The Salty Pelican, Cascais

I really enjoyed this hostel when I stayed there in April 2017, I have often hoped to return but so far have not had the opportunity.

One thing I should mention, I have looked on and they seem to have done some upgrading and created some new areas/rooms. The other thing I notice is that the prices have gone up considerably but I still think it’s worth checking it out especially if you are a solo female traveller .

It is actually run as a yoga retreat, they have daily sunrise beach yoga, meditation sessions, surf lessons and also an in-house masseuse. When I stayed there I did not participate in any of the activities and that worked really well for me. When everyone else went off to the early morning yoga sessions, which are held down at the beach, I had my choice of bathrooms and was always first in line for the breakfast, if you have read some of my other posts you will know I don’t like standing in line so I was delighted with this arrangement.

The hostel is housed in a lovely old building about 700 metres from the beach. If you are travelling by train it is on the line from Lisbon to Cascais with the closest station being Monte Estoril. Unfortunately it is uphill all the way, I had to rest half way up every time! The house retains many of it’s original features. This is one of the aspects of hostelling that I truly enjoy, I am fascinated to see how old buildings are re-purposed in this way.

The building and some of the lovely original features.

There is a good sized garden surrounding the house and with the garden being on several levels, to the side and to the front, it creates some lovely spaces that are utilised in different ways. There were some very comfortable bean bags available when I was there and I had several snoozes throughout my stay.

Part of the garden.

Each night there was food available for 12euro (at that time). I was there 2 nights. The first night there was a clam bake which was totally delicious and the second night it was a barbecue. Complimentary Sangria was served with the food.

The evening meal.

The breakfast, as is common, was self service, I really wish I had taken a photo of the food. There was bread, ham, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal, muesli, tea, coffee. It was THE BEST breakfast I have enjoyed at any hostel and it was lovely to be able to sit out in the garden and enjoy it. Also, because most of the guests had been out to the yoga session, there was always great camaraderie. Even though I was considerably older than most of the guests and wasn’t participating in any of the session they always made me feel very included, it was great.

Breakfast queue.

At that time all the dorms in this hostel were mixed but I see now that they have both mixed and female dorms available, as well as double rooms. it was mainly ladies staying when I was there which I think is probably the norm given that it is a yoga retreat. There was one man in the dorm on one night but I didn’t even notice until the morning, he was very unobtrusive bless him!

This was the first time I had stayed in a top bunk but I managed fine. The bunks all had a personal light but to charge your phone you had to use an extension cable at the other end of the room. The top rail on these bunks was very handy for drying towels and creating some privacy which is always useful but not always achievable. Many hostels do have privacy curtains on the bunks but often only on the lower ones, it’s one of the things I do check for when I am looking for somewhere to book.

An 8 bed dorm.

On my floor there were 2 bathrooms with showers. I like this arrangement, once in there you had the place to yourself with room to dress. In some hostels you end up trying to get dressed in a wet shower cubicle. I never had to wait for the bathroom because I wasn’t doing the yoga, or surfing so I made use of the peace and quiet and took my time.

Two of the bathrooms

There was a well organised communal kitchen with clearly labelled cupboards and instructions. And a utility room with 2 large fridge/freezers.

The communal kitchen for self catering.

So there you have it! Another hostel for you to consider. If you are considering trying a hostel for the first time I would really encourage you to give it a go. For anyone travelling solo or on a tight budget it is an excellent way to travel but apart from that you will meet such interesting people.

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