Caldas da Rainha, Óbidos, Peniche including beaches and other locations

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The Silver Coast

The Silver Coast of Portugal is less than three hours flying from the UK and is served primarily by Lisbon Airport. Porto is slightly further away approximately 2 ½ hours and Faro 3 hours. From the Silver Coast, trips can be made to the Berlenga Islands by boat from Peniche and to the Azores by ferry from Lisboa (Lisbon). 

Casa da Luisa overlooks the Silver Coast and is a short distance to Caldas da Rainha, Óbidos, Peniche and other picturesque locations. The Silver Coast has a variety of beautiful beaches, notably Peniche and Baleal (widely held to be some of the best beaches on the Silver Coast) and S Martino do Porto. Peniche has a relaxed atmosphere suitable for both couples and families alike. There are a large variety of restaurants with excellent quality and very reasonable prices. Foz has a beachside promenade to amble along and enjoy the atmosphere. At Foz visit the small bars and restaurants in the evening and watch the sun setting at the mouth of the lagoon into the Atlantic. 

Caldas da Rainha

The larger spa town of Caldas da Rainha is 10 minutes drive from Casa da Luisa with a number of large supermarkets, daily fruit/vegetable and fish market together with a railway/coach network and banks etc. Caldas da Rainha is famous for its cakes and ceramics and has a fantastic array of designer shops. A good selection of banks are open Monday-Friday from 8.30pm - 3.00pm, however they are closed on Saturday/Sunday. The following websites contain further information.

For authentic Portuguese food, try Albertinos just outside Caldas da Rainha: Adega do Albertino, Rua Julio de Sousa, Imaginario, 2500-312 Caldas da Rainha Tel 262 835 152

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The preserved medieval town of Óbidos lies 80 km north of Lisbon and is without doubt one of Portugal's most classic walled settlements. Dom Dinis gave the medieval town to his wife, Queen Isabel, in 1282, which helped earn it the name, "Town of Queens." Wander along the narrow streets, past charming whitewashed houses where colourful flowers spill from window boxes, walk the walls of the castle that surround the entire town and explore the boutiques, too. When strolling along the maze of narrow cobbled streets of Óbidos, at each step, one comes upon vestiges of different civilizations. From the hidden corners and high walled gardens of the old medina area to the gothic, Renaissance and Baroque features the Town is an extensive work of art carved, destroyed and rebuilt throughout the centuries. Besides its material heritage of the past, Óbidos is a melting pot of historical tradition and is still today one of the main jewels of the country. The magnificent Óbidos is just 10 kilometres by car from Casa da Luisa.

There are a variety of restaurants, shops selling local items and coffee bars. Óbidos is a perfect place for an evening meal with a large choice of upmarket restaurants. Óbidos has evening entertainment in the form of open air concerts and performances. A horse and cart is available to hire to take you and your family on a tour of the medieval town. For more information on Óbidos please visit:


The small fishing village of Peniche with its spectacular waves and landscape is just a short drive away. The fish restaurants here are a must and you are welcomed to choose your own catch of the day or lobster.

For more information on Peniche please visit: and for spectacular photographs see 



Baleal is a child friendly beach with guards and is good for body boarding. There is even a cold shower to rinse off before going to Peniche for a seafood supper. If you walk over the narrow road between the two sections of water into Baleal town centre you will not be disappointed. The views of the rocks on the far side of the village are amazing.  


Nazare is known as one of the most picturesque fishing villages in all of Portugal and that's saying something in a country of countless picturesque fishing villages. Don't forget your camera! Visit the tiny chapel by the sea and perhaps buy cashews from local women in the square.

S Martino do Porto 


S Martino do Porto has a lovely natural beach with a boardwalk all the way around so good for walking. There is a one way system in the actual town centre as there is a lovely pedestrianised area to walk from the beach to the restaurants.



A visit to the green hills and old quarters of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the 19th century mystical Regaleira Palace with its turrets, gardens and grottos is a must. Lord Byron once called Sintra "glorious Eden".

