The Silver Coast is a stunning stretch of coastline that runs from the North of Lisbon to just below Porto. Still relatively untouched by tourism, many compare it to how the Algarve was 30 years ago.
In this region, aside from the beautiful sandy beaches, quality golf courses and variety of leisure activities, you will discover mountain views, traditional villages and many a friendly local.
Nazaré haș grown in popularity in recent years after the famed surfer McNamara broke the world record for the largest wave surfed off its coastline. However, it also has one of the most ancient traditions that is attached to fishing in Portugal; the women of the fisherman still wear seven brightly coloured skirts and the nets are dragged in from the sea on a Saturday afternoon. With its long shady moon shaped beach that is also the town’s seafront and an impressive headland that offers the most spectacular view, its narrow streets are great for strolling and the fish and seafood on offer is second to none.
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One of the largest traditional fishing ports in Portugal, Peniche is a hard working fishing town. This is reflected throughout the town with its raw and ramshackle appearance. However, there is a lot to love about the area, with its great selection of seafood, historic sights and incredible surf. The Berlengas Islands are also accessible from Peniche and are one of Portugal’s oldest nature reserves, offering a dramatic coastline of caves and grottos.
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Torres Vedras has a strong connection with agriculture and vineyards. Situated around an hour north of Lisbon, whilst it is not immediately bursting with character, it offers a traditional Portuguese vibe, with its castle and cobbled streets dating back to prehistoric and roman times. It played a vital role in defending Lisbon against Napoleon and has probably the best carnival procession in Portugal that has remained uninfluenced by foreign elements.
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The medieval town of Óbidos sits above a lagoon, and is one of the most well preserved and picturesque towns in Portugal. Whilst it is on the small side, it is a lively town with year round events taking place, including a chocolate festival, medieval market and opera festival. It is located inland and is not far away from some stunning beaches and great golf courses. The town offers a romantic and simply peaceful location from which to enjoy Portugal.
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A roman city, Caldas da Rainha got its name from the thermal springs on which a hospital was built which later lead to the development of the town. In its heyday in the late 19th century and early 20th century, it saw many noble and aristocratic people enjoy holidays in this “spa” town. Nowadays, it has a standing in the crafts, most notably for its ceramic pottery which has a sense of humour about it.
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The fourth largest city in Portugal, Coimbra is home to the oldest university in Portugal which is also one of the oldest in Europe, shaping its image as the city of students. The university is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Whilst it is steeped in history, that is not all it has to offer: the City has a modern vibe about it and it is a beautiful city with a lot to offer and explore.
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This pretty village with its beautiful sheltered bay offers a shell-shaped lagoon that connects directly with the Atlantic Ocean. A great place for families, São Martinho do Porto has the appearance and feel of an algarvian town, without the crowds and volume of tourism. With its wooden boardwalk along the bay and blue stripe beach tents, it has a charm about it from a different generation and it is more popular with Portuguese tourists than international tourists.
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A traditional Portuguese fishing village, Ericeira is undergoing a period of growth and development at present. However, this does not take away from its historic charm that dates back to the 12th Century. Just 40 km from Lisbon, the hospitality of the people who live here and the harmony of the old village makes it feel worlds away. Rich in culture and crafts, this is definitely a place to explore; whether its beach, food, shopping or sport, there is something for everyone.
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Famed for the discovery of unique dinosaur species dating back 152 million years, Dinosaurs are still very much a part of Lourinhã’s culture with the addition of the Dino park. Established in the 12th Century, it is a place that offers a peaceful setting with clean air and countryside living. With magnificent beaches and scenic views, you will be pleasantly surprised in how it blends from fields to the shore.
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Offering a unique blend between traditional fishing port and the cosmopolitan vibe of the Belle Époque, Figueria da Foz is rich in historical heritage with buildings from the 1800’s. It was inspired by French seaside resorts, with elements of Arte Nouveau and Arte deco. It offers long stretches of golden sandy beaches. Named after local legend “fig tree at the mouth of the river”, the story goes that the fisherman would tether their boats to the tree. It is still a traditional town in every sense even with its grow in popularity as a tourist destination.
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Sitting at the foot of the Óbidos lagoon, and just a short drive from Caldas da Rainha, it originated from a fishing community and gained prominence in the early 19th century when bathing became popular as it hosts a beach, both on the Atlantic Ocean and on the Lagoon. It remains a small village today, connected to other popular areas around it and offers a beautiful scenic setting in which to live.
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