If you’re looking to mix southern European sun with urban accessibility, then look no further than Cascais (pronounced kush-kaish). It’s a lovely little seaside town - just 30 minutes or so from Lisbon’s city centre - with simple seafront restaurants and petite sandy coves. Rather than stay in the city, use Cascais as a coastal launching pad to explore the surrounding wild beaches of Guincho (8kms away) and beyond. It’s also a short hop into Lisbon’s city centre (40 minutes by train or 20 minutes by car).
The town is also a destination in itself with a charming cobbled centre, a hollering fish market and a yacht-lined port. Favoured by royalty since King Luis I came for a dip in 1870, it’s easy to get drawn into the sleepy nature of the lackadaisical seaside town, which feels a million miles away from busy big-city life, when in fact it’s more like 15.