A classic hotel in a quiet seaside Portugal town

    [CASCAIS, PORTUGAL] — Another great hotel in Cascais, is the Villa Italia, just outside of the town, and right along the rock coast.  Within walking distance, it is a perfect location to serve as your base of operations for exploration all along the Lisbon coast.  For some reason unbeknownst to me, they upgraded me…and not to just a suite, but the entire $3,000/night penthouse!  A two bedroom, several thousand sf sprawling series of rooms at the top of the hotel, with it’s own hot tub overlooking the pool, ocean and the coming and going boats. Thank you!  Everyone was supremely nice and amazingly helpful and attentive. The pool is what makes the whole hotel. The perfect place to come back for a post-hike/post-beach dip

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A brand new pousada, built into a really old fort

[CASCAIS, PORTUGAL] — In a cool old fort ringing the Cascais harbor is the Pousada Cascais, a brand new hotel voted on Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List. Lot’s have been written up about it and it is certainly a cool location, nice and new but I was a little overwhelmed.  It is a little sterile, but still nice. More like a convention hotel on the inside; a little stark, but certainly nice. The location can’t be beat. Make sure you book a room with a harbor view, the inside rooms are a bit cold; my first room opened up onto the inside of the fort and faced the glass-walled workout room, so you kinda have to keep your drapes closed…which is what you don’t want

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A quiet beach town along the Lisbon coast

[CASCAIS, PORTUGAL] — About a half-hour outside of Lisbon, Cascais is a great little beach town along the coast and the perfect base to explore the entire Lisbon coast. You can rent a car or the commuter train from Lisbon can drop you right smack in the middle of the town and the beach. It’s not the most picture-perfect place — a lot of English pubs and shops selling tat catering to package tours from England — but certainly has many charms.  The best of which is its location, easy to ride a bike or taxi out to the killer Guincho beach or shoot up to Sintra, about 40 minutes away in the inland mountains. the in-town beaches aren’t the best, more convenient than pretty, but

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You Should Eat Here in Cascais

[Cascais, Portugal] — There are a number of great restaurants in Cascais. And a lot of bad English-touristy ones. You just need to know how to find them. My favorite was Gulli, highly recommended by everyone, right off the main square. Cool patio, great people watching and really, really good Italian — perfect for a breezy summer night. My friends that live in Cascais, Goncalo and Rita, also told I must eat at Don Manolo, a humble outdoor place right off the main square. As Goncalo quoted from an English travel show said “There are three things in Portugal: the sun, the sea and Chicken Peri Peri at Don Manolo.”  It was delish. And cheap. And still run by Don Manolo, a 90ish man who

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