Where is it?
Lying slightly north of Lisbon, the Silver Coast, Portugal's Costa de Prata is one of the treasures of Portugal. Within an hour of the capital city with a stretch of spectacular coastline that runs from above Ericeira up to Aveiro, served by a fast motorway, it is easy to be a world away from the rush and stress of modern life. The Silver Coast is now a second home destination and lifestyle choice for many retirees for British and European buyers in search of “the real Portugal”. Getting there Fly direct to Lisbon in around 2.5 hours then it’s a pleasant drive (less than 1 hour) along a good motorway, head north and follow the signs for the A8 Oeste. If driving isn't an option take a taxi or metro to Sete Rios bus station and hop on an air conditioned coach for around €9 and enjoy the scenic ride to Caldas da Rainha in around 1 hour 10 minutes. Why not spend a night in the vibrant capital city of Lisbon at the start and finish of your trip?
The Silver Coast has a combination of elements from the Mediterranean and Atlantic climate which means mild winters and hot and dry summers. Winters are mild with average temperatures of 17 degrees. In the summer cooling Atlantic breezes make for a comfortable 27 degree daytime average. Either way it enjoys almost 275 days a year of sunshine.
Go and see
Lisbon - the stunning capital city of Portugal, one of the best city/beach-combo destinations in Europe. Century-old wooden trams rumble their way among the seven steep hills over which this city lies while a short drive away to the west you can find beautiful sandy beaches in the Cascais-Estoril region.
Foz do Arelho - where Obidos lagoon encounters the Atlantic ocean. The beach here is a natural wonder. To one side of the large sandy strip is the Atlantic Ocean, to the other side are the tranquil waters of the Óbidos Lagoon. The warm salty waters of the lagoon are ideal for kids and a variety of water sports, they are even said to have therapeutic properties.
Aveiro - with its two canals, is the Venice of Portugal. The cityscape is crisscrossed by canals that you can navigate on painted gondola-style boats known as moliceiros and on the quaysides in the older part of the city are charming Art Nouveau houses in pastel shades.
Óbidos -one of Portugal's picturesque gems. Step back in time in a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses and a well preserved castle within the walls, they are a delight to stroll round. Óbidos knows how to host a good festival. Every year, the castle grounds and public squares are taken over by fun events such as the Chocolate Festival, Medieval Fair, Opera Festival or Christmas Village. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample some of the town’s local cherry liqueur, ginjinha (or ginja), traditionally served in a small edible chocolate cup.
Why buy here?
As well as giving more of a flavour of the real Portugal, the Silver Coast has another massive advantage over the Algarve - property prices are typically up to 30% lower. The endless stunning beaches feature some of the best views to be had - the coast line remains largely unspoilt, dotted with pretty towns and villages. Caldas da Rainha - the hub If you are considering a permanent move to the Silver Coast it would be wise to be within easy reach of Caldas. This bustling and vibrant thermal spa town has everything you need for day to day living; an array of shops and cafes, not just one hospital but two, several banks, pharmacies, butchers, schools, large supermarkets and much more. Every day except Sunday's and main bank holidays you can find the lively colourful flower, fruit and vegetable market in Praça da República. Watch the local farmers display their produce with pride and enjoy a friendly chat with them. Fast becoming popular as a tourist destination it is an ideal place to own a holiday home.
What you can expect for your Euros - there are properties to suit most budgets ranging from large country homes and contemporary villas generally priced around €750,000 upwards, good size family villas with swimming pool from €200,000 to small holiday homes and apartments starting around €120,000. The beach resorts of Nazare, Sao Martinho do Porto and Foz do Arelho or a slightly inland setting such as Alfeizerão are good locations to buy. Here you can still find property at very sensible prices with beautiful views of the lagoon. In contrast, the beach resorts of Cascais or Estoril just 20 minutes from the centre of Lisbon boast an array of luxury property for sale at several million Euros!
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