Where to Stay on Portugal’s Silver Coast: 10 Best Towns & Places

Haley Blackall wearing beige white and black stands on the edge of a lookout over an expansive sandy beach and Atlantic Ocean in the distance in Ericeira, where to stay on Portugal's Silver Coast for surfing
Overlooking Praia da Foz do Lizandro in Ericeira, Portugal Silver Coast

I totally get it. Planning where to stay on Portugal’s Silver Coast can have you drowning in a sea of browser tabs. But hey, you’ve just hit the jackpot. With its stunning stretches of sand, charming towns dripping with history, and waves that call out to surfers and beach lovers alike, the Silver Coast is Portugal’s underrated gem.

Since calling Portugal my part-time home in 2021, I’ve explored the Silver Coast on three different occasions, ultimately calling the Silver Coast my favourite base for Portugal adventures.

From the surf haven that is Ericeira (my favourite coastal town in Portugal!), where the waves call to surfers of any experience level, to the timeless streets of Óbidos that seem straight out of a fairytale, perfect for romantics and history enthusiasts.

I’ve wandered through Coimbra, a city that wears its academic heart on its sleeve and basked in the laid-back vibe of Aveiro and Costa Nova, with its colourful moliceiros reminding me of a Portuguese Venice.

This is the ultimate insider’s guide to discovering the Silver Coast’s most inviting towns for your very first visit. Whether you’re here to catch the best waves, immerse yourself in Portugal’s rich history, savour the local cuisine (seafood, yum!), or simply soak up the sun on golden beaches, there’s a spot here calling your name.

I’m spilling all – the top spots to explore, the best cafes to linger in, and even the pros and cons of each town, all derived from my own personal experience

Ready to uncover the best of the Silver Coast of Portugal?

Where to Stay on Portugal Silver Coast Quick Guide

Coimbra | History Lovers, First Time Visitors
Obidos | Couples, Romantics
Ericeira | Surfers, Digital Nomads
Cascais | Luxury Travellers, Beaches
Nazare | Big Wave Surfers, Beaches
Figueira da Foz | Beaches, Families

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure for further information.

Where I Stay on the Portugal Silver Coast (and Love!)

I spend a lot of time in Ericeira and the coastal towns of the Silver Coast like Nazare and Peniche, but I also love a cozy little guest house within the historic walls of Obidos – perfect for a romantic weekend with my husband.

Best Places to Stay on Portugal’s Silver Coast Map

Where to stay on Portugal's Silver Coast map

Understanding the Silver Coast of Portugal’s Geography

Navigating Portugal’s Silver Coast might seem daunting at first glance, but let me break it down for you.

Stretching north from Lisbon to just below Porto, the Silver Coast, or ‘Costa de Prata,’ is a scenic expanse of coastline famed for its silver-hued beaches, lush landscapes, and historic towns that dot the shore. Imagine a less crowded version of the Algarve with a sprinkle of Northern Portugal’s charm, and you’re pretty much there.

This coastline is chockful of surfer-friendly waves in towns like Ericeira and Nazaré, serene sandy stretches in Figueira da Foz, and cultural hotspots such as the ancient city of Coimbra and the medieval town of Óbidos. Between these, you’ll find a mix of vibrant fishing villages and modern resorts, each with its own vibe and specialties.

Picture yourself driving along winding roads with the Atlantic on one side and rolling vineyards on the other—this is the essence of the Silver Coast. Ultimately, it takes only 5.5 hours to drive from the north to south of the Silver Coast (without stops), so you can spend as little as 3-5 days in this underrated region. But, of course, I recommend at least 7 days! 

This is one of my favourite places to road trip in Portugal.

Best Places to Stay on the Silver Coast, Portugal

1. Ericeira: Where to Stay on the Silver Coast of Portugal for Surfers

Best For |  Die-hard surfers, seafood lovers, quaint coastal vibes
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (40-minute drive)

expansive sandy beach sits along a rugged green coastline with waves coming in from the Atlantic in a Portugal Silver coastal town
Overlooking Ribeira d’Ilhas – World Surfing Reserve Ericeira

Nestled along Portugal’s rugged coast, Ericeira is more than just Europe’s first World Surfing Reserve, it’s a vibrant community where traditional Portuguese culture and a world-class surf scene collide. 

