Population Portugal: 10,562,000
Size: 35,553 sq mi
A region for life
Exploring the tranquil towns, villages and countryside of this beautiful region will confirm to you that here is a place that genuinely has the best of both worlds. Whilst offering a life of rural calm amidst the spectacular scenery, at the same time it is perfectly equipped with access to all the modern facilities of transport, healthcare, education and leisure that make life a pleasure for all generations. The Silver Coast (Costa de Prata) enjoys entertainments and events throughout the year: concerts, art exhibitions, the "Torres Vedras" carnival - ‘the most Portuguese event in Portugal’, the "Caldas da Rainha" ceramics and fruit fairs, the Bombarral wine festival, Peniche's Festas da Nuestra Senhora da Boa Viagem, the Montejunto popular festival (Cadaval), Alenquer's Feira da Ascensao, festivals in Sobral, Monte Agraco and Arruda dos Vinhos, Feiras da Cebola e das Tasquinhas and hundreds more fairs, festivals and popular gatherings.
The region has many hotels with superb facilities and innumerable restaurants, bars and lively venues which ensure that one's first visit to the Silvercoast is never the last. The natural abundance of the area is enhanced by beautiful fine-sanded beaches, where the sands shimmer like silver, at Santa Cruz, Porto Novo, Areia Branca, S. Bernardino, Consolacao, Peniche, Baleal, "Bom Sucesso", "Praia del Rey" ("PDR"), "Foz do Arelho", "Sao Martinho do Porto", "Salir do Porto", Nazare and "Sao Pedro de Moel".
Local crafts can be found in Peniche, which is notable for its lace, and in "Caldas da Rainha", which is one of the most important centres for ceramics in Portugal. The new Peniche recreation centre is a base for water sports, with a haven of fishing and scuba-diving in Berlenga. Santa Cruz and Peniche (Supertubos beach and Lagide beach) are the places for surf lovers. The Obidos lake has sailing, rowing and windsurfing. Montejunto, Serrado Socorro and Santa Rita beach are the main locations for paragliding and hang-gliding. The Santa Cruz aerodrome, with its flying school, offers flights in light aircraft and gliders. There are equestrian centres in the Hotel Golf Mar, in Marquiteira (Lourinha), in Atouguia da Baleia - at the Quinta das Tripas and the Quintas de Bom Sucesso - Lourinha, S. Sebastido - Arruda dos Vinhos, Quinta da Ferraria and Cortisada - Rio Maior.
A region for health
Healthcare facilities are modern and efficient and offer a good range of public and private services for all your requirements. In addition the region offers several thermal baths: Vimeiro (digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system and skin), Cucos (metabolic and endocrine systems, rheumatics, muscular and skeletal systems) and Torres Vedras and Caldas da Rainha - the oldest in Europe (respiratory system, rheumatics, muscular and skeletal systems).
A region for Golf
For golf enthusiasts the Silver Coast is the new destination in Portugal. Golf Courses at Praia d'el Rey (18 holes) and Rio Maior (18 holes) are complemented by 9-hole courses at Consolacao and Porto Novo – Bom Sucesso and Perola da Lagoa 18-hole courses are actually already under construction and the brand new project of the 18-hole course of Foz do Arelho, which will be the hugest should begin middle / end of the year 2007.
Villas Luz, Lda. is in Portugal the official partner of
"Vale do Lobo" Golf & Beach Resort!
Portugal Golf Events 2007 - follow this link
A region for Gourmets
Gastronomy in the region is rich and varied: there are many delicious pork dishes, oven baked kid, stewed rabbit with rice, celebrated fish stews, baked or boiled sea bream and rock bass from "Peniche", eels and cockles from the "Obidos" lake and shellfish from the beds at Porto de Barcas (lagosta suada - ‘sweating lobster’ - is a delicacy which can only be found in the Western Region). The gastronomical influence of history is evident in trouxas de ovos, lampreias de ovos (sweet dishes made with eggs) and cavacas (light crisp cakes) from "Caldas da Rainha", bean pies from Torres Vedras and paes de lo (sponge cakes) from Landal, Painho and Rio Maior. All are complemented by the taste and aroma of apples and pears.
The Silver Coast is also one of the largest wine growing areas in Portugal and indeed the world. The area boasts full-bodied, aromatic red wines with excellent alcoholic content: the wines of the south (castas Camarate, Periquita and Tinto Miudo) are lively when young, intense yet well balanced and with an exquisite bouquet when aged. The white wines of the north are deliciously fruity (castas Arinto, Fernao Pires, Vital). Out of this diversity, the wine-growing areas of "Obidos" and Alenquer, Arruda dos Vinhos and Torres Vedras were born in 1989. The region is also known for its light wines with lower alcohol content, and for the only DOC (controlled standard of origin) classified brandy in Portugal - Aguardente Vinica from Lourinha.
