Cascais has a large population of fishermen and small fishing boats dot the sea around the harbour.
There is also a beach next to the harbour, the Praia de Pescadores, but I personally did not want to bathe there. The air smelled very strongly of the fishing baskets and the beach appeared to be more popular with locals than with tourists. Maybe the locals are accustomed to the smell! A short walk down the promenade towards Estoril will lead you to much nicer beaches.
Although today Cascais is more holiday resort than fishing villages, fishing is still a significant activity here, and local fishermen still put out to sea from the small harbour in the centre of the town. Their colourful boats bob just off the small beach in the centre of town, which consequently is known as the Praia dos Pescadores or Fishermen's Beach. Their nets and lobster pots are piled up on the nearby jetty, and the day’s catch is auctioned in the square opposite the beach every afternoon. And only these local fishermen are permitted to use this small harbour – leisure boats and visitors must moor in the nearby marina.
Above the harbour this statue of a mermaid looks out to sea, as if to keep an eye on Cascais’ fishermen and watch over them until safely back in port. On the land side the old Customs House still stands (photo 3), although no longer used for that purpose.
By the way, there is a legend telling that it was a Cascais fisherman, Afonso Sanches, and not Christopher Columbus, who discovered the New World ten years before 1492.
Cascais has a small fisher harbour and beach. There is always something to do here. Bringing in fish; cleaning and repairing nets; ships sailing in and out.