.

The local economy is mainly based mainly on tourism,trade, trade shows and aviation.Recently, its surroundings have become the centre for high technology thanks to Sophia Antipolis Technical Park  located in the mountains beyond the city.

The International Film Festival of Cannes is of course a great source of income and it is a highlight of the city.Taking place in May,it is one of the most famous Film Festival in the World prestigious attracting visitors and stars from around the globe. Cannes is also home to the vast Real Estate fair MIPIM, but there are also other important fairs of media,advertising, tourism and congresses as well as an annual festival of fireworks.

Local cuisine offers the best of the French Riviera.Excellent and always fresh is fish and seafood prepared in several styles.The notorious Bouliabaisse that delicious fish stew is one of the highlights.Of high quality is also the local Stockfish,cod cooked with tomatoes,onion,salt,pepper,a good quantity of white wine with and  addition of olives and fresh anchovies when it is served.
The proximity of Nice gave Cannes a traditional plate which is one of the most popular in the entire Côte D´Azur,the Salad Niçoise prepared with fresh tuna,anchovies,celery,black olives,onion,tomatoes,peppers and slices of hard eggs and another gastronomic highlight is the famed Ratatouille.

Very traditional is also the famed Pissaladière consisting in a tart of anchovies and black olives.The Socca is a local speciality very popular all around the entire region,similar to a Ligurian Focaccia,is a sort of crepe made by chickpeas flour,olive oil,cooked in oven and after that operation is possible adding slices of onion,fresh tomato,basil,oregano,other spices and other vegetables.Generally ate as snack and appetiser,just like the Pan-Bagnat a sort of sandwich including fresh onion and filled with salad Niçoise.

Excellent are also the Ravioli a la Niçoise combined with a casserole sauce and cheese.Also common are Gnocchi flavoured with herbs and basil.

The Porquetta is the local replica of the famous Italian Porchetta consisting in stuffed sucking pig flavoured by aromatic herbs.With pork meat is also prepared the Petit Farcis combined in its preparation by several vegetables such as onion,pepper,aubergines,courgettes adding mushrooms and cheese.

The Soup au Pistou is one of the most famous local recipes,a complete vegetable soup which has the basil as main ingredient combined with potatoes,cabbage,white beans,leaks,courgettes,carrots,garlic,swede, pepper,salt and bacon.

Notable is the wide selection of fine wines of Provence,such as Bandol,Cassis,Bellet,Palette,Barbaroux, Garnacha and Monastrell.Local Syrah,Cabernet-Sauvignon,Marsanne and a Vermentino very similar for taste and flavour to that one of Sardinia are also part of the refined and ample choice for all wine lovers.

The local grapes are of a sublime quality,cultivated in a land with a unique climate and a perfect soil ideal to create divine products,highly palatable,smooth and ready to satisfy the most demanded requests.

Cannes is served by several transports and connections.In the west area of the territory is situated  Mandelieu Airport.It is a small airport reserved mainly for pleasure and business and the Heliport established at the end of the pier from the old port of Le Suquet.Thr resort is also located just 20,0 kilometres from the airport Nice Côte d'Azur so it is very easy to reach Cannes from that important and busy airport which provides several flights.

That beautiful resort with its cosmopolitan atmosphere full of history,culture, luxury,beaches and that glamour never lost make Cannes a great destination,its everlasting coquetry elegance bordering that iconic boulevard called La Croisette whichis undoubtedly one of its highlights and main attractions gives that place something superb and unique.

All around of that place there is much more,an endless list of charming,captivating and beautiful things full of essence making that site destination to enjoy all year,transmitting in every season all its fascinating and magnetic charm.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Hotels in Cannes

Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez
Hotel Villa Garbo
Hotel Majestic Barriere Cannes
Hotel Le Cavendish
Five Hotel & SPA
Hotel 7 Art 
Hotel Cybelle
Hotel Renoir

Recommended Restaurants in Cannes 

Restaurant La Mirabelle
Restaurant Le Manoir 
Restaurant Assiette
Restaurant Le Bistrot Gourmand 
Restaurant Amadeus


 Trapani since some years is a destination to the beautiful Sicily providing low costs and cheap flights to enjoy a wonderful and fantastic land called Sicily.It is an open door in front of you to build tours,itineraries and discover the beauty of an unique destination,colourful with ancient traditions history and architecture due to the eight different civilisations that Sicily has had during its rich history over the centuries.

