Portugal

The Silver Coast Portugal: The Ultimate Guide For Expats

Updated: 1 October 2021

The Silver Coast is a beautiful coastal region in Portugal, stretching across the western coastline of the country. Situated between Lisbon and Porto, it’s home to charming towns and stunning beaches. The coastline is about 240 km long, from Santa Cruz in the south to Espinho in the north. It’s originally known as Costa de Prata.

The Silver Coast is also known as the Algarve of the North, but it’s a less touristic version. The region remains unexplored with its wilder and more pristine beaches. In this guide, you’ll explore the region and get to know more about its hidden gems. Let’s start!

Why Live in the Silver Coast Portugal?

If you’re planning to live in Portugal, then Silver Coast is one of the best places to consider. It’s already among the most favorite spots for people to buy a home and relocate. The lower cost of living compared to the rest of Europe and the great value of real estate prices make it easier for people to make this region their second home. Moreover, there is so much to explore in this region, along with great hospitality and scrumptious cuisine. 

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider living in the Silver Coast, Portugal.

Magnificent Coastline

The Silver Coast is home to some of the best beaches you’ll ever see in Portugal. Since it’s away from the main crowd of the country, the beaches here are wilder and more pristine. You get to see Sao Martinho do Porto, which has a shell-shaped bay and massive dune. Also, don’t miss out on Foz do Arelho, where the Atlantic ocean combines with Obidos Lagoon. Sao Martinho do Porto is the best family beach in the region, where you’ll also enjoy a breathtaking sunset. Additionally, the small waves and various water sports make it a great place for families. Nazaré is a town that is popular for its scenery, distinctive culture, and glorious beaches. Praia do Norte is a must-visit beach here known for its big waves. Also, being popular for fishing is a great place to try local cuisine and experience the culture.

Rich History and Unique Culture

Every region of Portugal has something unique to offer in terms of history and culture. You’ll even see a change in language and accent as you explore this magnificent region. If you go to Nazaré, you’ll find local women wearing sete saias, a traditional attire that represents the region’s biblical beliefs. You can get to know about the country’s history and culture a lot by exploring the monuments here. The Castle of Obidos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Alcobaca Monastery, the first gothic building, is among the most popular sites to see. Apart from that, small villages continue to host events throughout the year.

Close to Central Locations

The Silver Coast is situated at the center of Portugal with an excellent road network. So you’ll have no trouble getting to places from this town. It’s close to all the main railroad systems and main highways. And you can reach the international airport in just an hour. Additionally, there are buses to get you from one place to another.

Attractive Property Prices

High real estate prices are among the main issues that hinder the whole investment or relocation process. But Silver Coast, Portugal isn’t just pretty to look at; it’s also a welcoming town. One of the main reasons to live in Portugal is the affordability of the Silver Coast. There are many options for both apartments and houses. Whether you prefer traditional houses, contemporary living space, or an ideal combination of two, there are many options. No matter which property you choose, you’ll be enjoying the amazing view of the landscape and the beach. It’ll be worth spending every penny.

Delicious Food

In terms of cuisine, Silver Coast will leave you wanting more. You’ll be able to try some of the best seafood dishes in restaurants here. Moreover, there’s always access to fresh vegetables and fruits, thanks to the local farmers. Moreover, fresh produce is widely available at the local market spawned across the town. The land is brimmed with small farms, green fields, fruit trees, and vineyards that are exposed to good weather and plenty of sunshine.

Quality of Life

If you’re looking for a relaxed, peaceful experience, then this town is the perfect place to live. It encompasses small towns and villages where people generally know each other. And the residents are hospitable and are very friendly with the foreigners. The relaxed life and love for little things make living here so much better. With beaches within walking distance, you can spend time with your family there. Contrary to city life, people here aren’t rushing to get to places. Instead, the slow-paced life here is very relaxing.

Something Is Going On All Year Round

The Silver Coast Portugal is charming in its ways. The mild temperature most of the time during the year makes long walks on the beach so much more enjoyable. Whether it’s the cool breeze of the Atlantic or massive waves of the North Canyon, you have something to unwind throughout the year. And with locals constantly hosting some event, living in the Silver Coast can never be dull.

Where Is the Silver Coast?

This beautiful region stretches across the western shoreline, from Porto to Lisbon. The region has more than 150 km of beaches, villages, and mountains. In addition to the coastal towns like Peniche and Nazaré, it also encompasses inland locations like Coimbra, Obidos, and Torres Vedras. The region is positioned between the two main cities of the country that include Lisbon and Porto. There’s easy access to transportations, including rail systems, bus stations, and airports. So you’ll never be far away from opportunities to travel across the country.

