Are you looking for a perfect beach holiday destination? Look no further than the Portugal Silver Coast!
With its stunning beaches and beautiful towns, there is something here for everyone. From lively beach resorts to tranquil fishing villages, the Silver Coast has it all. In this article, we will share with you 13 of our top picks for beaches and towns on the Silver Coast that are worth visiting.
Whether you’re looking for some fun in the sun or a peaceful getaway from your everyday life, these spots have something special to offer. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and let’s explore Portugal’s gorgeous coastline!
Where is the Silver Coast in Portugal?
The Silver Coast is located along the west coast of Portugal, stretching from slightly north of Lisbon in the south up to slightly south of Porto in the north.
This region encompasses a part of the Atlantic coast with large expanses of golden sandy beaches. In addition to its glorious coastline, this area boasts temperate climate and is still relatively undiscovered compared to areas such as the Algarve.
Which are the closest airports?
For those planning a trip to Portugal’s Silver Coast, the closest airports are located in either Porto or Lisbon. These airports are both well-connected with major international destinations, making it easy for tourists from around the world to reach this spectacular part of Portugal.
Modern amenities and efficient transportation options mean that these airports provide a convenient starting point for your Silver Coast adventure. You can also easily rent a car to reach your desired beach or town on this impressive stretch of coastline.
Silver Coast Portugal Map
Table of Contents
1. Barrinha de Esmoriz
For those seeking a tranquil and picturesque haven on Portugal’s Silver Coast, Barrinha de Esmoriz is the perfect destination. This incredible lagoon is separated from the sea by a thin strip of land and has recently been restored to its natural beauty and become a natural reserve.
It now serves as a bird watcher’s paradise with footbridges surrounding it, providing stunning vantage points for viewing indigenous birds.
In addition, surf enthusiasts will be delighted to find that the beaches here offer a consistent break, making it a perfect spot for beginner surfers.
The area also boasts a brand new sustainable park, Parque Do Buçaquinho, complete with 20 hectares of ponds, lawns and a maritime pine forest – all of which can be explored via the boardwalks and paths that wind through the beautiful surroundings.
Don’t miss the marvelous ceramic facade of the Igreja Matriz De Santa Marinha De Cortegaça, which is just 5 minutes from the beach.
Golf lovers will also be pleased to find the nearby Oporto Golf Club, which was the first course to be built on the Iberian Peninsula and the second in continental Europe. Despite its age, it’s very well-rated and some of the most important tournaments in Portugal are still hosted here.
Nearest airport: Porto
Where to eat: Right in the village try Tony Tapas & Vinhos for the best selection of well-prepared food and wines. Highly recommended!
Budget stay: Casa Amarela is a private home which comes highly recommended at a tiny price!
Luxury stay: BeHappy Lodge & Brunch is beautifully decorated and has an great breakfast!
If you’re considering a trip to Portugal’s Silver Coast, make sure to add Aveiro to your itinerary. Dubbed the “Venice of Portugal,” this charming coastal town is sure to delight with its picturesque canals, winding through the heart of the city. But there’s more to Aveiro than just pretty waterways.
For starters, you can take a leisurely boat trip down the canals, or rent a bike and explore the town at your own pace. Alternatively, sign up for a guided tour and head out to one of the nearby lagoons, where you’ll get the chance to witness traditional salt production methods first-hand.
One of the highlights of this tour is the salt spa at the lagoon, which offers a delightfully indulgent way to pamper yourself.
If you’re looking for a scenic walk, head a few kilometers toward the ocean and visit Costa Nova. Here, you’ll find a series of charming striped cottages overlooking the beach, making for a great backdrop to an afternoon stroll.
Don’t forget to pack a camera, as the colorful architecture is a great photo opportunity.
Aveiro also has a thriving ceramic art scene, with murals adorning many of the buildings around town. Keep your eyes peeled for these vibrant artworks, and take the time to appreciate the local talent on display.
Finally, make sure to sample some Ovos Moles- a local favorite sweet treat that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Nearest airport: Porto
Where to eat: Have a bite at O Bairro for a modern twist on traditional Portuguese dishes everyone raves about. Highly recommended!
Budget stay: Although not sea front Casa dos Pingos de Mel is a beautiful home with a yard and a fireplace at a great price.
Luxury stay: SonhosQrodopiam Praia da Barra is a private home with the most unbelievable view I have ever seen. It is right on the beach- just wow!