Our "Silver Coast" Listings
Caldas da Rainha..
Every day Caldas da Rainha has a lively bustling market in the town square. Return to the old world of the freshest local and regional produce including vegetables, fruit, nuts, cheese, chickens, flowers, sausages and fresh-baked cakes. The cobbled side streets are excellent for clothes shopping with branches of Mango and Etxart & Panno and other well-known retailers. There are dozens of shoe, sports, lingerie, kids, casual and perfume shops and an excellent cinema with new-release films in english shown at the same time as the UK. 1 hour north of Lisbon.
Considered to be one of the jewels of Portugal's national heritage, Óbidos was once the favourite retreat of King Sancho I and was a wedding gift from King Diniz to Queen Isabel. Its unspoilt beauty is retained in its narrow cobbled streets and elegant whitewashed buildings with balconies brimming with flowers. Óbidos has dozens of restaurants, bars and cafes as well as open air opera in the old town square, music festivals and our favourites, the medieval feasts and the chocolate festival! 5 mins southwest of Caldas da Rainha. Fine wine area the most famous being Gaerias and a traditional Obidos liqueur known as ginja which is drunk from a tiny chocolate cup! Heaven!. www.cm-obidos.pt
Foz Do Arelho & Nadadouro..
Sitting at the edge of the beautiful turquoise 'Obidos' lagoon these quaint fishing villages still have all the traditional fishermen in their flat-bottomed boats and their catch of prawn, clams and crabs are sold in the local restaurants. Although it is now a protected natural heritage site there are still all the water-based leisure facilities you could wish for as well as surf bars, beach bars, night clubs. Foz do Arelho and Nadadouro have long been the wealthy Lisbon persons choice and their 'weekend' houses around the lagoon certainly live up to that reputation. Building is now quite restrictive to protect the nature of the lagoon. 5mins northwest of Caldas da Rainha.
São Martinho do Porto & Salir do Porto..
Sitting in its shell-shaped bay the beachfront of the old town of São Martinho do Porto has been recently renovated with new cobbled pedestrian areas and upmarket shops, bars and cafes. Just around the other side of the bay São Martinho is a lively seaside resort with yellow sands which are cleaned daily, beachbars, cafes, restaurants, beachwear & beachgear shops and an equally lively nightlife. Old portuguese buildings and new modern apartments all look onto a beautiful bay with boats bobbing on the water in this natural harbour. Salir do Porto sits on the south side of the bay and is much quieter with fantastic views of the bay and within walking distance to São Martinho . 10 mins northwest of Caldas da Rainha.
A lively old-style fishing town with fishing boats leaving the harbour every evening and returning to port during the early morning with their catches of seafood and fresh fish. The catches are on sale that day in the big covered market in the centre of town and in the many fish restaurants throughout the town. With excellent waters and beaches around Peniche this is surf-city with annual surfing championships held here. 20 mins southwest of Caldas da Rainha.
Lourinha is in a very attractive area within easy reach of Bombarral, Óbidos, Peniche and Torres Vedras tho' with it's distance from the A8 it is still about an hour from Lisbon. For some time this area has specialised in the production of grape brandy known as "Aguardente" that are only sold after being kept 2 years in oak casks. The town of Lourinha itself has small individual shops reminding us of the days before impersonal concrete shopping malls.
Not to be confused with Santa Cruz on Madeira this large town reminds us very much of Biarritz with its old grandeur mixed in with new apartment blocks and old pavilions. Close to all the surf areas on the Silver Coast. In need of a lick of paint in places but it does have some lovely properties and beach cafes and is ideal for holidays as it is only 35 minutes from Lisbon. Vimeira golf course and the Hotel Golf Mar which has an equestrian centre and spa are only 3km from Santa Cruz.
Cadaval & Bombarral..
In fantastic agricultural countryside the concelho of Cadaval is home to vineyards producing many good quality wines of the Tejo Valley and is famed for the delicious pears known as pêra rocha and sweet sponge cakes called Pão-de-Ló. With the majestic backdrop of the Montejunto mountain known as the 'Varanda da Estremadura' this is truly beautiful Portuguese countryside. Only 20 minutes from Caldas Da Rainha or the sea at Santa Cruz and 40 mins from Lisbon.
Famous for its salt mines, Rio Maior is also famed for fine quality wines, chicken with walnuts and bife de novilho (bullock steak). Littered with 16th and 17th century churches to visit, parks & gardens to stroll in and a ruined castle this is a typical Portuguese city in a traditional agricultural and industrial region. Rio Maior holds an annual Onion Fair, a Taverns Fair and a Gastronomical Week to show off it's tastylocal produce.
Our "Silver Coast" Listings
Caldas da Rainha
Foz Do Arelho
Sao Martinho do Porto
lagoon activities www.escoladeveladelagoa.com