New Villa Follows A Queen’s Footsteps In Cascais, Portugal

An house by a body of water with a pool and a golden roof and spires.
The resort town of Cascais on the Portuguese Riviera has long attracted royals and celebrities from around the world. (Modern)

To say a stretch of coast in Cascais, on the north shore of Lisbon, Portugal, is fit for a queen is true. Queen Maria Pia of Savoy used to spend her summer days here after she acquired a residence atop a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in 1893 for use as a seaside summer house. She would later make it her second home.

A balcony of a nice apartment with a view of other houses.

An expansive balcony takes in views of the ocean. (Modern)

Since then, the resort town on the Portuguese Riviera has continued to attract royals and celebrities including actress Grace Kelly, poet Lord Byron and artist Pablo Picasso. Among recent Cascais home buyers of note is Portuguese Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Queen’s 19th-century chalet and two modern glass buildings now make up the Villa Maria Pia development with more than a dozen residences divided between them.

A vast white living room with modern artwork on the walls and a view from the window.

Sliding glass doors blend indoor and outdoor living spaces. (Modern)

For sale in the north building is a brand new contemporary apartment with panoramic views taking in the ocean, chalet and swimming pool.

The 195-square-meter (nearly 2,100-square-foot) unit is made up of an expansive living room-dining room, fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, half-bath and laundry area. Sliding glass walls access a long balcony that extends the living space outdoors.

Bedroom with oak floors and floor-to-ceiling windows featuring ocean views.

Oak floors create a natural warmth in the main living areas. (Modern)

The living room and bedrooms have oak floors while the kitchen and bathroom utilize white marble.

Villa Maria Pia is in the Monte Estoril neighborhood, an upscale family-oriented area that enjoys sunny days most of the year. The complex is within walking distance of Jardim dos Passarinhos park, cafes, restaurants, shops, beaches and local train station.

Sleek cabinetry and clean lines distinguish the modern kitchen. (Modern)

“Most buyers in Monte Estoril are foreigners looking to have a footprint in Portugal with second or vacation homes,” says Mariana Dargains of Modern, a luxury real estate agency in Portugal.

“Nonetheless, due to the good weather, quality of life and security,” she says, second homes have been giving way to permanent residences. “There is a very limited supply, particularly for front-line properties with one or two bedrooms.”

Sleek indoor pool with floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

The unit includes access to development’s indoor and outdoor pools. (Modern)

The unit has access to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, storage and two parking spots. Also on site is the original main house’s picturesque greenhouse, which has been refurbished and integrated into the development.

A greenhouse in front of a building with a red roof.

A picturesque greenhouse that was part of the queen’s original main house also remains. (Modern)

Filipa Melo of Modern is representing the property. The asking price is EUR 4 million or about US $4.34 million.


During four decades of covering luxury and celebrity housing, I’ve looked into people’s homes, lives and property records through many lenses. I was the Los Angeles Times Real Estate section editor for eight years, the Hot Property columnist for six and did stints as a newspaper reporter, copy editor and page designer. My work for The Times Business, Home and Real Estate sections has garnered in-house and national awards for blogging, editing and feature writing.

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