Silver Lining: Costa de Prata, Portugal

Leaving Iceland's dark winter behind in favour of a slice of Mediterranean sunshine took one photographer on a tour of Portugal's glittering Silver Coast.

Portugal's Costa de Prata - the Silver Coast - stretches more than 100kms between Porto and Lisbon. Why "silver"? It gets its name from the sparkling rays that dance on the Atlantic.

The rugged coastline is characterised by stunning beaches and historical villages, Unesco heritage sites and sprawling vineyards, all of which beckon visitors to segue into the relaxed Portuguese way of life.

Last November, after months spent in cold, dark Iceland, I needed a fix of Mediterranean sunshine. I spent a few days tracing the coast by car, stopping in fishing villages along the way. In the medieval walled town of Óbidos, I navigated cobbled streets and alleyways.

At the surfer's paradise of Nazaré, a thick stretch of sand ran from the cliffs to the coast and into the distance. My walk along the beach was serenaded by waves booming and crashing to the shore. I adored the light here - as do many photographers and creatives. After capturing some shots, I immersed myself in the local community, pairing good Portuguese wine with salty fresh seafood.

Portugal has some of the most beautiful villages in all of Europe, sun-drenched pockets of heritage, culture and spectacular landscapes - and the Silver Coast is where you'll find them in abundance. It's so easy to fall in love with this beautiful region.

@martawitkowskaphoto |