From the labyrinth of cobblestone streets housing boutique shops and historic sites to the panoramic views of the Atlantic that take your breath away at every turn, Ericeira truly captures the essence of coastal living.

The town’s culinary scene is also something to write home about, with seafood that goes from ocean to plate within hours. Mornings can be spent exploring local markets, where the day’s catch is proudly displayed alongside fresh produce, artisanal cheese, and homemade bread. 

tree lined Ericeira town square with pink flowers and blue umbrellas on a clear day on the Silver Coast of Portugal

For the active traveller, besides the legendary surf spots, hiking along the cliffs offers stunning views (one of my favourite pastimes in Ericeira), and yoga studios provide a peaceful retreat.

Activities like beachside barbecues in the summer, wine tasting in local vineyards, and participating in traditional festivals immerse you in the local culture. The blend of natural beauty, community spirit, and laid-back lifestyle makes Ericeira a unique Portugal destination.

Best Things to Do in Ericeira

  • Surfing the consistent waves at Ribeira d’Ilhas
  • Explore the historic centre with its mix of surf shops, boutique shops and cafes
  • Sunbathe or watch the sunset at Praia dos Pescadores
  • Visit the local markets

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Ericeira

Pros & Cons of Staying in Ericeira

Pros:

  • Exceptional surfing conditions across several beaches
  • Strong local culture with a welcoming community
  • Diverse food scene, especially for seafood lovers

Cons:

  • The town can get crowded, especially in the summer months, making it harder to enjoy some of its more popular spots
  • While the nightlife is cozy, those looking for a lively club scene might find it lacking
  • Limited parking in peak season can be a hassle
a sandy beach lies at the bottom of a rugged green cliff face on the left with a coastal town sitting on the top on a blue day on the Silver Coast Portugal
Ericeira’s Coastline

Best Hotels in Ericeira

2. Nazaré: Best Place to Stay on Silver Coast Portugal for Big Waves

Best For | Big wave surfers, Families Looking for a Beach Holiday
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (1 hour 15 minute drive)

Haley Blackall stands on a outcrop looking over Nazare's town centre and white sandy beach on a clear day along the West Coast of Portugal
Windy day overlooking the town of Nazare on Portugal’s Silver Coast

Ah, Nazaré, a town that truly needs no introduction among the big wave surfing community, but there’s so much more to it than just the towering waves of Praia do Norte

My first encounter with Nazaré was watching in awe as surfers tackled waves that seemed to defy the laws of nature. Yet, as I explored further, I discovered a town steeped in fishing traditions, with its women wearing seven skirts and streets filled with vibrant markets selling everything from seafood to handcrafted goods.

Nazaré splits into three main areas: Praia (the beach), Sitio (atop the cliff, offering breathtaking views), and Pederneira (the historical heart). Each offers a distinct flavour of the town’s rich history. 

For families, the sheltered beaches of Praia provide a perfect playground, while Sitio offers cultural insights and unforgettable panoramic views from the cliffside.

Whether you’re here to chase the giant waves, soak up the traditional Portuguese lifestyle, or simply enjoy a family holiday by the sea, Nazaré offers a unique blend of excitement and tranquillity. 

Best Things to Do in Nazaré

a gothic church with grey stone, white stone and red tiled roof lies behind a plaza with trees on a blue day in Nazare, one of the best places to stay on Portugal Silver Coast for big wave surfers
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazareth in Nazare, Portugal

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Nazaré

  • A Celeste: Known as ‘Celeste the Snack Bar,’ this place turned my simple lunch into an unforgettable meal with its seafood rice
  • Rosa dos Ventos: A hidden gem where I enjoyed the freshest grilled sardines ever
  • Le Petit Chef Belge for yummy food truck hamburgers and views

Pros & Cons of Staying in Nazaré

Pros:

  • Incredible waves and beach culture
  • Rich local traditions and friendly community
  • Diverse activities for all ages

Cons:

  • The main beach can get crowded in peak tourist season
  • Big waves are not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced surfers
  • Limited nightlife, focusing more on relaxed evening activities

Best Hotels in Nazaré

3. Peniche

Best For |  Surf Enthusiasts, History Buffs, Rugged Coastal Beauty
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (1 hour 10 minute drive)

colourful homes sit on the top of a green rugged cliff with ocean and blue sky in the distance in Peniche Portugal Silver Coast

Peniche presents a compelling case for visitors seeking a blend of exhilarating surf, captivating history, and breathtaking natural landscapes. Known for its exceptional waves, Supertubos Beach is a magnet for surfers worldwide, offering some of Europe’s best surfing conditions. 

Meanwhile, Baleal Beach caters to families and beginners, with its more forgiving waves and expansive sands.

The town’s historical depth is anchored by the Peniche Fortress, which has played various roles throughout history, from a defensive stronghold to a prison, and now serves as a museum. This site provides a fascinating glimpse into Portugal’s tumultuous past.

Peniche Fortress sits on top of a dramatic cliff with stone in the foreground on the west coast of Portugal
Peniche Fortress

A short boat ride from Peniche, the Berlengas Islands are a natural wonder not to be missed. Designated as a nature reserve, these islands offer pristine environments for hiking, bird watching, and snorkelling in crystal-clear waters.

Peniche’s allure doesn’t stop at its activities. The town itself, with its traditional architecture and seafood restaurants, invites visitors to immerse themselves in Portuguese culture and cuisine. 

If you are visiting outside of the high summer months make sure to bring some extra layers. The wind in Peniche can howl!

Best Things to Do in Peniche

  • Surf the powerful waves at Supertubos (advanced surfers only!)
  • Dive into history at the Peniche Fortress
  • Day trip to Berlengas Islands for hiking, bird-watching and snorkelling
  • Explore Peniche’s famous lace-making tradition and visit a local museum

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Peniche

  • Tasca do Joel for the best traditional Portuguese dishes, each with a contemporary twist (I loved my fish soup here!)
  • Os Americano’s for a relaxed vibe with hearty meals, perfect after a day in the surf
  • Restaurante D Raiz for traditional Portuguese seafood dishes

Pros & Cons of Staying in Peniche

Pros:

  • Diverse surf spots suitable for all levels
  • Rich cultural and historical attractions
  • Close to natural wonders like the Berlengas Islands

Cons:

  • The town can feel a bit industrial compared to other coastal gems
  • Weather can be unpredictable, with fog rolling in unexpectedly
  • In peak seasons, popular surf spots can get crowded
a local fisherman throws his line off a dramatic cliff into a turquoise ocean with a rocky pillar in Peniche Portugal West Coast
Local Fisherman fish on the Ilhéu da Papôa

Best Hotels in Peniche

4. Coimbra: Where to Stay on Portugal’s Silver Coast for History Lovers

Best For | History Lovers, Riverside Charm
Nearest Airport | Porto (1 hour 30 minute drive)

traditional Portguese white buildings with tiled red roofs line a hill in Coimbra where to stay on the Silver Coast of Portugal for history lovers

Coimbra, standing proudly as the academic heart of Portugal, offers a unique blend of historical depth and vibrant student life. 

The city is anchored by the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest in continuous operation in the world, making it a beacon for scholars and visitors alike. 

Key attractions include the university’s Joanina Library, an exquisite example of Baroque architecture housing ancient manuscripts that draw visitors from around the globe. 

Not to be missed is the Old Cathedral (Sé Velha), whose imposing façade symbolizes Coimbra’s rich history. For a touch of nature, the city’s botanical garden offers a peaceful escape with its diverse collection of plants and trees.

Make sure to spend time meandering the cobblestone streets where traditional Fado music can be heard in the evenings. The Mondego River provides a picturesque backdrop for leisurely walks or boat trips. 

