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Silver Coast Blog

Silver Coast Blog

The bloggers -who are reside, live and enjoy here- do like to share their everyday worries at the Silver Coast and abroad.

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Active holidays

Active holidays

For an active holiday or a just a sportive day

The Costa de Prata is sunny, has beautiful historic places and buildings, but also many possibilities for an active day.

The Atlantic Ocean offers great possibilities for activities on or in the water.  But don't worry, also on land or in the aire you can have a great and sporty day out.

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Welcoming Stays

Welcoming Stays

The Costa de Prata offers a wide selection of accommodations

Child friendly places, or a quiet retreat for couples, modern or romantic, bed and breakfast, selfcatering homes or a luxury lodge with swimming pool: the choice is yours. However they all have something in common: they are always hospitable!

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Beaches

Beaches

Clean, sunny and spacious

The Silver Coast has several types of beaches. There are beaches with everything you need, other beaches are more natural and quiet.

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Worth-seeing

Worth-seeing

Too much to mention!

Maybe the main reason why the Costa de Prata is so renowned, is the huge number and quality of things to see and do.

The vast beaches, remarkable nature, special museums, historic cities and monastries, picturesque villages. It's really too much to mention but we try anyway.

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Lots of cycling possibilities

Although the Portuguese are not very keen cyclists, the number of cycling paths is increasing and the government is working on the promotion of cycling.

If you would like to explore the area by bicycle, you can contact for example Buka Bike, or Bikerent Silvercoast. You can pick up the bikes at their place, but they also deliver the bikes at your holiday rental.

At BikeIberia you can rent a bicycle for the whole of the Iberian peninsula. Please make sure you make your reservation at least 72 hours before rental date.

 

In a previous blog I wrote about a new place that we discovered, but there is still more to discover. Situated between Torres Novas and Abrantes there is the castle of Almourol, or as the Portuguese saying Castelo de Almourol. It seems to be a fairy tale castle located on an island in the Tagus. The island itself would not be more than a large boulder. Accessible by ferry or on foot when the water is low. Who wants to see the castle inside, choose the ferry because without any ticket no entrance. According to the story the castle was built in 1171 by Gualdim Pais, the first Grand Master of the Knights Templars in Portugal. Conquerors have never been able to penetrate it, because the Templars knew that a round tower was better to defend than a square tower. The castle is surrounded by nine towers and ramparts. Tomar was the later headquarters of the Knights Templar in Portugal. Still, the round towers of castles from the period after 1100 are a sign of recognition that this is a building of the Knights Templars. About Almourol castle seems to exist a beautiful knight novel Palmeirim the Inglaterra which tells…

Triumphal arch with sea-view

On the south-eastern slope of the Cabeço Gordo, in Arrimal, 2480 Porto de Mós (39° 30' 6.08" N  8° 53' 45.32" W) stands an impressive triumphal arch.

According to the inscription it was built by king Alfonso Henriques, swearing that all land, seen from that point towards the sea, would be donated to the monks that would build the monastry of Alcobaça.

Indeed from the Arco da Memoria you have a great view of the coast.
 

Templars left Tomar an impressive castle

Tomar is located east of Fátima, in the valley of the river Nabão. Already from quite some distance you can see why Tomar is so famous: the templar castle and convent (Castelo dos Templários and the Convento do Cristo) on top of a hill. This is the main monument of the city and one of the most important in Portugal. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Other places of interest

  • On the main square, the Praça da República, with a statue of great master Gualdim Pais, is the church Igreja de São João Baptista. The main aspect of this 15th century late-gothic manuelino church is the manuelino belltower with octagonal top and pyramid shaped peak.
  • Not far from the square you can find a 15th centrury synagogue in the former jewish quarter. There are not many synagogues left in Portugal, this one is one of the few that remained.
    The museum Luso-Hebraico 'Abraão Zacuto' is still small, but will be enlarged to be a cultural and religious centre. Next to the synagogue the ritual baths (mikveh) from the 15th century were excavated.
  • The 16th century chapel Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Conceição is a very good example of early renaissance.
  • Igreja de Santa Iria, also a renaissance chapel. Every year at the end of the month October is the Feira de Santa Iria, to commemorate the holy Irmé/Irene. She was a nun who lived in Tomar. The munk Remigo killed her and threw her body in the river Rio Tejo. Her body was found in Santarém.
  • Igreja de Santa Maria dos Olivais, the mother church of the order of the templars. This early gothic church was built in the 12th century, but was renovated quite a few times since then. Almost every master of the order was buried here.

Festa dos Tabuleiros

Every 2-3 years (the people of Tomar decides when the next one will be) there is an important festival, the Festa dos Tabuleiros.

The organisation of the festival is in the hands of the 'Brotherhood of the Holy Ghost', founded in the 14th century by queen Isabel, the Rainha Santa. This brotherhood gave bread, wine and meat to the poor. The party is on for 4 days and has fireworks, music, dance, and other folklore acivities. The main event of this Festa is the spectacular procession on Sunday. Fourhundred youg men accompany fourhundred young women in a procession. The women have a “tabuleiro” on their heads (board or basket) which carries 30 loafs of bread. The tower can weigh up to 15 kilos, and often has the same height as the women. On one of the squares you can see an example of a 'tabuleiro'.

Tomar area

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