Buying Property in the Silver Coast as a Foreigner

When it comes to making real estate investments, Silver Coast is very expat-friendly. You can buy or rent properties based on your requirements. Whether it’s a home or an apartment, you’ll get plenty of options to explore. They are available at different price ranges based on the location and type of property that you are willing to invest in or rent. It’ll be wise to be familiar with the terminology before you start your search. Below we’ve listed some useful terms: 

  •   Casa geminada refers to a semi-detached house. It means that you get two symmetrical houses sharing one wall.
  •   A casa or moradia refers to a detached home. It may or may not come with outdoor areas like front or backyard, patio, etc.
  •   Condos or condominios are single apartment buildings that share a common area. With these apartments, you can rest assured of better maintenance. However, these are quite expensive to buy or rent.
  •   Quintas are standard Portuguese rustic houses or farms. You can find these in inland regions of the country. However, there are some in the suburban regions as well.
  • Terreno is Portuguese for land. If you want to build your own house, then you can buy a property registered for inhabitation. In some conditions, you’re also allowed to build agricultural land, but you need to check that with the city hall or the Câmara Municipal.

 For more information on the process, check out our Buying Property in Portugal article.

Where To Live in the Silver Coast: Best Cities and Towns

Now that you already know that Silver Coast is a safe, expat-friendly town with stunning beaches, sleepy fishing villages, cafes, and restaurants, let’s dive deep into some of its most popular towns and cities that are worth exploring.

Óbidos

Óbidos is a captivating town and home to Portugal’s queens after Alfonso II gifted it to Urraca of Leon, his wife, in the 1200s. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the preferred towns for expats and foreigners looking to lead a retirement life or start a new life. The best part is that the A8 roadway built between Óbidos and Lisbon enables easy access to the region. This medieval village portion of Silver Coast lingers at shops selling clothing and handicrafts, cafes offering mouth-watering delicacies of the region, several golf championship sites, and unique bookstores. With Silver Coast continuing to grow, more tourists and expats are attracted to it. 

Nazaré

Just 1.5- hour drive from Lisbon, Nazaré is a beautiful coastal city that is a haven for expats and tourists alike. People here love to fish and live a retired lifestyle. People looking to move to Portugal find Nazaré an ideal destination because of its natural beauty, quality of life, nearby urban centers, richness in traditions, simple and open-minded folks, the beaches, and the cost of living. The town’s geography makes it enticing for expats and foreigners. Also, the cost of living is reasonable. For example, you can find a two-room apartment for around €500 per month.

Peniche

White windmills above the scenic harbors and painted boats resting in the crystal clear waters, Peniche is a paradise where romance, culture, and adventure lurks. As an expat looking to live a retired life or start a new life, you’ll find the place quite affordable. According to the figures surveyed on Numbeo,  you can get a one-bedroom apartment in the center for around €350.

Torres Vedras

Torres Vedras is popularly known for its Carnival. But the city has much more to offer. Torres Vedras is just 40 minutes away from Lisbon. There are six great beaches for you to explore. Also, many expats have started their own surfing business here, where they take foreigners and tourists on surfing adventures, among other water sports. If you’re planning to live in Torres Vedras, you can easily find an affordable housing.

Coimbra

Coimbra was the first capital of Portugal. Also, it’s home to the oldest university in the country. So, if you’re looking for a place with deep cultural heritage, you can choose this city to spend the rest of your life. Coimbra attracts a lot of students from all over the world. Therefore, renting rooms and apartments are highly affordable. Also, if you own a place, you can start a renting business because it’s highly profitable as the city sees a high number of students looking for accommodation.  

Caldas da Rainha

Caldas da Rainha is a town filled with mystery. It’s said that when Queen Leonor was passing through the town in 1484, she saw peasants bathing and smelling water near the roadside. When she asked, the peasants told her about the healing power of the water. Her curiosity forced her to try the thermal waters for herself. Later she built a hospital around the water body, and it’s still in operation. For expats, this is one thing that attracts them to Caldas da Rainha. With its low cost of living, a large expat community, incredible healthcare facilities, the city has emerged as a favorite place for foreigners and expats to retire.

How To Live in the Silver Coast as a Foreigner: Residence Permits and  Entry Visas

Before coming to Silver Coast Portugal, it’s important to determine which Portuguese resident permit or visa is required to legally enter and live in the country. Depending on your nationality, Portuguese immigration differs. Also, your intended length of stay and the purpose of your stay in Portugal are also considered.

Living in the Silver Coast as an EU Citizen

EU citizens can enter Portugal without a need for an additional visa. If you’re an EU citizen and planning to stay in the country for more than 90 days, you’ll be required to apply for the registration certificate. You need to apply for the registration certificate at the local council within 30 days following the first 90 days in the national territory. The cost of registration is €15.