Grab yourself an ice cream and sit in the plaza in front of the Santa Cruz Church for prime people-watching, or pop into the many shops and boutiques along the bustling Rua Visc. da Luz. Head up the hill towards the University using the Barbican Gate for the most quintessential Coimbra experience.

white stone church facade with cross on top on a blue day in one of Silver Coast's best towns
New Cathedral in Coimbra, Portugal

Best Things to Do in Coimbra

  • Explore the historic University of Coimbra, including the stunning Joanina Library
  • Visit the medieval Old Cathedral of Coimbra (Sé Velha) for its impressive Romanesque architecture
  • Go photo-happy at the Santa Clara-a-Velha Monastery
  • Stroll through the Botanical Garden

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Coimbra

three story whitewashed building with large stone gate, and tree on the right with blue sky
University of Coimbra Courtyard

Pros & Cons of Staying in Coimbra

Pros:

  • Numerous well-preserved monuments and museums
  • The academic atmosphere adds a vibrant energy to the city, especially during the academic year
  • Coimbra is relatively compact, making it easy to explore the main attractions on foot

Cons:

  • The city can be quite hilly, which might be challenging for some visitors
  • During peak tourist seasons and university events, it can get crowded, and accommodation prices may rise
  • Limited nightlife options compared to larger Portuguese cities, though there are plenty of cozy bars and cafés

Best Hotels in Coimbra

5. Óbidos: Best Place to Stay on the Silver Coast of Portugal for Couples

Best For | Couples, History Enthusiasts, Romantics
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (1 hour drive)

a grey stone wall surrounds Obidos with its white buildings, greenery and blue sky in Portugal Silver Coast town
The Stone Walls of Historic Obidos

Óbidos encapsulates the charm of a bygone era, with its well-preserved medieval walls, narrow cobbled streets, and picturesque whitewashed houses adorned with bougainvillea. 

Walking through its ancient gates feels like stepping into a medieval fairytale (no, for real!). I loved walking the ancient walls around golden hour before sunset for stunning views over the town and surrounding countryside. It’s an absolute must for anyone visiting this town on the Silver Coast Portugal.

The town’s main attraction is the Obidos Castle which sits prominently at the very north end of the town, which now serves as a pousada, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in history. The walls surrounding Óbidos provide panoramic views of the town and countryside, a must-do for any visitor. 

Not to be missed is the traditional Ginja de Óbidos, a cherry liqueur served in chocolate cups, a delight for the senses.

Obidos is a frequent destination for day trips from Lisbon which brings busloads of tourists daily. That’s why I recommend spending at least one night here to experience the charm of the town after the hoards leave.

Best Things to Do in Obidos

  • Walk the medieval town walls for stunning views
  • Visit and walk around the outside of Óbidos Castle
  • Explore Obidos’s unique bookshops, including one in a converted church
  • Sample traditional cherry liqueur (Ginja de Óbidos) served in a chocolate cup
  • Poke your head in the Church of Saint Mary for its painted wooden ceiling
white stone church with pointed steeple with a large tree and blue sky in Obidos where to stay in Silver Coast Portugal for couples
Church of Saint Mary in Obidos, Portugal

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Obidos

Pros & Cons of Staying in Obidos

Pros:

  • Rich in medieval history and architecture
  • Compact and easily walkable
  • The town hosts various festivals throughout the year

Cons:

  • Can get quite crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons and festivals
  • Very limited nightlife, focusing more on quiet evenings and romantic dinners
  • Accommodation options within the town walls are limited and can be pricier
an elderly woman in a beige sweater walks down a cobblestone street lined with white buildings in Obidos Portugal town

Best Hotels in Obidos

6. Batalha

Best For | Gothic Architecture Buffs
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (1 hour 30 minute drive)

gothic cathedral sits behind greenery and white building in Batalha Portugal Silver Coastal town
UNESCO Batalha Monastery

Batalha, home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Batalha Monastery, stands as a testament to the exquisite beauty of Gothic architecture in Portugal. 

This small town is a must-visit for anyone interested in the intricate details and monumental history that Gothic structures embody. 

My visit to Batalha was highlighted by the monastery. I loved how the mid-morning light shone through the stained glass windows and the arched courtyards.

The monastery alone is worth the trip, but the town’s quiet charm and strategic location for exploring the Silver Coast of Portugal add layers to the visit. 

