The Silver Coast in Portugal is only a few hours from Lisbon and yet is a world away from busy city streets. Although a little touristy, it’s nowhere near on the scale of the Algarve, which practically every British person has heard of. Obidos is the flagship village of the region on a hilltop and surrounded by a medieval wall. Silent cobbled streets and whitewashed houses with bougainvillea spilling down abound at every corner and for two weeks in August the town is host to a medieval festival at the castle with jousting, plays and food stalls serving everything from giant meringues to stew.
Nearby the larger town of Calda da Rainha has all the usual shopping facilities, a fantastic fish and produce market (why can’t we have brilliant fish markets in England?!), plus a great park to walk in on a Sunday afternoon with a band playing, a boating lake overlooked by the enormous and derelict sanatorium building that would inspire any Benicio del Toro fan.