3. Figueira da Foz
Figueira da Foz is a must-visit destination for any traveler exploring Portugal’s Silver Coast. With its enormous urban beach, it’s the widest in Europe, offering plenty of waterfront activities to enjoy. The rolling mountains in the backdrop make for a stunning view, providing a perfect photo opportunity. The waves break far out, creating shallow waters, which make it ideal for families with children to enjoy a safe swim. It’s also a surf paradise, and Praia do Cabedelo is one of the best spots in the area to catch some waves.
The 19th-century casino is an architectural marvel worth spending an evening enjoying! Dress up and enjoy an evening of slot machines and blackjack so you can gawk at the impressive stucco decorations and frescos throughout the building.
Salt production is also a highlight of the area, with generations of families passing down techniques to achieve an intricate and unique flavor. Check out the interesting exhibition for a change of pace.
Located slightly inland along the river, the Montemor-o-Velho castle offers fabulous views of the surrounding landscapes and makes for a fun afternoon. Take a short ferry ride along the river to get to the 11th-century castle, which is a sight to behold.
Nearest airport: Porto
Where to eat:
Budget stay: Casa d´Avó Dalina is right on the beach and although doesn’t look like much from the outside, is a spectacular flat with a beautiful terrace. A steal!
Luxury stay: Vila Branca Guesthouse is a refurbished palacete with exquisite decoration all done in very good taste. Extremely well rated, it’s definitely worth the money.
Discover the enchanting medieval town of Coimbra and visit the the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Don’t miss the chance to climb to the top of the bell tower for a bird’s eye view of the medieval city and the surprising 360˚ panoramic views it offers. For book lovers, the library in the university is a must-visit attraction. Feast your eyes on the wonderful architecture and an impressive collection of over 250,000 volumes, including illuminated manuscripts from the 12th century.
Take a stroll through the city’s cobblestoned streets and soak in the vibrant student life. The students’ traditional cape uniform adds to the charming ambiance of the town, and you can capture impressive images of scenes said to be the inspiration for the Harry Potter books.
Book early to secure your spot on guided tours that take you through the university and other historical attractions. The tours have specific times, and it’s wise to check the schedule beforehand. Gastronomically, Coimbra doesn’t disappoint either, so make sure to check out some of the excellent taverns in town.
Nearest airport: Porto
Where to eat: Try Italianino for truly incredible Italian food. Rave reviews claim it’s just like Italy!
Budget stay: Sophia Residences is a guesthouse which offers very nice rooms with a small kitchen at an great price.
Luxury stay: Sapientia Boutique Hotel is tastefully decorated, modern, and clean and you’ll love the rooftop! Comes highly recommended.
This charming town is home to one of the country’s most magnificent structures- the Mosteiro da Batalha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Built in the 14th century, the monastery was constructed to commemorate the Portuguese victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota. The gothic architecture is breathtaking, with delicate carvings and intricate Manueline details adorning the walls. Be prepared to spend a few hours wandering through the monastery, taking in the beauty of this historic site. The stained glass windows, in particular, are a highlight, with vibrant colors and intricate designs that are truly awe-inspiring.
Overall, a visit to Batalha is an experience that you won’t soon forget. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply looking to soak up the beauty of Portugal’s Silver Coast, this town is definitely worth a stop on your itinerary.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Tasca da Tinouca comes highly recommended for anyone looking for good, simple Portuguese food which comes in tapas form. The also have an excellent selection of wines!
Budget stay: Cute flat with a clean simple feel to it is offered at That Little Place in Batalha. It has a stellar view and a balcony all for a very nice price!
Luxury stay: The Olive Hill Guesthouse offers cute chalets around a central pool. A great option at a very reasonable price.
Known as a major pilgrimage site for Catholics, Fatima holds a special significance as a holy place where the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children. Two basilicas were built around a huge esplanade, creating a vast religious complex that welcomes pilgrims from all over the globe.
On festival days, up to 100,000 people gather here to attend mass, light candles and pray. Whether or not you share their faith, Fatima is a moving and striking place that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Take some time to visit the basilicas and other religious shrines and soak in the peaceful atmosphere, and be prepared for the emotions that it may stir up within you. The power of faith and the ways in which it manifests itself across cultures is a truly remarkable thing to witness firsthand, and Fatima offers a unique and special way to experience this.
When visiting Fatima, be mindful of the dress code and respectful of the local customs and practices. Also, keep in mind that the town can be quite busy on festival days, so plan accordingly if you want to avoid crowds.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: A Cave is an experience in itself! The food is spectacular as is the service in this restaurant with low arches and beautifully presented dishes.
Budget stay: Mercure Fátima is incredibly priced for a 4-star hotel. This is the place to stay in town!