As a former interior architect I always make a point to stay and visit architectural attractions and a stop at the Batalha Monastery is no exception. Yes, Batalha can be done on a day trip from nearby Coimbra, Nazare, or even Lisbon, but you wouldn’t get the cloisters to yourself before the tourist hoards arrive like you would if you spent a night there.

Best Things to Do in Baltalha

Haley Blackall stands in the light between stone arched openings in a long hallway in Batalha where to stay in Portugal Silver Coast for architecture lovers
Enjoying the incredible Gothic architecture of the Monastery’s inner courtyards

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Batalha

Pros & Cons of Staying in Batalha

Pros:

  • The monastery is a world-class historical and architectural site
  • Batalha is less crowded than other historic towns, providing a more serene experience
  • The town’s location makes it an excellent base for exploring nearby attractions, including Alcobaça and Fátima

Cons:

  • Limited nightlife and entertainment options, as the town is more focused on its historical and cultural offerings
  • Public transport to and from Batalha can be infrequent, making it more convenient to visit with a car
  • Dining options are somewhat limited, though the quality of traditional dishes is generally high

Best Hotels in Batalha

7. Aveiro & Costa Nova

Best For | Urban Explorers, Foodies, Beach Goers
Nearest Airport | Porto (1 hour drive)

traditional colourful boats float on a canal in front of baroque buildings on a clear sunny day in one of the best places to stay on Silver Coast of Portugal
Traditional Moliceiros on the Aveiro Canal

Aveiro grabs your attention with its vibrant art nouveau architecture and the picturesque canals crisscrossing the city, earning it the nickname “Venice of Portugal.” 

Unlike its Italian counterpart, Aveiro brings a unique Portuguese twist with moliceiros, colourful boats that offer leisurely tours along these waterways. The city’s modern vibe is seamlessly integrated with traditional elements, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in architecture and maritime history. 

Aveiro is also a gateway to some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches, including the famous Costa Nova, known for its distinctive striped houses. Culinary adventurers will delight in local specialties, notably the sweet ovos moles. 

three two story houses each with either red and white strip, green and white strip or blue and white strip exteriors along a promenade on a sunny day in Costa Nova Portugal Silver Coast
Striped Houses of Costa Nova, Silver Coast, Portugal

I loved meandering along the promenade in Costa Nova with an ice cream in hand. Make sure to stop along the boardwalk of Praia da Costa Nova to watch the waves.

Between its scenic canals, striking buildings, and sandy shores, Aveiro offers a diverse palette of experiences, blending the charm of its past with the buzz of contemporary life, making it an essential stop for anyone exploring Portugal’s Silver Coast.

Best Things to Do in Aveiro & Costa Nova

  • Experience Aveiro’s canals  on a Moliceiro Canal Tour
  • Visit the Art Nouveau Museum to brush up on the city’s architectural history
  • Spend a day at Costa Nova Beach known for its soft sands and colourful, striped houses
  • Learn about traditional salt harvesting methods at the Aveiro Salt Pans
  • Sample Ovos Moles, a sweet egg-based local delicacy
  • Pop your head into the Aveiro Museum for its baroque architecture
Haley Blackall wearing beige pants and flowy white top walks along a wood boardwalk out to an expansive sandy beach and ocean beyond on a blue day in Costa Nova, where to stay on Portugal's Silver Coast for beaches

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Aveiro & Costa Nova

Pros & Cons of Staying in Aveiro and Costa Nova

Pros:

  • Unique blend of traditional and modern attractions
  • Wide range of activities, from architectural tours to beach outings
  • Culinary scene with a focus on seafood and local sweets

Cons:

  • Canals and popular tourist spots can get crowded, especially in summer
  • Limited nightlife outside of the main tourist season
  • Some areas, particularly around the beaches, can be windy and cooler than expected
  • Less authentic Portuguese feeling

Best Hotels in Aveiro & Costa Nova

8. Sintra

Best For | Cultural, Castles, Nature
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (30 minute drive)

a red and yellow castle sits on top of a green hill on a blue day in Sintra one of the most romantic places to stay on Portugal Silver Coast
Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Sintra, a verdant oasis perched in the Sintra Mountains just a short trip from Lisbon, stands as a testament to architectural grandeur and natural beauty. This UNESCO World Heritage site captivates with its unique blend of lush landscapes and historic edifices, drawing visitors into a realm where every turn reveals a new marvel. 

