Joana e Rita Rocha – 24 hours in Cascais

on Sep 1, 2012 in Now Boarding | No Comments

Pick up the pace, because the sisters Joana and Rita Rocha are taking us on a whistle-stop tour of the best that Cascais has to offer. Bring your surfboard, you’re going to need it.

Rock Sisters
In 2004, Joana Rocha became the first professional surfer in Portugal. Since then, among other achievements, she has been Portuguese champion (2009), come third in the European championships (2007) and 16th on the world circuit (2008). Last year, she was the best female surfer on the world qualifying circuit (36th) and finished her Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. Her sister, Rita, is a law graduate and director general, therapist and trainer at Injoy (company specialising in resources for personal development and well-being), as well as being the first and only woman in Portugal to be a Master Fire Walker. The Rocha sisters are founders and CEOs of Rock Sisters, which, since 1999, has organised the most important female surfing events in Portugal. One of these is the Edp Surf Pro Estoril, which takes place between 21st and 23rd September at Carcavelos beach, in Estoril. One of the most important events of the qualifying circuit, it boasts some of the best surfers on the planet. When they’re not hanging out in their beloved Cascais, the sisters are globe-trotting on the lookout for great waves and new cultures. Indonesia is one of their favourite places, and the location of a budding project. For the moment, that’s all we know…


First up
The first surf of the day should be done at daybreak. Be it winter or summer, the sisters obey this ritual at Guincho beach “which, despite being next to the town, still has a distinctly wild side. Being able to surf great waves, like those of Guincho, while we admire the impressive and mysterious Sintra mountains in the distance, is a privilige”.
Praia do Guincho, Cascais


Old habits
“After surfing, there’s nothing better than breakfast at Garrett, where they make the best cakes in the world – and we dare anyone to say different! It’s been a ritual of ours since we were kids.” The éclaires and jesuítas are the most popular fare.
Pastelaria Garret
Avenida Nice, 54 – Estoril
+351 21 468 0365


The Wild Side
“Dunes, forests, lakes, a coastline of huge cliffs and beautiful beaches, the imposing Cabo da Roca and, in the middle of all this, the Sintra mountains, classified by UNESCO as World Heritage. This is what we encounter on our regular walks through the Parque Natural de Sintra Cascais, which is still one of our favourite places.”
Parque Natural de Sintra Cascais


Paradise on the edge of hell
“Choosing between Casa da Guia and Mar do Inferno for lunch is no easy task. The former has a series of dishes for all tastes. The latter, which is right next to the Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth), is a veritable Cascais icon], the seafood is divine and the sea bass as good. Both have fantastic sea views.”
Casa da Guia
Avenida Nossa Senhora do Cabo, 101 – Cascais

Mar do Inferno
Rua Rei Humberto II de Itália, Boca do Inferno – Cascais
+351 21 483 2218


Once upon a time…
“Much of the afternoon is spent at Casa das Histórias, the Paula Rego museum. In addition to the work of this magnificent painter, there are many superb temporary exhibitions, like A Dama Pé de Cabra, the first international showing of the hitherto unseen works by Paula Rego and Adriana Molder, which were inspired by an Alexandre Herculano narrative, and on show until 28th October.”
Casa das Histórias Paula Rego
Avenida da República, 300 – Cascais
+351 21 482 6970


Move it! Move it!
“As we’re not ones to sit still for long, we’re back in action. If there are any waves, we surf again at Bafureira beach, which is the main venue for the EDP Surf Pro Estoril. If the sea is too rough, a great alternative is Quinta da Marinha for a horse-riding lesson.”
Praia de Carcavelos

Centro Hípico Quinta da Marinha
Quinta da Marinha, Casa 25 – Cascais
+351 21 486 0000


Cocktails and sushi
“Early evening is the time to relax with family and friends at the water’s edge at the Albatroz hotel, which is great not only for the view but also for the particular elegance of its 19th-century palatial architecture. After, it’s dinner at another Cascais essential: Confraria do Sushi. It is right next to the Cascais Citadel and one of the best sushi restaurants in Greater Lisbon. Need we say more?”
Hotel Albatroz
Rua Frederico Arouca, 100 – Cascais
+351 21 484 7380

Confraria do Sushi
Rua Luís Xavier Palmeirim, 74 – Cascais


Two’s company
“To end the day, what better than a show at Estoril Casino – and there are lots of them that are free! Then, we cross the casino gardens and meet old friends at Tamariz. This club, which only opens in the warm months, is located by the sea and has a laid-back feel and good music.”
Casino do Estoril
Avenida Dr. Stanley Ho – Estoril
+351 21 466 7700

Praia do Tamariz – Estoril

por Maria Ana Ventura


Top waves in Cascais and Estoril

1 – Guincho
Beachbreak, famous for its strong and consistent waves, regularly hosts world and European circuit competitions for surfing, bodyboarding, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
2 – São Pedro Do Estoril
Nestling into the cliffs, right on the seawall, this is a quiet and sheltered beach that has accessible waves for all levels of experience.
3 – Carcavelos
A long beach with various peaks. Famous for its good barrels and good sections for aerial moves.
4 – Bolina
Between Tamariz and Poça, it’s a quick wave with stone bed that should only be surfed by the experienced.
5 – Bafureira
A small beach, surrounded by a cliff. It has two good stone-bed waves, the other is a favourite with bodyboarders.

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