Nazar and Region

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Although train and bus travel is quite easy and reasonably priced as are organized tours, we decided to rent a car to more easily access some of the towns and villages in Central Portugal. This allowed us to see a number of scenic treasures as we crossed between Lisbon and Porto.

 

 Dozens of walled towns and villages are scattered through the central region with most towns having some sort of ancient fortification encircling the white-washed homes.

In bidos, the intact medieval ramparts offer a view of red-tiled roofs and the surrounding countryside.

 

Along the narrow lanes, splashes of colour are visible against the white-stuccoed walls.

 

The villages offer a slow pace and an intimate ambience to balance the intensity of the religious pilgrimage sites of Fatima, Batahla and Alcobaa.

 

In bidos,  as elsewhere, local commerce relies on tourist interest in ceramic handicrafts and local foods, wines and cherry liqueur.

More tourists are discovering the Silver Coast region of Portugal which rivals the Algarve for its wide beaches, bargain-hunting markets and historical interest.
 

Nazar is one of the most popular seaside resorts on the Silver Coast, known for its high surf that attracts international competitions.
 

A promenade along the beachfront attracts pedestrians as the sun sets over the ocean.

A funicular takes passengers up the cliff face to the village of Sitio above Nazar, where most of the local fishing families reside.

Sitio's church, rebuilt in 1377 has a long history as a pilgrimage site and as the place where all fishermen lost at sea are mourned.

 

The Mosteiro de Alcobaa, the largest church in Portugal, was founded in 1153 to give thanks for victory over the Moors at Santarm.

In the transept lie the tombs of Dom Pedro and his lover Ins de Castro. Ines was murdered by order of Pedro's father, the events of which nearly started a civil war.

The central nave has the soaring columns and clean lines of classic Gothic architecture. 

 

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This site was last updated 03/14/15