The town is renowned for landmarks like the Pena Palace, an exemplar of Romanticist architecture adorned in vibrant hues and elaborate details, and the Moorish Castle, with its ancient fortifications offering sweeping views of the coastline and forested hills.

Sintra’s geographical layout, with its rolling hills and dense foliage, creates a microclimate that keeps it pleasantly cool, a welcome respite from Portugal’s summer heat. The winding roads leading to Sintra are flanked by quintas (estates) and exotic gardens, setting the stage for its fairy-tale ambiance. 

Key sites such as the enigmatic Quinta da Regaleira, with its Gothic towers, underground tunnels, and the Initiation Well, offer a deep dive into the mystical side of Portuguese aristocracy. 

Meanwhile, the historical centre of Sintra, with its cobbled streets and traditional shops, provides a picturesque setting for leisurely exploration and indulgence in local gastronomy. 

Sintra is the most visited destination in Portugal outside of Lisbon, so strap on your patience, because it will be busy!

Best Things to Do in Sintra

  • Marvel at the Pena Palace, a 19th-century Romanticist palace that stands atop a hill in the Sintra Mountains
  • Explore the Quinta da Regaleira estate that features lush gardens, mysterious grottoes, and the iconic Initiation Well
  • Climb the ancient walls of the Moorish Castle, a 9th-century fortress for breathtaking views of Sintra and beyond
  • Visit Sintra National Palace, the best-preserved medieval royal palace in Portugal
ornate stone castle with several towers sits behind greenery on a blue sky day in Sintra Portugal on Silver Coast where to stay for romantics and couples
Quinta da Regaleira Castle

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Sintra

Pros & Cons of Staying in Sintra

Pros:

  • Diverse historical sites from lavish palaces to ancient ruins
  • Stunning natural landscapes offer a cool retreat from the city
  • Rich gastronomy that blends traditional Portuguese flavours with modern culinary techniques

Cons:

  • Crowds can be significant, especially at major attractions like Pena Palace, during peak tourist seasons
  • Navigating the steep and narrow streets can be challenging, particularly for those driving
  • The weather can be quite variable, with fog and cooler temperatures common, even in summer

Best Hotels in Sintra

9. Cascais: Best Place to Stay on Portugal’s Silver Coast for Luxury

Best For | Beach Lovers
Nearest Airport | Lisbon (30 minute drive)

subdued pink building and blue and white striped lighthouse sit on a rocky peninsula with greenery and azure blue waters in Cascais one of the best places to stay on the Silver Coast of Portugal for luxury
Picturesque Santa Maria House Museum in Cascais

Cascais, once a quaint fishing village, has transformed into a sophisticated seaside town that effortlessly combines natural beauty with cosmopolitan flair

Situated on the Estoril Coast, just a stone’s throw from Lisbon, it offers a perfect blend of golden beaches, historic sites, and a vibrant dining scene that caters to all tastes.

During my explorations, I was particularly taken by the town’s ability to maintain its charm amidst its popularity. The bustling marina, the scenic Estoril promenade, and the serene Parque Marechal Carmona offer diverse experiences, from leisurely strolls to lively beach outings.

The Paula Rego House of Stories and the Castro Guimarães Museum are testaments to the town’s rich artistic heritage. And for those seeking outdoor adventures, the nearby Sintra-Cascais Natural Park provides rugged cliffs and hidden beaches, perfect for hiking and nature walks.

Dining in Cascais is a delight, with a plethora of options ranging from traditional Portuguese seafood dishes to international cuisine. 