Luxury stay: Hotel Republica is a 5-star hotel with a gorgeous spa and great decor. Highly recommended for the great price!
The charming coastal town of Nazare is a must-visit destination on the Silver Coast. Nazare boasts amazing beaches, picturesque cobblestone streets, and vibrant red roofs that add to its charm.
Praia da Nazare, the town’s main beach, is a spectacular expanse of golden sand that meets crystal-clear waters. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim or surf, this beach has something for everyone. Nazare’s old town is equally alluring with narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants.
Take the funicular up to Sitio to experience breathtaking views of the coastline. The lighthouse and the Forte de Sao Miguel Arcanjo are also worth exploring, offering a glimpse into the town’s rich cultural history.
Nazare is also famous for its monster waves, which can reach up to 25 meters in height. So, if you’re a thrill-seeker, plan your visit during the surfing season from October to March. Or, you can simply sit back, relax and marvel at the awe-inspiring spectacle from the safety of the shore.
Whatever your preference, Nazare promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you captivated by its authenticity and beauty.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Rosa Dos Ventos is the choice restaurant in town! Eat beautiful sardines and clams here and enjoy the simple but well-made Portuguese dishes made by the owner! Not to be missed.
Budget stay: Vivenda Valverde is the place to stay if you’re looking for something clean, comfortable and convenient at an incredible price.
Luxury stay: Alojamento Batata is a very nicely decorated apartment that truly makes guests feel at home. The design here is what guests enjoy most and the price is a steal!
8. Sao Martinho do Porto
Sao Martinho do Porto is a hidden gem nestled on the beautiful Silver Coast of Portugal, lying between the cities of Lisbon and Porto. This quaint coastal town boasts breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, tranquil beaches, and an inviting atmosphere that beckons holidaymakers worldwide.
The town’s crown jewel is its magnificent bay, a rare natural wonder that’s both visually appealing and perfect for water activities. Unlike any other beach in Portugal, the bay is enclosed by a dramatic yet natural phenomenon, a narrow strip of land that opens only to the sea, forming a serene sheltered lagoon.
This gentle lagoon is ideal for a relaxing day out, sunbathing, paddleboarding, kayaking or even a leisurely swim. It’s also safe, calm and shallow, making it the ideal spot for families with kids.
Sao Martinho do Porto’s picturesque cobbled streets are a delight to stroll along, and the town offers an array of pubs, restaurants, and cafes, where one can enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine paired with a choice of wines. Additionally, the town offers various recreational activities, such as beach sports and eco-tourism ventures as well as scenic kayaking and fun boat tours.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Nova Caravela is divine! The food is delicious, and the wine selection is fabulous – not to be missed!
Budget stay: Sailor – Holiday apartment offers a pool and balcony and is perfect for a couple. Highly recommended!
Luxury stay: Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort is a beautiful 5-star property about 10 minutes drive from the beach. They offer beautiful pools, a great fitness center, an excellent restaurant, and of course, a golf course.
If you’re touring the silver coast between Lisbon and Porto, make sure to stop at the enchanting village of Obidos. This medieval village is one of the best-preserved in Europe, with castle walls, narrow cobblestone streets, and a gorgeous view. Recently declared a UNESCO Literary city, Obidos also boasts a large church that was transformed into a beautiful bookstore and a book-lined grocer’s shop.
Apart from exploring the village’s rich history, Obidos also offers several family-friendly activities, themed events and festivals. Find out about the different yearly festivals by reading up on them here. Obidos is also home to an array of excellent restaurants, markets and shops, making it a perfect place to unwind and relax with family and friends.
If time permits, make sure to visit the neighboring Buddha Edden Garden, which boasts an incredible 35 hectares of creatively designed sculptures based on Buddhism in the Himalayas. The garden also has a lake, terraces, and pathways that lead visitors on a journey of both spiritual and artistic discovery.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Pontinha is the best place in town for food and they even offer wine pairings if that’s your thing! Highly recommended, especially for foodies!
Budget stay: Casa de S. Thiago de Obidos is a very clean and simple place located inside the village walls. Breakfast is incredible here!
Luxury stay: Casa Picva is an experience in itself! This unique home is full of antiques and interesting art that will make you look twice! And it’s located right against the city walls! Highly recommended.
10. Foz do Arelho and Lagoa de Obidos
If you’re planning to visit Portugal, make sure you include Foz do Arelho and Lagoa de Obidos in your itinerary. Located 20 minutes from Obidos, this stretch of the Silver Coast is a favorite family beach for locals.
