Où partir en été au Portugal ? La côte d’argent !

Where to go in summer in Portugal? The silver coast !

Planning your summer vacation in Portugal and looking for an itinerary or must-see places to visit? In this article, we suggest you discover the Silver Coast (Costa de Prata, in Portuguese).


Praia de Paredes - Credit Vitor Oliveira

 

This area extends from the city of Espinho, 30 km south of Porto to the city of Peniche, located about 100 km north of Lisbon.


Silver coast map - Credit Portugal Virtual

 

Less famous than the Algarve, the Silver Coast is nevertheless worth a visit. Stretching over 280 km, its seashores, historic villages and castles have everything to please holidaymakers.

Here are 3 reasons to choose the Silver Coast in Portugal for your summer vacation.

 

Visiting the Silver Coast in Portugal will delight culture and history lovers  

From the University of Coimbra to the Monastery of Batalha, passing by the Convent of Christ in Tomar, the Silver Coast is full of absolutely magnificent historical places. In fact, there are no less than 4 cities in this area that host UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

 

Batalha: the most beautiful monastery in Portugal

Located about 100 kilometers from Lisbon, Batalha is a small and quiet city, but very important in the history of Portugal. Indeed, it is here that the battle of Aljubarrota took place on August 14, 1385.  

This battle ensured the independence of Portugal, after a quarrel of inheritance with the king of Castile. In this honor, the king of the time, John I, had a monastery built: the "Mosteiro de Batalha", also called the monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória. It is reputed to be the most beautiful in Portugal! This building is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture.


Monastery of Batalha  - Credit Luisa Paixão

Inside the building, the Founder's Chapel was the first royal pantheon in Portugal and therefore contains sculpted tombs of royalty. At the back of the main church, we find the Unfinished Chapel "Capelas Imperfeitas", composed of huge pillars that make the place as mystical as impressive.

Would you like to know more about the most beautiful Portuguese historical monuments? Don't hesitate to continue reading our article "The 7 historical monuments that bear witness to the history of Portugal".

 

Tomar: the city of the Templars

Less than 50 kilometers east of Batalha, the beautiful Tomar is a Portuguese tourist place that you should not miss. Former seat of the Templar Order, Tomar is a very charming city, rich in history, art and culture.


Tomar castle - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

After a walk in the forest surrounding the building, go up to the Templar castle and visit the Convent of Christ. This convent is an absolutely beautiful building.


Tomar Convent of Christ  - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

Built over a period of five centuries, the Convent of Christ is a perfect combination of Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Baroque and Mannerist architectural styles. It will conquer the greatest lovers of the history of the Templars!


Tomar Convent of Christ - Crédit Luisa Paixão

 

Alcobaça : Its impressive monastery

Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989, the Alcobaça monastery is one of the most impressive examples of Cistercian architecture in Europe.


Monastery of Alcobaça  - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

Built nearly 900 years ago, it still retains a freshness in its abbey buildings and its primitive Gothic style church, erected in the Middle Ages. The monastery was founded by the first king of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques, as a reward for taking Santarém from the Moors.

Would you like to know more about the most beautiful Portuguese historical monuments? Don't hesitate to continue reading our article "The 7 historical monuments that bear witness to the history of Portugal". 

 

Coimbra: Its university and library.

In the center of the silver coast, you will find Coimbra. City known for its university and its students dressed in black capes that inspired the famous wizards of the Harry Potter universe of J.K Rowling.


University of Coimbra - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

But the university is not only famous for its resemblance to the most popular wizards of our time. Coimbra is home to the first university built in Portugal, which also happens to be among the oldest universities in Europe.

Within the walls of the historic campus is one of the most beautiful libraries in the world: the Joanina Library. Built in the 18th century, the library's magnificent decorations, financed by the wealth brought back from Brazil by the Portuguese, have made its reputation.


Joanina library - Credit Lisbonne Idée

 

Of course, let's not reduce Coimbra to its university. The old town is very charming and it is particularly pleasant to wander through the picturesque streets of the city center.


Coimbra City Center - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

Visit the silver coast in Portugal for its beautiful beaches and surf spots

As mentioned above, the Silver Coast in Portugal is a less touristy area than the Algarve. It is also less dry and less hot, which makes it a particularly pleasant region from spring to fall.


Nazaré beach - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

In addition, the beaches of the Costa de Prata are just as beautiful as those of southern Portugal. Among many others, we can find the beautiful beaches of Furadouro, Costa Nova, Mira, Quaios, Figueira da Foz, Nazaré, São Martinho do Porto, Foz do Arelho, Baleal, Peniche, etc.


São Martinho do Porto beach - Credit ncultura

 

You will have noticed names known by surfers: indeed, the silver coast is famous for hosting some of the best surf spots in the world.


Nazaré surf spot - Credit Luisa Paixão

Nazaré waves - Credit unknown

The Silver Coast to visit Portugal at a lower cost

The silver coast is also a good idea for a vacation for the small budget. Ideally located between two big cities (Lisbon and Porto), the cost of living is nevertheless much cheaper than in the city.


Costa Nova, Fish stew  - Credit Luisa Paixão

 

By taking advantage of the nature and historical sites, you can enjoy a great vacation at a great price.

Luisa Paixao

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