The town’s relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for travellers looking to experience the best of Portugal’s coastal lifestyle.

golden sandy beach lines a sophisticated coastline with blue waters and multi story hotel in Cascais Portugal town
Praia da Ribeira in Cascais’s City Centre

Best Things to Do in Cascais

  • Hit up some of the finest beaches in Portugal from family-friendly Praia da Rainha to the surfer’s paradise at Guincho Beach
  • Explore the cultural scene by visiting the Paula Rego House of Stories and the maritime-focused Museum of the Sea
  • Enjoy a scenic walk along the Estoril promenade, connecting Cascais to Estoril, with stunning views of the Atlantic
  • Venture into the Sintra-Cascais National Park for breathtaking landscapes and outdoor activities

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Cascais

Pros & Cons of Staying in Cascais

Pros:

  • High-quality dining options with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients
  • Proximity to Lisbon, making it easily accessible for day trips or longer stays

Cons:

  • Popular tourist destination, which means it can get crowded, especially in the summer months
  • Prices for dining and accommodation can be higher compared to less touristy areas
  • Limited public transport options within the town, making walking or cycling the best ways to explore

Best Hotels in Cascais

10. Figueira da Foz: Where to Stay on the Silver Coast of Portugal for Families

Best For | Beach Lovers, Families
Nearest Airport | Porto (1 hour 30 minute drive)

two surfers with surfboards stand on a beach at sunset in Figueira da Foz Portugal town
Surfers stand on a beach in Figueira da Foz at Sunset by Sacha Verheij

Figueira da Foz, often referred to as the ‘Queen of Beaches,’ stands out for its vast sandy shores that stretch as far as the eye can see. 

This coastal city, nestled at the mouth of the Mondego River, is not just about its impressive beaches; it’s a place where cultural vibrancy and maritime heritage coalesce, offering a multifaceted vacation experience. 

What caught my attention during my visit was the seamless integration of Figueira’s expansive seafront with its lively city centre, where Art Nouveau buildings house cafes, galleries, and theatres, adding a layer of sophistication to the beach experience.

The city’s iconic Santa Catarina Fort and the Sotto Mayor Palace are testaments to its historical depth, providing a contrast to the modern-day leisure activities available along the promenade and at the marina. 

Best Things to Do in Figueira da Foz

  • Spend a day at Praia da Claridade enjoying sunbathing, swimming, and water sports
  • Explore the local Mercado Municipal for fresh produce, seafood, and traditional crafts

Best Restaurants and Cafes in Figueira da Foz

  • Casa Havanesa: A historic cafe known for its pastries and coffee
  • Caçarola Dois: Ideal for sampling the local cuisine in a relaxed, family-friendly setting

Pros & Cons of Staying in Figueira da Foz

Pros:

  • Expansive beaches with plenty of space for relaxation and recreation
  • A mix of cultural attractions and leisure activities caters to a wide range of interests
  • Vibrant dining scene with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced seafood

Cons:

  • The city can be quite windy, affecting beach conditions and water sports
  • In peak summer months, the main beach and city attractions can get crowded
  • Public transport options are limited, making it challenging to explore the surrounding areas without a car

Best Hotels in Figueira da Foz

Where to Stay on Portugal’s Silver Coast FAQ

What are the best towns to stay in on Portugal’s Silver Coast for first-time visitors?

Ericeira, with its vibrant surf scene and welcoming atmosphere, is a top pick for those looking to catch some waves or enjoy coastal charm. Coimbra, known for its historic university and rich cultural heritage, offers a deep dive into Portugal’s academic and architectural splendor.

Can you recommend family-friendly accommodations on the Silver Coast?

Aveiro, with its child-friendly boat tours along the canals and colorful architecture, is ideal for families. Additionally, Figueira da Foz offers wide, sandy beaches perfect for kids to play on, making these towns great choices for family stays on the Silver Coast.

Where should surfers stay on the Silver Coast to catch the best waves?

Ericeira, recognized as a World Surfing Reserve, offers a range of surf spots for all levels, while Peniche is famous for Supertubos and hosts international surfing competitions. Both towns have surf schools, shops, and a vibrant surf culture, making them ideal bases for surf enthusiasts.

three beginner surfers carry their surfboards on a sandy beach in Ericeira with a multi-story hotel in the distance on a rocky outcrop in Portugal
Surf lesson in Ericeira, Portugal Silver Coast

Are there any romantic getaways on the Silver Coast?