Living in the Silver Coast as a non-EU/US Citizen

The Portuguese immigration law includes several international agreements with non-EU countries. The countries include New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the US. As a national of any of these countries, Portugal allows you to enter and stay in the country for 90 days without needing any visa. People from countries apart from these will need a visa to enter the country. So if you want to live in the Silver Coast for more than three months, below are some options.

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa is a special visa scheme designed to attract expats and foreign investment into the country. It speeds up the process for non-EU residents, provided that they meet the terms and conditions. Once you get a Portugal Golden Visa, you first get a residency which can later lead to citizenship.

Portugal Golden Visa offers residency in return for investment. The program offers different investment options depending on the investor’s criteria. Depending on your needs, you can either choose to buy real estate, invest in Portuguese investment funds, or prefer the capital transfer option. Once you get your Golden Visa, you can live in Portugal without any visa requirements.

The highlight of the program is that you’re not required to make a full relocation to Portugal. By staying in the country only for seven days on average, you can maintain your Golden Visa. If you have business interests outside the country, this will be beneficial for you.

For further reading, please refer to our Portugal Golden Visa Program guide.

D7 Visa

D7 Visa is a special visa offered by the Portuguese government to non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who wish to live in the country on their own income. If you have a rental income, a pension, or financial investments, you can be eligible to apply for a D7 Visa. The minimum income requirement is €1,000. 

Cost of Living in the Silver Coast

The primary reason why more and more expats and foreigners are preferring to relocate to the Silver Coast is because of its affordability. From affordable investment options to a rich history and a good community of expats, Silver Coast is one of the most desirable places to live in. Let’s break down the cost of living in Silver Coast for your better understanding.

Accommodation in the Silver Coast

The first thing any expat or foreigner would like to enquire about a new place is accommodation. Everyone would love to live in a place that offers comfort, is affordable, and accessible to other vital entities like transportation and cafes. Fortunately, the Silver Coast offers a good combination of those features.

Rental Prices in the Silver Coast

If you’re currently not interested in buying a property and looking for rental accommodation, you can find good places at different prices. The amount starts from as low as €350-€400 per month and can go as high as €5,000 per month. The Silver Coast has something to offer for every budget.

The Property Prices in the Silver Coast

The property prices in the Silver Coast start from €250,000 and can go up to €1 million. If you go for a two-bedroom apartment in a central area, the prices start around €70,000.

Get in touch with us to learn more about availability and prices in the Silver Coast of Portugal.

Cost of Food in the Silver Coast

You’ll not find any issues with managing daily groceries or even eating out when you live in the Silver Coast. Here’s a list of food items and their prices to give you an idea about the cost of food in Silver Coast in Portugal.

 

  Average Price
Meat (kg) €13
Chicken (kg) €4.5
Eggs (a dozen) €1.70
Milk (one liter) €0.60
Banana (kg) €1.10
Apple (kg) €1.50
Bread (500 gr) €1.10
Rice (kg) €0.95
Potatoes (kg) €0.85
Onions (kg) €0.95
Local Cheese (kg) €7
Wine (mid-range, bottled) €5

Eating out is affordable, too. Here is a simple chart, again based on the figures provided by Numbeo.

  Average Price
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant €7
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, €36.25
McMeal at McDonalds €6
Cappuccino €1.21
Imported Beer €1.50
Coke/Pepsi €1.11
Water €0.80

Transportation in the Silver Coast

Transportation is a key aspect of any city or town. It allows you to get from one place to another, whether by road, air, or water. Transportation in the Silver Coast is affordable. However, it’ll depend on the mode of transport you are taking.

How To Reach the Silver Coast

The Silver Coast is approximately 150 kilometers from Lisbon. Once you land at the Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon, it’ll take a pleasant one-hour drive to reach Silver Coast. Prefer a bus because it’s not only comfortable but cheap as well. An air-conditioned coach will cost you around €9. It’ll be a scenic ride.

If you’re arriving at Porto Airport, it’ll take around two hours to reach the region.

Getting Around in the Silver Coast

You’ll find everything from bus stations to taxi stands and even train stations in Silver Coast. Transportation can be easily found. Regional trains are often cheaper, but it’s always quicker to go by bus. You can create a monthly pass.

Weather in the Silver Coast

The Silver Coast experiences 275 days of sunshine in a year. Because it sits amidst the Mediterranean and Atlantic, the region has mild winters, hot and dry summers. 

Weather in the Silver Coast in Winter

During winters, the temperature is around 17°C. 

Weather in the Silver Coast in Summer

During summer, the temperature reaches 30°C. 

Frequently Asked Questions On Silver Coast Portugal

Is It Difficult To Buy A House In The Silver Coast?

No, the process is pretty straightforward. Check out our Silver Coast Real Estate Guide for further reading.

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