Other locations nearby are also a variety of historical centres including monastery at Alcobaça ,the 14th century Gothic abbey at Batalha, a number of castles, caves and places of historical interest can all be reached within a 40 minute drive. Elsewhere, there are national parks, hills and mountains to explore. To make it a difficult choice for the curious visitor and only slightly farther afield, lie the impressive Mafra Convent, the cosmopolitan seaside resorts on the way to Cascais, the verdant Serra da Arrábida and picturesque Sesimbra, the Sado estuary and the aristocratic farmhouses of Azeitão. Driving south, the ochre and blue unspoiled beaches on the Alentejo coastline open on to a vast Atlantic horizon.
Arrábida Natural Reserve Guided Tour


Visit Coimbra, Portugal's first capital. Coimbra is one of Europe's oldest university townsóKing Dinis founded the university here in 1290. Six of Portugal's kings were born here and it's the site of the largest Roman settlement in the country. Fatima 1 Hour away from Casa da Luisa is the holy site/shrine of Fatima. Lousã A hike up Lousã Mountain starts at Lousã Castle, built in the 10th century. Pass the Sra da Piedade Chapels then at the top explore the tiny villages of Talasnal and Casal Novo where the stone cottages have one floor for people and one floor for sheep! Nature is bountiful here - raspberries, chestnuts, apples and grapes can be found along the way, and awesome views are guaranteed. The gentle flowing Mondego River is perfect for a two-hour kayak tour. Amarante Amarante is a lovely town lying on both sides of the Rio Tamega, its two halves joined together by a much-photographed 18th century bridge. Discover the charms of Amarante's cobblestone streets, churches, shops and the traditional Saturday market on an early morning sojourn through town.



Portugal's capital city of Lisbon, or Lisboa as it's called here, is steeped in legend. Remember it can be very hot in Lisboa so drink lots of fluid and take many rest breaks when walking around the city! Did Ulysses found Lisboa, as some believe? Find out on a tour beginning in the Alfama, the old Moorish quarter that survived the earthquake of 1755. Step into the past and wind through the ancient streets and buildings remaining from that distant time, and visit St. George's Castle high on a hill standing guard over the city. Visit one of the many old churches that give Portugal much of its character, the Se, built by Dom Alfonso Henriques who captured Lisbon from the Moors in 1147. One of the longest bridges in the world is in Lisbon, and throughout the city there are elevators that carry people up to the top of the many hills. Leave the past behind to explore state-of-the-art Lisbon Oceanarium, largest aquarium in Europe and second largest in the world (only one in Japan is bigger). Among its 16,000 animals and plants are sharks, rays and barracudas circling in the massive Global Ocean Tank. For more information on Lisbon, see the following websites: For hotel information in Lisbon, see: , and/or



Faro is the administrative centre for the whole of the Algarve region with a population in excess of 55,000 people. The city has both Arab and Roman ruins but most of the present attractive older buildings were constructed after the disastrous earthquake of both 1755 and 1532. The Moors who occupied the town in the 8th Century originally gave the city it the name of Ossónoba and developed it into a trading port until 1249. They were then defeated by the forces of Dom Afonso III. With the decline of the importance of the city of Silves this town took over the role of administration of the Algarve area. The Earl of Essex sacked the town in 1596 with his fellow crusaders on their journey to the Holy Land and the collection of books taken from the palace of the Bishop of Faro became an important part of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England. Another interesting point is that during the 500 years of Moorish occupation there were some Jewish inhabitants in Faro who were kept busy printing copies of the Old Testament. For more information see And for hotels in Faro see:


Then there's Oporto (Porto), the country's second largest city and home of one of Portugal's most famous products, Port wine, as well as ancient monasteries and Stone Age art. While parents sample local wines, children head to the river for an adventure of their own. The Porto Manor House, Oporto is a unique family estate with a beautiful main house, gardens and a small zoo. Children can enjoy the zoo while adults and teens take in the exquisite home and gardens. Website for Porto including hotels:, and

Map/Photographs of Regions of Portugal

For more information on Portugal see:

For regional photos of Portugal see: and

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