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The Silver Coast - Spring Visit Part 1

I just went to publish this post and could not get it to Preview, so I'm guessing there is too many pictures/videos for Wix to handle in one blog. Hence, the Parts 1 and 2.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Silver Coast or as the locals call it, Costa da Prata. The name derives from the color of the Ocean on certain days when the sun's rays seem to paint the water a shiny silver. There are many opinions as to what portion of the central and northern coast are considered to be the Silver Coast, but the most commonly accepted boundary seems to be Peniche on the southern end and Porto on the northern end.

We stayed in Sáo Martinho Do Porto, a small beach town just about an hour north of Lisboa. The town felt very much like our first port of call, Sesimbra. There are not many foreigners, it has a lovely waterfront promenade, the coast has an abundance of dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches, plus there are way more interesting places and things to explore in the area than can possibly be done in one month. As you'll see from the pictures and videos, we did cover a lot of ground.

As always, we started our explorations on foot, walking all over town and checking out the southern tip of the inlet. The coastal cliffs approaching the inlet are simply stunning and the bay itself is amazing. It makes me wonder how exactly did the bay become such a perfect seashell shape? Just another example of Mother Nature at her finest.

We had a nice afternoon walking around the old town and Dom Carlos park in Caldas da Rainha, a mid-size town southeast of São Marthino. It's name means 'the Queen's Hot Springs'. The area had always been known for the medicinal properties of it's thermal hot springs. Back in the 15th century, Queen Dona Leonor confirmed the curative nature of the hot springs and built a hospital where she could be treated away from the peasants. The town grew up around the hospital which now houses a Thermal Spa and museum.

The surfing haven of Nazeré was next on our list. The beach on the north side of Nazeré (Praia do Norte) is famous for having some of the biggest waves on the planet and currently holds the record for the largest wave ever surfed at 86ft. The old town is situated on a more sheltered beach to the south of a cliff area called Nazeré Sítio. While we found the town quite interesting, it was a bit too touristy for our taste. But that won't stop us from going back in October in hopes that we can witness some of those massive waves.

We had several trips driving up and down the coast checking out the many small beach towns along the way. Our first day trip was to out to Óbidos, a walled Castle town which has been around since before the Romans took over the Iberian Peninsula. It was very pretty, with lots of narrow cobbled streets and very cool to see, but extremely touristy. We were really glad that we saw it so early in the tourist season.

São Martinho do Porto inlet

From the North Point of the São Martinho do Porto inlet

Looking North from São Martinho do Porto Inlet
Dramatic Coastal Cliffs - looking north from São Martinho do Porto Inlet
1940 São Martinho do Porto Monument celebrating 8 Centuries of independence and the restoration of Portugal
Dom Carlos I Park - Caldas da Rainha
Abandoned University Buildings - Caldas da Rainha
Sycamore Avenue in Dom Carlos I Park - Caldas da Rainha
Espirito Santo Church - Caldas da Rainha
De Mossa Senhora do Populo Church - founded in late 1400's - Caldas da Rainha
Monument marking 600 years of the healing properties of the hot springs that gave Caldas da Rainha its name

Chapel of Miracles's Memory - Nazarè Sítio
Inside Chapel of Miracles's Memory - Nazarè Sítio

Nazarè Sítio Square

Nazarè Harbor - One of the largest Commerical Fishing Ports in Portugal
Looking down on Nazarè town beach from Fort
Nazarè Sculpture combining the ancient legend of a knight being saved by a deer from falling off the cliff and the current surfing culture
Approaching Nazarè Fort - a great place to view the epic waves in the winter
Nazarè Fort close up - no dogs allowed in the fort, so we couldn't go up top!
Fro m Nazarè Fort looking towards North Beach (Praia Norte)

Praia do Norte - where the big surf comes in the fall and winter months

The Cliff that separates the Nazarè town beach from Praia Do Norte, referred to as Sítio
Nazarè fishing boats
Traditional fish and octopus drying at Nazarè town beach

Lola finally gets a swim in São Martinho do Porto bay

Lola shares her post swim doggy shake

Óbidos from the southeast
Óbidos North Keep
Inside Óbidos North tower and keep
Óbidos - Inside the walls - looking west
Óbidos - looking North from the Southern wall
Óbidos - South Gate

Óbidos from the south gate

Santuary of Senhor da Pedra - near Óbidos
Alter at Santuary of Senhor da Pedra - near Óbidos

Santuary of Senhor da Pedra - near Óbidos

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27 may 2023

Great pix! i said the skeleton was Dan the younger's work before I looked at your comment.

Dan the elder

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