The lagoon at Foz do Arelho is the largest in the country, providing a diverse ecosystem of aquatic and migratory birds, making it an perfect spot for birdwatching.
The area also boasts a lively nightlife in summer months, with Festa Branca being one of the main highlights in August.
If you’re into water sports, Foz do Arelho is the ultimate destination. From wind or kitesurfing to sailing, canoeing, jetskiing, SUP or surfing, the options are endless! And for golf enthusiasts, there’s one of the best-rated golf courses in Portugal across the delta.
Don’t miss taking a stroll along the 1 km network of wooden walkways along the dunes, relaxing on the blue flag beach, and diving into the crystal clear waters. Foz do Arelho is an incredible destination for all kinds of travelers.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Coco Beach Club is a fabulous option for lunch and although it is mainly vegetarian also has excellent non-veg options right on the beach.
Budget stay: Perola do Mar is a top-notch flat right on the beach! Not to be missed for such a small price!
Luxury stay: Foz Beach house has lovely sleek decorations and is incredibly comfortable. It has fabulous beach views and is right on the beach!
If you’re planning a beach vacation in Portugal, Peniche is definitely worth considering. Located just 1.5 hours north of Lisbon along the Silver Coast, Peniche is home to some of the best beaches in the country, along with a host of thrilling water sports activities.
Surfing is one of the main draws of Peniche, with waves that attract surfers from around the world. In fact, Peniche has hosted the World Surf League’s Rip Curl Pro Portugal several times, thanks to its consistently excellent waves.
But even if you’re not a surfer, there’s plenty to do here. The nearby Berlenga islands are a fascinating natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed, while the Praia do Baleal is a former whaling station that’s become a popular surf hub with lots of shops and schools.
For a taste of Peniche’s history, visit the Fortaleza de Peniche, a cliff-top fortress that’s been restored and now houses a fascinating museum about the region’s history and artifacts from the Age of Discoveries. And make sure to catch one of the breathtaking sunsets over the Atlantic horizon here!
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Os Americano’s is a perfect choice if you enjoy dishes bursting with flavor! Try the highly recommended duck!
Budget stay: Supertubos House Peniche is the perfect budget stay and is right on the beach! Clean and nicely decorated this is a really good choice.
Luxury stay: Pillows Peniche B&B is a great choice which is slightly more upscale. It has very nicely decorated rooms and excellent breakfast! Very highly rated!
12. Santa Cruz
Nestled on the western coast of Portugal, Santa Cruz is a paradise for beach lovers. Its long, sprawling beaches of fine sand are a sight to behold, with crystal-clear waters and waves that beckon surfers and swimmers alike.
The town boasts a great infrastructure, complete with cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, making it convenient for visitors to explore without having to worry about finding decent food or entertainment. But what truly sets Santa Cruz apart are its unique landmarks, such as the large rock with a hole in it at the south end of the main Santa Cruz beach and the boardwalk with its tower that offers fabulous views of the sea.
The red and white tarpaulins which shade the benches along the boardwalk lend a charming touch to the village and make for fabulous pictures.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, Santa Cruz has everything you need to catch some gnarly waves, particularly on Praia Azul, which is widely regarded by the locals as one of the best surfing spots to get away from the crowds.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Laili Restaurant is a Mediterranean and Afghan place with wonderful dishes for foodies! It also has lovely outdoor seating and a very nice atmosphere.
Budget stay: Vila Louro is a very nice budget hotel with a pool and great rooms. Highly recommended!
Luxury stay: Areia do Seixas Hotel is a very nice upscale place with fabulously modern decoration and beautiful rooms. Amazing choice!
13. Ericeira and Mafra
Ericeira is a spectacular beach town that is located just outside Lisbon, slightly south of the Silver Coast. While it isn’t officially included in the Silver Coast, it is absolutely worth including in your Portuguese itinerary.
This lovely town is known for being the only World Surf Reserve in Europe, with a host of impressive breaks that attract surfers from all over the world. But it’s not just the waves that make Ericeira special – the town itself is a delight to explore, with narrow cobblestone streets, a picturesque village square, and breathtaking ocean views.
One of the highlights of Ericeira is the Palácio de Mafra located just a 15-minute drive from the beach town. It’s a Unesco World Heritage Site that’s considered one of the finest palaces in Portugal. Visitors can stroll through the lush gardens, admire the intricate Baroque architecture, and its library, and learn about the palace’s history.
Ericeira is also a great spot for more active pursuits such as cycling, hiking, and of course surfing. There are plenty of bike centers and surf schools in the area for beginners, while more experienced surfers will find plenty of challenging breaks to conquer.