Starting from Trapani immediately,it is possible to discover enchanting places and virgin coastline with crystal clear waters,coasts with absolutely gorgeous natural landscapes, bays, small gulfs,white and golden beaches, rocky headlands, San Vito lo Capo, Erice,Natural Reserve of Zingaro, maritime excursions to the islands Egadi The three islands,Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo that make up this small archipelago off Trapani, seduced by the beauty of the coast inhabited since prehistoric times, visit Marsala famous city known for its vineyards and wine appreciated all over the world.

The Valley of the Temples and the ancient Akragas are not far away, here you can immerse yourself in the legend admiring the mythological story of the great temples of "Megae Hellas" Magna Grecia, probably the best preserved temples of the Hellenistic period in the world.

From Trapani you can also make wonderful coast to coast, through the interior of Sicily, full of picturesque hills,wild mountains and discovering the Sicilian flavors of a cuisine unique.Or from Agrigento  along the coast until arriving to the ancient and legendary Ragusa and Siracusa city queens  of Greek and Roman civilisations,reaching the Etna Valley,climbing the majestic Volcan Valley discovering the treasures of Sicilian Baroque with Catania second largest city of Sicily, the birthplace of Vincenzo Bellini, and admire the ruins of the ancient Greek and Roman theatres that have a great historical value,Ursino Castle and Via Crociferi a street masterpiece of Baroque art..

In the Etna Valley you can make various food and wine  gastronomical itineraries tasting the excellent quality of the local wines,try the fruits of this Mediterranean island, orange, bergamotto and lemon with a unique flavor and in the flowering season smell of orange blossoms when walking in the streets.

.Visit Caltagirone famous city for its ceramics,Acicastello and Acitrezza with its Norman castle and the picturesque fishing village so loved by famous writer Giovanni Verga who inspired his great work "I Malavoglia"

Continuing on the coast Taormina jewel of the Ionian Mediterranean  with its theatre and its indelible and magnificent history that make this city a unique architectural masterpiece with a great location and a panoramic view on the sea among the most beautiful in the world. Further more Giardini Naxos,Capo d'Orlando and all the coast coast with its blue,clear clear blue  and fabulous bay..

Cefalu is another great destination for its artistic and historical value and for the wonderful seascapes that offers arriving to Palermo capital of the island and discover the Palatine Chapel, the Martorana with golden mosaics are unique in the world, its magnificent Cathedral with Norman and Moorish details,its beautiful old town and enjoy the color of the typical market Vucciria unique experience to try and Monreale another diamond of Sicily..

Do not forget also the Sicilian cuisine, here you can find the best swordfish and tuna in the Mediterranean, many gastronomic specialities of pasta as "a pasta lla Norma""Pasta cu muddica" "pasta cu sarde" "pasta n'casciata" arancini "," caponata,"sarde al beccafico","melanzane alla parmigiana" and then again "sfincia" sfincioni "," cudduruni "the famous" cassata "," cassatelle "and the famous" cannoli "and to brighten the days of sunny Sicily try a granita made with natural fruit accompanied by a croissant admiring the beautiful horizon and the sea of the magnificent Sicily..

Sicily is waiting for you what are you waiting for organising frequently travel with programming Sicily as one of the favourite destinations of your TT.OO ?  Sicily is not only Taormina,Palermo Catania or Cefalu, Sicily is  an infinite treasure to be discovered,do not miss the opportunity to visit all the territory  this island is a paradise, unique,do you want to know it totally and not only the classic-standard of Sicily. 

Francesco Mari

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