TRAVEL INSPIRATION: THE SILVER COAST, PORTUGAL
We’re totally smitten with film photographer Sarah Hannam’s images from the Silver Coast in Portugal. Off the usual Algarve tourist route, with pretty villages, miles of sandy beaches and some of the countries best wines it’s the grown-up alternative to the Algarve.
DESTINATION: The Silver Coast, Portugal
WHERE TO STAY We stayed in a villa at the Bom Sucesso Resort – it’s a contemporary styled resort designed by a collection of architects and lots of sports facilities.
The region isn’t too touristy, so you feel like it’s the real Portugal there with bustling markets and fields full of fruit trees. Portugal is big on pears. The walled medieval city of Obidos which sits high on a hill is definitely worth a visit and it has a medieval market during the first two weeks of August.
I’ve been there three times already! I think it’s a great place to visit and particularly if you’re looking for somewhere a little different, that’s within easy reach of Lisbon for shopping etc. For families with children, I’d recommend staying on one of the newly constructed resorts, as there’s tons of sports and social facilities.
WHAT TO DO It’s wonderful to buy fresh fish and produce from the markets in the local town of Calda da Rainha, because in the summer there are loads of stalls piled high with nectarines, peaches and plums. It’s really easy to have a healthy summer diet there.
I love the park in Calda too as it’s shady, peaceful and often has a band playing. It makes me think of British parks in the olden days!
Unless you’re staying in Lisbon, which is a great city to shop and sightsee, the coastal villages are pretty quiet, so they’re perfect for people looking for a slower paced break in the countryside away from the touristy areas like the Algarve coast. You definitely need a car, then you can zip up the coast to the surfer’s mecca, Nazaré or further north to Oporto.
Being on the coast there’s lots of fish. We cooked at home mostly and really put the enormous Weber barbecue to work pretty much every day. Grilled fish and salads, then a nectarine tart or if we were feeling indulgent we’d get some lobsters from the market in Calda and grill them with a chilli, garlic and lime butter. I love to cook, so it was absolute heaven and so easy.
WHAT TO PACK The weather on that part of the coast varies a lot – it’s often hot in Obidos as it’s just that little way inland, but the resort where we stayed was cooler with strong breezes, so I’d definitely recommend packing both summer stuff and some warmer clothes especially for the evenings.