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Open Water Swimming Cascais Sunrise

Open Water Ocean Swimming Cascais


Cascais: As any web search will return "Cascais is a coastal town in Portugal, located about 30 kilometers west of Lisbon. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Cascais was once a small fishing village, but it has now become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. The town offers a range of activities and attractions, including museums, art galleries and shopping centres, as well as a variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars."

However, this for me underplays the biggest attraction of Cascais and what brought me to live here... it's an incredible outdoor sports and action sports location. From sailing, diving, surfing, and other ocean-based activities to rock climbing, mountain biking, trail running and hiking, Cascais offers a smorgasbord of outdoor natural environment activities.

Open Water Ocean Swimming:

Open water swimming in the ocean refers to swimming in the sea without the confines of a pool or other controlled environment. It can be a challenging but exhilarating experience, as you are surrounded by the beauty of the ocean and must adjust to the conditions of the water, such as waves, currents, and sea life.
Before attempting open-water swimming, it is important to have a solid foundation in swimming skills and to be comfortable in the water. It is recommended to always wear proper safety equipment, such as a wetsuit and a floating device.

Open Water Swimming Cascais

With its west-facing rugged Atlantic coast and the more urbanised south-facing coast, Cascais offers a huge variety of ocean swimming. Most of our swimming is done between Cascais and Estoril. Summer offers warmer water 16-20C and tranquil swimming conditions on the south-facing coast. Be warned changing wind directions and upwellings can drop the sea temperature by several degrees even on the most idyllic looking summer day! 


 Warping water RataThe Winter/Summer dichotomy brings challenging conditions even to the Cascais -Estoril south facing coast. September offers me the best experience, the water retains its summer warmth, no winds and we get to swim in the majestic long period winter swells that produce the famous waves of Carcavelos and Guincho.


Open water swimming  is nascent in Cascais, we do now see other groups swimming, but where in Northern Europe a beach would have 100's of swimmers here in Cascais there are still just a handful.
Both the Ironman Portugal (Full and Half ) ( and the wonderful Cascais Swim GP ( are bringing more visibility and popularity amongst international athletes and in turn motivating the local population. 

Benefits of Ocean Swimming. 

There are many purported benefits of Open Water/Ocean/Coldwater swimming both for physical and mental health. I am not a medical professional and will leave you to do your own research and experience. I will share what I get out of it. There is something immediate, elementary, primordial about ocean swimming. The initial shock of the cold, the need to survive, the controlled exercise to relax into the technique and breathing together with the constant engagement, management of tiredness, distance and cold. There are also technical challenges of changing swimming technique to match the ocean conditions, can't always swim pretty out there! Essentially you think of little else other than what you´re doing and that may be just surviving in choppy cold conditions. Even in the most benign summer seas, your mind is brought back to what you are doing and where you are by that sudden "ooh look.. fish!" thought! In brief, ocean swimming in Cascais can often be idyllic but is always exhilarating. 


Introduction to Ocean / Open Water Swimming Cascais

If you are in Cascais or a Cascais local, we are a loose community of Ocean Swimmers of all different standards organised via a WhatsApp group. Our normal session is on Monday and Wednesday at 08:30, Praia da Duquesa, at the stairs next to Circus Cocktail Bar.
Please Whats App Sean +351 932 582 886 or Sarah +351 913 347 696
with message "Seascape Swim group".
For individual, group, or corporate Ocean Swimming Experiences please contact Sean


Open Water Swimming Courses, Training and Holidays in Portugal

For more formal lessons, guided swims and open water swimming holidays in mainland Portugal or Madeira and Azores
Tel: +351 917147424


Open Water Swimming Racing 
Cascais is home to the Swim GP, Portugal's major Open Water Swim Event. Races are from the Ultra 20KM, Marathon 10KM plus the 5km, 3.8KM, 1.9KM 1KM and Kids races. All races are point-to-point along the Lisbon Cascais Coast.
I had the privilege of doing the inaugural marathon 10KM in 2023 from Oeiras Praia de Torre to Cascais.

More information: Swim GP




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