As the perfect place for expats in Portugal to settle, the Silver Coast really does have it all. While the Algarve regularly steals the limelight when it comes to the sun and the beaches, the Silver Coast is somewhat overlooked. Portugal Silver Coast real estate is more affordable than properties in the south. Indeed, the region is no less beautiful, with some of the most spectacular landscapes in Portugal.
The Silver Coast or Costa da Prata is known for its historic towns, local lifestyle, breathtaking beaches, and long, rugged coastline. In this article, we’ll delve into this region of Portugal – why this is the perfect place for expats in Portugal, the state of Silver Coast real estate, and the practicalities of buying here.
The Silver Coast – an overview
The exact definition of the Silver Coast is often contested. However, most agree that it begins north of Lisbon and extends 150 kilometers north up the coast beyond Nazaré. The region offers a rocky coastline, sandy beaches, and a stretch of picturesque coastal towns. Each town or village provides its own unique quirkiness and local traditions.
Still relatively undeveloped, in comparison to the Algarve, it’s most notable for the huge waves at Nazaré, which surfers flock to all year. Alongside the dramatic coastline and picturesque beaches, the Silver Coast also belongs to rural Portugal. If you love the outdoors, you will easily be able to live an active life as you can be outside all year due to the mild climate.
The Silver Coast is perfectly situated to move around the country. By car, it’s just over an hour north-west of Lisbon and two and a half hours south of Porto, the beautiful, historic city in the north.
Portugal Silver Coast real estate
Portugal Silver Coast real estate – prices
Properties on the Silver Coast are more affordable than in other areas in Portugal, such as Lisbon or the Algarve. To give you some idea of the prices in Nazaré, the average asking price for a property in 2020 was €1,277/m2, and, in Peniche, this figure stood at €1,087/m2. The average asking price for properties in Óbidos was also a little more expensive, standing at €1,419/m2 in 2020, while a cheaper option would be Torres Vedras €1,059/m2.
The average asking prices in 2020 for the Silver Coast region varied from €698/m2 in Pombal to €1,544/m2 in Mafra.
Portugal Silver Coast real estate – investment opportunities
The Silver Coast started to become popular in the late 1990s, with overseas buyers first becoming aware of the beauty of the region. This coincided with the construction of the A8 motorway that was built between Lisbon and Óbidos. This made traveling around the area much easier.
The cost of living offers exceptional value, and this is why the expat community has grown over the years. You should be able to find solid investments and properties at very reasonable prices. With the increase in working from home, the Silver Coast also provides key advantages.
Portugal Silver Coast real estate – luxury properties
The Silver Coast has it all when it comes to luxury properties, from modern houses with ocean views to spacious villas. As the Silver Coast also includes some of rural Portugal, you will even have the opportunity to find renovated farms which could be good investments with tourism potential.
If you are looking for the crème de la crème, you will be able to find modern penthouses with ocean views. If a penthouse is what you are after, our article here provides a rundown of other prospective locations.
Luxury properties are obviously going to cost much more, depending on the property size and additional facilities. A private gym, swimming pool or private security will up the price. Bear in mind, however, that, although prices are continuing to increase in Portugal, prices remain more affordable than in other European countries. With beautiful properties, outrageous views, and a relaxed way of life, the country has much to offer homebuyers and investors.
Silver Coast real estate – the Portugal Golden Visa
The Silver Coast is also an attractive location for investors looking to invest in the Portugal Golden Visa. This is a five-year residency-through-investment scheme for non-EU investors that was launched in 2012 by the Portuguese government. This provides investors with Portuguese residency, an entryway to Europe, and the possibility of citizenship after five years.
For the Golden Visa real estate option you are able to invest in new or used properties from €500,000 across Portugal. This price decreases to €280,000 in low-density areas.
However, there are changes that will unfold on 1 January 2022. This will mean that investing in real estate in high-density areas for the scheme will not qualify. This includes, Lisbon, Porto and other hotspot locations.
While some areas in the Silver Coast will also no longer qualify, there are many areas in the region that will still be eligible. Therefore, the Silver Coast will remain an attractive location for Golden Visa investors.
Portugal Silver Coast real estate – where to buy
The Silver Coast has so much variety for those choosing this stunning region to live in Portugal. From coastal gems, such as Nazaré, Peniche, and Ericeira, to the historic city of Coimbra, the region boasts a diverse range of prospective locations. Not as popular as the Algarve, you will also be able to enjoy a typical Portuguese lifestyle.
Choosing the perfect Portugal Silver Coast real estate will depend on what you are looking for. Here, we provide you with a rundown of some of the most stunning locations – think beautiful scenery or cityscapes, a top cuisine, and your own corner of tranquility in the Iberian Peninsula.
Nazaré is perhaps the most famous town on the Silver Coast, given its worldwide popularity with big-wave surfers. You’ll be able to see them going up against the big waves from the coast or the lighthouse, which offers perfect views of the surfers as they test their mettle.