Ericeira is also renowned for its seafood, with fresh fish and shellfish available at an abundance of restaurants and cafes. So if you’re looking for a beautiful beach town with a vibrant surf scene, beautiful whitewashed buildings, and delicious cuisine, Ericeira is the perfect destination.
Nearest airport: Lisbon
Where to eat: Mar das Latas is an excellent gourmet option with fusion Portuguese dishes and a view which is to die for! Not to be missed.
Budget stay: Laneez Ericeira Surfhouse is an perfect option for those looking for design and comfort at a small price. Highly recommended!
Luxury stay: Aethos Ericeira is a brand new top-notch design hotel built up on a cliff top slightly north of Ericeira. Absolutely fabulous!
Should you visit the Silver Coast in Portugal?
Yes! The Silver Coast of Portugal is an underrated destination that every traveler should add to their bucket list. Not only are the beaches pristine and the towns charming, but the cost of living is also incredibly affordable compared to other parts of Europe.
What’s more, the Silver Coast offers something for everyone, whether you prefer basking in the sun or exploring historical landmarks. With year-round pleasant weather, a wide variety of activities, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder the Silver Coast is quickly becoming a beloved vacation destination.
What’s the weather like on the Portugal Silver Coast?
The weather on the Silver Coast of Portugal is typically mild and warm. The region experiences about 300 days of sunshine each year, with temperatures ranging from 10°C (50°F) in winter to 30°C (90°F) in summer.
Rainfall is usually light but can be heavier during April, May and June. Summers are usually hot and dry, while winters are cooler and more humid. Average sea temperatures range from 14-18°C (57-64°F).
Portugal Silver Coast FAQ
Is Silver Coast Portugal expensive?
No, Portugal’s Silver Coast is not expensive. While it can be pricier than other parts of the country, there are plenty of budget-friendly accommodation and restaurant options. And if you travel in low season you can also find great deals on transportation costs, rental cars and activities to make your trip even more affordable.
Is the Silver Coast cheaper than the Algarve?
Generally, the Silver Coast is a bit cheaper than the Algarve. Prices for hotels and restaurants tend to be lower, plus it’s easier to find budget accommodation options compared to some of the more expensive resorts in the Algarve. However, prices can vary depending on when you visit and what type of activities you plan on doing during your stay.
Why is it called the Silver Coast in Portugal?
The Silver Coast in Portugal is so-named because of its almost endless stretch of sandy beaches and sea which reflect the light of the sun and create a shimmering, silver glow. This natural beauty has become one of the primary reasons why visitors flock to this area each year. It’s also referred to as Costa de Prata in Portuguese.
How far is the Silver Coast from Lisbon?
It starts at Santa Cruz, and goes all the way up the coast to Barrinha de Esmoriz, slightly south of Porto. Santa Cruz is a one-hour drive from Lisbon’s center.
How far is the Silver Coast from Porto?
It starts approximately 30 km south of Porto. It starts at Barrinha de Esmoriz and goes all the way down to Santa Cruz, an hour north of Lisbon.
Which beach is located on the Silver Coast of Portugal?
One of the most popular beaches located on the Silver Coast of Portugal is Praia da Vieira. It is a great spot for surfers and other beachgoers, offering a wide-open sandy beach with plenty of amenities nearby. There are also other fantastic beaches like Praia da Mira, Foz do Arelho, Sao Martinho do Porto, and Nazare. All these spots offer beautiful scenery, crystal-clear waters and convenient access to many local attractions.
Can you swim on the Silver Coast?
Yes, you can enjoy swimming on the Silver Coast of Portugal. The stretch of coastline offers some incredibly beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water where you can swim and relax during your vacation. Some popular beach destinations include Cascais, Sintra, Nazaré and Figueira da Foz.
Is Silver Coast in Portugal a good place to live?
Yes, it’s a great place to live! This popular coastal region offers fantastic views, beautiful beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities. The vibrant cities of Lisbon and Porto are close by, as well as some amazing small towns such as Nazare, Foz do Arelho, Obidos, and more. With its mild climate, you can enjoy warm summers and temperate winters that make it a great destination year-round.
The Portugal Silver Coast: The Wrap-Up
The Portugal Silver Coast is an incredible destination that offers crystal-clear waters, beautiful beaches and plenty of activities to keep you entertained. With its mild climate, budget-friendly options and close proximity to both Lisbon and Porto, it makes for an ideal vacation spot or even a great place to live year-round.