Figueira da Foz
Name - Figueira da Foz (or Figueira)Status & population - Small city / 46,000 people - 62,000 including surrounding areas
Location - West Atlantic coastline / Sliver Coast - Central Portugal
Distance - 40km from Coimbra / 2 hour drive from Porto
Property - Figueira has increased in popularity over the past few years with property prices being significantly lower than that of the Algarve, but offering much of the same. With the Silver Coast stretching from Porto to Paniche just north of Lisbon, there are many towns and villages to explore.
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Figueira, as it is know locally, is a small city located 40km from Coimbra on the west coast of Portugal and is situated at the mouth of the Mondego river, sheltered by the hills of Serra da Boa Viagem. Figueira is a lively and modern coastal city offering fun in abundance - with it's beach life during the day and it's relaxed, stylish evenings at one of the many good restaurants or the largest casino on the Iberian Peninsular.
The city has many traditional buildings that are being restored and the inevitable new developments, but both sit together comfortably. There's 15km of sandy beaches to enjoy including Praia de Buarcos and Cabedelo, noted for it's good surfing. With many cafes, bars, restaurants and nightlife mixed with history and heritage, there is plenty to do for all ages.
History and landmarks
It is said that the name Figueira comes from the word 'fagaria' meaning 'opening, huge mouth' and Foz comes from the Latin word 'fouces', meaning 'mouth of a river'.
Noted landmarks in the area are Sotto Mayor Palace, the old fishing village of Buarcos, the Serra da Boa Viagem - a small forested mountain by the Atlantic Ocean, ideal for picnics or taking in the sites for miles around. Along the coast are several beaches and the 'city beach' has a large seaside promenade, paved with typical Portuguese pavement. Figueira da Foz has several Churches of the Baroque style, a Museum with archaeological, ethnographic and artistic collections, the Santa Catarina Fort and the old Buarcos Fortress.
View of the coastline from the Serra da Boa Viagem
The beaches are said to be some of the finest on the Silver Coast and Potugal. There are approximately 15km of beaches in Figueira including the main beach, Figueira da Foz-Relogio. Located close to the city centre it has good disabled access and family facilities including sports areas, childrens parks, playgrounds, cycle tracks and is Portugal's largest beach stretching for more than 3 kilometres. There are wooden boardwalks to take you across the sand as it can get pretty hot in the height of summer.
Praia de Quiaios, a quieter Blue Flag beach has disabled access and is to the north of the city. Leirosa and Costa de Lavos beaches all have Blue Flag status and have facilities such as parking, easy access to the beach, lifeguards, volleyball playing areas, restaurants and cafes nearby. Cova Gala has Blue Flag status and lifeguards, but does not have cafes and restaurants facilities.
South of Figueira across the mouth of the Mondego is Praia de Cabedelo - a prime surfing venue and four kilometres south of Figueira is Praia de Gala. The seas at Buarcos, north of Figueira, are popular with surfers and sea kayakers and can be less busy in the height of summer.
Beach at Buarcos
The city is an important industrial centre, producing wood pulp, paper and glass. It also has notable naval construction and fish industries. The seaport and the fishing harbour are also important for its economy. With its old and renowned casino (Casino da Figueira), the marina, several hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities, Figueira is a very important Atlantic beach resort in the center of Portugal's Silver Coast/Costa de Prata tourism region.
Find out more other cities such as Porto and Lisbon.
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