Lesser known, however, is the fact that Nazaré is one of the most traditional towns in Portugal. Here, fishermen’s wives still wear seven colorful layers of skirts and the traditional black headscarves. Their husbands can be seen drying their catch of fish in the sun on the typical wooden racks along the seafront. Indeed, the special charm of Nazaré is perhaps even more endearing than the big waves that entice the surfers.
While Nazaré is the bustling elder sibling, with the big waves and colourful traditions, Peniche is perhaps the slightly quieter younger sibling.
Peniche has a very relaxed vibe, where you can easily forget that time is slipping by and you are able to recharge your batteries. You will be able to take the ferry to Berlengas, an archipelago of islands where you can see firsthand the ancient Fortress of São João Baptista, from the 17th-Century.
The fishing industry is where Peniche comes alive. Fishermen can be seen calmly, or excitedly, examining their catch, depending on the bounty that they find. Moving a little north, you have Praia da Foz do Arelho, a unique confluence between the Óbidos Lagoon and the ocean. While it can be a little windy here, you can easily enjoy the calm waters.
Óbidos is a charming medieval walled town and one of the country’s most popular haunts for tourists. You have the glorious medieval festival, where locals and tourists alike can dress up in medieval attire and enjoy the medieval castle while indulging in Ginjinha (typical cherry-flavored liqueur that often comes in a chocolate cup).
While Óbidos itself may not be the best location for homebuyers and may be better placed as an investment, the surrounding countryside would make for a peaceful home in the depths of the Portuguese countryside.
Home to the famous baroque-style Mafra National Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mafra is only a short 30 kilometers from Lisbon. An interesting anecdote is that the library in the Mafra National Palace has its own colony of bats that protect the ancient books from insect damage – a natural form of pest control that has been going on for 300 years.
The surrounding areas of Mafra, and the city itself, offer a quintessentially authentic Portuguese experience. You are also very close to Ericeira and many beaches for your ocean fix. The countryside here is also very beautiful, with many charming properties available.
Beautiful Ericeira. This bustling summer surf town is contrasted nicely with the slow-paced lives of the locals, where you have the impression that not too much has changed over the years. The typical white houses with blue façades provide Ericeira with its charming character.
The perfect beaches and towering cliffs showcase the dramatic side of the Silver Coast. And then you have fine dining elements and local cafés scattered around. The seafood here is also some of the best in the country. You will be able to find stunning properties with waterfront views, modern apartments, and cute townhouses – there are many types of properties to satisfy buyers.
The gentle town of Torres Vedras is a place of tranquility. With the Moorish castle overlooking the city, Torres Vedras is not really a place that tourists visit. Here the local way of life permeates through. Close by you have Praia de Santa Cruz with very nice beaches. Although the strong waves don’t welcome much swimming, you have beautiful landforms that are definitely worth viewing. In the surrounding areas here, you can find very nice properties at affordable rates.
With the longest river in Portugal, the Mondego, flowing through this historic, university town, Coimbra is a gem in the heart of the country. Coimbra is the oldest university in Portugal and, with the 12th Century Sé Velha cathedral at its centerpiece, history lovers will delight at its architecture and ancient roots.
Nowadays, the city has many trendy restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy traditional Portuguese specialties. The city offers charming apartments and the surrounding countryside is ideal for those looking for a country home deep in the Portuguese countryside.
Practical information about Portugal Silver Coast real estate
With picturesque villages with cobbled streets, staggering landscapes, and pristine beaches, the Silver Coast offers many perks to the buyer. Here, we provide you with some practicalities about the region.
Why choose the Silver Coast?
The Silver Coast is less crowded than many areas in the Algarve. For those looking to live in Portugal alongside the beauty of nature, and with the Portuguese lifestyle still permeating through, look no further than the Silver Coast.
The properties on the Silver Coast also tend to be cheaper than in the Algarve and other hotspot locations. There are many places here that will not be affected by the Portugal Golden Visa changes that unravel next year. This makes the regions continue to be attractive for investors seeking residency-by-investment.
However, if you live along the Silver Coast, you will still be able to enjoy many other endearing Portugal locations. Situated in between Lisbon and Porto, you will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Lifestyle in the Silver Coast
The food scene in the Silver Coast is amongst the finest in Europe and forms a vital role in the region’s culture. There are numerous farms (some you may even be able to buy), vineyards, and locally produced fruits and vegetables. With outstanding seafood along the coast, you should never be disappointed by the healthy cuisine.
Keen golfers will be content to know that the region has some of the best golf courses in Europe. Other activities, from watersports to yoga, are also available, particularly in the more expat-heavy areas.
Climate in the Silver Coast
The Silver Coast can be exposed to the elements of the Atlantic, and it can be windy in some areas. However, the winters are mild and the summers are usually dry and toasty hot. Average winter temperatures are 62°F (17°C) and in summer 81°F (27°C), with a pleasant cooling Atlantic breeze.