The Costa de Prata sounds much more alluring when translated into English –Silver Coast – and things get even better once you arrive on its shores. Located in Portugal’s Centro region, this pristine section of Atlantic coastline stretches from Assenta, an hour’s drive north of Lisbon, to the mouth of the Douro some 250 kilometres away in Porto. If coastal living in relaxed surroundings is more appealing than the bright lights and relentless energy of the Algarve, this could be the place for you.
The region’s welcoming locals, world-class surfing conditions, vast white sand beaches and historic towns and villages are hard to resist. Space isn’t a premium around here either, unlike the Algarve and busy costas across the border in Spain. In fact, there’s so much of it you won’t ever struggle to get away from it all. Accessing your property won’t cause you any stress either, with year-round budget flights to the international airports in Lisbon and Porto at either end of the coast.
What about the property? The Silver Coast tends to be more affordable than the Algarve. A budget of just €100,000 will be enough to purchase your very own small rustic house or modern apartment away from the more fashionable spots. Here’s a quick look at some picturesque destinations to consider on your viewing trip here.
The gateway to the Silver Coast as you head north from Lisbon, this historically significant town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A labyrinth of cobbled streets, lined with whitewashed houses, is overlooked by medieval ramparts and a hilltop castle – now an upmarket hotel – giving it an old-world charm. While its annual literary festival and collection of quirky bookshops contribute to a bohemian vibe.
Perhaps the most picturesque coastal resort in the Estremadura Province – which includes the capital Lisbon within its borders – Nazaré and its impressive medieval fortifications sits atop rugged cliffs. This elevated position affords breath-taking views of the Atlantic and seemingly endless skies above it. Having navigated the maze of narrow, cobbled paths down to the cliff-backed sandy beach, you’re greeted by a multi-coloured collection of parasols during the summer months. Back up in town, you’ll have your pick of excellent seafood restaurants serving the fresh daily catch this fishing port is famous for.
Figueira da Foz
This lively resort has long been a popular spot with Portuguese holidaymakers and second homeowners looking for a coastal getaway. Surfers also make the pilgrimage to ride championship quality waves, having trekked across the widest urban beach in Europe to reach them – you won’t struggle to find a spot to unfurl your towel around here.
There’s still plenty to do once the sun-seeking crowds pack up their parasol’s and picnics for the summer. Blustery strolls along the promenade and scenic walks through local forests, salt pans and nature reserves make it a great spot for lovers of the outdoors throughout the year. After all that fresh air head to the Bairro Novo quarter adjacent to the beach, to relax in the wide selection of sophisticated eateries and stylish bars.
Despite being slap-bang in the middle of the region, Figueira da Foz has an ace up its sleeve when it comes to accessing your property: it’s less than a 45-minute drive to the international airport in the historic city of Coimbra.
This once small fishing village has grown into a thriving beach resort, attracting crowds of visitors to its laid-back shores. The town’s most popular beach, Praia da Baía, is an attractive arc of golden sand, with a raised promenade tracing its edge past bars and fabulous seafood restaurants. Elsewhere you’ll also find the Mercado Semanal – one of Portugal’s best outdoor markets – the art and culture centre and the oldest golf course in the country.
Espinho’s location a little over ten miles south of Porto not only entices a healthy number of day-trippers, it ensures getting to your home here is simple, with the added convenience of having such an impressive city on your doorstep.
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