The Oeste ("West") is a region of Central Portugal, along the Atlantic coast. Among Oeste's numerous sights are several sandy beaches, many known for their great surfing waves.
- 1 Alcobaça — noted for its monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- 2 Alenquer — it has a very rich heritage of prehistoric sites, castles, convents, churches, chapels, farms and stately homes
- 3 Arruda dos Vinhos — home to hilltop forts built during the Napoleonic wars
- 4 Bombarral — home to Bacalhôa Buddha Eden, Europe's largest Oriental garden
- 5 Cadaval — small rural town
- 6 Caldas da Rainha — a city known for its curative waters and its arts
- 7 Lourinhã — noted for its dinosaur-related attractions
- 8 Marinha Grande — popular ocean beach and the country's only museum devoted to glasswork
- 9 Nazaré — a picturesque beach popular with sunbathers, swimmers, and surfers
- 10 Óbidos — hilltop town surrounded by medieval castle walls
- 11 Peniche — lovely, family-friendly beaches with a surf scene
- 12 Sobral de Monte Agraço — a largely rural area with well-preserved natural spaces of remarkable landscape beauty
- 13 Torres Vedras — the Lines of Torres Vedras defended the Lisbon peninsula against Napoleon's army
- 1 Arquipélago das Berlengas (Berlengas archipelago) — uninhabited island chain 10–17 km (6.2–10.6 mi) from Peniche containing a nature reserve
- 2 Paisagem Protegida da Serra de Montejunto (Serra de Montejunto Protected Landscape) — in Alenquer and Cadaval with Estremadura's highest viewpoint at 666 m (2,185 ft)
- 3 Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros (Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park) — partially in Alcobaça, but spreads beyond the Oeste region
The Oeste (/oˈɛʃt(ɨ)/ or /ɔˈɛʃt(ɨ)/, oh-EHSHT) region's character varies from the leisurely Atlantic beaches to medium-sized cities and towns centered on commerce and services with a suburban-like pace to rural country villages and hamlets where agriculture—both plant- and animal-based—dominate the local economy.
The region is in the former Estremadura province, split between the districts of Leiria and Lisbon. The region's twelve municipalities are home to 362,311 people (2011) in an area of 2,220 km2 (860 sq mi). It is concurrently both a comunidade intermunicipal ("intermunicipal community") with some administrative functions and a European NUTS III region used for statistical purposes.
Marinha Grande is this Wikivoyage region, but is not part of the administrative and statistical Oeste region.
- Turismo Centro de Portugal, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Oeste is one of the regions overseen by Turismo Centro de Portugal.
- Comboios de Portugal (Trains of Portugal), ☏ . PDF timetable. Comboios de Portugal's Linha do Oeste (West Line) runs through the region north to south, connecting with several stations in Lisbon, Leiria, Coimbra, Figueira da Foz, and other stops in between. Trains on this windy line are old, and buses are often faster.
- Rede Expressos, Terminal Rodoviário de Sete Rios, Praça Marechal Humberto Delgado, Estrada das Laranjeiras, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Rede Expressos is the main nationwide coach bus provider. You can use them from the Sete Rios or the Oriente terminals in Lisbon to reach many destinations in the Oeste region.
- Barraqueiro Transportes, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Barraqueiro and its subsidiaries—Barraqueiro Oeste, Boa Viagem, and Mafrense—serve the southern areas of the region: Alenquer, Arruda dos Vinhos, Cadaval, Lourinhã, Sobral de Monte Agraço, and Torres Vedras. Various routes connect Lisbon to cities in the region.
- Rodoviária do Oeste (RDO), +351 262 767 676, ✉ email@example.com. Rodoviária do Oeste is the main regional coach bus company serving the northerly areas of region: Alcobaça, Bombarral, Cadaval, Caldas da Rainha, Lourinhã, Nazaré, Óbidos, and Peniche. It offers two Rápida (rapid) services from Lisbon to cities in Oeste.
- Rápida Azul. RDO's Rápida Azul line provides bus service from Lisbon (Campo Grande) to Lourinhã (55 min), Praia da Areia Branca (~1 hr), Peniche (1 hr 25 min), and points in between. Lourinhã & Praia da Areia Branca €7.80, Peniche €8.70 (see linked timetable for full pricing details).
- Rápida Verde. RDO's Rápida Verde line provides frequent bus service between Lisbon (Campo Grande) and Bombarral (45 min), Óbidos (1 hr), and Caldas da Rainha (1hr 20 min). Bombarral €7.35, Óbidos €8.00, Caldas da Rainha €8.10 (see linked timetable for full pricing details).
The main motorway in the Oeste region is A8 (Autoestrada do Oeste) which provides access to Lisbon in the south and Leiria in the north. There are direct exits to Torres Vedras, Bombarral, Óbidos, and Caldas da Rainha. Connecting roads lead to Peniche, Nazaré, and Alcobaça.
The A10 motorway serves the southeast part of the region: Arruda dos Vinhos and offers connecting roads to Sobral de Monte Agraço and Alenquer.
The A15 motorway (part of route IP6) connects directly to Óbidos from A1 in Santarém. Connecting roads go to Peniche and to Caldas da Rainha.
The EN1 (or N1) road (Estrada Lisboa-Porto) was the nation's principal roadway until Portugal started using European Union community funds to build its motorway network. It serves Alenquer directly.
The older EN8 (or N8) road (Estrada da Estremdura), runs largely parallel to A8. It is narrower and slower, but offers a route that allows greater closeness with the communities it passes though.
EN115 (or N115) offers a scenic route between Lisbon's suburb of Loures and Caldas da Rainha, serving Cadaval and Sobral de Monte Agraço.
The methods listed in the Get in section—train, bus, and car—can also be used to get around within the region.
- Caldas da Rainha has several museums, mostly dedicated art.
- Lourinhã has a few sights dealing with dinosaurs and paleontology.
- Óbidos, perhaps the Oeste's most popular destination, has a medieval castle and is surrounded by stone walls protecting the hilltop town.
- The Oeste region has some excellent beaches.
- Nazaré and Peniche are especially noted for their great surfing waves.
- Óbidos offers no fewer than four golf course resorts.
With its coastal location, the Oeste is an excellent region to savour fresh fish and seafood.
The Oeste is home to several demarcated wine regions, including Alenquer DOC, Torres Vedras DOC, Arruda DOC, Óbidos DOC, Lourinhã DOC, and Encostas d'Aire DOC. Óbidos is known for its ginja or ginjinha, a cherry liqueur. Lourinhã produces aguardente, a distilled spirit.
- Alentejo — to the southeast includes historic locales such as:
- Beira Litoral — the region directly to the north includes many popular destinations:
- Aveiro — noted for its canals and Art Nouveau buildings
- Batalha — known for its medieval monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Coimbra — Portugal's fourth largest urban centre, its 13th-Century university is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Fátima — Portugal's most famous pilgrimage site, where it's said the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in 1917
- Lisbon Region — in this region to the south, you'll find the nation's capital and other fascinating destinations:
- Almada – just across the Tagus (Tejo) River from Lisbon, it has a giant Christ the King statue
- Cascais — beach town at the mouth of the Tagus (Tejo) River, known for the casino and high living at Estoril
- Lisbon (Lisboa) – the nation's capital and most popular destination, with several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Sintra — this UNESCO World Heritage Site in a hilly area is known for its many palaces