Sintra, with its mystical palaces and lush gardens, and Óbidos, featuring charming medieval streets and cozy accommodations, are perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape. These towns offer a quiet, enchanting atmosphere with plenty of scenic spots for unforgettable moments.

What areas on Portugal’s Silver Coast are best for experiencing local Portuguese cuisine?

Aveiro is celebrated for its seafood dishes and traditional ovos moles. Nazaré and Cascais also shine with their fresh, local seafood offerings, providing a true taste of Portuguese coastal cuisine in settings that range from upscale restaurants to casual beachside eateries.

Where on the Silver Coast can I enjoy a vibrant nightlife?

Cascais is known for its bustling bars and summer beach parties, attracting a lively crowd. Ericeira also offers a vibrant nightlife scene with a mix of surf bars, clubs, and seasonal events that cater to both locals and visitors looking for fun after dark.

What towns on the Silver Coast are recommended for cultural and historical exploration?

Coimbra, with its ancient university and historical sites, offers a deep dive into Portugal’s rich academic and cultural heritage. Batalha is renowned for its stunning Gothic monastery, a masterpiece of architectural history, making these towns must-visit destinations for history enthusiasts.

Are there any luxury resorts on the Silver Coast?

Cascais and Sintra boast several luxury resorts and boutique hotels that offer upscale accommodations, fine dining, and spa services, set against the backdrop of the region’s natural beauty and historical sites. These locations provide an exquisite blend of relaxation, luxury, and cultural exploration.

What is the best way to get around the Silver Coast?

Renting a car provides the most flexibility for exploring the Silver Coast, allowing visitors to discover hidden gems and easily travel between towns. Public transportation is available, with buses and trains connecting major towns, but a car offers more convenience for off-the-beaten-path adventures.

What’s the best time of year to visit the Silver Coast?

The summer months (June to August) are ideal for beach activities and festivals, offering warm weather and lively atmospheres. However, visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) provides milder weather, fewer crowds, and comfortable conditions for sightseeing and outdoor activities.

Where to stay in Portugal's Silver Coast for history lovers on a bustling commerce street in Coimbra
Coimbra’s bustling Rua Visc. da Luz

Best Towns on Silver Coast Portugal Final Thoughts

So, you’ve got the lowdown on where to stay along Portugal’s Silver Coast, from the surfer’s paradise of Ericeira to the academic splendour of Coimbra. Each town offers its unique flavour, blending natural beauty, historical wonders, and vibrant culture into the perfect seaside escape.

Whether you’re drawn to the architectural marvels of Sintra, the culinary delights of Aveiro, or the laid-back beaches of Figueira da Foz, the Silver Coast of Portugal welcomes you to explore this underrated region.
At the end of the day, securing a cozy spot in any of these Silver Coast towns, ensures you’re never far from the heart of what makes the Silver Coast so special.

Portugal Travel Planning Guide


What is the best way to book my Portugal accommodation?

I always use booking.com for all my accommodations worldwide, and Portugal is no exception. I stayed in some really epic places on my adventure around this coastal gem.

What are the best day tours to the Silver Coast of Portugal?

Taking a day tour on Portugal’s Silver Coast is a great way to experience the top attractions and learn from a knowledgeable guide.

I highly recommend these Silver Coast tours:

► Should I rent a car in Portugal?

If you are flying in and out of Lisbon and don’t plan to leave the city, I don’t recommend renting a car. You can easily get around Lisbon by walking or by taking public transportation.

If you plan to take day trips from Lisbon around Portugal I would highly recommend renting a car in Portugal. Trams and buses are a little slower in the rural part of the country, so to maximize your holiday time, definitely rent a car at either the Porto or Lisbon Airports.

► What is the best site to buy flights to Portugal?

For finding cheap flights to Portugal, I recommend booking through Skyscanner.

► Can you drink tap water in Portugal?

Yes! You can drink straight from the tap in Portugal.

If you plan to do a lot of walking in Portugal, I recommend bringing my favourite self-filtering water bottle with you, just in case.

More Where to Stay in Portugal Guides

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