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Top 5 Things to do besides surfing

So your arms are tired? You’ve wiped out one too many times? The waves are non-existent?

Don’t worry! Here are 5 things you can do in and around the Villa (besides Paddle Paddle Paddle! of course).

1.Go to Sintra

Take an Uber (about €15) or your own car to Sintra, it’s only 25 minutes away. Tight twisty roads lead through beautiful mountains to the old town of Sintra. Its picturesque and exotic palaces are located around the mountain and overlook the town and big blue Atlantic, you’re sure to spend a pleasant day there.

Start out in the old town and take a stroll around the Palace of Sintra with it’s two massive chimneys that you’ll be able to spot from anywhere in the valley. Afterwards - be sure to pack snacks and water - you can make your way up the mountain to the Castle of Moors and the Pena National Palace (€14 entrance fee to the palace and the park). After a steep half hour climb you're not only rewarded with beautiful views of the ocean and the surrounding hills but also the beautiful palace itself. Built in the 18th century it is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and was once home to several members of the Royal Family. Afterwards enjoy some Frozen Yogurt back in the town.

2. Spend an afternoon in Cascais

Although not as picturesque as Sintra the old town of Cascais is just as beautiful, with it’s beaches, an impressive fort and plenty of little restaurants and stores to make for an entertaining and tasty afternoon. Visit one of the many Irish pubs, enjoy traditional Portuguese seafood or just amble around the yellow street. Wherever you will go you’re sure to find good food. Afterwards just hang out next to the little harbor, enjoy ice cream from Santini and watch the fisherman reel in their catch of the day.

3.Go for a hike

Walk straight down towards the Panisol (ask the staff where it is, and get some cake there while you’re at it) and turn left behind the bakery.

Keep going straight until you’re in the valley, and you’ll be mesmerized by the nature and scenery surrounding you.

If you’d rather spend your hike going along the beach fret not! Guincho is only 20 mins away. Just turn right and follow the road and little sandy path beneath the pine trees until you can hear the ocean and smell the salty air. Bring a little picknick.

4.Be Sporty!

Use the balance board to improve your sense of balance and try out tricks to impress your friends back home. Or maybe you feel like doing Yoga and working on your dexterity and flexibility. There’s darts, or you could even set up a little ping pong tournament with the other guests. You could also turn your hike into a little jog if you’re feeling extra sporty.

Just because you’re not on the water doesn’t mean you have to be lazy!

5.Just spend an afternoon at the pool!

Hang around the villa and spend time with the volunteers (they’re actually quite nice) at the pool. Get tanned, read a book from the Surf Cascais book exchange or just kick back and relax with a cold beer on one of the pool chairs. Enjoy board games and watch some surf movies in the evening to keep you excited for a day with better waves!

Although you’ve probably traveled to Surf Cascais to catch as many waves as possible, don’t forget you can have just as much fun on shore!

Matthew & Paul (Volunteers 2021)

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