– golden sands and silvery sea
The Silver Coast has some of the best beaches in Europe and dozens of them carry the prestigious Blue Flag designation that recognises their cleanliness and natural beauty. The views here are breathtaking, with cliffs rising up out of golden sands, sheltered natural coves and the silvery sea that has given this region its name.
There are so many beaches here it is possible to get away from the crowds no matter what time of year it is. In July and August holidaymakers flock to the popular beaches at places like Foz do Arelho, Nazare, Peniche and Ericeira, but there are lots of other quieter spots along the coast, many located at the end of small tracks, where it is possible to find a place of your own even in the busiest summer months.
Some of the best beaches of the Silver Coast are:
São Pedro de Moel: (near Marinha Grande) Said to be one of the most picturesque beaches in the country, this is a small beach that is sheltered by the land on three sides.
Nazaré: A vast stretch of open sands, very busy in the summer months but fantastic the rest of the year.
São Martinho do Porto: A very safe beach in a sheltered bay. The bay is beautiful, being sheltered from the sea by cliffs, with just a narrow stretch of water opening to the ocean.
Foz do Arelho: On the shores of the stunning Óbidos lagoon, this is a popular surfing beach with sea that is frequently rough. The lagoon side of the beach, however, offers safe swimming and is ideal for children.
Peniche: A world-famous surfing sport where it is claimed it is possible to find a surfable wave no matter what way the wind is blowing. Baleal, Lagide and Supertubos are the best know beaches here.
Consolação; Located at the end of a long sandy beach that stretches almost all the way south from Peniche, this bay is famed for its positioning which it is said creates ideal conditions for treating ailments such as rheumatism.
Areia Branca: Another popular beach with miles of golden sand and well-developed facilities for holiday makers.
Santa Cruz: A town famous for its beaches, said to be the best in the western region. There are miles of beaches here with something for everyone, from families to surfers.
Ericeira: Also renowned for its beaches – and its surfing – there are a number to choose from here, the safest being Sul Beach which is sheltered from the wind by the high cliffs that surround it.