The Silver Coast: 10 places to visit
The Silver Coast or Costa de Prata is a beautiful place where the sun is shining. A magnificent region with its seaside, historic villages and castles, it borders the Atlantic coast for 280 km and stretches about 100 km north of Lisbon. As a green region rich in agriculture, it offers many activities to try during your stay. The Côte d’Argent mainly attracts foreigners wishing to settle here or spend a pleasant holiday.
Here are 10 places that we recommend you to visit
Medieval village of Obidos
This charming village welcomes every year many tourists, especially medieval lovers who come back impressed. Perched on a hill and surrounded by an old rampart, you will enjoy strolling along the uneven walls of the citadel or strolling through the cobbled streets of the town centre. The maze of narrow streets will lead you to lively squares, pleasant cafés, quaint shops and local craft markets. You will also be able to see everywhere the whitewashed houses decorated with flowers and beautiful colourful paintings. Not to be missed is the much visited Rua Direita, famous for its shops. It crosses the entire village and is accessible by train. Elegant old churches such as those of Santa Maria and São Pedro are adorned with hand-painted tiles, ceilings and walls, for the delight of the eyes. Every July, Óbidos takes a trip back in time with its annual medieval festival (the Medieval Market), which includes a costume parade, jugglers, troubadours, juggling knights and other performances (fire-eaters…), as well as a craft market featuring medieval products and food such as meat cooked on the spit, tasty sausages, soup and beer served in tin mugs.
Berlenga Island or Grande Berlenga
Is one of the islands of the Berlenga Archipelago. You can enjoy wildflower walks, boat trips to visit the caves and snorkeling. Also discover the fortress off the coast. In the summer, there are numerous sea transport services that connect Berlenga Island to the Silver Coast every hour from Peniche.
Make the most of your stay to visit a wine cellar and have a wine tasting. For a more special experience, don’t hesitate to taste your wine in a windmill and a brandy distillery. The Vignoble de la Côte d’Argent is highly recommended. One of their suggestion of the month is the dry and crisp Rosa bella, this refreshing wine has beautiful raspberry and white flower notes. A wine to taste and enjoy at any time.
Ceramics and markets in Caldas da Rainha
Caldas da Rainha, once popular for its healing thermal waters, is better known today for its ceramic production. You can get an appreciation of the local ceramics at the unusual Ceramica Museum or visit the famous Bordallo Pinheiro Museum and its shop. If you visit Caldas on a weekday morning, you will have the opportunity to stroll through the colourful flower, fruit and vegetable market in Plaça da Republica. It is also possible to take a walk in the pretty Dom Carlos I park and have a picnic among the trees.
Alcobaça and its World Heritage Monastery
The historic centre of Alcobaça is dominated by the 12th century Cistercian monastery and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only is the architecture magnificent, but it also contains two of the tombs of the famous lovers of Portugal, Pedro and Queen Inês de Casto. Their love story is a historical fact that has left a strong imprint on people’s minds. The city centre is home to other places of interest, such as a folklore museum and a wine museum, as well as intriguing squares.
Foz do Arelho Beach
This quiet beach by the ocean is surrounded by cliffs and countryside and has many bars and restaurants. The water is slightly warmer than the lagoon. You can sunbathe and rest in peace and serenity.
The sculpture gardens of Buddah Eden
Located at Quinta Los Loridos, these gardens are the largest oriental garden in Europe with almost 35 hectares. They were created in reaction to the destruction of the Banyan Buddhas. Buddhas, pagodas, terracotta statues and various sculptures are carefully placed in the gardens. If you like gigantic sculptures, especially those of oriental, African or contemporary nature, Buddah Eden is worth a visit!
Barge, fishing village and fortress
The fortress was used as a political prison during the Salazar dictatorship and currently houses a museum with a collection of local boats and bobbin lace. While visiting the museum, you will also have the chance to visit the cells and the visiting room of the prison. Plans have been approved to transform this space into a national museum for the struggle for freedom and democracy. The marina and fishing port are hives of activity and the nearby beaches are popular with surfers and families.
Royal Ice Factory/Montejunto
Do you know the Royal Ice Factory in the mountains of Montejunto, north of Lisbon? It is extremely cold in winter, which is why shallow pools have been built to collect and freeze the water overnight. The resulting ice was cut into blocks and stored in an underground silo, which froze it until it was transported by ox-cart and boat to the royal court, the trendy cafés and choice shops in Lisbon in the 18th century. Those on a budget can enjoy these trendy refreshing drinks and their ice creams in different flavours. You’ll find a surprising amount of information in English and some marked hiking trails nearby.
The town of Nazaré
In the charming town of Nazaré, you will come across the huge sandy beach in front of the town, which attracts many families in the summer. You will also come across Portuguese women drying and selling fish, peanuts or other snacks from the stands on the beach. Also, don’t hesitate to go to Sítio, a suburb of Nazaré, perched on the cliff with a spectacular view of the beach and the city. You will have the choice between walking up or taking the funicular to visit the souvenir shops and the various stands.