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Cascais was traditionally renowned as a small fishing port but over the last century following a great deal of investment and development the area has turned itself into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, most notably in recent years the smart new marina that now welcomes a number of seafaring visitors.
In keeping with this history a number of events take place throughout the year. Annual festivals entertain the tourists and draw in large crowds, while the heritage of the area is also celebrated through a number of traditional processions that show the regions pride in both their culture and humble beginnings. Check out with the local tourist office to see if any of these wonderful events are taking place during your trip to the area.
Read more on this destination in the AA Essential Guide to Portugal.
Top Cascais events
Carnival Weekend - This precedes Lent with festivities that take place all over the country with streamers, firecrackers, water pistols, fancy dress and include processions through the streets.
Holy Week - Processions and festivals take place all over Portugal during the week leading up to Easter.
Festas dos Santos Populares - The ‘Feasts of the People’s Saints’ takes place in Lisbon (12th – 29th) with June being the capital’s month of merrymaking.
Jazz Festival - International and local jazz musicians attend this annual music event in Cascais, with events held in wonderful outdoor locations.
July to August
Handicraft Fair - The Feira de Artesanato is the oldest craft fair in Portugal and is held in Estoril. Crafts are brought from all over the country along with a number of regional culinary delights and a range of live entertainment.
July to September
Cascais Summer Festival - If you follow the coastal path between Cascais and Estoril you will find this lively festival with music, street entertainers, market stalls and the occasional firework display.
Festas da Senhora da Agonia - This is the ‘Feast of our Lady Suffering’ otherwise known as the ‘Festas de Viana’. This is one of the greatest and most popular festivals across the country and takes place on the weekend closest to the 29th.
Sea’s Festival - Also known as the Lancha Blessing, this tradition began in the 15th century and is celebrated to give blessing for the sea and the village. It gives thanks for protecting the fishermen and asks for an abundance of fish in the catches. A sight to catch is as the young fishermen face fierce bulls that are freed to run along the local beach.
All Souls’ Day - On the 1st November the festival day of ‘Dia de Finados’ is celebrated across Portugal to remember those who have passed before and to visit family graves to lay flowers.
New Years Eve - In downtown Cascais, near the beach, you will be able to enjoy the regions best firework display.