With fewer decent housing options available in Lisbon this year, an increasing number of buyers and investors are looking to invest in smaller cities within a one-hour radius of the capital.
Smaller towns ensure less tourist disruption, offer fair pricing, and when located amidst nature at close proximity to the ocean, with an innovative mindset, they are Portugal's greatest assets.
At the top of this list, just 54 minutes from Lisbon by the motorway, meet Torres Vedras, located in the Oeste region of central Portugal, north of Lisbon. Torres Vedras is surrounded by the municipalities of Lourinhã to the north, Alenquer to the east, Sobral de Monte Agraço to the southeast, and Mafra to the south.
The historical center of Torres Vedras on a quiet summer day.
Boasting approximately 20 km of coastline, including the stunning beaches of Santa Cruz, Santa Rita, and Praia Azul, the region offers other attractions such as golf courses, equestrian centers, and the renowned spas of Cucos and Vimeiro, known for their therapeutic waters.
Torres Vedras – Praia de Santa Cruz
Praia de Santa Cruz in the 1930s and today | Largo de São Pedro, historical center of Torres Vedras.
Well-connected by a great range of bus companies, the region is a 360-degree stretching view of pastoral landscapes. Atop the hills, wind turbines harness wind energy for the valleys. Numerous quintas (wine estates) process wines across approximately 7,000 hectares of vineyards. Elected as the European City of Wine in 2018, Torres Vedras is renowned for producing red, white, and rosé wines at soft prices. But there's more...
Torres Vedras finds itself at the crossroads of its past and future, resembling a joyful and subtle hydra—a serpentine water monster with three heads in Greek and Roman mythology. This is because the city is simultaneously forging its identity against its complex historical landmarks, its natural resources (the ocean, the wind, the expansive beaches, and the vineyards), and its recent innovations paired with housing rehabilitations since the 1990s, place the region on the map with a sharp sense of future.
Take a walk through the pristine silence of Torres Vedras' historic center on a scorching Sunday at noon, when people have migrated to the beach. As you stroll voluptuously alone, spiritually inspired, you too might sense the city's cultural future. It whispers, as if in an empty theater, scripting its forthcoming seasons.
Largo de São Pedro, historical center of Torres Vedras.
Iglesia de São Pedro, Centro Histórico of Torres Vedras.
There is an elegance to the rehabilitation that easily predicts such destiny. Take, for example, the design of the bench on Largo de São Pedro. Collective thinking and collective seating both start with an intention for it.
Now climb to the top of the hill and gaze from the ramparts at the 360-degree viewpoint. No wonder this place has inspired strategic battles.
Castelo de Torres Vedras | To visit The Lines | Visit the Monuments of Torres Vedras During the mid-12th century, King Alfonso I seized control of Torres Vedras from Moorish rule. Then, the castle and its fortifications were part of an effective three-line defensive system of forts and castles spanning 100 km along the borders during the Peninsula War. Known as the Lines of Torres Vedras, these fortifications were constructed secretly between 1809 and 1810 to defend the Kingdom's capital, Lisbon, from the French Napoleonic forces.
Commissioned by the future Duke of Wellington, the Lines were built by Portuguese and British workers. The concept proved successful in thwarting Napoleon's conquest of Portugal, employing cost-effective architecture while minimizing the loss of soldiers. In March 2019, the Portuguese Government declared the Lines a national heritage site.
Centro de Interpretação da Comunidade Judaica de Torres Vedras. Visit the center. At the base of the Castelo and a few steps away from the Old Jewish Quarter, you'll find the Jewish Community Center of Torres Vedras, shedding light on a different era of Iberian history. The establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal in 1536 by King John III, marked a period of expulsions and persecutions for Jews who, for the most part, had already converted to Catholicism after fleeing from Spain. Today, a network of centers across the country helps trace the origins of the Jewish community across Portugal, which had a significant presence in Torres Vedras alone, with 25 families dating back to the mid-thirteenth century.
Largo Infante D. Henrique viewed from the Chafariz dos Canos below.
The Chafariz dos Canos or fountain is mentioned in the 14th century. It was fed by the aqueduct and is located near one of the gates of the medieval town: Porta da Corredoura.
Fast forward to the present day. To invest and reside in Torres Vedras, the average price per square meter was approximately €1,700 in 2022, according to Tagus Property. The city is pairing its housing renovation program, with public and private initiatives in business innovation and artistic developments:
Established in 2017 in the historic center of Torres Vedras, Torres Vedras LabCenter serves as a hub for collaboration and cooperation, with a focus on innovation, knowledge, science, and economics. Its various facilities include a digital manufacturing laboratory (FabLab), a business incubator, and workshops for innovation and knowledge.
Founded in 2005, the Escola Internacional de Torres Vedras [EITV] emerged from the desire to create an 'irreverent' educational institution characterized by high teaching standards. Its mission is to prepare young people for the challenges of the modern world in nurturing each student's potential skillsets and talents.
Emerge, a cultural association established in 2016 in Torres Vedras, promotes contemporary art by emerging artists in collaboration with public and private institutions, curators, artists, and galleries,. It addresses pressing issues in contemporary art and, through events like Portugal Slam, invites artists such as Huba Mateus/DJ Huba to perform in local Poetry Slam events.
Located in the villages of Maceira and Alfeiria, RAMA was founded in 2020 with the support of the municipality of Torres Vedras. RAMA has served as an art residency and research center since, aimed at national and international artists, researchers and curators who wish to develop their research and experimentation work in multidisciplinary areas, crossing contemporary art with science, education and territory.
RAMA is a platform for art residencies bridging artists, curators and mentors
To take the pulse of a city in just three hours, best is always to turn to its youth. We spoke to Carla & Claudia after they were done brunching at Love It –a foodie restaurant with ultra-fresh Pokés, Bagels and Pancakes presented with 'insta flair'. Torres Vedras Part II will unfold in the coming days. Stay tuned...
Carla & Claudia brunched at LoveIt.
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If you wish to invest in Portugal and particularly at less than 1 hour and a half from Lisbon, reach out with your questions and queries and check out Mojo's properties for sale.
Mojo is a Boutique Real Estate guiding and assisting investors and buyers in Portugal. We scout and cherry pick the best possible property within your brief and budget. We manage and coordinate the purchase process with expertise in renovations. And groom your property for short and long-term rental, striving optimal yields for our nvestors. Call and text via whatsapp: +351.962.621259