Caldas da Rainha

Key Facts

Population: 52000

Area Size: 256 sq km

church in caldas da rainha

Caldas da Rainha is located close to the West Coast of Portugal. It is a thriving and beautiful city, located on what is more commonly known as The Silver Coast. It is less than an hours drive from the Capital City of Lisbon. The Caldas Municipality covers an area of 256 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 52,000 residents – half of whom live within the city itself.

The City of Caldas is approximately 10km inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of 12 parishes:

  • A dos Francos
  • Alvorninha
  • Caldas da Rainha – incorporating Nossa Senhora do Populo, Coto and Sao Gregorio
  • Carvalhal Benfeito
  • Foz do Arelho
  • Landal
  • Nadadouro
  • Salir de Matos
  • Santa Catarina
  • Tornada and Salir do Porto
  • Vidais

As you explore this wonderful City, you will appreciate everything that is on offer from this vibrant and historic area. Beautiful buildings and architecture line the many pedestrianized city centre streets. These are often paved with the local Calcada stones that are prevalent throughout Portugal. Many of the buildings have been sympathetically restored and blend seamlessly with the texture of this city.

History

The City can be traced back to the 15th century. Queen Leonor ordered the establishment of a hospital and a church at the site of a therapeutic hot springs, where she had been taken for treatment of an illness. The Thermal Hospital is the oldest purpose-built institution in the world. It is home to over five centuries of history. The city is referred to locally simply as Caldas, but translated, the full name of Caldas da Rainha means “Queen’s Spa” or “Queen’s Baths.”

Amenities & Attractions

  • There are many and varied cultural institutions throughout Caldas.  There are museums that cover a wide range of cultural interests including, art, history, cycling, ceramics, manufacturing.
  • The CCC (Centro Cultural e de Congressos –   Cultural and Conference Centre), is the centre for many concerts and exhibitions through the course of the year.  A wide range of performing arts including, operas, choirs, musicals, theatre, dance are featured at the CCC Centre during the course of the year.
  • There is also a multi-sport municipal complex, swimming baths and public parks where outdoor concerts are held throughout the year.
  • There are higher education institutions in Caldas and these include a re-known School of Ceramics and a major Art and Design School
  • As you explore this wonderful City, you will appreciate everything that is on offer from this vibrant and historic area.  There are beautiful buildings and architecture that line the many pedestrianized city centre streets.  These are often paved with the local Calcada stones that are prevalent throughout Portugal.  Many of the buildings have been sympathetically restored and blend seamlessly with the texture of this city.

Our Team Recommends

There are many points of interest in Caldas and no visit would be complete without visiting these POI that are recommended by our team.

In the centre of Caldas is a beautifully designed public park.  Part of this has been left in mostly natural state with wonderful walking paths, trees, shrubs, flowers and the placement of benches to allow you to sit, relax and enjoy the environment.  A further area of the park has been somewhat more landscaped and a pond has been incorporated where the children can enjoy feeding the ducks and swans.  There is also a recently renovated Cafe/Restaurant in the park which is very close to the well thought out children’s play area.

There is a wonderful, colour and flavour filled daily fresh fruit and vegetable market where you can purchase far more than fruit and vegetables.  There are delicious local cheeses on offer as well as bread, nuts, dried fruits, flowers, plants and some local artisan crafts.  The market is open early in the morning and runs through until about 2:00 in the afternoon.

There are many cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy the surroundings, the food and the atmosphere. Check out our “Places to Eat” blog for recommendations of restaurants within Caldas and the surrounds.