Our friends Maria and Rui from the blog Two Find a Way recently spent a few days in Guincho, Portugal with Eurocamp Holidays. Today, they are sharing the experiences they had and giving us expert local tips on how to explore the best of the area. Enjoy!
Tourism is booming in Portugal, but many of the tourists tend to visit only the main cities of Lisbon, Porto, and the famous beach towns in the Algarve. If you are looking for a hidden gem to explore during your time in the country, the Guincho area is definitely one you need to add to your list!
Although you can visit some parts of it as a day trip from Lisbon, it can be a great idea to do it the other way around: base yourself in Guincho and consider visiting Lisbon and other nearby cities as a day trip. This area is filled with beautiful nature, from protected mountains to stunning sandy beaches!
We recently had the opportunity to explore more of this area, so here are our 7 suggestions of things to do when you visit Guincho!
1. Take a break of city life and enjoy the nature
We love exploring big cities filled with attractions and never-ending lists of what to do and see. Nevertheless, our most magical memories from traveling are always from moments in which we got to connect with nature and leave the buzz of city life behind.
The Guincho area is situated in a large city, Cascais, and is very near to Portugal’s capital and biggest city, Lisbon, but it is a perfect place to reconnect with nature. Situated in the coastline of the country, it is a calm and relaxing place to spend a few days, but opportunities for activities are also definitely not lacking. The views by themselves speak enough for the beauty of this region.
2. Stay at Eurocamp
Finding practical and affordable accommodation near nature can be a challenge! Camping tends to require a lot of equipments and it’s certainly not for everyone. That is why the mobile homes of Eurocamp at the Guincho Campsite are the perfect accommodation for those who want to connect with nature while remaining comfortable!
It’s a form of glamping without all the glamorous things you don’t need, which also means that the price is affordable. There are a two types of mobile homes available, with differences in size, but both of them include private bedrooms, a living and dining area, an equipped kitchen, a full bathroom and an outdoor porch.
Eurocamp also provides welcome packages with all the amenities you might need, from rental towels and bedsheets, to food staples for the kitchen and even environmentally-friendly detergents!
The Eurocamp Guincho Campsite is also perfectly located even if you don’t plan on using a car for your trip. Public transport is available to get to the park and everything you need after that can easily be done by foot. You can walk to the seaside and beaches, as well as to a small town (Areias) where you can find restaurants and other amenities.
3. Enjoy the camp facilities
Staying at Eurocamp is also great because you get access to some amazing facilities! Our favorite, of course, was the pool! There is also a small toddler pool perfect if you are traveling with kids.
The area is very nice and perfect to lounge, with quite a lot of space for everyone. There is also a tennis court you can access for free (you just need to reserve a time slot at the reception), as well as two table tennis tables and a small game room. If you are traveling with kids, you’ll also be glad to know that there is a playground with swings, slide and jungle gym.
On the more practical side, inside the camp you can also find a mini market, as well as a cafe and restaurant. You can easily have access to washing machines, dryers, and there are also irons available for use. Thankfully we did not have to use any of these last three, but it is great to know they are available, especially if you are considering a longer stay!
4. Explore the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park
The Guincho area is part of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. This protected area is most famous for the Sintra mountain range, Serra de Sintra, and goes all the way to continental Europe’s westernmost point, Cape Roca, or Cabo da Roca in Portuguese.
In the Guincho area itself you can find the trail of the Guincho-Cresmina dune field, which offers stunning views to the beach and nearby area. It is specially magical during the sunset. You do not need any fancy equipment to explore the trail, as it is well marked and very easy to do.
If you are looking for something more adventurous, consider one of the many hiking trails in the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, some of which pass through Guincho and go all the way to Sintra.
5. Have a fun time at the beach
In this area you can find many small and beautiful beaches. The windy weather is not always the best to sunbathe, but makes the Guincho beach known worldwide for its great conditions for sea sports. Kitesurfing is especially popular, and as summer approaches you can find many people in the sea with their boards.
If you want to do more than just watching, there are many sport schools in the area that can teach you how to do it or provide the needed equipment. Either way, you are sure to have a fun time at the Guincho beach or any of the other neighboring beaches!
6. Try Portuguese food
Traditional Portuguese food is delicious no matter where in the country you find yourself, but if there’s one thing you absolutely can’t leave without trying is the amazing fresh fish and seafood! Guincho is right by the sea so there are no shortage of dishes celebrating these ingredients!
You can find all types of restaurants, from small and budget-friendly family-owned nooks, to very expensive and exclusive restaurants with direct views to the sea. We couldn’t resist to the Polvo à Lagareiro you see in the picture, which is a simple but delicious dish of roasted octopus seasoned with garlic.
Another dish we recommend when you find yourself in this region is Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato – clams seasoned with a white wine and coriander sauce.
7. Visit Cascais
If you want to mix your nature-escape with a bit of city life, the center of Cascais is just a few minutes away, using public transport. Once a small fishing village, the city is now thriving with activity and an increasing number of residents and visitors.
It has become a famous holiday destination, not only for its beaches, but also for its charming architecture and growing number of museums and attractions. Cascais is the most established resort town near Lisbon, so facilities for tourists are plenty, with no shortage of restaurants and a buzzing nightlife scene.
Despite its recent growth, the center of the city remains well preserved and its Portuguese charm oozes all around, but especially in the buildings of the Old Town and by the sea.
We hope you give Guincho a chance, because we are sure you won’t regret it! You will get to see a very special part of Portugal that encompasses a lot of what makes it such an unique country to visit: the magic of the sea, the delicious food, as well as the charming and colorful architecture.
Plan your trip to Guincho Camp, Portugal
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David | June 8, 2018
These are great tips Maria, will have to keep them in mind when traveling to Portugal.