Few people know much about the recent history of the
Silver Coast, but it's well known that until Praia D'El
Rey was built on its rugged, unspoilt and savagely beautiful
coastline few people outside the Western Region of Portugal
appreciated or had even heard of the Silver Coast's natural
The region includes the municipalities of Alenquer, Arruda
dos Vinhos, Bombarral, Cadaval, Caldas
da Rainha, Lourinhã, Óbidos, Peniche, Rio
Maior, Sobral de Monte Agraço and Torres Vedrasbut
it is much more than an exotic list of names. The Silver
Coast is rich in archaeology, from pre-historic caves
to Moorish castles and Roman villages, aqueducts and bridges,
medieval churches and monasteries, 15th century forts,
17th and 18th century manor houses and a number of fortifications
from the Peninsular Wars of the early 19th century.
For nature lovers, over 120 kilometers of paths have
already been established and signposted around Salir do
Porto and the protected landscape of the Serra de Montejunto.
Or visit the Environment Interpretation Centre on the
Berlenga islands (which is Portugal’s only marine
nature reserve). North of Praia D’El Rey, the Óbidos
lagoon offers a wide choice of activities for watersports
Other attractions of the region include its foodie reputation.
Although not necessarily famed for its upmarket restaurants
(although there are quite a few) instead it offers simple,
mouthwatering seafood and fish in the small restaurants
on almost every street corner or beachfront – including
several in Peniche and Lourinhã/Porto Barcas. And
the ancient recipes handed down from generation to generation
can be tasted in the region’s egg rolls and “cavacas”
(light crisp cakes) from Caldas da Rainha, the bean pies
from Torres Vedras and the sponge cakes from Landal, Painho
and Rio Maior.
The region also has a genuinely fascinating handicraft
history and culture, including ceramics from the studio
of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro in Caldas da Rainha and the
bobbin lace produced in Peniche.