Visit Portugal

Caldas da Rainha

Seven proposals to discover the West region of Portugal

The western region of Portugal, at north of Lisbon, has an immense variety of places of great historical interest, fascinating cuisine and some of the best surfing destinations in the world.

There is no need to search far or travel many kilometers to find points of enormous tourist interest in this region. From castles, palaces, gardens, mountains, lagoons, little frequented beaches, beaches recognized worldwide for the practice of surfing and its giant waves, the entire region of the West of Portugal is a box of surprises that deserves a visit.

We have already visited this region several times and in this article we have selected seven locations close to each other that allow us to be explored in a short time, combining historical interest such as the passion for natural landscapes and the sea.

Itenerary

A - Obidos - fortified village

Óbidos is located inside Walls, has narrow and ancient streets, a castle where hotel currently operates, viewpoints on top of the walls were you can walk along its several kilometers and in all twelve churches and chapels. In addition, the typical itinerary takes us through the right street full of small shops, souvenir houses and sales of Ginjinha, the traditional liquor from Óbidos that can be drunk in a glass of chocolate. Óbidos was conquered from the Moors in the 12th century by the "door of betrayal" opened by a Moor in love with a commander of Portuguese troops, a door that is much closer to the castle. However, currently the most used entrance to the village is the Porta da Vila, where you can also see a tile mural.

Óbidos - Centro da vila

Center of Óbidos

Feira Natal - Óbidos

Óbidos Castle

In this article you can learn more about ÓBIDOS

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B - Caldas da Rainha - ceramics and spas

Our first proposal to visit in Caldas da Rainha is the D. Carlos I Park, big garden in the central part of the city where you can find a lake and the beautiful facade of the old thermal hospital that it's currently closed. Inside the garden is also the José Malhoa Museum - the first museum open to the public in Portugal based on a private collection.

Caldas da Rainha is par excellence, a city marked by ceramic production, thanks to Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro, ceramist, journalist, caricaturist, artisan, decorator, teacher and director who installed a faience factory in the city in 1884 and where it began to be produced. popular dishes from Caldas. So when you go to caldas you must go through its streets (Rua das Montras and Rua de Camões are two good examples) and more traditional shops to be able to take home a sample of the dishes, but also the sweets such as cavacas, trouxas- de-ovo or the kisses.

 

Hospital Termal

Thermal Hospital

 

C - Foz do Arelho - where the lagoon meets the sea

Foz do Arelho is a coastal town, belonging to the municipality of Caldas da Rainha, located about ten minutes from the city. In the middle of summer, it is one of the most popular beaches on the West side and is at the mouth of the Óbidos Lagoon. Foz do Arelho was once a fishing village, but nowadays it is more directed towards tourism, with some central streets with a great offer of restaurants and bars. When visited during the winter it looks more like a ghost town but its natural beauty focuses especially on the landscape of the Óbidos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. It is a beach with extensive sand and Óbidos Lagoon is one of the most extensive lagoon systems in the country, privileged habitat of an extensive fauna and flora allowing the practice of birdwatching.

IMG 4462

Foz do Arelho

 

Accommodations in Foz do Arelho and surroundings.

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D - São Martinho do Porto - the shell-shaped bay

São Martinho do Porto is part of our itinerary, due to the almost circular or shell-shaped shape of its bay. This was the aspect that appealed to us to visit this fishing village in the tourist region known as the Silver Coast. The bay with an extensive beach and a very calm sea as it is protected from the sometimes violent ocean and strong winds was an important sea port and is currently more oriented towards tourism. This is a beach destination, which can be a more peacefull alternative to Nazaré and with an incomparable beauty of its bay making it unique in Portugal and Europe. In addition to the beach, São Martinho do Porto also has several viewpoints that allow you to observe the sea and the bay (Miradouro do Largo José Bento da Silva), the Morro de Santo António lighthouse, the pedestrian passage from the bay to the rough sea.

São Martinho do Porto

São Martinho do Porto Bay

São Martinho do Porto - Entrada para a baia

São Martinho do Porto - Bay entrance

 

E - Nazaré and it's giant waves

On our tour of the Silver Coast, we mistakenly set little time to visit Nazaré and we only had time to visit Norte Beach (Praia do Norte) were the surfers search the famous giant waves of the Nazaré canyon. Nevertheless, Nazaré has a big seafront and is a very popular destination in the summer season. The most interesting place in Nazaré is the Sítio da Nazaré area, located on the cliff, in the highest part of the city. To get there, you can travel by funicular, from the city center or obviously, on foot or by car. In this area, you will have a stunning view of the city and beaches, including the famous Praia do Norte. In addition to the view, you can visit the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré or the Ermida da Memória and the Forte de São Miguel Arcanjo. This is the most popular place to watch the waves at Praia do Norte.

Praia do Norte

Norte Beach - Nazaré 

Stay in Nazare.

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F - Peniche, the westernmost city in Europe

Peniche is located on a small peninsula with a small piece of land that connects it to the mainland. When we entered Peniche, we passed one of the gates of the Peniche Fortress wall. This is one of the most visited places in the city and to get to know it, you can take a walk through its streets, next to the walls and towards Fortaleza. This monument was built in 1557 by King D. João III and was completed almost a century later. The fortress was still a political prison during the new state and today is the Municipal Museum of Peniche. In the other part of the city we find Cabo Carvoeiro. In addition to the 27-meter high lighthouse, this entire area is a enormous geological and landscape richness. This wealth is associated with the various limestone cliffs and the strange shapes existing in these rocks, formed over the years by the action of the sea and wind. At some distance you can see the Berlengas islands or Berlengas Nature Reserve. During our trip we cannot visit because are only boats during the summer months.

 

Farol do Cabo Carvoeiro

Cabo Carvoeiro lighthouse

Cabo Carvoeiro

Cabo Carvoeiro and Berlengas islands 

G - Baleal Beach

Baleal Beach, located at north of Peniche is divided into two parts, Baleal North and Baleal south. This is an interesting feature that deserves a visit, even if it is not during the summer months to enjoy these waters. Separating these beaches is a stretch of sand and the only road connecting Baleal to the mainland. Baleal is a small village, on a very small peninsula. In addition to Balaal, where there are good restaurants, the beaches with extensive sands are perfect for sunbathing and practicing some water sports.

 Baleal

Baleal Norte and Baleal Sul

Panoramica Baleal

 Baleal

 

Plan your trip using the following tools and / or websites

done_outline To find the best hotels rates, use the Booking. It is one of the best booking websites for stays.

done_outline To compare prices for stays you can use the Hotels Combined or hotellook. These search engines show the different prices of other websites to the same destination.

done_outline If you need to travel by plane, search for flights on a price comparator. Highly recommend the jetradar.

done_outline To search for activities you can access this existing comparator on the scannertrip.

done_outline Transfers to and from the airport can be purchased through the website kiwitaxi. So you do not need to get in touch with the different companies in your destination looking for the best price.

done_outline To find the best car rental price you can use the autoeurope website that compares the prices of different companies.

Using the links above and the tools on the website you will helping to keep Scannertrip. For the use of this links and tools you will not pay more for it but for Scannertrip will makes all the difference!

 

 

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