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Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum

Delve into the history of this panoramic blue-and-white landmark of Cascais by browsing its beautifully repurposed lighthouse keepers’ cottages.

As far as Portuguese lighthouses go, the Santa Marta Lighthouse (Farol Museu de Santa Marta) is special because it houses a lighthouse museum as well as a still working beacon. Come here to learn more about Portuguese seafaring history, lighthouse technology and local defence history.

During the 17th century a fortress was built on this spot to guard the coastline, but the Santa Marta Lighthouse itself dates back to the 19th century. The architecturally designed Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum opened to the public in July 2007. Two exhibit spaces in the former lighthouse keeper residences tell visitors about the inner workings of the lighthouse and the roles of the lighthouse keepers.

First head to the auditorium to see the film Lighthouses of Portugal. The very short documentary narrates the personal experiences of the lighthouse keepers.

Enter the first exhibit space to see the large Fresnel lenses and other optical equipment used through the years. Browse the collection of maritime paraphernalia, old seafaring maps and black-and-white photographs.

The second exhibit is about Santa Marta itself. Learn about the function and history of the original fort that stood here and follow in the footsteps of the lighthouse keepers who worked hard in all weather conditions to keep passing ships safe. Read fragments out of the diary of a lighthouse keeper who kept precise records of anything out of the ordinary. 

The Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum is closed on Mondays and public holidays. It is usually open all day except during 1 hour around lunchtime on weekends. While entry to the lighthouse is free, there is a small fee to browse its museum.

From Wednesday to Friday and every 4th Saturday of the month, you can climb the lighthouse tower during a few hours each morning. Get close to its red beacon room, which is operated digitally these days. Stand on the tower’s high balcony to catch a breeze on a warm day and enjoy the wonderful views out over the town and bay. 

To get to the Santa Marta Lighthouse, walk towards the Cascais marina. You can’t miss it, as this striking landmark on a rocky promontory has shining white outbuildings that reflect the sunlight.


Guide to Exploring Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum


Map

Top Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum Hotel Deals

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InterContinental Cascais-Estoril SG$326
InterContinental Cascais-Estoril

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    Hotel Estoril Eden SG$225
    Hotel Estoril Eden

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    Av. de Saboia, 209, Monte Estoril, Cascais
       
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      Hotel Palacio Estoril SG$261
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        Sheraton Cascais Resort - Hotel & Residences SG$171
        Sheraton Cascais Resort - Hotel & Residences

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        Quinta da Marinha, Rua das Palmeiras, Lote 5, Cascais
           
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          Grande Real Villa Italia
          Grande Real Villa Italia

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          Rua Frei Nicolau de Oliveira, 100, Cascais
             
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            Farol Hotel SG$384
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              Hotel Lido SG$93
              Hotel Lido

              Hotel Lido

              Rua do Alentejo 12, Estoril, Cascais
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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                Vila Gale Cascais SG$229
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                Vila Gale Cascais

                Rua Frei Nicolau de Oliveira, 80, Parque da Gandarinha, Cascais
                   
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